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Athlete, paleo not working?

Answered on November 11, 2013
Created November 01, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Hey everyone,

So I'm an athlete and before in my past I've used A LOT of steel cut oats mixed in with my HIIT and strength training (which would be a mid-high level).

When I was absolutely loading up the oats (3 cups per day) as my main carb source coupled with healthy fats, good meats, etc. I was making a lot more strength gains, my libido was 10x higher, and I kept on muscle mass much easier. On top of that my body fat was much lower.

I've been eating tons of potaotes, sweet potatoes, white rice, meat, eggs, coconut oil, butter, veggies, etc. and I just can't seem to keep muscle, and I'm just fatter now.

Anyone else experienced anything similar? I feel alright, but my athletic results just are not as good as they were with steel cut oats I feel like.

Am I doing something wrong? I'd like the stay paleo..the science behind it is good, it makes a lot of sense to me.. but the low body fat percentage from the low GI carbs, the high libido, greater muscle mass from the steel cut oats was great.

Really would appreciate some input.

Medium avatar

(0)

on November 04, 2013
at 01:08 PM

Libido and depression issues, it sounds like you need magnesium AND zink (zink regulates testo, if you work out a lot your body rensa to get drained of zink) take 120 mg a day of zink for a while. What climate do you live in. Depression is quite commonly caused by deficits in vitamine D. At least here in the Nordic countries. You get it from direct sun or fatty fisch or pork fat. Try a vitamin D3 supplement incase you think you might lack vit. D

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 04, 2013
at 12:55 PM

Preferable to get it from food, don't you think?

Medium avatar

on November 04, 2013
at 01:27 AM

I butter them when I can. :) I'd say 50% end up being buttered, and 50% don't.

Medium avatar

(624)

on November 04, 2013
at 01:14 AM

10 yams is AMAZING. I wish I had the sort of digestive system to manage that. I get pretty stuffed off one large yam with about an ounce of butter and liberal seasonings/salt. Do you eat the yams plain? Maybe it's easier to digest...

Medium avatar

on November 04, 2013
at 01:07 AM

I don't keep track of calories because I am to maximize my calories without restraint. I was eating ADEAD a lot of days, some days up to 10 yams, some days a ton of mashed potatoes or whatever was available. I ate a lot of white rice in the form of sushi. Only been on for 2 weeks..

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 02:51 PM

Or just take a magnesium supplement and see how you feel.

Medium avatar

(15)

on November 02, 2013
at 01:16 PM

Yeah buckwheat is a great source of magnesium. You may digest it better if you soak the buckwheat in water for 24 hours.

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 01:15 PM

Hey Bukowski, thanks for the response. The thing is, oats definitely help me build muscle and increase my testosterone levels. However, I also have lingering health issues such as fatigue, dark circles, allergies, mild depression sometimes (although I've been getting better) and mild digestive issues that I would trade for a less muscular body and a more normalized libido. Also, I'm wondering if I'm just not getting enough calories, so I'm going to try buckwheat instead of oats since it is a psuedo-grain. I'm thinking just because it works, doesn't mean I can't find a better way.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 02, 2013
at 04:34 AM

"Does buckwheat have the same digestive problems..." don't know, give the buckwheat (bw) a trial, & please post up your findings (here or under your other post).

bw & oats seem to have similar fibre & carb numbers, by weight. (usda has no info on starch).

bw is lower in fat & hence lower in cals.

oats also quickly exceed the rda for manganese (which is prob not a good thing) ie. 1cup=7.7mg (383% rda), whereas 1 cup bw=2.2mg manganese.

all uncooked numbers (i think), from nutritiondata.com

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 02, 2013
at 04:30 AM

don't know, give the buckwheat (bw) a trial, & please post up your findings (here or under your other post).

bw & oats seem to have similar fibre & carb numbers, but usda has no info on starch.

bw is lower in fat & hence lower in cals.

