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  • Fat loss advice

    Hey there,

    I have been Primal for a few months now and a few weeks ago I finally decided to start working on shedding some fat. In the few weeks I have not lost any weight or body fat so I am a bit confused and looking for any advice/criticism.

    I am a 36 year old male who stands at 5'10 and weighs 186 lbs @ 29% body fat.

    For exercise I am doing HIIT (on my elliptical) 2 times a week and weights (Stronglifts 5x5) 3 times a week.

    Pre/post workout nutrition is 1 cup of coconut water pre/post for HIIT plus whey protein shake post, and whey protein shake + handful of M&Ms post workout for weights (I replaced banana with M&Ms). A eat a meal around 2 hours after both workouts.

    My meals have been pretty much the same every day. I am not a morning person so I typically grab 20 grams of 85% dark chocolate, just to get the morning taste out of my mouth.

    Lunch - chicken breast with around 10 cups of lettuce + peppers, coated with 1/4 cup olive oil.

    Dinner - chicken breast or steak with sweet potato and green beans

    Snacks - protein shake, 1/3 cup of almonds

    Vitamins - multi-vitamin, vitamin D, glutamine (in shake after exercise).

    So on an average day I am having aprox 1900 cals from 100g fat, 50-60g carb, 170g protein.

    Any advice/criticism/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I always hate asking for help because I think I should be able to figure things out on my own but I don't want to waste more time not losing any weight.

    Cheers.

  • #2
    I should add a few things.

    My current goal is to reach 20% body fat. I plan to keep staying active after that but that is my goal right now.

    Beside the coconut water pre/post HIIT, the only thing I drink is water and lots of it!

    Comment


    • #3
      First and foremost, cut out the sugar!!! Those rushes of insulin are probably the number 1 thing that is stalling your fat loss!!! As soon as insulin joins the party, fat burning completely stops!! So in theory, all that effort you just made with the HIIT, is right out the window the minute you eat those m n ms!!! I would recommend reducing or cutting out all together all starchy veggies and candy/sugar sources. Until you get to where you want to be, then you can add them back in if you choose to!! Good luck!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Why are you drinking the coconut water before an HIIT workout? All you're accomplishing is just burning off said coconut water. If you've eaten a meal 2 hours before a workout, you don't need a "pre-workout" drink.

        Drop the M&Ms.

        Eat some red meat instead of all that chicken.

        Comment


        • #5
          So cut out all sugars pre/post workout? I was always under the belief we needed sugars after weight training. In the first week I was having a banana after my weights/HIIT.

          So I should just stick to having just a protein shake post workout, followed by a meal 2 hours later?

          Are you saying I should cut out sweet potatoes? Man, I have grown to actually enjoy them What do you recommend I replace the sweet potatoes with, so I ensure I get enough carbs in me? Would a few apples do the trick?
          Last edited by Prodigy; 03-04-2013, 09:40 AM.

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          • #6
            I started drinking the coconut water last week because I was getting quite dizzy after my HIIT and thought that may help. It did help but I will tolerate the dizziness instead if it means better weight loss.

            I will eliminate all coconut water and M&Ms.

            I have no problem adding more read meat instead of chicken

            Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              I do have post-workout smoothies (frozen berries, scoop of whey, 1/4 cup coconut milk) because I do find it helps with recovery (and tastes yummy). So a reasonable amount of carbs after a workout is perfectly fine, but a bunch of sugars immediately prior to a workout is not. As for your HIIT-induced dizziness, make sure you're getting enough sodium elsewhere in your diet (and don't force yourself to drink water - you said you drink "a lot of it" which is not necessarily a good thing), and ditching the unnecessary sugars will help too. Or if you're feeling dizzy post-HIIT, maybe you're not breathing correctly?

              You're a man so you may benefit from VLC. But I don't think you have to cut out the sweet potatoes just yet, especially given the fact that have quite a bit of fat to lose, you enjoy them, and are still relatively new to PB, and are already hovering at 50-60g carbs anyway. Once you start getting close to your goal, then going VLC (under 50) might be opportune.

              Can I also make a suggestion that you eat fattier meat instead of adding 1/4 cup olive oil to your vegetables? I see you're getting 100g of fat a day but it all seems to be from unsaturated fats. Where is the animal fat? Also, maybe opt for a more nutritionally dense option than 10 cups of lettuce?
              Last edited by unchatenfrance; 03-04-2013, 11:11 AM.

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              • #8
                What amount of frozen berries do you put in your post-workout smoothie? Would a cup be good? And why use coconut milk instead of water? Taste? This sounds like a good option for me. I need to get that Vitamix going again.

                I really love the big ass salad, but I was worried about using too much olive oil. What would you suggest to use in place of chicken in my salad? Or should I get rid of the salad for now and scramble up 6 eggs (with an apple) and add more veggies to my dinner?

                Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I put 2 cups frozen berries. Once they thaw you're left with like a cup-ish in terms of volume anyway. And I put in coconut milk to add some fat and creaminess. Like I said, it's only 1/4 cup - the rest is water to make the smoothie drinkable.

                  You can keep the chicken for the protein but try switching out some of the olive oil and adding boiled eggs, bacon, some cheese, whatever. I don't find olive oil satiating at all. I can eat a salad drowned in olive oil and it won't fill me up at all despite it being a caloric bomb.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Prodigy View Post
                    Hey there,

                    I have been Primal for a few months now and a few weeks ago I finally decided to start working on shedding some fat. In the few weeks I have not lost any weight or body fat so I am a bit confused and looking for any advice/criticism.

