More Carbs / More Calories to Reach Goals?
I just started the Primal Diet about 5 days ago and have been logging all of my foods each day. I'm mostly doing this to make sure the majority of my diet is comprised of fats and proteins. I'm trying to keep my Carbs below 150 each day to achieve quick body fat loss. Basically my nutritional average for the past 5 days looks like this:
1,647 calories per day
116.9 fat per day ( all good fat - grass feds, healthy oils, etc..)
81.8 carbohydrates per day ( vegetables and very little potatoes)
77.3 grams of protein per day
This comes out to 63% fat, 19% Carbs, and 18% protein.
My primary concern is that I want to both cut body fat without losing any muscle. I don't want to lose 10 pounds and find out that some of it was muscle. Do I need to focus on upping my carbohydrates on the days I lift hard in the gym. I lift pretty hard in the gym for about 25 minutes twice a week. Or... as long as I'm getting plenty of protein in my diet do I not have to worry since my body will convert it to ketones to use for that heavy lifting?
Any insight you all could provide would really help! Thanks so much!
Hi Lee. a couple of things...
if you want to cut body fat quick, you need to cut your carbs down even more (at least on non-lifting days). do a search for mark's carb pyramid...it's a great visual representation of where you should be aiming, carbwise, to reach general goals.
also, you need to eat more protein. 77 g a day isn't too low, but if you're lifting it will probably be a good idea to double what you are eating. doubling your protein is probably a good idea anyway, because, unless you're tiny, 1600 calories will probably make you feel weak and tired all the time. you want to build more muscle? eat more.
in terms of cutting fat and gaining muscle...well, that seems to be the holy grail for most people. eat and exercise primally and you will lose fat without sacrificing muscle. if you want to gain muscle, you may have to sacrifice the speed of your fat loss, but it will still go away. the most important thing is to give it time, and enjoy the journey
Great, thanks so much for the quick response! So as long as I'm getting a ton of protein and fat in my diet I don't have to worry about losing muscle mass while I'm cutting weight?
I don’t want to undermine your wish to retain muscle whilst losing fat, but as long as you keep training, there’s no way you will lose SIGNIFICANT amounts of muscle mass, the likes of which make you look like you’re fresh out of Auschwitz.
I’ve been slowly losing fat, and it’s only made my muscles look more defined, but I do strength train at least 2x a week and focus on protein + fat. I eat starchy carbs but don’t always time them around workouts I eat them when I feel like eating them (ie: if I’m in the mood for some sweet potatoes I’ll make some, not just because I may or may not have worked out that day)
The only way to go into the kind of atrophy you’re fearing is if you stop all physical activity. You will be just fine. The best approach is to keep it simple, lift like you’re used to, hit the sprints, cycle carbs around your workout or do a weekly/bi-weekly carb “re feed” with primal carb sources. Tubers, squash, etc.
Okay, thanks guys. I guess I was just a little confused to as if an average carb intake of 50-100 grams a day would provide enough glucose for sprints/high intensity lifting a few times a week. If my glucose levels did happen to be very low, would my body convert the proteins to ketones for fuel?
Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get as much clarification as possible.
I agree with Rob. You're protein is really low for someone who is trying to gain and retain muscle. Carbs and fats are what provide you with the energy that you need. In order to lose weight you need to get the their combined level down low enough to give you an energy deficit so that you're burning more fat than you are storing. Protein, on the other hand, is not stored as fat and makes a very poor energy source. You need it as for building and maintaining muscles and it is not stored very well so, you need a constant supply. If you're lifting then most fitness people recommend at least around 1g per lb of lean body mass and more if you're pushing it.
So if I'm 197 pounds right now and I'm estimating myself to be about ( 17 % body fat) then I should aim for about 163 grams of protein a day?
Thanks again all.
Edit: Looks like this is about right as it is just a little more than double my current intake ( as rob stated )
Last edited by LEED3D; 01-06-2011 at 07:21 AM.
Yes, that's about right. In order to get down to the super low bf percentages (6% or less) one needs to focus hard on getting plenty of protein while minimizing carbs and fats. To lose from 17% though you'll be able to keep your fats and carbs relatively high for a while.
Don't be surprised though if what you think is your lean body mass right now isn't really your lean body mass eventually. You may find that you're stronger than you were before at a much lower weight. This can be due in part to glycogen depletion from fasting and eating more fats than carbs. It's really not a big deal but it throws a wrench in calculating your true body fat percentage.
True. I estimated my ideal “cut” weight to be in the mid 140s when I weighed 175lbs, now that I weight 150 and have weighed as low as 143lbs I know that number is probably in the mid to low 130s but I haven’t weight that little since I was probably 12 years old. I was chubby through 14-24 when I started the PB. Honestly I don’t even know how much protein I eat, I just know I eat meat at least once a day, though it’s possible I’m under-eating protein. I should measure sometime, but it sounds like a drag.
Originally Posted by Daemonized