oats also quickly exceed the rda for manganese (which is prob not a good thing) ie. 1cup=7.7mg (383% rda), whereas 1 cup bw=2.2mg manganese.

all uncooked numbers (i think) from nutritiondata.com

Medium avatar

(238)

on November 02, 2013
at 01:33 AM

I love buckwheat, grew up eating it all the time. No digestive issues at all with it. Best with mushrooms, onion, ck stock

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 01:22 AM

Thanks for the advice samc, much appreciate. Still weighing my options, might try buckwheat instead of oats depending on how much easier it is digested than quinoa and compared to oats. Quinoa failed miserably at doses of 2 cups a day.

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 01:21 AM

Hey red, IF doesn't seem to work for me as it's tough on the adrenals. Also same thing with low carb at all. But you have a good point I may need to give it a while longer, it has only been 2 weeks! The main issue I have been having is not being as muscular without the oats and the libido as well (not bad, but it was through the roof with oats!).

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 01:19 AM

Hey Daz, thanks for the advice man! I didn't realize buckwheat could provide as a potential replacement. Does buckwheat have the same digestive problems that quinoa can bring for some people? If I try to eat an equivalent amount of quinoa as oats (2-3cups/day) it just comes out undigested. Do you know if this a common issue with buckwheat or is it more easily assimilated? I'll continue to research on it.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 01, 2013
at 10:34 PM

have you ever tried buckwheat as an alternative to oats. i don't know it they 'do the same job' or not. & i cannot comment personally, as i have never really eaten either.

I know Jaminet rates buckwheat better than oats in his book, it gets a B (oats gets a D).

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7 Answers

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on November 11, 2013
at 06:11 AM

An athlete? What level?

Two weeks is too short a period to make any judgments. I suggest you go back to the oats are gradually transition to more & more paleo. It took me over 6 months to transition and I'm no athelete.

Unless you;re at the elite level and are interested in performance over your health..... consider remaking yourself into a fat burning machine (of course you'll still have your 'go to' glycogen)

Here's a guy who walks the talk & has done the research.

He's an ME undergrad and then an MD. A high performing amateur athlete (swam SoCal to Catalina...both ways, different days)

http://eatingacademy.com/dr-peter-attia

http://eatingacademy.com/how-a-low-carb-diet-affected-my-athletic-performance

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-i

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-interplay-of-exercise-and-ketosis-part-ii

http://eatingacademy.com/sports-and-nutrition/introduction-to-superstarch-part-i

http://eatingacademy.com/sports-and-nutrition/introduction-to-superstarch-part-ii

I've read his stuff, it mirrors what very little self experimentation I've done...plus he was much more disciplined in data keeping. He's a real scientist and he shares his data. :)

Check it out...you'll be impressed.

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on November 11, 2013
at 04:05 AM

When I started paleo I was training for my second 5k and pretty strict, and I would get WICKED yogurt cravings. And cottage cheese cravings. So I modified it to work for me. You'll have to be your own guinea pig and experiment what works for you. Find macros that work for you. Be adventurous and find new safe starches, like cassava or yucca or taro. Good luck!

0
Medium avatar

on November 04, 2013
at 12:08 PM

If you're only 2 weeks in you might actually not be fatter, try to let the body adapt first. Try to cut the oats but if impossible keep them. Don't eat all that rice and stuff during the first period. Let the body adjust first then start to experiment. When emptying your glycogen you will feel like you loose muscles and gain fat. But it's just the glycogen being empty. When I competed in fitness it was the same thing, felt like shit 2 weeks before a competition the body looked less lean and less muscular. But then when starting to increase intake again was when you really could see the result.

I think being an atlethe you need to time your transition to paleo to a period where you don't need to perform at top.

I was all drained of energy, felt like shit and was week as shit during transition. 3 weeks in I started to feel better again, strenght came back and also endurance. I'm still a beginner (5 weeks in) but I think it will actually increase performance in the long run.

