Those last few pounds
Hello everyone. Firstly a big thanks to Mark for all his hard work bringing primal eating to a wider audience and hence my discovery. I am quite fortunate in that I have discovered this lifestyle at the age of 21 and with roughly 10% body fat (personal estimation). I have now fully embraced the primal way and am currently 1 week into my new lifestyle.
My question is: For someone looking to shed a few more pounds and bring my body fat down to about 8% for definition (vain, I agree), are there certain alterations required or will a calorific spread with carbs in the 50 - 100 gram range be sufficient? Is patience all that is required on top?
Thanks in advance. Best of luck to all of you.
Hi Martin. if you're already at 10%bf, you've probably got really good definition going on. 10% is pretty low, and--i could be wrong--it's usually body builders going after the single digits.
regardless, keeping your carbs really low will help you cut the fat more, but you'll also probably want to keep an eye on your calorie intake. you might want to give fasting a try too. check out www.leangains.com for lots of great information.
Leangains has a pretty crazy way to lose weight in their “stubborn body fat and leangains” article.
I personally don’t feel comfortable with some of the things Martin says you could do, like yohimbine, more caffeine, etc. Gives me the creeps a bit.
To the original poster, do you have a visible six pack, including the bottom portion? If not you’re higher than 10% but slowly chip away at it. Patience is KEY.
EDIT: Martin of Leangains I meant, not Martin the OP.
Thanks for the replies guys. Maybe 10% was a bit too optimistic and I do admit this was a personal estimate based on other people's photos and their respective BF%.
I will continue as I am and, fingers crossed, slowly chip away at the last bits of stubborn fat. Am I correct in believing that removing dairy products entirely from the diet would be a beneficial course of action (bearing in mind I'm attempting to build muscle in conjuction with losing fat)?
i've recently cut out dairy, and nuts, and i'm hoping for a positive effect on fat loss. i think a lot of the people here cut out dairy do to an intolerance for it. i've been eating cheese and butter since going primal and have lost a pretty good amount of fat, so consuming it in moderation might be helpful for you to keep losing. cutting it out completely will obviously help in reducing both your carb intake and your overall calorie intake. but, like iniquity said, patience is really the big thing.
Originally Posted by Jonesy
Originally Posted by Jonesy
If by “building muscle” you mean make your muscles BIGGER this is very hard if not impossible to do while also trying to lose body fat, because the two play against each other. To build bigger muscle you have to eat more, to lose body fat you have to eat less, you can see how the two can’t happen at the same time. Building STRENGTH is a different thing. I’m stronger at 150 than I was at 175, but my muscles are about the same size, the “cables” of the muscle have become stronger, tighter, more compact, etc. So the size of my muscles is about the same, but they show through more because I have less fat covering them up. Building strength and losing body fat is very doable, make that your focus.
Cutting dairy can help, especially if you’re not really into dairy to begin with, the transition won’t become a burden. This is important: enjoy your life as you get to lower body fat %. It’s not worth it to over-sacrifice because maintaining a very lean body can be difficult if you don’t like the way you eat, as in, if you terribly miss some dairy products, it’s going to be hell to keep them off your diet for extended periods of time. If it’s not a big deal, then let dairy go or reduce your intake of it.
Definitely read up on Leangains, the author, also named Martin, routinely eats an entire cheesecake and hovers around 8-12% BF so clearly, he’s doing something “right”. He’s also NOT a low carber, but he eats according to his workouts (more carbs-less fat on lifting days, more fat-less carbs on resting days) and this is important.
Do you sprint? Add hill sprints once a week. 10 good hard almost drop dead sprints with about a minute rest in between (less if you’re fit) I believe in quality of the sprint rather than less rest. Meaning, I’d rather you sprint really hard ten times taking long breaks, than sprint hard 4 times and drag ass the last 6 because you’re trying to only rest 20 seconds or so. Quality my friend, run hard, rest hard.
