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Thread: Applying Fitness principles to your Diet page

  1. #1
    dilberryhoundog's Avatar
    dilberryhoundog is online now Senior Member
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    Applying Fitness principles to your Diet

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    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.
    Last edited by dilberryhoundog; 04-06-2013 at 04:17 PM.
    A little primal gem - My Success Story
    Weight lost in 4 months - 29kg (64 lbs)

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    Annieh's Avatar
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    Thanks dilberry houndog for these principles. I am one who likes to find what works, then it's all too easy to settle into a rut. I agree it probably applies to more than just exercise but also eating and any other activity you engage in. So I needed this reminder.

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    dilberryhoundog's Avatar
    dilberryhoundog is online now Senior Member
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    No worries. haha yeah i have found this adaptation theory (challenging your body, to force desirable adaptations) is a great way of improving your life, as you say. It's really been effective in my fat loss and in musculo-skeletal re-composition, now to find other area's it can apply.
    A little primal gem - My Success Story
    Weight lost in 4 months - 29kg (64 lbs)

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    picklepete is offline Senior Member
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    I can dig it.

    I keep seeing folks diagnose themselves with increasingly extreme metabolic fragility--long list of "stall" foods, precise daily allowances, etc. Without judging their veracity, I have to wonder how much of it is self-inflicted.

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    This is intriguing.

    There's a thread about the horrors of eating too much protein in a 24 hour period. What did Grok do? When he brought home a haunch of mammoth, everybody gorged until they couldn't eat any more, and then they slept for days, as any good predator would have done.

    Yesterday I was madly craving protein all day. I probably ate 3 times my normal target and at least twice my normal calories, mostly fat. I now weigh less than before I did that.

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    gosh ... I find this SO interesting! Thanks for sharing!
    35 yrs
    Pre-Challenge Weight: 219.5

    My Journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread37214.html

  7. #7
    dilberryhoundog's Avatar
    dilberryhoundog is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    This is intriguing.

    There's a thread about the horrors of eating too much protein in a 24 hour period. What did Grok do? When he brought home a haunch of mammoth, everybody gorged until they couldn't eat any more, and then they slept for days, as any good predator would have done.

    Yesterday I was madly craving protein all day. I probably ate 3 times my normal target and at least twice my normal calories, mostly fat. I now weigh less than before I did that.
    Yeah in my time lurking these boards I've seen a massive amount of discussion on what foods grok ate. It is one of the most common questions on this board:

    Is this food primal?


    mark even has a section of his blog that runs a particular food through the ringer to see if it pops out as primal fare. But I rarely, if ever, see the following question asked.

    Is this food primal? and How did grok eat it?

    This I see alot with people following the blueprint:
    They decide for themselves all the foods that they believe grok ate or simulating that he ate, for example... bulletproof coffee, is it primal? honey is it good or bad?. They go to great lengths to get this right (as can be seen by the great debates that rage on the forums), then they straight away go and apply this to a CW eating plan, that's been failing (to varying degrees) the same way for 30+ years, here's a few CW eating plans that come to mind:

    *You must eat 500 less calories than your average daily calorie expenditure every day to lose weight.
    *You must only eat 50-100 grams of carbs (can insert any other macro here) a day to lose weight.
    *You must eat only 3 meals a day to lose weight.
    *You must eat 30 minutes after excersise to gain muscle
    *You must IF every other day to lose weight.
    *I could go on

    What perplexes me is the sever lack of debate on "The way we eat primal foods and its effects on us, from an evolutionary point of view" meaning are our bodies expecting us to provide food to it in ways that differ from how the majority of people actually do provide food to it? my gut feeling is yes. Grok being a hunter gather would've had great variance in all aspects of his/her diet. Nothing would've been regimented or consistent. I'll elaborate with a list:

    *His daily intake of calories would've fluctuated wildly as he went through daily feasts and famines, from missed kills, having to do other tasks that day instead of foraging like traveling to new grounds , season food variations in his particular area, Luck, etc etc.

    *His daily macro ratios would've fluctuated wildly, some influences might have been; bringing down a big game animal and having to eat it (as you mentioned), coming across a grove of fruiting trees and staying a few days to feast on them, finding a big ground tuber, eating a range of small foods in a day like finding some insects (protein) then some berries (carbs).

    *His meal times would've fluctuated greatly, he could've ate just once in a day from a big game animal to hundereds of times if he was foraging while on the move. he would've ate any time of the day that an opportunity arose (yep that includes breakfast).

    Many other factors would've come into the great variance in groks diet but I'll leave it with that as this reply is getting long. So in summary while I think it is important to decide for yourself what grok ate and how you can apply that to modern day foods and their effect on the body through "gene expression" (as mark puts it). I believe it is equally important to decide for your self how grok ate and how you can apply that to a modern day lifestyle and how it also effects the way your body reacts through "gene expression". Some food for thought. hehe
    Last edited by dilberryhoundog; 04-04-2013 at 07:45 AM.
    A little primal gem - My Success Story
    Weight lost in 4 months - 29kg (64 lbs)

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    eKatherine's Avatar
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    Since I started experimenting with intermittent fasting and seeing the different ways in which it is practiced, I have come to the idea that despite the differences, all of them were activating some overlying principle. I think this is it.

    I have lost another .8 pounds, and an inch and a half combined around my waist and hip. I just did 30 regular pushups, 20 decline pushups with my feet on each of 2 different heights. All personal bests!

    By Jove, I believe I have it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by picklepete View Post
    I keep seeing folks diagnose themselves with increasingly extreme metabolic fragility--long list of "stall" foods, precise daily allowances, etc. Without judging their veracity, I have to wonder how much of it is self-inflicted.
    +1

  10. #10
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    I think you've really hit on something. I've thought about this from a different angle for quite some time... I believe our bodies were designed for randomness, and although our bodies may operate at their optimum with random access to food and exercise we crave consistency. So there in lies the rub; modern culture is all about providing consistency in products. It gives us comfort to know that no matter where we are we can go into a supermarket any where and the cereal or laundry soap we buy will be the same.

    My gut feeling is that tribal culture got their feeling of consistency (comfort) not from the foods they ate but rather from their culture itself, they knew that although their foods would change from day to day the way they lived, the people they lived with would be fairly predictable. They could look at their elders and see that their life would be pretty much the same. Today we live with more randomness and unpredictability which makes our lives much more stressful.

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