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  1. #1
    nachobrawler's Avatar
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    Serious Weight Training & Nutrition Question...

    Hello. I have a couple of questions I was hoping some of the more senior primal/paleo lifestyle supporters can help me answer.

    Background: I have been living the Paleo/Primal lifestyle for nearly 6 weeks now. I have a goal of reaching 210 lbs, from a starting weight of 248, with a body fat percentage of 10%. Based on my size and measurements -5'8" tall, 7.0" inch wrist, 48" chest, 17" arm, 13.3" forearm, 24.5" thigh,17" neck and 38" waist...by my calculations this is a realistic goal. I workout as much as 3 times a week for no more than 1 hour at a time. That 60 minute interval includes ~20 minutes of low/med intensity cardio and ~ 40 minutes of high intensity weight training. I am currently down 15 lbs (233) and have lost several inches overall in this time. Also, I am supplementing my diet with ~ 1-2g fish oil everyday.

    Question #1) I want to maintain my muscle mass...at a minimum. If possible, I would even like to gain some more muscle as I am someone who has always put on weight (i.e some muscle) easily. But I want to maximize my fat loss each and everyday. I have never been lean and would love to get there once in my life (i.e. I am an Ectomorph). As for my diet, I am currently eating the majority of my calories per day from meats. All kinds. Bacon, Steak, Chicken, Pork, Fish...you name it...I eat it. I also eat a fair amount of veggies. I eat a salad everyday for lunch (with chicken and ham as in it as well). My salad consists vegetable-wise of various kinds of lettuces, green & red peppers and some broccoli. Dinner is usually some kind of meat with green beans or breakfast foods like eggs and bacon. Finally, I drink and drink and drink water all day. Probably at least 2-3 liters. I am always in moderate Ketosis...as measured by Ketostix. As for vices....sometimes I will eat some cheese at or during one of my meals and maybe have blue cheese dressing on my salad (I know...two holdovers from my past way of life that I cannot yet completely let go!!). And occasionally I will drink Red Wine with friends socially. Finally, I love diet soda.I used to drink 4-6 Diet Pepsi's a day. I have cut that down to two Coke-Zero's (it has no Citric Acid in it but does have Aspartame). My question here is am I on the right track???After a 10lb initial loss in my first week...I have really slown down over the past 3-4 weeks. Im down 15 total but have not dropped anymore weight in about 1 week. And my pants aren't getting any looser (yet). I haven't measured inches. Let me know if someone has any advice here to hasten the fat loss.

    #2) I have noticed that my energy during workouts and throughout the day and especially my recovery time post workouts has increased significantly.I am a Biochemist by day...(I work for a Large Pharmaceutical Company that makes "the" premier Statin drug on the market)...can someone please give me the biochemistry behind what is going on here??? What in my diet or training regimen has changed my body chemistry to yield this wonderful result???Is it HGH? Please...let me know as this is an amazing feeling to have at 41 years of age.

    #3) I have read literature on Aspartame and Diet Soda being horrible for you. I know how reasearch has yet to define what exactly this "wonderful" artificial sweetener does to our bodies exactly (I do know it is made synthetically and thus we lack enzymes to metabolize it), but can someone please let me know from their own experience if this sweetener has personally de-railed their fat loss efforts? Also, I know about Citric Acid as well. What are the experiences with either or both of these items with regard to losing fat in the ketogenic manner???

    I have more questions...I could go on and on...but if someone could answer any or all of these three right now I would be greatful. Personal experience(s) preferred please!!!

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    primalrob's Avatar
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    i'm going to do the best that i can with these...
    #1. give it some patience. the weight you lost in the beginning was water weight. the weight you are losing now is probably body fat, which takes time. you're not going to be lean overnight...so just keep doing what you're doing.
    #2. i don't have a good scientific answer for this. HGH makes sense if you are sleeping more. most people notice more overall energy on the primal diet because you're not spiking your blood sugar, and all the fat we eat is a great source of energy.
    #3. i don't drink diet soda. i don't drink any soda, but diet soda especially. it's not food

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    You are 5'8", weigh 250 lbs, workout 3 times a week for no more than an hour and have 10% body fat? Is diet soda the secret?