I can’t speak on the lifting portion because I mostly do bodyweight stuff, but I know the “key lifts” work for most guys here. Squat, deadlift, overhead press. Heavy pull ups, heavy dips.
Monday: squat, overhead press, pull ups
Wed: hill sprints
Friday: deadlift, heavy dips, maybe overhead press again
That, meat and vegetables, plenty of water, plenty of good rest (at least 8 nightly hours) not being too much of a snacker on fruits, nuts, etc, don’t see a way to fail.
If I could follow my own advice I’d be shredded =[
Thank you both for your responses.
I am not a big fan of sprints as I find it quite strenuous on the knee joints and I'm concerned about long term health here. I am, however, mad about road cycling, which I wont be giving up. I will incorporate all out sprints on my bike to replace the foot sprints.
I particularly like your point about if you don't enjoy your diet you will not manage to maintain it. I feel this is a key point more people would benefit from.
I believe I must have misunderstood an article I read on the dream lounge regarding growing muscle whilst burning fat. Maybe, it was infact referring to strength gains just as you mentioned.
The whole point of Leangains (linked above, I believe) is to lose body fat while gaining/retaining muscle. I think Martin Berkhan's been at 5.5% BF for 3 years now and has maintained and built upon his muscle mass. You should take a look at that site, as suggested. You'll find some useful stuff in there. The four exercises he focuses on monitoring for improvements are: dead lifts, squats, weighted pull-ups (or is it chins?) and bench presses.
Leangains Guide - good overview
Free the Animal takes on the Leangains Approach - Richard logs Martin's advice, his progress and has a good interview in part 2 or 3, I think.
"Oh, you wanted answers...yeah, sorry, I'm not so good with those. Uh, probably something to do with science or something..."
August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF
Sometimes blogging as The Primal Mind. (My unorthodox and filthy-mouthed journal is semi-retired at this point)
Nah if you actually read the word leanGAINS it is about gaining weight with minimal fat gain. Afaik his recommendations are quite similar for fat loss aswell however. To the OP you have two options: 1. Eat 500 calories excess and try to gain some mass (continue as long as you're comfortable with your bodyfat). 2. Continue dieting consistently until you hit your BF% goal. This can be done comfortably by cutting carbs further (on non-training days atleast) or by removing high-calorie foods like dairy/nuts. Light cardio may also be an option. If you go the VLC route you should probably incorporate carb-refeeds bi-weekly to keep hormones upregulated.
Welcome and congratulations on your success so far. In my own personal humble experience, it takes a slight calorie deficit to lose body fat regardless of carb intake. Fat is more satiating than carbs to most people, but it does contain 2x the calories per gram. To achieve rippedness, I would try to create a SLIGHT calorie deficit. You can track if you'd like, but I think you could do just as well by eating slightly less than normal. An easy way to do this is to cut out "treat" foods like nuts that are very calorie dense. You could monitor your weight and measurements, or just go by how you look in the mirror.
I kinda agree with Pandadude and iniQuity about Leangains. From reading posts on the site about Martin's own path to rippedness and his clients, it seems that the ones that started out lean didn't lose any bodyfat in the process of gaining muscle. Martin himself upped his percent bodyfat a little when he bulked from 180 to 200 pounds. There are a few success stories on the blog where the clients actually simultaneously lost fat and gained muscle, but these clients were overfat to begin with and I think they may have also been either new or returning from a layoff to weight training. There is a good explanation of this on Lyle McDonald's site here: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...ng-fat-qa.html
In my own experience, it is impossible to add muscle mass without gaining some fat. I have tried "bulking" with high and low carb, but both resulted in some fat gain (although I think high carb may have been slightly leaner). In both cases I think I started at ~10% bodyfat added 5-10 pounds, and got uncomfortable with the amount of fat gain. My new plan is to slowly cut until I am really ripped, definitely in the single digit bodyfat range, then up calories slightly for a week or two before bulking again. Sorry for all the bro-talk. I feel stupid using the terms "bulk" and "cut". Anyway, I hope the above info is useful/helpful.