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Advice for Mr Free Range Pig

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  • Advice for Mr Free Range Pig

    Hi all. I couldn't decide whether to put this in fitness or nutrition as I suspect the answer is about both so have opted for this. Hope that's OK.

    Mr Pig is one of those lucky tall people who finds it easy to get slim relatively effortlessly if only he can make the slightest bit of effort (or indeed, if only I make the slightest bit of effort on his behalf!) and is generally robust and healthy (touching wood as I type that). He had got a bit tubby round the middle through general over consumption, lots of milk chocolate and too much wine and whisky, but when I went primal for good at the end of last year (I was a mess) he quickly came on board with me. He hasn't been overly strict but has effortlessly got to his goal weight and below. He likes the primal lifestyle, prefers to keep starches to the evenings (as do I), loves his meat, good cheese, veg, eggs etc, and has gradually changed his chocolate preferences to dark rather than milk. He can easily get away with desserts if he fancies them (but does so much less these days), and can eat as many nuts as he fancies and still lose weight. He never gets very ill and sleeps it off if he does. His metabolism is good. He still likes wine too much ( as do I) but we're both working hard at becoming more moderate and we're currently on day 10 of a two-week no booze challenge, which we have both found easier than we expected but which has not brought as many benefits as we had hoped (which I suppose is a good thing really, as it probably means we weren't as bad as we feared!).

    Movement/lifestylewise he is quite busy and not particularly sedentary, he is self-employed and though he spends a lot of time on a computer he also spends a lot of time rushing around between jobs. He spends a fair amount of time messing about with the two young piglings, taking them out on their bikes and running after them, throwing them around, walking them on the ceiling etc. He is quite strong and does like gardening and DIY when he gets the chance. He installed a pull up bar shortly after we went primal because he found that VLC gave him ridiculous amounts of energy that he just had to use. He doesn't train on it in a particularly organised fashion but just jumps up and does a few pull ups whenever he is waiting for the coffee to come up, or feeling too energetic after a meal. He also does Argentine Tango classes with me, and when I am well enough we practise reasonably often in the evenings (this is good for core strength and is also good "moving around slowly" stuff as well as playing.) h in the sleeps well, is sometimes interrupted but gets back to sleep easily. We were both mostly VLC for about 6 months (which we both felt good on) but currently we're eating rice, potatoes or bananas in the evenings partly to see if it helps me sleep (I don't think it does!) and partly to avoid boredom and keep things sustainable.

    He's still losing weight remarkably easily for someone of his BMI (22.2). He is 6'1" and 168lbs now. I'd guess his bodyfat is about 20% or maybe a little less. What there is is on his tummy/love handles - his arms, legs and face are very slim.

    I think he needs to stop losing weight now as I will start to worry about him if he gets much skinnier. I am already shoving dark chocolate and bananas at him but he finds primal foods very satiating so sometimes won't eat the things I shove at him! The answer I suspect would be to eat more carbs but he prefers not to eat them during the day because he feels more level without them, but only has a certain amount of room for them in the evening in one sitting. I also think that for optimum health he needs to start building a bit of muscle now - to protect his back when doing DIY, throwing kids around and to give him the best quality of life.

    He doesn't have time for reading up - he wants me to predigest stuff for him and tell him what to do. I don't really understand much about building muscle - I have tried but I find it all so confusing and I don't have that much experience of it myself as my battle is mostly about getting strong enough to be able to sustain those muscle building exercises long-term and I am not there yet. I started all this in a very different place to him, as a gluten-intolerant, EDSer (type 3) with a lot of pain and fatigue and illness - I have had an immense amount to learn/work out/put in practice to deal with my own health issues without having to read up on his completely different needs to!

    I am guessing he needs to up his calories/carbs and protein, up his strength training but I am a bit unsure how best he can fit this into his lifestyle. He's not a creature of habit and won't do anything scheduled and planned out. Any ideas how to fit some useful muscle building exercise into his rather spontaneous, fun-loving lifestyle? He's not likely to do stuff that involves counting a lot of repetitions or learning lots about technique. And any thoughts about how to get him to eat more when he won't eat carbs during the day, and how best to distribute the extra carbs/protein he might need?

    TIA for any thoughts!

