I have noticed alot of "help me I'm stuck, I'm eating a 500 calorie deficit but not losing any weight" threads on the forums lately and it got me thinking:
As I have lost over 50 pounds in three months, "where did I go right where these guys are going wrong".
I reckon I now have the answer, the following statement summises it.
Apply all the modern fitness principles to your diet and you will start getting results.
let me elaborate: (this could get long )
Over the last 4 months on my primal journey I have read and tried alot of books regarding the fitness side of Mark's blueprint. I started with PBF, then read Starting strength, then Convict conditioning, Never Gymless, The naked warrior, Building the gymnastic body, You are your own gym and now Overcoming gravity. These books have enlightened me greatly on how the musculo-skeletal system works and all the sure fire ways to getting your body robust as possible. robust meaning able to overcome challenges in your environment better and easier. I'll list a few things that have permeated through nearly all the books I've read above, that are the quintessential principles of fitness.
You only ever improve your body's composition by giving it new challenges/stresses to adapt to.
You will quickly lose those adaptations if they become unused, this is called atrophy.
If you train too much you will burn out. If you train to little, it is not enough to force adaptations. In short there is an optimal zone.
Body robustness requires work in alot of different area's. eg flexibility, strength, endurance, power, aerobic capacity.
If you train the same exercise (with same reps and sets) over and over you will quickly adapt to that exercise then go no further.
Some exercises get better results than others (eg a pullup v's a bicep curl)
So as I progressed with understanding the metabolic systems that my body possessed and how they worked, I started to see many parallels with the fitness principles mentioned above. This made me wonder "can I make my metabolic systems robust by following the same principles". following are some of the idea's I came across:
Firstly alot of my metabolic abilities had atrophied on a SAD diet. The ability of my body to make it's own glucose and apportion it correctly (ie between muscles or brain) was not needed as my blood was bathed in glucose constantly from all the carbs I ate. My ability to mobilize fat stores was not needed as I had energy on tap, so to speak.
Next I figured that some foods get better results in producing robustness than others, particularly the ones on mark's primal food list.
I then figured that metabolic system robustness also requires me to eat not too much or too little of these better foods. but I didn't know exactly how much these amounts where, so I did what the fitness experts tell you and went by feel and let my body tell me how much I needed (like feeling for over-training).
The next idea was to start challenging/stressing my metabolic systems so that it could improve its robustness further. I did this many ways, some include: Intermittent fasting (I varied this by the time the fast lasted for, when i started it, eg after dinner or before lunch, having no set schedule for when I fasted), changing how many meals a day I eat (anywhere from 2 to snacking all day), this also changed how much food a day I ate. I mixed up exercise eating (eg fasting before sprints/lifting, fasting after sprints/lifting, eating protein before/after sprints or lifting etc etc)
To also increase metabolic robustness I started eating different ratio's of macros per day (this applies to the fitness principle of working in different areas), some days it was vastly different. For example my father grows mangoes for a hobby and when they came in season I ate heaps of mangoes for a few days then have a break before he'd show up with more. Also if I have a successful hunt at the local organic butchers i might just eat all the delicious fresh meat for breakfast lunch and dinner then eat balanced the next few days. Some days are salad and veg days too.
One of the most important fitness >>> diet realizations I made (this applies to all those "help me, im stuck" threads) is if you try to consistently eat a certain macro ratio, or a certain calorie deficit, or a certain meal plan, you are effectively training the same exercise over and over, very soon your body will adapt to this and progress will slow, leaving your metabolism not very robust, and the fat getting harder and harder to lose. This will make you the same as the guy who just does 10 pushups a day for the rest of his life, yes he's better at pushups then the majority of people and will have some nice pecs and triceps. but he will never be as fit as the guy who does the complete body challenge and adaptation fitness programing.
So if your feeling stuck on the nutrition section of this blueprint, have a look at it from a fitness perspective, try to "train" your metabolism to be good at doing lots of things and doing them well. Kinda like how we want our physical bodies to be. Have a go see if it works for you. It definitely worked for me.
See post #7 for further discussion on how these principles applied to groks diet.