0
Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 02:49 PM

What are your macro nutrients like? How much fat, protein, carbs and sugars are you getting?

How many calories?

You need to give us more info because you haven't said enough about your diet.

Have you weighed the food put everything in Cronometer for an overview?

How long have you been on the new diet?

Can you describe what you'd eat during a day?

Medium avatar

on November 04, 2013
at 01:27 AM

I butter them when I can. :) I'd say 50% end up being buttered, and 50% don't.

Medium avatar

(624)

on November 04, 2013
at 01:14 AM

10 yams is AMAZING. I wish I had the sort of digestive system to manage that. I get pretty stuffed off one large yam with about an ounce of butter and liberal seasonings/salt. Do you eat the yams plain? Maybe it's easier to digest...

Medium avatar

on November 04, 2013
at 01:07 AM

I don't keep track of calories because I am to maximize my calories without restraint. I was eating ADEAD a lot of days, some days up to 10 yams, some days a ton of mashed potatoes or whatever was available. I ate a lot of white rice in the form of sushi. Only been on for 2 weeks..

0
Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 12:54 PM

It's pretty idiotic to avoid something that obviously does you good just to fit in into some artificial concept of good and bad.

Besides that, oats are pretty rich in magnesium and your body might be missing that (potatoes, rice etc is pretty low in it).

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 01:15 PM

Hey Bukowski, thanks for the response. The thing is, oats definitely help me build muscle and increase my testosterone levels. However, I also have lingering health issues such as fatigue, dark circles, allergies, mild depression sometimes (although I've been getting better) and mild digestive issues that I would trade for a less muscular body and a more normalized libido. Also, I'm wondering if I'm just not getting enough calories, so I'm going to try buckwheat instead of oats since it is a psuedo-grain. I'm thinking just because it works, doesn't mean I can't find a better way.

Medium avatar

(0)

on November 04, 2013
at 01:08 PM

Libido and depression issues, it sounds like you need magnesium AND zink (zink regulates testo, if you work out a lot your body rensa to get drained of zink) take 120 mg a day of zink for a while. What climate do you live in. Depression is quite commonly caused by deficits in vitamine D. At least here in the Nordic countries. You get it from direct sun or fatty fisch or pork fat. Try a vitamin D3 supplement incase you think you might lack vit. D

0
E95808f00eeebde919f7351a9423d23b

on November 02, 2013
at 12:57 AM

Paleo is all about achieving optimum health that works best for you. Sometimes as athletes you need to make some exceptions to figure out what exactly works best for you.

How long have you kept oats out of your diet though? Sometimes it takes your body a while before you fully adjust metabolically and even improve from where you were at physically before paleo. A few weeks does not necessarily cut it. For instance, for me, it took about two months to adjust fully to intermittent fasting and exercising at a good intensity during the fast. Now I perform even better fasted, but it took a while before I became fat adapted to get to that point.

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 01:21 AM

Hey red, IF doesn't seem to work for me as it's tough on the adrenals. Also same thing with low carb at all. But you have a good point I may need to give it a while longer, it has only been 2 weeks! The main issue I have been having is not being as muscular without the oats and the libido as well (not bad, but it was through the roof with oats!).

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on November 01, 2013
at 10:09 PM

Even though I am pretty strict Paleo, I'd tell you that you should go back to Oats. I'm not so sure that potatoes are any big whoop over oats. Oats are pretty much gluten free if you want to buy them as such, assuming you care about avoiding all gluten. I'd sooner eat oats over white rice and I actually ate oatmeal everyday for a year prior to full on Paleo and lost weight and felt pretty good.

Medium avatar

on November 02, 2013
at 01:22 AM

Thanks for the advice samc, much appreciate. Still weighing my options, might try buckwheat instead of oats depending on how much easier it is digested than quinoa and compared to oats. Quinoa failed miserably at doses of 2 cups a day.

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