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Thread: 6 Weeks Since Going Primal and Have LOST 5 LBS of MUSCLE & ZERO FAT! page

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    alika's Avatar
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    6 Weeks Since Going Primal and Have LOST 5 LBS of MUSCLE & ZERO FAT!

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    I'm a 38-yr-old female, 5'5'', 130 lbs, 26.5% body fat, trying to get to around 20% body fat (or less!) and have been following the Primal Blueprint guidelines for about 6 weeks and have lost a whopping 5 POUNDS of MUSCLE and ZERO FAT!!! I use the high tech scale at my gym and it's always been consistent for me in the past. When I've done Conventional Wisdom's typical calorie reduction diets in the past, I've always lost fat and maintained muscle. I've been doing Yoga, Body Pump (strength training), walking, and a little Zumba & H.I.I.T. but I stopped doing my usual Spin class and Boot Camp since going Primal. It's one thing to not lose fat, but losing muscle is scaring me, especially since I've never lost this much at one time. And of course the low-carbs have made me fatigued beyond my usual levels. I've been pretty miserable and want to see some positive results after all this hard work! HELP!

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    Are you eating at least a pound of meat per day or thereabouts? At your height, a little less might be okay, but why risk it?

    What exactly are you eating anyway?


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    Hi, I am curious too what you've been eating? I know myself and I couldn't stick to any plan of eating if on most days I felt miserable. It sounds like your pretty active... it's great your gym has a high tech scale, but (besides feeling miserable) how does your body look and feel? Do see any changes at all?

    I'm mostly just curious. I know this WOE works for me (at least in the past)... I tried a different way for the last ten months that has brought about results for others, but when it came to me it backfired, bad. I'm not sure that there's a one size fits all WOE?

    Best of luck! Keep posting~
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    I come from a semi-vegetarian background, so eating tons of meat has been a challenge for me, but I've been aiming for around 70 grams of protein a day. This includes mostly fish, chicken, turkey, and bacon (!). After 4 weeks, I added in a high-quality whey protein powder to use on occasion as well as goat yogurt/cheese and of course I'm a huge fan of nuts/nut-butters (which I know is more fat than protein, but still). I've been trying to aim for an average of 15% carbs, 25% protein, 60% fat. Since carbs are my weakness, sometimes that percentage creeps up, but it's in the form of fruit (mostly berries)--I haven't touched any breads or pastas or crackers or cookies!

    As for how I FEEL, it does seem as though my pants are ever-so-slightly roomier. I do feel a bit weaker and don't have the stamina I used to have, but not sure if this is psychological or the result or my low-carb regimen. Sorry, what is WOE?


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    Last edited by alika; 05-30-2013 at 10:52 AM.

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    Sounds like you need more protein. 70 grams isn't much, especially if you're working out and trying not to lose muscle. You won't lose muscle with adequate protein.

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    I was going by Sisson's suggestion to eat around .7 of your total lean body mass (mine used to be 100, but now the scale says 95). Anyway, I'm sure more protein wouldn't hurt, it's just hard for me to get psyched up to shovel it in. I'm assuming it's not advisable to consume tons of protein by way of dairy and whey powder and bacon (although I could easily do that!).

    Also, I find Sisson's fitness guidelines a bit ambiguous. On one hand he says to avoid Chronic Cardio (thus I stopped spinning and boot camp), on the other hand he says if you're a "gym rat," it's ok to do strength-training 2-3 times a week with some sprints and hard walks/hikes/play time, etc. (which seems like a lot more than just a few casual strolls around the 'hood and a couple bouts of lifting heavy things). He also says to do what you love to do--well, what if you love to do cycle classes? Luckily, that is not an issue for me, but I DO love yoga, and it's taken me a long time to find that and get into it, so I'm not about to drop that from my life right now. But if I shouldn't be doing weight-training classes, I would be fine doing something else (like a head stand!).

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    I don't care how high tech the scale is, the only way to accurately get your body fat percentage calculated is in one of those body pods. Screw the scale, and focus on how you feel. If you feel crappy doing low-carb, don't do it. It sounds like you're pretty active, so it shouldn't be an issue for you to eat more starchy carbs (potatoes, rice, as long as they agree with you) and/or fruit. The major points are: eat animal products, used safe saturated fats, drop grains (gluten being most important to get rid of), and tweak everything else to what suits you.

    I think what Sisson means about fitness is that if you're already really big on going to the gym, there's no reason to stop, but you shouldn't be running your heart at capacity at every workout. Sprints are enough to work things. Have you read the free Primal Fitness ebook? There is no reason for you to stop doing yoga (that's not cardio) or strength training (again, not cardio). I don't think you could make either of those activities chronic cardio even if you tried.
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    As active as you are, imo, I would up your protein intake to closer to 1g protein/lb lean body mass....
    Oh, and...yeah...screw that high tech scale.


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    Listen, the usual way to calculate lean body mass is simply taking your total weigth and subracting the amount of fat, meaning you are left with Muscle AND water. This is probably the way the scale at your gym measures aswell. I would guess you probably only lost water, you might even have gained muscle. 5 pounds of water weight is not much, it's perfectly normal, after my carb refills I do once in a while I gain more than 5 pounds of water easily.

    Now if you only lost water why have you not lost fat? Maybe you are simple eating too much, you mention nuts. Nuts are pretty healthy and primal but they still contain A LOT of calories and it's easy to overeat on them.

    If i'm not right about this and you actually have lost muscle I would say you are doing one or more of the following:
    Not eating enough protein
    Overtraining and not eating enough carbs to refill your glycogen stores (Mark clearly says that if you train hard you need some healthy primal-approved carbs)
    Not sleeping enough
    Last edited by Whomba; 06-01-2013 at 02:57 AM.

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