I've followed most of the paleo principals for a while, and recently went full paleo (cut dairy and rice/oatmeal) with great results. I'm around 10% body fat now, and I am wondering if there is anything more I can be doing to get below that.
I've heard about reducing nuts and carbs, and I've tried both without any noticeable effect. Do I just have to resort to a larger calorie deficit? Intermittent fasting is out due to my training schedule (competitive rower), and I'm reluctant to cut carbs significantly for the same reason.
Male, 6'1", 200lb, training (weights & sprints/hiit) 3-5 days/week.
asked byCorbab (2934)
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on March 07, 2012
at 01:41 PM
Getting below 10%, I would definitely recommend against cutting carbs significantly. (I may even suggest increasing them.) Cutting nuts would help, hard to tell how much calories we get from those tiny things.
If you want a guarantee that you'll drop below 10%, you will have to count calories, and you'll have to cut calories only very slightly, (250-500). Calories count, especially trying to reach single digit bf%. You are getting to the point where the body will do whatever it can to hold on to its last fat storage. Dieting below that level is very much a marathon, if you don't want to lose muscle at the same time.
You could implement something of a cyclical plan and see how that works for you. Some people claim great results. It basically comes down to always eating high protein, and then alternating between high fat on non-workout days, and high carb on workout days. (On high carb days, you are basically doing carb refeeds, just a lot more often than once a week. Keeps leptin going strong, and replenishes glycogen for your next workout.) On the high carb days you'll want to limit fat to something like <20% (<45-50g), and on high fat days, you'll want to limit carbs to about the same (<20%, <80-100g). I would also add to that, doing less of a calorie deficit, or none at all on workout days.
So the minimum you'll cut in a week, if working out say 5 days and maintaining a 250 calorie deficit on those days and 500 on the others, is 2250. That is a little more than half a pound a week. And that is exactly what you want. Depending on random factors, you may squeeze out a pound a week at this bf%, but I would be hesitant to push it and risk some muscle.
It would help to keep some measurements, whether by choosing a place of body fat and taking a made up caliper measurement weekly to watch it go down, or measuring your waist, or stepping on the scale every 2 weeks. (Make sure to keep scale measurements the same, e.g. the day after a high carb day for instance. Glycogen stores add a lot of weight, and can cause huge fluctuations.)
At 10%, I'm sure you already look great. Getting down below that are the finishing touches to a lot of hard work, it takes time.
Also, if you get the chance during off-season, experiment with a leangains approach, or intermittent fasting. See how it affects your workouts. (It doesn't harm mine in any way.) Then you have a recipe for easy single digit maintenance.
on June 29, 2012
at 12:04 AM
Hi. You don't need to "cut out nuts" or "try intermittent fasting" like 90% of the people on here think you need to do. All you need to do is properly time your meals and the macro ratios of each meal. Also, you don't even need to create a calorie deficit. You can create a very slight surpluss even, and with the correct training stimulus, you can increase muscle mass and either keep your body fat constant or reduce it slightly- both ways will result in a reduction in body fat percentage.
My suggestion would be to first, no matter what, consume quickly digesting carbs post workout with a clean protein source (dextrose/gatorade/pedialite all work great, as do either whey protein or BCAAs + glutamine). If you don't like supplementing like that, Greek yogurt and a banana or berries work great also. Within 2 hours following that small post workout replenishment, consume a balanced meal with a some starchy carb (such as eggs/omelette with a japanese sweet potato- it's what I do).
You could either train fasted in the morning with BCAAs + glutamine (what I do) or you could eat a small meal pre workout if you wish. This small meal could be a Greek yogurt with fruit or sweet potato and eggs- really anything that's not going to fill you up and something that has both protein and carbs, or just a clean proven source.
Pre workout (first thing in the morning), I mix 5g beta alanine, 5g BCAAs, 5g creatine, and 5g glutamine into 1 packet of crystal light with 120mg caffeine.
I hope that helps you out some, and, as you can see, you can cycle your carbs and calories (your macronutrients) on a meal by meal basis, and change which state you're in (fat burning or anabolic/muscle building) periodically throughout the day. You don't have to do all Sisson 100% fat burning mode all the time, because you'll never improve your athletic performance if you never let yourself become seriously anabolic. Also, you don't just eat carbs and protein all day long, because you'll never let yourself burn fat. Just manipulate these macros throughout the day based upon your activities.
on March 07, 2012
at 02:57 PM
Some of this has been mentioned but if you're looking at hitting sub 10% after having been on paleo for quite a bit you'll find cycling carbs or strategically eating carbs (post workout/early in the day) a solid route to dropping your body fat without necessarily changing your overall macro profile.
I followed shredded at last (modified for paleo/ and little to no supplements besides fish oil) and went from 12% to 8% in about 3 weeks. Though I was doing crossfit met cons 4 times a week (to be clear i was doing crossfit 4 times a week for about 3 months before following shredded at last). link text
on March 07, 2012
at 02:18 PM
I'm 6 feet at 190lbs and I'm barely at 9% according to my last professional measurement. Lean gains caused my adrenals to go nuts and increasing carbs quickly adds muscle to my frame. If I'm careful to keep my carb low and eat them early on workout day and control my stress well I can dip below 190 for a bit. Shortly there after though my sleep starts to suffer. My body definately has a set point that it doesn't like to go below.