No announcement yet.

Proof that primal is helping me lose fat and gain muscle

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Proof that primal is helping me lose fat and gain muscle

    Today I stepped on the scales at the gym that measure percentage body fat.

    I had my percentage body fat measured about 6 months ago, not on these scales, but by having my weight measured and having electrodes placed on my body to measure impedance.

    Results 6 months ago:

    weight 175 lbs, 39.7% body fat = 69.5 lbs fat, so that's 105.5 lbs lean mass, BMI = 31.0

    Results today:

    weight 163 lbs 29.4% body fat = 47.9 lbs fat, 115.1 lbs lean mass, BMI = 28.9

    So.... Fat lost: 21.6 lbs, Muscle gained = 9.6 lbs

    I'm a 41 year old female 5 foot 3.

    My current measurements are: Waist 31 inches, hips 40 inches, chest 39 inches, calf muscle max 16.5 inches, thigh max 24 inches, wrist 6 inches, ankle 9 inches, flexed bicep 12 inches, neck 13.5 inches.

    I was only about 7 weeks into primal when I had the first % body fat measured and I had lost approx 7 lbs already.

    What really cheers me up - and I appreciate that these readings can be quite inaccurate - is that this latest measurement feels right to me even though I felt the one taken six months ago was too high by a few %, and that my percentage body fat now falls at around the middle of the healthy range for a female of my age according to this site:

    Body Fat Percentage

    ... even though I'm only about 7lbs below obese according to BMI.


    I'm not doing very low carb (currently eating around 150-180 g a day, total daily calorie intake around 2500, and approx 100-120 g protein a day, the rest fat), and I'm doing a lot of cardio as well as strength building exercises, but I've toned down the intensity of the cardio so that it's mostly 50-75% maximal heart rate with a few short sprints.

    I'm eating very low carb breakfast (5% of daily carbs), lowish carb lunch (25% daily carbs) and higher carbs dinner (70% of carbs but still <50% by calories and 4-5 days a week post workout).
    Last edited by paleo-bunny; 01-20-2012, 04:12 PM.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  • #2
    You are doing great!
    What does your workout schedule look like?


    • #3
      Awesome! Way to go.


      • #4
        Wow, timely post. My office manager and I were discussing this yesterday. We both made new years resolutions, I went primal and she is doing a CW diet, both starting on the 1/1. She joined a gym and took advantage of the 1 free session with one of the trainers to do a body assessment of some sort. They used calipers. She told me that her BMI and BBF% indicated she was "obese". Looking at the chart in the link, that would be at least 39%. She was a little pissed off about that and tried to justify that the reading were skewed because she is 5'1". I have been doing various exercises, daily, sprinting, fast brisk walks, stair climbing at work (force myself to do 8 flights every time I go to bathroom); active but not over doings it (see journal). Use a scale with BF% and although I have seen weight come down, initially fast, then slowing. My BF% is steadily dropping. I have pointed her to MDA and other primal resources, but she is not convinced.

        We shall see. I just think she is stuck in the CW loop and not looking at this with the right perspective.
        "When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl, when you can't do that ... you find someone to carry you." primal journal
        2012 Slow Movement Challenge: My distance so far = 665 kM

        My Map My Tracks Profile


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies folks.

          I don't have a workout schedule as such.

          Usually, I do 4 gym workouts a week. Sometimes it's 5. No set days of the week tho' I tend to avoid Mondays at this time of year as it can get chocca with newbies.

          Currently, first I do 10-30 mins of yoga, then 20-40 mins of strength training, then 1 hour to 90 minutes of cardio, mostly low intensity. Always intervals for the first 30 minutes, but only a few sprints with heart rate +140 bpm.

          The strength training currently consists of abdominal crunches, leg lifts on the mat, almost press-ups (can't lift myself from the ground so I just dip and raise a few inches), squats, lunges (often holding a 6 kg ball in front of me), chest press, shoulder press, pull-downs, abductor / adductor resistance machine to stabilise my knees - I can lift more than my bodyweight (87.5 kg) with my abductors, freeweight lifting with 6 kg dumbells - bicep curls, and lifting and holding up straight above my head.

          My joints are hypermobile so I'm reluctant to do strength building exercises with complex full body dynamic motion e.g. using kettlebells. Some isolation exercises are actually helpful. I got tennis elbow partly from trying some more dynamic strength training - eek. My upper body has always been much weaker than my lower body as I have short arms and small shoulders and rib cage, and generally small bones (apart from my knee joints which are quite large). However, I find I am building up muscle in my arms quite easily.

          The cardio is currently on exercise bikes and cross-trainers, and occasionally steps up onto a bench for 5 mins. I had to stop using the rowing machines due to tennis elbow. As my legs have got stronger - especially my quads, I have shifted from more time on the exercise bikes to more time on the cross-trainers. I've noticed massive improvements in strength and size of my quads since I switched from chronic cardio to lower intensity cardio with interval training, upped the time on the cross-trainers, and started doing more squats and lunges. I was doing some swimming at the end of my workout, but unfortunately had to stop that as the chlorine was making my eczema flare up.

          I also do two 15-min fitness hula hooping sessions a week in the park during reasonable weather (currently only doing this about once a fortnight as it's winter).

          In good weather I walk about a mile at lunchtime Monday to Friday, and do a 5-6 mile walk every weekend about town, including shopping and art galleries. I'm not walking so much tho' during the winter.

          I do strive for variety, as I feel that's important. I've never been one for following an exercise prescription to the letter. I just do what I feel up to on the day and never over-exert myself. I try to learn from other gym goers and from posts here, which I adapt to what works best for me.

          I find I lose fat fastest the more cardio I do. I do subscribe to the CW that one only starts burning fat in significant amounts from about 35 mins into a workout. So short cardio workouts (< 1 hour) are not so useful for losing fat in my experience. I find it much easier to burn off fat during the summer months. During the winter I'm more focussed on building muscle. I find there's a trade-off. At the moment I'm only losing about a pound a month but I'm definitely gaining muscle so I'm very happy with that.

          I'm hoping to try some dance classes like Zumba once I've lost a bit more weight - I'm still too heavy to do much high impact exercise. I feel that dance suits me well for whole body strength training and I will enjoy the aesthetic and fun aspects.
          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.