So I was doing some thinking about the paleodiet that I’ve been following for the last month or so, and I am going to make some slight revisions to it. That being the case, its only right that I let you in on my modifications since I have been touting it to you as one of the greatest diets of all time.
Here’s what I have been doing: no grains or dairy, no processed (i.e. non-fruit related) sugars, minimal amounts of salt, lots of protein in the form of organic white meat, eggs, and wild-caught fish, lots of vegetables, lots of fruit, lots …LOTS of fat (almonds, almond butter, olive oil, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, avocados, fatty fish like salmon). Don’t get me wrong… I love this diet. I have tons of energy, I sleep great, my hair stopped falling out, my moods are stable, etc… and now, before I get into what I don’t like about it, I need to set the backdrop.
I started doing paleo because I couldn’t do muay thai anymore and didn’t want to put on weight. You know how I have a sick obsession with working out, how I would go to crossfit five days a week in the morning, run 8 miles, then go to muay thai five times a week at night. That being the case, I got used to having <4% body fat. Now that I’m not doing muay thai anymore and I’m only doing sprints once or twice a week, running long distance once a week, and doing the crossfit thing 4-5x a week, I’ve cut back on the number of calories being burned per day while simultaneously INCREASING the amount of fat I consume, so I naturally have put on ten pounds since starting paleo and am not as cut as I was. Granted, I’m at my natural body weight now and am putting on muscle from the crossfit resistance training, and you can still see all of my abs, but I want to look like I did when I was doing muay thai 5x a week again.
The only way I can realistically see that happening is if I cut out all the fat that I’ve been eating. From now on, I’ll just be eating lean meat, fish, vegetables, and some fruit with MAYBE a handful of nuts here and there (insert joke here). I did this modified form of the paleo diet when I first started training at njmt and IMMEDIATELY lost 30 pounds and was the most shredded human being on earth. I probably had 3% body fat at that time, and I was barely ever running. What happens is, in the absence of carbs, your body stops producing abundant amounts of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store fat and burn carbs for energy. In the absence of excess insulin, your body naturally feeds on fat for fuel. Right now, since I’m eating a ton of fat, I’m basically just burning through the fat that I’m taking in and not burning off any of the reserves that I’d previously stored. By cutting back on my fat intake, I’ll start tapping into my body fat reserves for energy and should see my weight come down and my body SERIOUSLY lean out, but since I’ll still be taking in significant amounts of protein, I’ll be able to maintain muscle mass and the vegetables I’ll be eating will satisfy my carb/vitamin&mineral requirements. If you’re trying to lean out, I just don’t want to give you the impression that eating as much fat as you want, healthy fat or not, will get you there because it most likely won’t, it will just keep you where you are now. If you want to lose weight and really slim out, I’d monitor the fat intake, but eat a good amount of protein (1g for every pound of your ideal body weight). In other words, if you want to weigh in at 160, eat 160g protein per day. Hope this helps. Hit me up with any questions cause I’m starting to become a serious expert on this stuff."
This was on January 28th, 2010 as I was JUST starting to dabble in Paleo/Primal (my buddy is more paleo, I haven't spoken to him in a few months but he's pretty conscious of nutrition and fitness, I would assume he's still there but I wonder if he revised his stance on fat... I should e-mail him. So I NEVER went "fat crazy" sure I do eat fat, but I never ate what I consider to be excess fat such as nut and nut butters, regular dairy butter, too many oils, etc.
Of course, keep in mind that he's male and for as long as I've known him (around 4-5 years) he's been a shredded machine addicted to working out (though intelligently) so of course once again what applies to him doesn't apply to you. He also was still just learning and he may have been swayed by CW mentality but on the surface his argument seems to make sense, if your carbs are low, but your fats too high, your body may not be burning your fat reserves.
I hope this doesn't add confusion to the subject at hand, but I thought it was relevant. If anybody disagrees with my friend, please speak up. First off, he was just starting out himself and probably still carried fat phobia around from years of hearing about it, however his explanation doesn't seem to imply that. I personally think he went overboard cutting out ALL the fat, but if you think about it, even eating lean meats he was getting some fat, and he mentions that it's a "modified" paleo diet, which combined with the excessive workouts that muaythai can be, it makes sense he would lean out. Whether it's safe or healthy is up for debate. He doesn't mention eating eggs, but I doubt he would give them up, so he would still get fat from eggs, avocados,etc... something to think about.