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Thread: What am I doing wrong? Still struggling with fat loss and fatigue :'(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    What am I doing wrong? Still struggling with fat loss and fatigue :'(

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    Hi Cavemen/Cavegals,

    Sorry if this is in the wrong place but I thought this would go best under fitness.

    The Problems:
    I've been on the paleo diet since May of this year but I don't know what I'm still doing wrong.
    I am always tired, my mind's so cloudy and it's hard to stay awake when I need to concentrate.
    My energy levels are so low. Sometimes when I'm too tired, I have a short to 90 minute nap in the afternoons.
    Not too long ago I thought my obliques were love handles but have since been told otherwise by my GP and friends who are into health. There's something wrong with my stomach, I can't tell if it's fat or if it's behind my ab wall. When I flex I can see my abs clearly, when at rest the outlines of my abs are just visible. It looks bloated, but I don't feel bloated.

    What I do/am doing:
    I strength train everyday, except most weekends, and get enough sleep 6 to 7.5 hours. I've read about the 90 minute sleep cycles so I wake myself up only after having completed a full 90 minute sleep cycle so I'm not a zombie when I wake up. I sleep before 11PM and wake up around 5AM.
    I was also training Muay Thai for 2-3 hours in the evenings on weekdays, which I was doing since late last year but stopped a month ago. Muay Thai would incorporate a lot of Ab workouts. I have since added ab workouts to my strength training routine every 2nd day.

    What I eat:
    For breakfast I usually have 2 eggs filled with a cup of egg whites (I love eggs but I'm trying cut back on as much fat now as I can). Either a few pieces of Chicken or left over beef. I also have 1/2 a big can of tuna. On some breakfasts I would eat Cornbeef (the one I eat has no Carbs according to nutrition info label), I love my corn beef but I try to limit it as much as I can.
    Depending on how big my breakfast was, I usually don't get hungry until Dinner. But on the days where I'm hungry at lunchtime I eat a few pieces of fruit first then have 2 eggs, the other 1/2 of the tuna I had for breakfast and maybe another few pieces of either chicken or beef.
    At Dinner I'll eat at least one piece of fruit, A garden salad, either Pork Chops or a beef stew and the other 1/2 of the tuna I had for breakfast if I'd skipped lunch.

    About Me:
    I'm 24 years old.
    I have a lot of muscle, when my legs are shoulder width apart my inner thighs can actually meet/ are in contact because I squat quite a lot for my bodyweight and have a lot of muscle on my legs. I've read that belly fat is the last place for men to lose fat and I believe this to be true in my case but I've had this problem for a while now. My exercises were the same prior to the caveman diet but I still feel fatigue and lack a lot of energy. I have always trained since I was a teenager but have only started training more seriously from around this time last year.
    Even before the paleo diet I wasn't 100%, I was as fatigued as I am now and had more body fat especially on my face, neck, arms and parts of my upper body. Since eating caveman style I've lost a lot of fat and the only fat that remains is on my belly. I was 78Kgs at the start of the year, now I average 67.5Kgs.
    I drink a tall glass of water before my meals, sometimes two so I know I'm getting enough water.
    I've had a lot of breaks from training to see if I just needed rest, the longest being one month but still would be feel as fatigued and it just made it worst for me because training was the only thing that made happy/feel good.

    What I've tried:
    I've tried sleeping longer, no effect.
    I've tried multivitamins, no effect.
    I stopped training a few times for a month, as mentioned earlier but no effect.
    Blood tests are normal.
    Cholesterol's normal.
    Testosterone levels are just a little higher than average but still within in normal limits.
    Blood pressure normal, basically had every test GP could do for me and all was normal.
    CT scan/MRI of body and head are normal.
    I'm just at a loss here, I've tried everything and anything I could think of.

    I think that's aboot it, I hope I've provided as much detail as I can.

    I just don't know what happened to me. From child to teen hood, I was pretty hyperactive. I had unlimited energy, I just could not sit still and now I barely have enough energy do things I used to do quite easily.

    If anyone's been in the same situation as I have please help... or Mark or one of you Senior people who might know how to help me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Central Virginia

    Sleep Apnea

    This may not be the situation and it usually occurs in people that are overweight but you might have sleep apnea. I was diagnosed for it a few years ago and had to use a CPAP machine to actually get some real sleep. I was tired all the time and couldn't figure it out. I had a sleep study performed and was diagnosed with it. After I started working out again and dropping the extra 60 lbs I had gained I don't have to use it anymore. It's just an idea but you might want to check it out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Washington state
    The most obvious things I see are way too much strength training and not enough fat in your diet. Try primal blueprint fitness for awhile, and eat more saturated fat so your body can trust you to provide it. I have been told that the sprinting part of PB fitness is a big visceral fat burner.
    Steak, eggs, potatoes - fruits, nuts, berries and forage. Coconut milk and potent herbs and spices. Tea instead of coffee now and teeny amounts of kelp daily. Let's see how this does! Not really had dairy much, and gut seems better for it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    My initial thoughts are where are your vegetables and why are you severely restricting the fat.

