Wrestling with primal lifestyle...
Hi all I've been lurking the forums/site for a while now but finally decided to ask a few burning questions...
I made the transition to Primal in late August and have probably been doing it about 85-90% of the time since. My vegetable to meat intake ratio is probably something like 65/35. Before then, I was a low-fat vegan and had also more or less eliminated processed foods and sweets from my diet (the only "sweets" I consume now are fruits). I had a really hard time adjusting from burning carbs to burning fat and was extremely lethargic for about three to four weeks, but I think I eventually made it over the hump.
Since switching over to Primal I've noticed some changes - my body is significantly leaner, I rebuild muscle faster, my eyelashes and brows have grown thicker and longer, my teeth are cleaner and whiter, and some minor skin blotching disappeared. I've also lost a little bit of weight overall - although I am twenty-one years young and my weight fluctuates wildly (if I miss a meal or take a break from exercise for a couple of days I easily lose four to five pounds). However, the trade-off is that I've started to have sleep issues and am still not over this feeling general lethargy. It's not that I have trouble sleeping - I just seem to only be able to sleep 6.5-7 hours now (at most, and on a good night), and when I wake, I still feel tired and can't get back to sleep. To compensate, I have to take a nap somewhere in my day and that's often hard to schedule in as I have a busy lifestyle. When I was vegan I easily got eight hours and felt awake and present throughout the day.
I exercise about five times a week now. (When I was vegan it was more like six times a week, or even 13/14 days.) Two of those days I do HIIT for about 35-45 minutes, two of those days I do aerobic lifting exercises (with not-so-heavy weights, usually 8 lb barbells) for about the same amount of time, and one of those days I do tabata sprints for 15-20 minutes, or dance. On occasion I also participate in kickboxing. I really enjoy exercise but feel less motivated to do it now that I've switched over to Primal. On one hand, that's a good thing because it gives me more time to do other things, and it's true that I need to work less to maintain my physique. On the other hand I've grown to love and need the endorphin release that follows a good work-out.
I feel like my body should have figured it out by now but it hasn't... And I'm feeling like I should return to being vegan but I'm not quite ready to give up just yet... perhaps I need to add some supplements to my diet? Any thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated.
P.S. One last thing - and apologies if this is uncalled for - but my bowel movements have also been more difficult since switching to Primal... wondering if anyone has thoughts on this as well
Last edited by yourhopesandfears; 12-22-2012 at 09:36 AM.
8lb barbells.... exist? do you mean dumbbells? even so, that's pretty ridiculously light.
On the exercise bit, switch over to a heavier resistance training schedule and cut down on all the rabbit-like "hiit" you're doing. Try that for a few weeks.
Also, you basically admitted to being addicted to an endorphin high, so that's not good.
Haha Yes I meant dumbbells. Pretty outrageous... I admit I haven't tried the LHT segment of PBF, I'll do more research on that end. Is there a way to do that through body-weight training exclusively?
I forgot to mention that I do about 15-25 minutes a day of cycling uphill as well...
You can do LHT through bodyweight alone, look into Mark's Primal Blueprint Fitness, which is available as a free PBF, those are all strictly body-weight. It will be good for you to try a new routine, it seems to me right now you're too focused on "cardio" and you need to step away from it.
Originally Posted by yourhopesandfears
The daily cycling, is this for leisure or are you training? If it's just for the sake of exercise (or endorphin release) then again, I suggest you slow down a bit. You're probably training too much and eating too little. If you do more "slow" resistance training and take some time off the aerobic stuff and continue eating primal you may experience more positives from the diet.
Also, you didn't really mention what you're eating exactly, but you don't have to be eating tons of meat or animal products in general. You should certainly include them, but you can do so gradually. Also, since you're younger and clearly active, you don't have to go too low on carbs. Eat potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc, especially around your workouts. This advice is usually not given to people with lots of weight to lose, but you're not one of those people. Good luck.
Thanks again for your help.. Somehow I overlooked the PBF, but I'm really excited to test my fitness and go from there. I've always wanted to do more bodyweight training.
Also... I've been adding in more starches lately (sweet potatoes, white rice, bananas) - I'll let you know how it goes Last night I slept about 3 hours more than usual, and I'm wondering if it was just a fluke or if the carbs are taking effect already..?
The cycling is actually just because I live in a hilly area and don't have a car to get around So it's just quicker and often times more convenient to travel by bike. I could probably hike those hills on occasion if I just schedule it in, though.
Another question (for women maybe), since transitioning to primal my menstrual cycle has been out of whack. Before primal, I had a long cycle (about 36 days) and the period itself was light and short (4 days long, and only relatively heavy on one of those days). But after switching to primal it's been sort of on and off, coming and going on a whim. Over the last two months my period has come about six times and out of panic I got a pap and an ultrasound but all the results were normal. Any thoughts on this? I'm really only concerned if it poses a long term health risk or indicates something is wrong, but otherwise I'm fine with it (I don't find it to be too inconvenient).
EDIT 1/29/13: It's been a while but I just wanted to follow up and say that since switching over to a PBF routine my sleep schedule has been back on track. I occasionally do biphasic sleep intervals (forced by just drinking some more water than usual before going to sleep, so that I feel the urge to wake up and urinate some time during the night), but most of the time I can get a clean 7.5 hours of z's.
Exercising less feels surprisingly nice. Though I can do a pullup now, which has pretty much been unheard of in my lifetime
I'm still doing the daily uphill cycling, as it's still my go-to method of travel to class and work.
Last edited by yourhopesandfears; 01-29-2013 at 08:15 PM.