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  • gluten-free/Primal cycling

    I have been doing primal for about 6 weeks. In that time I GAINED weight (5 pounds) and clothes became tight, although I do admit I felt better overall. I am pretty much at a target weight and have a more muscular build (for a female) so I assumed the gain was muscle (unwanted, but oh well). I know I have a gluten senstivity. I have been tested for celiac but it was negative. I've been eating nearly gluten free anyway, even before primal. I have a difficult time staying to primal because of how much muscle I tend to pack easily when i eat that way. I don't want it! I have enough! Do you think cycling gluten free and primal would be beneficial? When i was eating GF things were fine. I was the weight I wanted to be, body fat was still low etc but eating primal upset all of that-even though, again, i felt awesome. I'd love to have that "awesome feeling" without the gain. I'm an elite endurance athlete and extra pounds means extra time on the clock. By cycling I'm thinking 2 days primal/1 day GF with that 7th day (when I have no workout) IFing? Thoughts?

  • #2
    can you always be primal and gluten free... whaeres the difference in your diet when you are one way or the other?
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    • #3
      uh... for the most part, the primal diet is gluten free... with some exceptions that are on the sensible vices categories... such as beer or foods that could be cross contaminated,.. other than that, most foods on the primal list,... meats, fish, veg, nuts, fruits are all gluten free... not sure what type of foods you're eating that are primal that contain gluten that you would be cyling between the two... I think it's easier to eat gluten free than it is to eat primal... since there is no gluten in rice products...

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      • #4
        I'm not sure I understand your question. Primal *IS* gluten-free.

        Are you talking about throwing in some days that are gluten free, but not necessarily primal? What foods would you add/change on those days?
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        • #5
          I know primal is gluten free. I guess I should have been more specific. I eat rice and rice products on GF (non primal) days as well as oatmeal and milk. those are all things I wouldn't eat if I were strickly primal. I'm also not high fat on GF days since it is higher carb. I'm talking about cycling days like that with strictly primal.
          Last edited by trikate; 04-09-2010, 02:35 PM.

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          • #6
            I see -- so you're wanting to eat more carbs than most primals, using them to replace protein in the interest of minimizing your gains in muscle mass. Right?

            Hmm...what about the other problems (antinutrients, etc) associated with non-gluten grains? If you're concerned about that, you could use primal carbs like sweet potatoes and winter squash instead. Another possiblity is keeping protein on the lower side of moderate, carbs low, and raising fat to meet energy needs.

            I suspect that cycling high and low carb would keep you from fully adapting to a fat-burning metabolism. I'd think it would also contribute to the dangers of the SAD (arterial plaque, cancers, etc) that are bolstered by insulin release as a result of carb intake. As an athlete who burns off a lot of glycogen, you should be better off than most who eat high/relatively high carb, but there's still a tradeoff.

            I don't know what's best from a muscle-gain avoidance perspective, but will watch to see what others say. Obviously, the equation isn't as simple as less protein intake = less muscle bulk...but how much of a factor is it?

            Interesting question!
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            • #7
              Remember that you don't have to be 100%. How much sugar you wish to consume is up to you.
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              • #8
                Can you describe what your gluten-free diet looked like? Maybe we can primalize it up a little, then you can get the benefits of both and hopefully find a solution to the problem.
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                • #9
                  Can't you just do a higher carb version of Primal? Just eat sweet potatoes every day, maybe rice as well as it seems to be the least harmful grain, but oats is not a good idea IMO. I have read it is almost always cross-contaminated with gluten.

                  I don't eat rice, but I eat sweet potatoes and lots of fruits almost every day and it's working well for me. I'm losing weight on it (I need to).
                  Height: 5'4" (1.62 m)
                  Starting weight (09/2009): 200 lb (90.6 kg)
                  No longer overweight (08/2010): 145 lb (65.6 kg)
                  Current weight (01/2012): 127 lb (57.5 kg)

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                  • #10
                    Its not a lot different. I know it sounds backwards what I'm saying here...but its almost like when I eat "too clean" (primal) I gain a lot of muscle weight and it does effect my performance. I just feel "heavy" and not as agile. I don't even notice a loss of fat, just extra muscle and unwanted weight. When I throw in higher carb (not like sweet potatoes) like rice or oats I stay a consistant weight. I don't know why-but because its like that it makes me want to cycle to get the best of both worlds. I love primal for how I feel. I love GF (nonprimal GF) because it keeps me predictable.

