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Thread: Losing lean and gaining fat page

  1. #1
    stolid's Avatar
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    Losing lean and gaining fat

    Hey guys,

    I'm struggling with an issue and I'm hoping some people here might have some insights. For some details I've been skinny-to-skinnyfat most of my life; I'm a 5'4" male and my 'neutral weight' from about age 13-25 was 110 lbs. I got up to 135 after a super-sedentary year (2 hour commute each way kills your activity level and your diet) and went primal (or at least semi-primal) around the time I finally quit driving half the day.

    My roommate has a scale that does the bio-impedance fat reading which I know is inaccurate but I've been mostly using the trend line. What I've noticed is that after I got back to about 120 lbs that ever since as I've lost weight it's been all in the lean mass. At 120 I had 18.4 lbs of fat, now that I'm down to 115 I'm up to 19.2; and the trend line between the two weights is fairly consistent.

    Some details on my diet and excercise:
    On a typical day I shoot for around 1000 calories; as a typical example my lunch today was a 1 cup serving of Primal Fuel (sometimes made with raw milk instead of water, but not today), and dinner was a 7 oz ribeye steak with a mix of vegetables (lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, tomato, mushrooms) in olive oil & vinegar and then a small snack (usually something like a slice of homemade jerky/pastrami/etc.)

    As for excercise I walk about half a mile (each way) to work 3 or 4 days a week and around twice a week do lifts (squats, bench, pendlay rows, deadlift) for about an hour total.

    My goal is primarily to get to the point I have muscle definition and just keeping good health, so my intermediate goal in turn was to first cut weight until fat was low and then start building the muscle -- but the concept I'm actually gaining more fat is definitely getting me worried.

    Any helpful words or thoughts on what might be going on?
    Stolid

  2. #2
    Dirlot's Avatar
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    Too few calories (why are you counting anyway if you are following the PB?) and for what you are doing weights wise an hour is too long.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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  3. #3
    stolid's Avatar
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    I'm not micro counting calories, I just track what I eat to look for patterns (e.g. any time I eat certain kinds of sausage I don't feel well the next day; thus cut that from my diet) so I have the numbers available from the tracker. Maintenance for me is around 1200 calories, and it's honestly hard to eat past that anyway for me (I'm just not hungry anymore).
    My average gym work out is 5x5 squats, 1x5 deadlifts, and 5x5 rows or bench; is that really too much?

  4. #4
    Sue's Avatar
    Sue
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    1200 calories maintenance for a male sounds wrong.

  5. #5
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    I would agree you should look for ways to up your calories. You might be losing a little mass and your body might be trying to hold onto fat.

  6. #6
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    You need more calories, and to do a lot more low-intensity exercise plus some sprinting. I wouldn't count walking half a mile as exercise.

    I also suggest you eat breakfast.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  7. #7
    tfarny's Avatar
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    1200 calories maintenance for a male sounds wrong.
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

  8. #8
    tfarny's Avatar
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    Also, chuck that stupid bio-impedance scale; what it actually does is measure the conductivity between your legs, which is a function of how hydrated you are and where you store water. If you really have to pee, you'll measure as fatter on that thing. Measure your waist once a month, but honestly, eat more, lift harder, and you'll get stronger. Eating 1000 calories a day, basically one small meal and a shake, and checking the trend line on a fat measuring scale is not going to turn you into a big strong bull of a man, shall we say.
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

  9. #9
    stolid's Avatar
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    I've been eating around 1200 calories on average since I was probably 15 or so and always felt satisfied and it's exceedingly difficult for me to eat much more. Not a matter of diet, I always just ate what I wanted and stopped when full until recently (current diet is best summarized as 'eat until almost full and avoid the bad stuff'). Same for breakfast, I never wake up hungry in the slightest (for reference I just woke up and the idea of eating right now makes my stomach subtly upset).

    I'm not really sure what would count as low intensity exercise more than brisk walking so I'm open to suggestion, and I do sprint here and there but it's not part of 'the schedule' as it were.

    Scale isn't mine to chuck, it is my roommates -- I don't own a scale; and as I said I'm mostly concerned with trend line -- I weigh at the same time (9 am, just before I walk to the gym on work out days) and yeah, every so often I get a nutty result (let ankles touch and I'm 3% body fat!) which I toss out. I'm mostly just using my weight as a metric; if I don't get back to my old weight but look the same as I used to I'm fine with that (and frankly I have no idea what my old lean/fat was)

    I'm not really concerned with gaining strength; just shedding the fat I gained from being completely sedentary and regaining the light muscle definition I had then (which mostly came from the lack of fat hiding it, by all my understanding).

    Anyway, thanks for the thoughts -- I'll try eating a bit more and see if it has any impact. Breakfast will be harder to do but I'll see if I can force anything.

  10. #10
    Croak's Avatar
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    1200 calories maintenance for a male sounds wrong.

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