  • #2
    Males can stay surprisingly healthy at very lean body compositions. I wouldn't worry just yet. If he's hungry, he'll eat. If you just want to be sneaky and make him hungry and gain weight, lower his protein intake and he'll likely make up for it by eating more fat and or carbs. But that's a mean trick, and health effects are poorly understood. When you can bounce a quarter off the connective tissue at the base of his 8-pack, and count the striations in his deltoids unflexed, then it might be time to mention his body fat being too low.
    Crohn's, doing SCD

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    • #3
      Thanks - just to clarify that I am not worried about his body fat being too low, so much as the rate that he loses weight without trying, and the fact that I think he needs a bit more muscle to protect himself for all this flinging around of children and tables and stuff that he does! I won't be doing anything sneaky and mean, don't worry!

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      • #4
        Oh and I don't want him losing any more muscle which, if he loses 4lbs in two weeks (he just did) at that BMI, is surely a danger?

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        • #5
          Depends on his build. 4 pounds in two weeks sounds like a typical water whoosh. You sure he's actually losing muscle or fat? Does he seem run down? Sleepy? If not, let him go. He'll eat when he's hungry. Got recent photo? What are his bones like?
          Crohn's, doing SCD

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          • #6
            He seems fine! I just worry about him because he's my Mr Pig and I want to make sure he's alright and he suddenly seems so skinny!

            He's strong enough, but could be stronger. He sleeps well, has an amount of stress but handles it well, throws bugs off easily. He's a lucky bastard!

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            • #7
              You can't make him lift weights if he's not into it, but if he's willing to lift weights, that will help a lot. Perhaps he will need to have some barbells available in the garage to do it, though.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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              • #8
                He's willing and keeen - just needs it made easy/fun for him to do in the sort of spontaneous way he likes to do things.

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                • #9
                  I totally thought this was going to be about a free range oinker that was having a rough time.

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                  • #10
                    :-)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by freerangepiglings View Post
                      He's willing and keeen - just needs it made easy/fun for him to do in the sort of spontaneous way he likes to do things.
                      Well, "fun" and "easy" are not exactly the words I would ever use to describe what it's like to follow a strength training program. The words I would use are "confidence-building", "highly motivating", "almost addictive", "an emotional fulfillment greater than seeing the scale move", "invigorating" as well as "hard", "exhausting", "sucks", "always at the limit of my ability", "painful", "anger-inducing", "pity-party 'I hate myself' inducing" and others. If he can consider this a type of fun (second-order fun, perhaps) then he'll find barbell strength training easy and fun.

                      A strength program isn't spontaneous, though, so maybe he'll prefer to just have weights lying around, a pull-up bar over the door or over a branch of a tree outside and whatever else, just lying around for him to do whenever he walks by, no real goals in mind.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                      • #12
                        I checked out a weight chart for a man 6'1" because my DH (5'11", 160 lbs) also tends towards leanishness now that he's cut most of the crap from his diet. The "normal" weight range for Mr. Pig is low 150s to low 190s. I would recommend not worrying until he gets below 155. Here in the US, lowish normal weight is so unusual as to be almost shocking to most people. I'm guessing the UK is the same? It's also quite possible that as he approaches 160, he will get hungrier. If he is comfortable doing the stuff that he does, he probably has the lean mass to do it.

                        A serious lifting program might increase his appetite, but if that doesn't interest him, you're gonna be SOL. It sounds like he does a fair amount of random stuff. That's so much better than nothing! My DH does 3 sets of 12 pushups every morning (up from, like 2, in the beginning) but it's part of his routine, so now it's more like habit - wake up, 12 pushups, pee, 12 pushups, shave, 12 pushups, shower. On the weekends he may fool around with some dumbells or cut brush in the yard. I think he's looking pretty darn sexy for a guy who doesn't actually lift! Recently, he has been 158-159 fairly often and has been starting to fret that his smaller waist will come at the expense of the muscles on his arms and shoulders. How much positive feedback is Mr. Pig getting for the muscles he has, lol? Oh, and mine has talked about a pull up bar in the garage, but hasn't done it yet, so yours is ahead there.

                        And Argentine Tango lessons?! You lucky girl! I think a man should be spotted at least 10lbs if he's willing to do that!
                        50yo, 5'3"
                        SW-195
                        CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
                        GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

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                        • #13
                          Yeah - he loves the tango. He came along to keep me happy initially but now he's as enthused as I am (lots) and wants to be really good. It has been great for both of our waistlines - when you look at tango dancers who have been doing it for years, whatever size/age/life stage they are, the one thing they all have in common is a neat waistline, so I am hoping that will continue, particularly for me.

                          It is the same in the UK about normal-low weight and I did wonder if it was just because I don't see many lean men - it probably is this partly. It's mainly a bit of protective strength he needs to build as the next stage. I like your idea of the push ups between tooth-brushing type habit. He could probably do something like that with the pull-up bar and his coffee routine. Will suggest it. Thanks!

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