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Thread: Low Carbs and Ectomorphic Body Composition page

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    BarefootCoach's Avatar
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    Low Carbs and Ectomorphic Body Composition

    Primal Fuel
    Hi!

    I'm not new to the Primal Blueprint, and I have read much of Mark's (and related) material. For me, this is clearly the most common sense approach to diet, fitness and lifestyle - and obviously the research behind it easily stacks up.

    HOWEVER: I am struggling with the practical application of this science. I have a largely ectomorphic body type (not purely... I'm somewhere in between ecto and mesomorph, but closer to ectomorph). Thus I am tall and slim - 6ft, 168lbs approximately.

    Since cutting down my carbs to approximately 150g per day, largely from vegetables - much of my body has slimmed down more than before. I do a 30-40 minute high intensity weights workout 3 times per week, and average low level cardio.

    Despite all this, I'm struggling to put on much muscle, and I just can't get rid of my belly fat. If I cut down carbs even more I lose too much weight, and if I ought to increase my carb intake, what type of carbs should I eat?! I don't want even more of a belly!

    If anyone can offer advice on this, I'd much appreciate it :-)

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    It's very difficult for carbs to be directly converted to fat. For someone who performs high intensity activity several times per week, you should not be cutting carbs, especially if you're trying to put on muscle.

    I think the first step for you is to figure out what you really want to do. It's very difficult to put on muscle and lose fat simultaneously, so I would say choose one or the other. Also, keep in mind that putting on muscle will make you look more muscular, which should improve your overall appearance, even if you still have a bit of belly fat.

    So, if you're trying to put on muscle, don't cut the carbs.
    My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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    Yep sounds like more food in general is required to put on muscle.

    Dont forget enough protein and some fat too.

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    Ok thanks jakejoh10 and EatMoveSleep... that makes sense. My diet at the moment is largely fats and proteins, so no problem there! What type of carbs would you recommend? Obviously I'll have to eat a whole lot of vegetables to make up the numbers! Things like potatoes and oats OK? I've tended to avoid all grains so far, but they seem to be a good source of carbs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarefootCoach View Post
    Things like potatoes and oats OK? I've tended to avoid all grains so far, but they seem to be a good source of carbs...
    What I eat for higher carbs are potatoes ( peeled), sweet potatoes other root veg, fruit and some white rice ( yes a grain - plenty of Carb there but very low in toxins). I don't eat other grains.

    Mark's take on Rice:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-rice-unhealthy/

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    I'm a Ectomorph about your size and its hard to gain much muscle...I would suggest you drop all cardio stuff if your trying to muscle up...its worth a try. For me the cardio/aerobic training and strength/muscle building conflict with each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarefootCoach View Post
    Ok thanks jakejoh10 and EatMoveSleep... that makes sense. My diet at the moment is largely fats and proteins, so no problem there! What type of carbs would you recommend? Obviously I'll have to eat a whole lot of vegetables to make up the numbers! Things like potatoes and oats OK? I've tended to avoid all grains so far, but they seem to be a good source of carbs...
    Potatoes, rice, and oats are my go-to. If you don't react well to oats, you can stick to the potatoes, rice, and fruits/vegetables.
    My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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    Awesome, cheers guys. I suppose that having read so much on here and on various paleo / primal websites about the nature of carbs, I got a little bit anxious about increasing them again!

    So what What's the average in grams that you guys eat daily? As well as increasing them generally in my daily diet - is it good to eat some carbs before or after a workout (with protein shake) for maximum benefit to muscle growth?

    jakejoh10 - I love your blog! Great stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarefootCoach View Post
    So what What's the average in grams that you guys eat daily? As well as increasing them generally in my daily diet - is it good to eat some carbs before or after a workout (with protein shake) for maximum benefit to muscle growth?
    Hi there, I eat carbs for replenishing glycogen stores after intense WO days. I don't really count, I eat until I am really full on most days. Sometimes I skip a meal (I eat once a day usually so skipping a meal means no food for ~ 48 hours). I prefer potatoes and starchy veggies. I eat lots of fruits these days because the season is full of delicious stuff. Rice sometimes but I don't limit the amount. Macro counting too precisely is boring and somewhat stressing because you give it more importance than it really should have. Work out good, eat well, rest well and have fun with the people you love. That's the key to health.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkJames View Post
    Hi there, I eat carbs for replenishing glycogen stores after intense WO days. I don't really count, I eat until I am really full on most days. Sometimes I skip a meal (I eat once a day usually so skipping a meal means no food for ~ 48 hours). I prefer potatoes and starchy veggies. I eat lots of fruits these days because the season is full of delicious stuff. Rice sometimes but I don't limit the amount. Macro counting too precisely is boring and somewhat stressing because you give it more importance than it really should have. Work out good, eat well, rest well and have fun with the people you love. That's the key to health.
    Yeah - what he says
    Actually I rarely fast for 48 (hardcore )- but have done it a few times 52 hrs the longest.

    I normally eat one meal on weekend days and skip breakfast on week days - normally get two meals in and a snack.

    ATM Doing the higher carb and more food on lifting days - less carb and food on rest days - lift 3 or 4 times a week. Leangains style - Jake knows more about that.

    Muscle being slowly added with minimal fat.

    I did keep a macro log for a while but that was for a short time to 'calibrate the system' - now I just eat no weighing/measuring. One thing I can remember was 1 was aiming for about 140g of protien everyday as I wanted to reach 70kg from 66kg ( I got to about 72kg - 158lb starting at about 145lb)

    The weekend longer fasting seems to cut some of the fat and leave the muscle in place - no hunger doing it with some coffee.

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