                    I may not be giving it enough time too, and I know that. Six weeks may be too short but it worries me when I've gained 5-6 pounds in that time...worried it won't stop and I'm headed into my competitive season! Its one thing if clothes fit better cause of fat loss/muscle gain but they aren't.

                    typical day primal

                    B-2-3 eggs, 1T butter, mushrooms and spinach, coffee w/cream
                    L-BAS w/chicken, avocado, some cranberries, walnuts (sometimes), other veggies, olive oil and balsamic OR leftover fish/veggies in butter from night before OR the same thing as breakfast
                    snack-sometimes a spoon of almond butter w/apple or half an avocado mushed and put on celery or something. Sometimes nothing.
                    D-chicken, meat, fish, pork cooked in oil etc. w/ grilled veggies brushed w/ olive oil
                    S-berries or sometimes berries and cream or nothing.

                    Typical day gluten-free/non primal (if I did the same day)
                    2-3eggs, 1T butter, veggies, coffee w/ nonfat milk and stevia or 1scoop whey powder in 1c oats and 2T flax
                    L-BAS w/chicken, avocado, cranberries, walnuts, other veg, olive oil balsamic, 1/2 c rice w/parm cheese
                    S- PB and banana,or greek yogurt w/honey and almonds, or apple and almond butter
                    D-1c rice or a sweet potato, some sort of protein, grilled or stir fried veggies
                    S100% Fruit sorbet or some nuts

                    -I've also had rice pasta in place of regular rice

                    One thing to add. Primal days my cals are not that high and i have trouble getting them any higher. I'm just not hungry. GF days appetite is more regulated because of the carbs I'm sure. I do not notice workouts suffering with either way of eating. I still have plenty of energy regardless.

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                    • #11
                      To be honest, that's not that bad at all. If you want to try cycling do it. I thought you were going to post a carb heavy diet, but the only racy items are rice and oatmeal... not sure what the ingredients are on the fruit sorbet
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                      • #12
                        5 days on primal, 2 days GF.... or 3 days on primal, one day gf, then 4 days primal, one day gf.... get creative
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                        • #13
                          Wait a sec... You don't feel like your losing fat? But you're getting more muscle assumably. And your not eating a lot...

                          How much are you training for your comp? Could be a water gain because of cortisol...
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                          • #14
                            I presume since you compete you are timing (or whatever record of achievement you use in your sport) yourself to find out your actual success. Are you performing better or worse since going primal? Maybe even though you 'feel' bigger and weigh a few pounds more you are actually performing well. Just a thought.
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                            • #15
                              I feel am performing better overall (after getting through a few rougher weeks with it). True. And I recover quickly too. Actually thinking back-workouts that used to wipe me or make me sore aren't doing that anymore. hmm

                              I do not KNOW that I'm not losing fat but it seems I would be able to tell by now. I'm lean enough that I would be able to notice extra definition or something. I seem softer and have a little "extra" where seriously there wasn't much before-like what EGY said-almost like it could be water. I can't imgaine I've GAINED fat-not with what I've been eating. I just lately feel like I'm a slightly bigger version of myself. haha. Just not comfy in my own skin.

                              Right now I'm coming off sprint distances for running but I'm headed into half ironman/half marathon/full marathon season.

                              I'm not doing primal to get into single digit numbers for BF or something. I have no real vanity goal with it. I started just to feel better and thought it would benefit my training. I have some joint things that have gone away since starting and I don't have that morning fog/hangover I used to have. I'm sleeping well for the first time in a long time too. I dont' want to be one of those people that flip out over little unexpected stuff that happens going primal so I'm sorry if I'm coming across that way. I just want my cake and to eat it to (lol. no pun I swear) I want to feel awesome, and be a lean mean racing machine. losing a few extra pounds while keeping muscle would be fabulous, but adding them-especially if its kicking me out of a wardrobe, itsn't too desireable thank you everyone for your help on this

                              EGY...FYI. I train 6 days a week with various combos of things I do each day. I'm really good at backing off to rest when I feel run down or if I've had a harder workout the day before I will rest. I've had my share of injuries when I push so I've learned. What I'm doing now is less overall than I used to do and none of it fatigues me for the next day's workout. I never feel like "oh gosh, what did I do yesterday to make me so tired". I've kinda learned a "less is more" approach, so i'm just not sure about the cortisol thing because this is stuff my body is pretty used to, but maybe.
                              Last edited by trikate; 04-11-2010, 01:15 PM.

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