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Thread: Am I doomed to be skinny fat?

  1. #1
    Nixondodo's Avatar
    Nixondodo Guest


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    Why doesn’t eating and exercising Primal seem to work for me? Am I doomed to be skinny fat?

    Here’s my background: I’ve been eating primal for over eight years. Seriously. During these eight years I was moderately active (walks, some sprints that practically killed me, some weights), ate low carb everyday with very little cheating (only occasional splurges – under 1x per month, if that, and hardly ever in the 200+ carb range for more than a day), and even mixed in some intermittent fasting. I was lucky enough to marry a caveman – he’s the one who has taught me the beauty of eating and living Primal.

    I eat Primal 1) because it keeps me skinny, 2) it totally makes sense to do so, and 2) I feel awesome when I’m “in the cave.”

    Last year I was lucky enough to be involved in a medical research program for a condition I have called POTS, which pretty much has made me exercise intolerant all my life. Until recently, I had never run 100ft in my life. During testing it was determined that my heart is 1/3rd smaller than other women my stature. My cardiac output and lung capacity were woefully low. As you can imagine, this contributed significantly to my past exercise intolerance!

    Here’s the deal, though, and how it relates to eating Primal – which, according to Mark’s book, contributes about 80% to body composition. I was underwater-weighed as part of the study to determine my body fat percentage. I was a whopping 30%+. I’m 5’ 7” and, at the time, weighed around 135lbs. After going through a four-month exercise program to increase my cardiac output and stamina as part of the medical study, I weighed around 132lbs and was still a whopping 30%+. Granted, the exercise program was not Primal, but it jump started my whole exercise life and helped build an aerobic base. I can now do things I’ve only dreamed of before.

    Since this time (last December), I have stepped up my exercise (recently joined a boot camp to further increase my aerobic base so I can go 100% Primal in three weeks), followed Primal eating (under 100 carbs a day), done intermittent fasting, drastically watched my cheating, I don’t eat nuts or a lot of fruit…and I'm still 30%+.

    What gives? What the hell am I doing wrong???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    RI, USA


    Try some heavy weight training... I mean heavy. Failing at rep 5... doing the main excersises like barbell squats, bench and deadlifts...

    that will surely change your body comp...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Seattle, WA


    Ditch all things cardio, save for some sprinting 1 - 2x per week and moderate walking.

    Then, like Arthur said, HEAVY lifting. Compound movements. SQUAT, BENCH PRESS, DEADLIFTS. A friend of mine is not Primal or Paleo, but honestly, she said that recently finding the love of lifting saved her life.

    I'm in love with heavy weights and they love me! ;-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    SW Idaho farmland


    I third the motion. Heavy lifting will help you WAY more than cardio. Cardio work may benefit your cardiovascular system, but its contribution to muscle development is miniscule compared to strength training. Make those muscles push, pull, and lift things (from your own bodyweight to iron), and they'll have to increase in mass to meet demand. You'll look better, feel better, burn more fat, and decrease your bodyfat percentage, all at once! AND, it's fun!

    Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm!

    Latest post: Stop Being Stupid

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Check out this excellent article by Rachel Cosgrove (Alwyn Cosgrove's wife) about the difference between what aerobic work and strength training will do to your body:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Fredericksburg, Virginia


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    You won't get huge muscles with heavy weightlifting unless you eat a lot so I wouldn't worry about that if you do. You really have to try to get big. Eating below maintenance and doing heavy low rep sets of bench, squat and deadlift will shed bodyfat off of you. It tricks your body into thinking you need the muscle more than the fat so it gets rid of it.

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