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Thread: when you don't have much to lose... page

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    erin19's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel


    hi everyone. i've posted a couple of times before, specifically about my struggles with hypoglycemia and extreme hunger, but i've never gone fully primal although there were some attempts.


    i think i'm willing to give the 30-day challenge a try. i've committed to doing my best to give up the grains and sugar and focus on protein and fat. however, i feel like i need some very specific advice.


    i am 24 years old, 5'7", weigh about 138-140, and am 20.7% body fat according to those hand held body fat scanners at gyms (i know they aren't totally accurate, but i've done the test 3 times since may 09 and got the same reading.) i've been trying to lose some really stubborn trouble areas, with no success, for about a year now. i have a lot of muscle and build it very easily, but *hate* the fat laying over the muscle. it makes me look bulkier than i am, particularly on my upper arms/tricep area. all my fat deposits on the area around my belly button (waist is still very thin, though), lovehandles, upper back and arms. i am really thin through the legs, hips and butt area.


    what kind of advice do you have for people who only need to lose some vanity pounds? almost 5 years ago i lost almost 40 pounds, and i remember it being so much easier. now, i can't lose weight to save my life. can you give me advice on calorie/macronutrient amounts (specifically carbs), exercise routines, etc? it is seriously soooo hard for me to lose weight. i got off birth control 4 months ago, thinking the weight would come right off (not the main reason i got off of it), but it hasn't. i feel like my metabolism is messed up from being on BC for almost 2 years, as well. i also still deal with constant hunger and hypoglycemia, even when i avoid sugar and grains.


    thanks for your help in advance! i don't really have a set goal weight, although i remember being at 128 and really liking it. i did, however, have less muscle, so it may not be the best weight for me now.


  2. #2
    arthurb999's Avatar
    arthurb999 is offline Senior Member
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    Keep carbs under 100 (50 if you want to lose it fast). Fat makes you full, sugar makes you fat... wierd how that works


    Strength train and do some form of sprinting... maybe strenght, sprint, off, etc... on your off days do something active but fun... like play a sport, yoga, martial arts, hike, mountain climb, whatever.


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    Concur with arthur. Sprint 2x weekly, lift heavy 2x weekly (bodyweight will work fine if you don't have access to iron), and move slowly a lot in between. Definitely keep carbs below 100.


    Also, you might want to check out Lyle McDonald's blog. He has a lot of info on there about stripping down to really low bodyfat.

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    today i just started a fitday account, which should help me with my carbs. luckily, i already eat a lot of fat... just really need to work on my terrible sugar/carb cravings and hunger levels.


    another thing i should note. when i was at my lowest weight, which i maintained for about a year, i was in college doing tons of cardio (running or elliptical for up to an hour), eating lots of carbs (whole grains, fruits, veggies, not a lot of protein or meat, but was very good at avoiding junk food and sugar), drinking tons of beer on the weekends, and walking a mile or two to and back from class everyday... and had the lowest body fat of my life. i yearn for those days when i could where a skin tight dress and there was no stomach bulge! how come that worked for me then? was it because it was the first time i had lost so much weight and my body was in "shock"? i'm just so confused about what works for MY body and can never stick to a plan long enough because i just don't see any results. urghh, very very frustrated! any advice on any of the problems i've mentioned would be much appreciated :-)


  5. #5
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    if you go primal way of eating and do the workout schedule above... give it 3 months... you WILL see results.


    If you eat enough fat, you won't be hungry... the sugar cravings last about a week... then you don't even want it anymore.


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    Just wanted to mention that I also went off hormonal BC a few months ago, and have only gotten my period one time since. I've heard it can take months to a year to re-regulate your system after going of BC. I'm sure this really depends on the person, though. I also went off of it in hopes of losing some weight and getting rid of mood swings that it was causing, and have just recently lost about 10lbs so maybe it will just take you a bit longer than expected for your body to regulate after going off the BC? And definitly eat low carb if you want to lose weight fast. I try to stay around 50g/day or so (or less) and am also trying to lose "vanity weight"--basically those last 10-15 pounds or so. I have been losing about 1-2 lbs a week or so for the last few months and have about 5lbs to go now, I'd estimate. Basically get most of your carbs from veggies, and then just a teeny bit of berries and dark chocoalte or dairy for treats.

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    Insulin resistance caused by a non-primal diet gradually increases year after year, so the longer people are on non-primal diets trying to loose weight, the harder it is as they age. For females, their mid-twenties is when any hormonal imbalances can suddenly become apparent. They can eat the same diet they did in their teens, but now the weight will just pack-on, where as previously they would have been quite lean.


    If sugar and hunger cravings are particularly intense, and you're finding getting to a sugar-and-starch particularly difficult, then "The Mood Cure" is a good place to start reading (http://www.moodcure.com/) for suggestions on how to naturally break those cravings and bring your hormones back into balance.


  8. #8
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    buffalo - i guess that makes sense. i tell myself that just because it worked for me 3 years ago doesn't mean it will work for me now.


    ika - in some ways i think i the birth control isn't totally out of my system. i went off 4 months ago. i've gotten my period regularly each month, but i still have the chronic heartburn it caused.


    barbeygirl - how long should i be sprinting? and on those days, should i be doing additional cardio or something like yoga?


  9. #9
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    tracked everything on fit day today. ate 1,318 calories, 105 g fat, 38 g carbs, and 72 g protein. burned 380 calories on the gym where i did 10 minutes sprints, and 30 minutes of low intensity cardio... walking on high incline on treadmill and doing the stepmill. i have a heart rate monitor so i know i was working out at the right intensity. my plans tomorrow are 20 minutes of circuit training with weights and body weight exercises and some yoga.


    what do you guys think? i know a lot of PBers out there are against gyms and cardio machines but working outside in the cold dark night is really not a viable option for me. also, my knees are terrible and the machines are lower impact.


  10. #10
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification


    Erin, sprints are commonly done in sets of 8 sprints of 20-30 seconds each, with 1-2 minutes rest in between.


    For example, I usually sprint up a 100-meter hill (which takes me about 30 seconds), then walk back down (which takes about 2 minutes). Eight repeats makes for about an 18 minute workout, and that's it for the day, besides my usual low-intensity stuff like walking dogs, farm chores, riding, etc.


    You can also do sprints on a stationary bike, or look into Tabata. Whatever you choose, really push it to almost-barfing intensity. The point is to do a number of intervals that push you into anaerobic work, and by the end of the short workout, you'll hardly get back to aerobic between sets.


    ETA: Nice, low carbs! But why only 1300 calories? I'm 7 years older and 4 inches shorter than you, and I eat upwards of 2000 cals most days. (Not that you should necessarily eat that many -- I'm well leaned out and very active -- but still, 1300 isn't very many! Does anyone else think 1600 or so would be better?

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