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  1. #1
    Freemo's Avatar
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    Primal fear

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    Hi,

    I'm new to primal, have read The Primal Blueprint several times and feeling really confused at the moment and it's kind of stopping me taking the plunge into this way of living. I've read loads of books on health and dieting such as Body for Life and 'Burn the Fat, feed the muscle' and they seem to emphasise balancing proteins and carbs so I'm finding myself 'flip flopping' between different approaches and getting nowhere.
    I'm 6 foot 2 and 265lb with about 35% body fat at age 31 and really want to lose 70lb before Xmas 2012.
    A few questions if I may:

    1) Have any of you lost muscle eating and exercising this way?
    2) Is this way of eating sustainable for the long term?
    3) What rate of fat loss should a person of my size expect on the programme?
    4) Tom Venuto says it is very hard to stay on low carb for any length of time. Is he correct?

    Regards,

    Neil

  2. #2
    <archer>'s Avatar
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    I can answer 1,2, and 4.
    1. I have not lost any muscle. I've gained it. What builds muscle? Protien. What are you getting ample amounts of on Primal? Protien.
    2. YES! Primal is definitely sustainable. After a month or two, for most people, you don't crave the grains. You realise how wonderful steak and broccoli is, and never want to go back.
    4. Four is similar to two. Nope. Our bodies should be using fat as a fuel source, which is what Primal trains it to do. And, when you get to a point of wanting carbs back: sweet potatoes. Best thing ever. My understanding is low carb is for weight loss. Check out Mr. Sisson's "carbohydrate curve"

    I encourage you, like everyone on this blog and forum, to just try Primal. You don't have to believe or understand the science. Try it for a month, no cheating, and see for yourself is Primal is the way to go. Which it is. Grok on!

  3. #3
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    Primal is not low carb. Some people choose to make it low carb for weight loss purposes. Lots of Primal folks eat plenty of fruit and sweet potatoes. Some even include potatoes and white rice in their diets.

  4. #4
    Apex Predator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freemo View Post
    Hi,

    I'm new to primal, have read The Primal Blueprint several times and feeling really confused at the moment and it's kind of stopping me taking the plunge into this way of living. I've read loads of books on health and dieting such as Body for Life and 'Burn the Fat, feed the muscle' and they seem to emphasise balancing proteins and carbs so I'm finding myself 'flip flopping' between different approaches and getting nowhere.
    I'm 6 foot 2 and 265lb with about 35% body fat at age 31 and really want to lose 70lb before Xmas 2012.
    A few questions if I may:

    1) Have any of you lost muscle eating and exercising this way?
    2) Is this way of eating sustainable for the long term?
    3) What rate of fat loss should a person of my size expect on the programme?
    4) Tom Venuto says it is very hard to stay on low carb for any length of time. Is he correct?

    Regards,

    Neil
    1) I've gained at least 50 lbs of muscle on primal, as a side effect of lifting for other goals- I don't lift for hypertrophy. In fact, I seek to minimize it.
    2) Yes, more so than anything else I've seen.
    3) Everyone is different. Weight loss should be a side effect of getting healthy, not the other way around, IMO.
    4) Everyone is different. I was able to VLC effortlessly for a time, and believe it made me much healthier. However, eventually I needed more carbs to hit my sport goals, so I no longer limit (primal)carbs. Not only did I not gain weight doing so, I leaned out considerably. Primal is not always low carb.

  5. #5
    Freemo's Avatar
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    are calories a factor in losing weight or does it not matter so much when one is doing low carb?

  6. #6
    <archer>'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freemo View Post
    are calories a factor in losing weight or does it not matter so much when one is doing low carb?
    Calories, while by far not the most improtant thing, are still a little important, from a standpoint of not overeating. But, seriously, who can overeat spinach? I wouldn't worry about it that much, if you're eating good Primal food. If you're hungry, eat. If you're not, don't. It's that simple. Yet another reason to love Primal.