    For the sake that maybe you do not have 10% body fat I will present this informative article. If you are in fact at 10% body fat at 5'8" and 250 -- I want your genes! !!! gimme gimme gimme
    ad astra per aspera

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    nachobrawler's Avatar
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    You are 5'8", weigh 250 lbs, workout 3 times a week for no more than an hour and have 10% body fat? Is diet soda the secret?

    For the sake that maybe you do not have 10% body fat I will present this informative article. If you are in fact at 10% body fat at 5'8" and 250 -- I want your genes! !!! gimme gimme gimme


    @ TheFast Cat: No!!!God, I wish. I am 5'8 and 233 now. Im estimating my bodyfat right now via measurements (some admittedly a little outdated) at around 18%. I want to get down to a bodyfat of 10% at 210 lbs. As I said, I am an Ectomorph. I have always gained weight easily. When I started working out seriously back when I was 18 from the time I graduated I college I gained 100lbs (I started at 120 and went up to 220). Most of it was muscle. But as I aged...and ate the poor grain fed/carbo diet...I got fatter and fatter and fatter over the years. But I have never quit working out. I cant. Its part of me as a person. I ended up weighing a max of 248 lbs at the end of last year and that prompted me to start my primal/paleo lifestyle. Aside from a few vices I mentioned above (i.e. diet soda, cheese, wine) Im completely primal.And have no probs ever cheating on it....

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    nachobrawler's Avatar
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    Thanks primalrob. I am sleeping ~ 7 hours a night during the week and 8 or more on weekends. So, I guess that could help trigger more HGH release. But the recovery I have is outstanding! I mean, If I could bottle it I'd be a billionaire! As an example... I blasted Chest and Shoulders extremely hard on Wed (~15 sets for both bodyparts in 40 minutes). And by today, I cant WAIT to get back in the gym. I have virtually no soreness in either my chest or shoulders. And my energy level is through the roof. I haven't felt this good physically in 20+ years. Could the Fish Oil I am supplementing help with this???

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    Quote Originally Posted by nachobrawler View Post
    I blasted Chest and Shoulders extremely hard on Wed (~15 sets for both bodyparts in 40 minutes). And by today, I cant WAIT to get back in the gym. I have virtually no soreness in either my chest or shoulders. And my energy level is through the roof. I haven't felt this good physically in 20+ years. Could the Fish Oil I am supplementing help with this???
    sounds like it's time to up the intensity.

    fish oil could be helping, but i'd say it's just the better diet. what other supps are you taking?

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    nachobrawler's Avatar
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    Im not supplementing anything else. Just the Fish Oil. I originally came across Paleo and read Dr. Cordain's book and promptly followed it by reading Rob Wolfe's Paleo lifestyle. Both recommend a fish oil supplement, primarily to get the Vitamin D and to achieve balance with the proper ratio of Omega-3's and 6's. Everything else I get must come from the diet itself.

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    I've found the increased fat intake by itself has really helped recovery for me (however, my traps are still hurting some from Wednesday's WOD--15 minute AMRAP of 10 clean and jerk (@53 lbs), 10 situps, 10 wallballs, and 10 vsnaps). The better diet definitely makes a difference for recovery times as compared to what I used to experience from heavy training pre-primal. and I don't do fish oil supplements.