                    I am a 36 year old male who stands at 5'10 and weighs 186 lbs @ 29% body fat.

                    For exercise I am doing HIIT (on my elliptical) 2 times a week and weights (Stronglifts 5x5) 3 times a week.

                    Pre/post workout nutrition is 1 cup of coconut water pre/post for HIIT plus whey protein shake post, and whey protein shake + handful of M&Ms post workout for weights (I replaced banana with M&Ms). A eat a meal around 2 hours after both workouts.

                    My meals have been pretty much the same every day. I am not a morning person so I typically grab 20 grams of 85% dark chocolate, just to get the morning taste out of my mouth.

                    Lunch - chicken breast with around 10 cups of lettuce + peppers, coated with 1/4 cup olive oil.

                    Dinner - chicken breast or steak with sweet potato and green beans

                    Snacks - protein shake, 1/3 cup of almonds

                    Vitamins - multi-vitamin, vitamin D, glutamine (in shake after exercise).

                    So on an average day I am having aprox 1900 cals from 100g fat, 50-60g carb, 170g protein.

                    Any advice/criticism/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I always hate asking for help because I think I should be able to figure things out on my own but I don't want to waste more time not losing any weight.

                    Cheers.
                    You're doing 3 Stronglifts 5x5 sessions per week and 2 HIIT sessions on 1900 kCal/day? That's insanity. What are your lifts?
                    The Champagne of Beards

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, the sugars need to go, and I would recommend cutting back on sweet potatoes to 1-2 a week!! I know this sounds hard, but u did ask and we are telling u!! I wouldn't cut the coconut water out, but have it after instead.
                      It is a very common misconception that we NEED carbs. This just isn't true. Our body will make glucose if it needs it, from other sources like protein. When you start to go low carb, u can feel pretty crummy, but if you up your fats and protein, in that order, it will largely help with the carb flu issues!! Start out slow, your body needs to adjust!! But sugar is not your friend, EVER. most people find that they lose the most amount of weight and it it is fat, not muscle, when in nutritional ketosis there is a whole boat load of info on that that is very worth reading, right here in the forum, sorry, don't have the link, but you can't miss it, it is usually at the top of the nutritional forum page!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OP is already getting 50-60 g of carbs a day. How low do you suggest he go? Also, he is a 30-something male at 29% body fat. It is unlikely he needs to be that severe with his diet to get to his goal of 20% body fat.
                        Last edited by unchatenfrance; 03-04-2013, 11:54 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I highly recommend Volker and Phinney's The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance. All your answers are in there. For short, I'd say ditch all sugar and high starch carb at once, focus on high fibre/low carb green veg, healthy fats and moderate protein.

                          Most of all, good luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OP: Fair warning, I am going to be the bearer of some sobering news.

                            I don't know how accurately you are tracking your process in terms of body weight, composition, and caloric intake, but given what you've told us, you are off in at least one of those metrics, possibly all of them.

                            If for a given caloric intake your body weight and relative fat mass are constant, then you are living the textbook definition of equilibrium. The only way to effect change while at equilibrium is to reduce energy supplies relative to maintenance levels to induce your metabolism to rely on its stored reserves, thereby converting mass into energy and getting you to a lower weight point.

                            Translation : You've got to eat less.

                            And there's the rub : less than what? I suspect that you probably don't have a good handle on how much it is that you are in fact eating. While you do provide a guesstimate of your daily caloric intake, there are a few telltale signs that you are approximating, and as a rule, people generally underestimate their food intake. You make reference to volumetric measurements of several quantities of calorically dense foods that you eat, specifically 1/3 cup of almonds, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and you provide no measures for the other foods you eat.

                            Action Item 1 - Do not use volumetric or portion measures to ascertain how much you eat, use a scale for mass measurement.

                            You will still be approximating your food intake even if you resort to mass measurement of everything. However, the goal here is to decrease the variance of our measured intake, not to measure perfectly, which is simply not possible.

                            Action Item 2 - Assiduously measure what it is fact that you are eating for several weeks during which you are weight stable.

                            You want to develop a reasonable baseline for how your metabolism responds to various caloric levels before starting to make changes.

                            Action Item 3 - Eat real food, but less of it.

                            This is the basic weightloss / recomposition strategy: you need to create an impetus for your metabolism to oxidize fat, and that is only going to happen in the face of an energy shortfall. Tactically, you can resort to various approaches, including ketogenic diets, or Otzi's all potato monstrosity among others. You need to be perfectly clear, howerver, that whatever you do will merely be a tactic in the overall strategy of creating an energy shortfall. Anyone that tells you that you can get away without being acutely aware of your caloric intake is woefully naive. Your choice of tactic will ultimately be dictated by which approach helps you to best control your appetite. I have personally applied intermittent fasting to great effect.

                            Anecdotally, we are both actually fairly similar in our gross statistics. I am, near as makes no difference, 6' tall, around 180 lbs, 45 years old and I'm sporting the lowest body fat percentage I've ever had in my life, somewhere in the high single digits. The only way I managed to get here was by very carefully controlling what I ate, and to break through the double digit body fat percentage plateau required me to eat around 1500 kcal. per day for several weeks. This was not easy, but it did the trick. I mention this because inevitably, sooner or later someone will make some comment about ludicrously high caloric intakes needed to "maintain muscle mass" and so on. This is just not true, and I can give you more details if you are interested.

                            As a parting shot - you're probably overdosing on protein.


                            -PK
                            Last edited by pklopp; 03-05-2013, 12:33 PM.
                            My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

                            Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

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