2

votes

Hack to below 10% body fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 07, 2012 at 8:07 AM

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.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:39 PM

I don't know much about the lean gains protocol, but I'm pretty sure it's different. I had a little more in there before explaining my typical day of eating and what I tweak when I want to gain or lean out, but I took it out after I was sure the OP had read it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 11:39 AM

^ is it? If you read it before I edited you probably wouldn't say it was lean gains style. Before I had my whole day laid out, but I just removed it after the OP read it, because I don't want all the haters getting free advice on how to get diced up. LOL. If you want to email me I can explain to you what I do that makes it different than lean gains- for one I train daily.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on June 29, 2012
at 11:29 AM

foreveryoung, sounds basically leangains style. i was 100% meat and fat for 5 months to heal my metabolism. i leaned out a bit and felt incredible, but got to 10%BF and plateaued. i switched to leangains 10 days ago. training 3x week heavy lifting; those days surplus calories, 350g sweet potato carbs and lean lean beef. on rest days, no carbs, high fat, beef or lamb fatty cuts, calorie restriction. all days IF from 8pm-12apm, workout fasted at 11am 10g bcaa. feel i can seemlessly switch from carb burining to fat burning between days and macros. no body comp changes yet but w/o BOOSTED!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:41 AM

I honestly don't know all the deep science as well as a lot of the people on this forum do, but I feel pretty confident that I know how to practically make all your anabolic periods muscle building ones and all of your catabolic periods fat burning ones, and how to shift the emphasis in favor of one or the other with proper food choices and timing.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:23 AM

I honestly don't know all of the deep science behind everything, but I know practically how to keep insulin levels low and stable and how to strategically spike them to trigger muscle anabolism post workout.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Mark Sisson and other paleo "gurus/experts" like to make it seem as though you are either a "sugar burner" (which is meant to imply, fat) or a "fat burner" (which is meant to imply lean). The truth is that these are (derogatory) marketing terms, and it's not an either/or thing. It is really just a seesaw-a delicate balance of being anabolic (muscle or fat building) or catabolic (muscle or fat losing). Theoretically insulin and glucagon trigger the switch, but it's not like one or the other is ever fully there or fully absent. YOu just have to MANAGE them, not eliminate them entirely.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:20 AM

Mark Sisson and other paleo "gurus/experts" like to make it seem as though you are either a "sugar burner" (which is meant to imply, fat) or a "fat burner" (which is meant to imply lean). The truth is that these are (derogatory) marketing terms, and it's not an either or thing. It is really just a seesaw, or a delicate balance of being anabolic (muscle or fat building) or catabolic (muscle or fat losing). Theoretically insulin and glucagon trigger the switch, but you it's not like one or the other is ever fully there or fully absent. YOu just have to MANAGE them, not eliminate them entirely.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:19 AM

Mark Sisson and other paleo "gurus/experts" like to make it seem as though you are either a "sugar burner" (which is meant to imply, fat) or a "fat burner" (which is meant to imply lean). The truth is that these are derogatory marketing terms, and it's not an either or thing. It is really just a seesaw, or a delicate balance of being anabolic (muscle or fat building) or catabolic (muscle or fat losing). Theoretically insulin and glucagon trigger the switch, but you it's not like one or the other is ever fully there or fully absent. YOu just have to MANAGE them, not eliminate them entirely.

1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Whoa mega-post! Thanks for this, mate. My workouts have been really varied lately, so I don't have my calorie and macro numbers dialed back in yet. I'll definitely work this into my new plan once I get everything settled. What exactly triggers the fat-burning "switch?" Is it just the carbs vs. fat?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 12:16 AM

I disagree with PrimalDanny, as he is subscribes to the mistaken belief that you cannot get leaner while increasing carbohydrate consumption.

Medium avatar

(1536)

on March 08, 2012
at 03:28 AM

Just a quick comment: I love how people are up-voting the "leangains" suggestion when he clearly states that he doesn't want to intermittent fast.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 07, 2012
at 03:03 PM

I'm with Danny...your rowing WILL suffer if you push this too hard.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:27 PM

Sounds like you'll be stuck with CW then. What's more important, losing bodyfat or being competitive?