    Also, yes to the workout energy. Both my partner and I notice a big difference. He went to his poker night last week and had some cake and a couple of beers, and the next day, he felt his workout performance significantly suffered.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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    I am now about the same weight as you but a bit taller i suppose (feet and inches always confuse me). Pre-primal eating I gave lost quite a lot of weight - 20-30kg - using a calorie reduced diet with roughly a third from carb/port/fat each. I did some heavy lifting at the time, and I built up some muscle - call it 10kg. At one point i needed to decide what to do though as the diet interfered with my recovery, and i decided to continue training hard I am now at about 20% body fat and reasonable comfortable. Having said this - after having discovered Primal i am currently doing an experiment along your lines - lose fat & gain muscle. I have written about it here How to build muscle and lose fat at the same time | Thor Falk, but so far this is all speculation.


    PS. Cut out the soft drinks, even the diet ones. Not sure what they exactly do to their body, but it is just not worth it. If you can get it, we have mineral water in cans over here (eG Spa brand). Is surprisingly similar to sodas - my interpretation: the taste of the liquid does not really matter. It just needs to be cold and carbonated
    Last edited by Thor Falk; 03-09-2011 at 12:24 AM.

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    Its possible - I'm 5'10" 212 and Just made 10% BF (at 38 years old I can see my abs for the first time ever) I was 278 and 38% body fat in July. It was a long journey for me to kick the soda but it helped kill my sweet tooth which ended my my sweet food binges. I went from a about 20 cans of dew to the same amount of diet - then started cutting it out slowly till I was drinking mostly water and only having a few diet sodas a day, finally I got used to drinking black coffee and now have 2-3 cups of that and water only. About a month after that and I didn't even want dark chocolate. I think the artificial sweeteners, while calorie free and not necessarily insulin spiking, keep the palate conditioned for sweets. While the weight loss was great I really came to this WOE because 20+ cans of soda and a bunch of other sweets lead to - shock - surprise - type II diabetes and after being shown how to check my numb feet to make sure I wasn't cut and being told that if I did get cut and didn't feel it, I would develop an infection and loose the foot was a great help in inspiring to change my ways.

    As for the hormonal thing, HGH seems to rise in absence of insulin - so primal eating and IF are good for spiking it and speeding recovery. Yet another reason to kill your sweet tooth. I've heard coffee can raise insulin and plan to remove it next from my diet (still big on caffeine now though) Once your body is adapted to burning fat instead of carbs you have all the stored energy in your body fat to use instead of the up and down energy from consuming carbs - this would explain higher energy levels.

    Maintaining muscle mass while losing weight on this WOE was easy for me - I actually gained muscle mass. I think with 2-3x a week strength training and low cardio, maintaining mass muscle shouldn't be too hard for ya. If your into High Intensity Training (you already stated that you have enough experience) I would look into DC style rest pause training - pretty sure this is how I gained muscle while losing fat, that and maybe a bit of retraining or muscle memory effect - all in all I am still surprised at how much muscle I was able to gain last year.

    lets see - 233 at 18% is around 41 pounds of fat or close to 190 pounds of lean mass - so 210 at 10% should be doable for you

    My brother is a body builder but at 5'8" only weighs 170 at 8% BF - I'm former power lifter (haven't competed in years but still base my training on the big lifts - Wendler's 5/3/1 + High Intensity Training accessory work - DC style) The big reason for our 40 pound weight difference is because of our training. We have the same size upper arms though at 170 and focusing on biceps his LOOK much larger. Using the big compound movements with heavy weight tends to build more density. Also a lot of the weight is in my legs - after building my squats and pulls back up I have cartoon big legs - 33" inch waist and 28" thighs.(finding clothes isn't fun - 33" waist carpenter jeans fit like other peoples slim leg jeans - cant wait for shorts weather - 10% is making the serrations in my legs start to show)

    patience - I image you didn't get up in weight over a few weeks, I started much heavier than you and looking back, 9 months to get down to 10% doesn't seem like long at all now - heck before I found this WOE I never thought it would even be possible. Stick with the primal WOE, train hard and you will get down to to your body fat goal - I wouldn't worry to much about the weight - I freaked out a bit when I dropped below my old comp weight (220) but seeing my abs makes it worth it.
    "First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do" - Epictetus

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