    Are you seriously doing strength training every day and 2-3 hours strenuous exercise 5 days a week on so little food ? if so I'm not surprised your low on energy if that's all your eating as your poor body must be really struggling to cope.

    I'd suggest that you stop worrying about fat in proper foods ie I'm not a fan of eating it for the sake of it but eat beef, pork, lamb, salmon, eggs etc so you body is are getting some naturally even though you cut the visible fat off. Slowly up your carbs by eating low starch veggies and berries to at least 50g then twitch depending upon your results as you'll probably need at least 150g of carbs a day for that level of exercise - higher starch veg etc would be good for that if necessary.

    You'll need to try something for a week - see the results then twich the next week as nothing will be instantaneous but hope it helps.

    Btw - are you preparing yourself for a competition or something - just wondering your thoughts behind your existing regime ?
    Last edited by Solldara; 09-13-2011 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Clarified 150g of carbs a day
    1st June 11 to 30st Aug 11 - 36lb removed in 13 weeks
    Messed about on and off for the rest of the year

    June 2012 - Had the practice - now time to do it for real

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    The most obvious things I see are way too much strength training and not enough fat in your diet. Try primal blueprint fitness for awhile, and eat more saturated fat so your body can trust you to provide it. I have been told that the sprinting part of PB fitness is a big visceral fat burner.
    This. Check out Rabbit Starvation, where low-fat and low-carb together leads to malnutrition, including fatigue.

    Also, you are probably overtraining. Where is your recovery time?

    Recommended sleep is 8-9 hours a day, not 6-7.

    Remember that this way of eating is for health. If you are trying to cut below 8 or 10% body fat, you may have to resort to some non-primal tricks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    When my work levels go up, my dietary balance looks more like the Zone vs. low carb to maintain energy. Robb Wolf has stated the Zone Diet is exceptionally good, but, extremely complicated. But, the simple tweaks keep my energy levels up, etc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Carrboro, NC
    I agree with the other posts here: you're overtraining, missing your vegetables, skimping on calories (especially fats), and getting too little sleep -- ESPECIALLY with that training load. I'm surprised you can sit up long enough to type your question!

    Try a "week off". Eat more, sleep more and don't train (or just a little movement to keep your body happy). If at the end of the week you're feeling better then you know the advice here is on to something and you can start better eating/training/sleeping from there.
    Life is short: Void the warranty.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    You are training too much! I have done the same, I had to take a break from training for 2 weeks! Now I feel fresh and awesome again. You can try to upp your fat and continue training as you do, if that doesn't work you will have to cut back on your training! Trust me on this one!
    Visit my website about fitness and health, would love some input .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Providence, RI
    + 1 to pretty much everything above. I'd suggest adding coconut oil to a good portion of your meals. Just mix some in (liquid) with your salmon or fry up your eggs in some (and then pour the left overs over the top).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Shop Now
    I might as well chime in. Primal/paleo is NOT LOW-CARB. Especially not for athletes. But you should heavily skew your carbs to vegetables. What's with all the fruit? There is absolutely no reason to cut back on fat or restrict yourself to mostly egg whites. There isn't much nutrition in what you're eating, dude: you need nutrition. Eat some liver, some heart, healthy fats, and whole eggs. Sardines and salmon. Fish oil. Hell, take a swig of olive oil.

    Adequate rest is essential. Sheesh, I get up between 4:30-5:30 too -- but I start thinking about going to bed around 7 pm and am only up past 9:00 if I'm out doing something fun. "Sleeping longer" doesn't count for much if you're not sleeping *well*.

    I'm also going to add some skepticism about your meat sourcing. When you say
    On some breakfasts I would eat Cornbeef (the one I eat has no Carbs according to nutrition info label)
    I have to wonder if you're eating canned corned beef? Forget about the carbs - check the ingredients. I'll assume they'd make any primal eater shudder, so: Make your own. And I suppose you're eating white-meat (mass produced) chicken and lean lean (factory farmed grain-fed) beef. You need to branch out to meet your body's nutritional needs.

    I would keel over and die on the regimen you've outlined. I hope you'll take the advice of everyone in this thread, and if not please don't call what you're doing primal. It's missing basically all of the key aspects, so read from the start and reconsider. Good luck!
    "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
    "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
    If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

    beachrat's new primal journal

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