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Need to replace fat with muscle but not lose weight, advice please

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  • Need to replace fat with muscle but not lose weight, advice please

    I have been primal for a good number of months now. I went primal due to having two diseases of inflammation and pre-diabetes. I feel fantastic and I am looking better too !!! I eat 70%+ fat and keep my carbs low.

    One problem. I am really tiny. I barely reach 5'0 and I weigh 98.5 lbs right now (down from 102). I have a small frame (half asian). I am a perfect example of skinny fat, lots of cellulite and fat blobs on my thighs (although decreasing). I carry my weight in my legs and since having two children the muscle in my legs has gone to fat. Right now I am doing strength training and some cardio. I am concerned about dropping more in scale weight. I do want the fat off my legs, or at least to reduce it down a little more but I also am not sure being 95 lbs or something like that is good either.

    Should I be eating very low carb (less than 50 grams) or should I stay within 100 g ? I eat 1800 or more calories a day. I eat TONS of coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut butter. At this point I want to continue to lean my lower half by exchanging the fat for muscle. My biggest concern is diet. Suggestions? Thanks!
    http://paleochickcooks@blogspot.com/

  • #2
    I would say continue what you are doing and be patient.

    If you are not gaining weight (specifically fat) on 1800 calories, which is typically above maintenance for a person your size, I'd say stay within that calorie range. You could cycle your calories and carbohydrates when you work your largest muscles to take advantage of an anabolic state. For example, eat 2000 calories and higher carbs on days that you work chest, back, & legs. On other days, eat your regular calories and lower carbs.

    Are you staying full and not getting overly hungry?
    http://sterlingadvice.blogspot.com
    http://teambeachbody.com/coachster
    sterlingpurdy@gmail.com

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    • #3
      I agree with sterling. Ramp up the calories a bit on your "intense" days because your metabolism is going to eat you up! Definitely add some sweet potatoes and see how you feel. As a trainer when a paleo wants to put on some weight I always say, keep eating and add sweet potatoes and eggs and perhaps some fruit right after you work out. I watched a gentleman put on 25lbs of pure muscle mass in one year doing just that. You have to work hard, but your weight should allow you to dig right into some really awesome exercises that many people need to ease into due to too much body weight right out of the box. good luck.

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      • #4
        Thank you! I will try switching my carbs/calories around with my weight training schedule and see what happens.

        My body fat is dropping. I was 29% when I started and I am now 25.5 %. I have the kind metabolism where I can eat a lot and not really gain weight. The only time I have gained whopping amounts of weight was with my children, 65 lbs with my first child. The weight came off with little trouble. I think my body fat has always been rather high despite my size or weight. When I have dieted in the past to lose baby weight I could not go lower than 1400 calories without feeling stark raving mad and having huge blood sugar swings.

        I have been hungrier after this last weight drop. I didn't realize I had a weight drop until I started feeling very hungry. I was craving nuts and lots of fat, more than I had before. I had been eating them too due to the hunger and the cravings. I then checked my weight and was surprised. Right now as long as I can get a good amount of fat in I feel pretty satisfied.
        http://paleochickcooks@blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          I have been concerned about my metabolism eating me up as you say. I will add in some sweet potatoes , fruit post work out and see what happens.
          Thank you !!
          http://paleochickcooks@blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Hey guys, I have the same question, I want to lose the fat, but maintain the weight, and I'm working out 5 times a week doing MMA circuit training.

            I'm 25
            6'2
            196lbs (well i gained 2.4lbs as of this morning)

            My calories, fat, protein, and carbs, are all up at the top ends of their levels, so I don't know what i'm doing wrong. Any hints or tips or advice would be much appreciated.

            HULK

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            • #7
              I've been doing some research on just that topic: maintaining weight while losing fat and gaining muscle. It called body recomposition (google it). It appears the path to success includes:
              1) lifting HEAVY (squat, deadlift, press -- using barbells with heavy weight / low reps)
              2) getting enough protein and enough calories

              I've been following the Primal Blueprint for 2 years so it's not like I didn't know I should be doing these things, but somehow it never fully clicked for me before now. I thought I was lifting heavy things, but I really wasn't lifting heavy enough. I thought I was eating enough protein, but I wasn't even getting close to the 1g/pound body weight that Mark recommends.