  7. #7
    iniQuity's Avatar
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    1) Have any of you lost muscle eating and exercising this way?
    You have to use your muscle to maintain them. You will lose muscle on any "diet" in which you are not exercising. It's not just protein that magically builds or maintains muscle. Plenty of vegans who supposedly don't eat as much protein have muscle mass, it's because they challenge their muscles. They lift, etc. Your muscles will stick around if you're using them.
    2) Is this way of eating sustainable for the long term?
    I have been at it at least 2 years straight, and never has eating meat and/or vegetables seemed difficult or "unsustainable". If you're talking strictly about whether it's possible to always get grass-fed meats, or good quality everything, then that part isn't so easy to keep up. It's up to you to worry about that though. I don't really bother with that part too much. I would if it was a little easier to get. I don't let it bother me and it doesn't make such a dramatic difference in my (possibly unpopular) opinion. I think not eating processed does much more towards health than always choosing grass fed/pastured etc... besides, learn to crawl before you walk. Focus at first on cleaning up, then later worry about 'optimizing' if you so choose.
    3) What rate of fat loss should a person of my size expect on the programme?
    That'll vary but you sound like you have quite a bit so at first you should experience quite a bit. I think 70lbs in 10 months is doable. At my heaviest I was 175lbs, so never too big by any means. I did lose about 25lbs in 6 months though, which translated to your size/height should be 50lbs or so...
    4) Tom Venuto says it is very hard to stay on low carb for any length of time. Is he correct?
    He isn't right nor wrong. It's doable for whoever is committed to it. However, primal is NOT about low carb. It is low carb compared to a standard diet. For instance, let's assume that you never eat fish and I eat fish at least once a week, my diet is "higher in fish" than yours, but that's not to say it's comprised entirely of fish. Get what I mean? primal is ONLY low carb because processed foods are shock-ful of carbs, and because some of the things we don't eat (pastas/breads/sweets/desserts/etc) are nothing but sugar (ie: carbs) so don't get hung-up on carbs. The primal diet is only low-carb in comparison to typical diets that include processed foods Go ahead and eat your potatoes, squashes, fruits, etc, without fear... at first I'd keep those things I mentioned to only a few days a week, preferably on days when you're working out. At first you DO want to eat more fat and less overall carbohydrate but it doesn't mean you never get to have a baked potato again.

    Good luck. Lift heavy at 2x/week, sprint uphill once a week (if you're too heavy for this, jog/run/etc uphill anyway... just because you can't sprint doesn't mean you shouldn't start building a weekly habit of facing a hill... one of the best things you can do for yourself) walk a few hours a week, generally try not to spend too much time being lazy. Eat mostly meat, fats and vegetables (ALL vegetables), eat eggs with the yolk, find good butter, buy some coconut oil...

    trust the primal way of life.
    Last edited by iniQuity; 02-13-2012 at 10:54 AM.

  8. #8
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    sbhikes is offline Senior Member
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    I'm a woman and have noticed that I have gained muscle on this diet without doing any lifting.

    I don't find eating this way difficult to do at all. I like the food a lot and it calms my appetite. Because it's so tasty and makes me feel good, it's totally self-sustaining. I WANT to continue. I don't want to go back.

    I found low carb to be very helpful for getting the ball rolling. Once I converted my body to using fat for energy, that made me more flexible for my endurance activities. It gave me more sustainable energy. I can go all day hiking without eating. Adding back in more carbs (roots and tubers at dinner) has helped me increase strength and speed during those endurance activities, some of which I lost on low carb. I honestly do not think I could have done as well without the low carb period first to get things started.

    I don't think it's hard to stay low carb. Lots of people do it. I find it hard to eat a lot of carbs now. But I do make a point to eat some every day in the form of roots and tubers most days, rice once in a while (tonight we're going for sushi!) Once in a while some fruit.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 175 x 3. Current Deadlift: 225 x 3

  9. #9
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    I'm a woman, I don't lift anything heavier than my own body (yet), and I've noticed a definite increase in muscle tone and definition. I don't know whether I've gained muscle mass, I haven't tried to measure it - but I feel leaner and stronger for sure. So I don't think loss of muscle mass should be a concern.

    Primal is sustainable because it's so flexible. My understanding is that you get rid of the toxic foods (sugar, grains, and industrial oils), and the rest is really up to you to experiment with and see what works for you. I did fairly low-carb in the early months to fix my whacked-out metabolism (severe hypoglycemia), but now I eat a few servings of fruit a day and some potatoes or rice occasionally, since I'm at goal weight and have not had a hypoglycemic attack in months. I don't count or measure anything - I just eat what I want when I'm hungry. It's awesome.

    It will always be lower-carb than the Standard American Diet (SAD), but considering how many people on that eating plan have diabetes, I'm thinking that's a good thing.

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