Medium avatar

(1536)

on March 07, 2012
at 11:26 AM

How low are your carbs? I've heard of a lot of people (especially athletes) that busted out of plateaus by upping their carb intake. I'm doing the same thing right now. I've decreased my protein intake to eating 1gram per lb of lean body mass instead of 1gram per pound of body weight and I've upped the carbs on workout days to around 200 grams instead of hitting below 100 like I was before. Strength gains have gone up and I lost 2 lbs

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 07, 2012
at 09:51 AM

Try Leangains. 1 more to go.

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4 Answers

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4
E1c41fc9d29cec2c3066e000c9562d92

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.

best answer

3
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

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.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:23 AM

I honestly don't know all of the deep science behind everything, but I know practically how to keep insulin levels low and stable and how to strategically spike them to trigger muscle anabolism post workout.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:41 AM

I honestly don't know all the deep science as well as a lot of the people on this forum do, but I feel pretty confident that I know how to practically make all your anabolic periods muscle building ones and all of your catabolic periods fat burning ones, and how to shift the emphasis in favor of one or the other with proper food choices and timing.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:19 AM

Mark Sisson and other paleo "gurus/experts" like to make it seem as though you are either a "sugar burner" (which is meant to imply, fat) or a "fat burner" (which is meant to imply lean). The truth is that these are derogatory marketing terms, and it's not an either or thing. It is really just a seesaw, or a delicate balance of being anabolic (muscle or fat building) or catabolic (muscle or fat losing). Theoretically insulin and glucagon trigger the switch, but you it's not like one or the other is ever fully there or fully absent. YOu just have to MANAGE them, not eliminate them entirely.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:20 AM

Mark Sisson and other paleo "gurus/experts" like to make it seem as though you are either a "sugar burner" (which is meant to imply, fat) or a "fat burner" (which is meant to imply lean). The truth is that these are (derogatory) marketing terms, and it's not an either or thing. It is really just a seesaw, or a delicate balance of being anabolic (muscle or fat building) or catabolic (muscle or fat losing). Theoretically insulin and glucagon trigger the switch, but you it's not like one or the other is ever fully there or fully absent. YOu just have to MANAGE them, not eliminate them entirely.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 11:39 AM

^ is it? If you read it before I edited you probably wouldn't say it was lean gains style. Before I had my whole day laid out, but I just removed it after the OP read it, because I don't want all the haters getting free advice on how to get diced up. LOL. If you want to email me I can explain to you what I do that makes it different than lean gains- for one I train daily.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Mark Sisson and other paleo "gurus/experts" like to make it seem as though you are either a "sugar burner" (which is meant to imply, fat) or a "fat burner" (which is meant to imply lean). The truth is that these are (derogatory) marketing terms, and it's not an either/or thing. It is really just a seesaw-a delicate balance of being anabolic (muscle or fat building) or catabolic (muscle or fat losing). Theoretically insulin and glucagon trigger the switch, but it's not like one or the other is ever fully there or fully absent. YOu just have to MANAGE them, not eliminate them entirely.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on June 29, 2012
at 11:29 AM

foreveryoung, sounds basically leangains style. i was 100% meat and fat for 5 months to heal my metabolism. i leaned out a bit and felt incredible, but got to 10%BF and plateaued. i switched to leangains 10 days ago. training 3x week heavy lifting; those days surplus calories, 350g sweet potato carbs and lean lean beef. on rest days, no carbs, high fat, beef or lamb fatty cuts, calorie restriction. all days IF from 8pm-12apm, workout fasted at 11am 10g bcaa. feel i can seemlessly switch from carb burining to fat burning between days and macros. no body comp changes yet but w/o BOOSTED!

1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:14 AM

Whoa mega-post! Thanks for this, mate. My workouts have been really varied lately, so I don't have my calorie and macro numbers dialed back in yet. I'll definitely work this into my new plan once I get everything settled. What exactly triggers the fat-burning "switch?" Is it just the carbs vs. fat?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:39 PM

I don't know much about the lean gains protocol, but I'm pretty sure it's different. I had a little more in there before explaining my typical day of eating and what I tweak when I want to gain or lean out, but I took it out after I was sure the OP had read it.

2
3fb16f0a20034a95ab674f14c47ddeeb

(40)

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

2
9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

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.

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