              I've just started following the lifting routine in
              The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler
              And I'm using the book
              Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
              as an outstanding resource to make sure I'm lifting correctly.

              I highly recommend both books.

              And I've started tracking my diet on livestrong.com so that I can make sure I'm getting enough protein and enough calories (absolutely required to generate new muscle).

              I've only just started so I don't have results to share but a quick internet search will bring up many examples of women who have been successful in body recomposition with this method.

              Peace,
              Karen

              Comment


              • #8
                PeaceKaren, thanks for the really helpful information, I use fitday.com and I find that very good for calorie tracking and nutritional content. Good to know. thanks very much for being so helpful.

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                • #9
                  Losing fat and gaining muscle can happen at the same time or separately. I don't think there is any harm in losing the fat first, given the fact that you do have fat to lose.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PeaceKaren View Post
                    I've been doing some research on just that topic: maintaining weight while losing fat and gaining muscle. It called body recomposition (google it). It appears the path to success includes:
                    1) lifting HEAVY (squat, deadlift, press -- using barbells with heavy weight / low reps)
                    2) getting enough protein and enough calories
                    This is perfect. Don't underestimate the kind of intensity you need. Resistance training should not consist of 10-15 reps at a light weight, or even moderate weight. It should be heavy enough that 5-7 reps is all you can do and you should feel spent after about 30-45 minutes. You have to push your body out of homeostasis to make it adjust.

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                    • #11
                      Also, think about dropping the cardio. Depending on what you are doing, it can help with fat loss, but it will detract from your muscle gain, and that sounds like more of a priority for you at the moment. The strength training is going to help you more with your goals than most cardio plans.

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                      • #12
                        eKatherine, thanks, yeh it definitely won't hurt, believe me lol. the way I feel at the moment I want to lose as much fat as possible, and just feel better about myself.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
                          Also, think about dropping the cardio. Depending on what you are doing, it can help with fat loss, but it will detract from your muscle gain, and that sounds like more of a priority for you at the moment. The strength training is going to help you more with your goals than most cardio plans.
                          Yeh i'm doing MMA circuit training, and can't really drop the cardio, but its not cardio per se, like running or rowing or cycling, its strength and endurance training all in one workout.

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                          • #14
                            Hi,

                            I'm having the same problem although I don't think my metabolism is as fast as the girl who posted this! Since starting the Primal diet about 3 weeks ago I have seen the fat literally drop off my stomach and hips - Im very slim anyway, 55kg and 5 foot 7, but I looked too slim before so have been trying to gain lean muscle and definition, and it's not really working so far. On a typical day I have an apple and 2 hard boiled eggs for breakfast or sheeps milk yoghurt and nuts, with 1 tsp coconut oil in my tea in the morning, then snack on a handful of almonds whilst at work (I have a very sedentary job), then for lunch I have a huge primal salad with about 1tbs olive oil or avocado oil, and 100-120g lean meat or chicken or some other fish, and sometimes I throw in half an avocado. I workout 4-5 times a week in the evenings after work, usually 20-30 minutes cardio at no more than 60-70% of my maximum heart rate, then I do bodyweight exercises for 40 minutes, use the viper/weights/kettlebellss/trx etc.

                            For dinner its usually 1 sweet potato or other carby veg, with lots of chicken or a whole fish such as mackerel, and I load up on veg. I can't seem to put on any muscle though? on fitday I usually get 1000 calories so maybe this is much too low for my height and age, should I be adding in more carbs or upping my fat and protein? I reckon I get about 40 g protein average a day, and 40-50g fat and about 100g carbs.
                            thankyou I would really appreciate any advice!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It takes time to grow new muscle. It's a long-term project.

                              You should probably be eating 80g or more of protein a day to gain muscle. 40g is not enough.

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