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Thread: Running, energy, calories and carbs. Please help me sort this out. page

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    Graycat's Avatar
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    Running, energy, calories and carbs. Please help me sort this out.

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    Hello, please help me make this work.
    Background, I've been living a 95% Primal lifestyle for over a year. Recently (maybe two months ago) I started jogging 2.5 to 3.5 mi. at 5.6 m.p.h. speed 5 days a week. I also incorporate come upper body and core strength exercises.

    I am female, 34 yo 5' 3", about 128 lbs currently (I suspect my real weight is a few lbs. less as I'm retaining a lot of fluid lately).

    I consume the thereabouts of 1500 kCalories daily and my carbs are less than 100g. Most days 60 - 80g.

    My objective is to lower my BF percentage and to look healthy and toned. Could care less about what the scale says.

    My questions/concerns are the following:

    Why is that after a day of come junk carb eating (2 days ago) I had so much more energy and stamina at the gym? I know I'm fat adapted. I have also read Mark's article on that.

    Why am I not seeing results after exercising a lot and creating the calorie deficit all this time? I get the feeling that I'm getting bigger, and it's starting to alarm me. Granted, I have some summer heat bloat. The initial "heavy or new" exercise muscle micro tears and fluid retention that most people experience should have been gone by now, I'd think.

    What calorie/macronutrient range you would recommend for someone like me?

    Thank you all in advance.
    Last edited by Graycat; 07-15-2012 at 07:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CleoCat View Post
    My objective is to lower my BF percentage and to look healthy and toned. Could care less about what the scale says.
    If this is the case, jogging 3 miles 5 days/wk probably isn't what you want to be doing. Running is awesome, if you enjoy it, and if that's the case then do it, but do it for fun and stress relief -- don't expect it do dramatically re-shape your body.

    Intense exercise is far better for losing BF because of the metabolic changes that it encourages your body to make. Lift heavy weights (or use machines if you prefer) and try to make your workouts intense (really push yourself). Do this maybe 2x a week, no more is needed, and the workouts don't have to be very long either (if you're in the gym longer than 30-45 min then it's almost certainly too much). In addition, sprint once a week. I like doing 4 100m all-out sprints with about a 1 minute rest in between, it's a great workout that's over in roughly 5 minutes -- and it'll do far more for you in terms of lowering BF% than a 3 mile jog.

    Quote Originally Posted by CleoCat View Post
    Why is that after a day of come junk carb eating (2 days ago) I had so much more energy and stamina at the gym? I know I'm fat adapted. I have also read Mark's article on that.
    Who knows. A lot of people find that they function better with a decent amount of carbs in the mix (myself included). Listen to your body and give it what it needs. I think Primal does a good job of training your body to burn fat for fuel, but don't forget that you always burn a combination of fat and carbs. No matter how "fat adapted" you are, whatever that means (I'm still trying to decide what I think of that concept), intense exercise is always going to be glycolytic in nature (it will require glucose). Listen to your body. Primal is low carb in comparison to the Standard American Diet, but really, the SAD is just ridiculously and dangerously high carb. Eating primal doesn't mean shunning carbohydrates. Just listen to your body and eat as many of them as you need to to feel and function well.

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    Also, forgive me if I'm wrong, but given your questions I have the suspicion you haven't read The Primal Blueprint. The answers to everything you asked can be found in that book. Go get it, it's a good and easy read.

    Good luck.

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    Why only upper body lifts? If you want to get toned/fit/strong lift the big compound lifts in a good 5x5.
    Lift heavy
    run if you enjoy it
    walk
    play
    and eat...I would guess you are also not eating enough food - lots of healthy carbs out there.
    Read the book
    Read the Primer
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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    Graycat's Avatar
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    Appreciate your replies.
    Looks like i've got some reading to do.
    I think i have the nutrition part down, but obviously the PB is a lot more than just food.
    The small gym i have free access to has a good weight machine, that i've been using occasionally but maybe it will be a good idea to invest in some free weights for myself. Not sure how heavy though.
    I love joggIng. I find it oddly relaxing for body and mind.
    I guess i was expecting to lose some BF with all that activity. What got me into running in the first place is the impression i've got that most runners are pretty lean.

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    If you dont have access to a good gym then maybe look at a good bodyweight routine like Primal Blueprint Fitness of Convict Conditioning.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CleoCat View Post
    The small gym i have free access to has a good weight machine, that i've been using occasionally but maybe it will be a good idea to invest in some free weights for myself. Not sure how heavy though.
    That's up to you, the important thing is for your workout to be intense (especially considering your goals). This can actually be done with light weights, heavy weights, or even just your own body weight. Think of how hard that last push up is when you do as many as you can do -- your arms are all shaky and you end up collapsing on the floor afterward. One nice thing about working with heavier weights though is that you get to the point of high intensity much sooner.

    Quote Originally Posted by CleoCat View Post
    I love jogging. I find it oddly relaxing for body and mind.
    Good! Me too, though I hate the term jogging, let's call it running, shall we? As long as you enjoy it and get relaxation from it then continue to do it when the mood strikes. If a physical activity is fun, engages you, makes you feel good, relaxes and rejuvenates you (despite being physically taxing to an extent), etc... then it's play -- and play is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by CleoCat View Post
    I guess i was expecting to lose some BF with all that activity. What got me into running in the first place is the impression i've got that most runners are pretty lean.
    This is faulty logic. A lot of runners are lean, that's true, and the better/elite runners are very lean, that's also true -- but these people aren't lean because they run, they run because they are lean. People tend to gravitate toward activities that they are suited for. The average NBA basketball player is probably around 6'6'', but you wouldn't say that they're all tall because they play basketball, you'd say they play basketball because they're tall (among other reasons).

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    +1 on Convict Conditioning. I'm working through the progressions - doing it about 2x per week. One day I do pushups and squats, the other day I do pullups and leg levers. I'm working bridges (level 1) in there slowly.

    On other days, I do my kettlebell, using the Viking Warrior Conditioning protocol (15 sec work/15 sec rest for 80 rounds, 40 minutes). I'm doing swings with a 20# KB one day, snatches with a 15# DB the other day. I'm up to 40 rounds now - and believe me, this is plenty!

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    Running is a great way to release stress and tension (if you enjoy it). Running can be very beneficial too. Try to keep your heart rate out of the chronic cardio zone (less then 75% max heart rate) and limit yourself to only running 3 times a week. Your muscles need time to recover and replace its energy stores. This is why your junk food frenzy seemed to help, junk carbs are usually simple carbs and go to storage much quicker.

    My advice is to keep running 3 times a week, keep your pace where you can say whole sentences. Your diet sounds fine (minus the junk hehe).

    Bob

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