1

votes

Is whey a useful supplement for women?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 27, 2013 at 5:25 PM

I am a female trying to lose fat/build muscle (5'5", 160lb). I crossfit 2-3 times a week, and walk every night. I have experimented with different macros across the board, but have seen no recent change in my body comp.

My next step is to consider upping my calories (I currently eat around 1200-1500). Upping carbs and fat is easy. Upping protein I'm struggling with. I get sick of eating meat. And I'm dropping eggs for a while to see if I have an allergy.

So I was looking into some whey protein powders. My concern is that it's always men promoting whey. I already bulk up VERY easily. I really don't want to add that much more muscle! I just want to get rid of the layer of fat on top, lean out.

Dairy/cream always makes me gain weight (exception is butter). Will whey have the same effect? I feel like I am fighting my body. It wants to be a female bodybuilder. :)

Do any of you ladies routinely use whey? Do you have the same rxn to dairy, but are ok with whey? Does it help you lean out, or cause you to put on mass? -Thanks

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on March 27, 2013
at 11:16 PM

I'm no expert so happy for others to disagree. I wouldn't argue with HIIT instead of longer cardio, indeed as you say, it may be better, it's weights that I think is clearly not a good idea for people who bulk up easily and don't want to. Same with protein/BCAAs and so on, why do them if she's already putting too much muscle on? Doesn't make any sense to me. With you on the IF/leangains aspects, I'm just suggesting a milder version, no need to go the whole hog straightaway.

33d2658072e6bbaeb97c74ae1d67e461

(10)

on March 27, 2013
at 11:10 PM

I do take the aminos and i have plenty of energy through my workouts. I think because I'm low on carbs due to being fasted I can't get as many reps as normal. But I do indeed have plenty of energy. I think when my aminos run out I'm gonna try and go without them though as I don't think they make that much of a difference. Try pulling the trigger on IF if you don't feel it works just stop. But it could really be beneficial for you. Nothing to lose but something to gain.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on March 27, 2013
at 11:10 PM

My suggestions would be; eat less meals, same total food but in 2 or 3 bigger meals instead of 4 smaller ones, e.g. 11am, 7pm. Some people say fasted workouts are good for fat loss, you could try that. Vary your daily calories more, so 1000 or less 2 or 3 days a week, make up the difference on other days so same total for the week. Eat more carbs, not more protein, probably best in the evening on workout days or evenings generally, but experiment and see what works for you. I'm not an expert, but you could try and see if any of these help.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:50 PM

Go for it. Google search "Dr. John Berardi G-Flux." It might make the notion of upping calories a lot easier for you if it makes you nervous at all.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:31 PM

Thanks Dawkland. I have looked into IF quite a bit, but never pulled the trigger. There is some concern about its effects on female hormones. I thought of trying the shorter fast rec for women (I think it's 14/10). And stretch it from there. Do you take the BCAAs and work out fasted like they rec? Do the BCAAs really keep you going when you are working out fasted? Honestly, part of the reason I haven't done IF is that my brain is getting boggled from all the different ideas: carbs or fast before workout? protein or carbs after workout? etc. So many variables, lol.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:09 PM

Yes, I'm pretty good on o-3. I do not really vary my caloric intake. Haven't gone down that road yet. Any good resources? I usually aim for 50-75g carbs, though lately I have been under 50, with no effect. I tend to eat them in the morning, with the exception of the night before I crossfit when I eat a sweet potato. I eat 4 meals a day: 8am (pre-workout), 11am (post-workout), 4pm, and 7pm. I do not snack, and am truly not hungry for snacks. I was planning to add the whey to my post workout meal on those days. Does this spark any ideas?

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:05 PM

Yes, which makes me wonder - is 1200 cals not a deficit for me? I'm planning to go have a resting metabolic rate done so I can get some data on that.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:04 PM

No, I appreciate your input - I know you've seen all this from the inside. I really am one of those women on the genetic end of the bell curve who bulks - I've had guys in the gym ogling my biceps and quads, and not in THAT way! I've been eating at a caloric deficit for years, and it's done nothing. I've tried all macros I can think of from keto to PHD to paleo zone. Has no impact on weight. I'm going to try more calories, hoping it will put me over the threshold to exercise at a higher intensity.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 27, 2013
at 07:19 PM

It's not a miracle food for building muscle or anything, and I also don't think that it's anything that someone should intentionally avoid. It's another source of protein, that's about it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 27, 2013
at 07:18 PM

Yes. It won't make you fat or bulky unless you're eating a caloric excess. As a female you don't have to worry about getting "too muscular" because you don't produce sufficient amounts of natural Testosterone. 1 pound of muscle or more dense than 1lb of fat. SO if one thinks their getting too bulky, it's more than likely that they are just carrying excess body fat.

  • 32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

    asked by

    (5802)
  • Views
    1.2K
  • Last Activity
    1432D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers

1
33d2658072e6bbaeb97c74ae1d67e461

on March 27, 2013
at 09:20 PM

I must respectfully disagree with PaleoRocks. Slow jogging (or any form of slow sustained cardio) is not the answer to fat loss. I want to provide you with a couple ideas that may be able to help. I'm using some myself right now to recomp/slight lean mass gain. Firstly check out HIIT or high intensity interval training. The research shows that it's the best form of cardio for fat loss. You're already doing crossfit which is pretty much a type of HIIT so I'd also suggest you look into intermittent fasting aka IF. leangains is a very good site even though i know you don't want to put on muscle. Check into eat stop eat which is another form of IF. There are some good sites for info on IF google it. I think IF combined with a paleo diet could be just you need to get you over the hump. And about your protein consumption I would increase it and at the same time decrease your carbs if you're having problems dropping fat. On workout days shoot for some carbs post workout fruit or maybe a sweet potato or two. On non-workout days the only carbs you should consume should be from fibrous veggies. But I'd emphasize to you IF, especially leangains. Leangains can also be used for fat burning not just muscle gain. Maybe shoot for a 20/4 (that means a 20 hour fast followed by a 4 hour feeding window) to optimize fat loss. Try and up your calories a bit and on lift days consume all 3 macros (probably take it easy on the carbs though) and on rest days mostly just consume protein and "good" fats. But to finally answer your initial question I'd say yes use the whey, Optimum Nutrition makes a high quality powder at a great price. I really hope this helps you out! Good luck and keep pushing towards your goals!

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:31 PM

Thanks Dawkland. I have looked into IF quite a bit, but never pulled the trigger. There is some concern about its effects on female hormones. I thought of trying the shorter fast rec for women (I think it's 14/10). And stretch it from there. Do you take the BCAAs and work out fasted like they rec? Do the BCAAs really keep you going when you are working out fasted? Honestly, part of the reason I haven't done IF is that my brain is getting boggled from all the different ideas: carbs or fast before workout? protein or carbs after workout? etc. So many variables, lol.

33d2658072e6bbaeb97c74ae1d67e461

(10)

on March 27, 2013
at 11:10 PM

I do take the aminos and i have plenty of energy through my workouts. I think because I'm low on carbs due to being fasted I can't get as many reps as normal. But I do indeed have plenty of energy. I think when my aminos run out I'm gonna try and go without them though as I don't think they make that much of a difference. Try pulling the trigger on IF if you don't feel it works just stop. But it could really be beneficial for you. Nothing to lose but something to gain.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on March 27, 2013
at 11:16 PM

I'm no expert so happy for others to disagree. I wouldn't argue with HIIT instead of longer cardio, indeed as you say, it may be better, it's weights that I think is clearly not a good idea for people who bulk up easily and don't want to. Same with protein/BCAAs and so on, why do them if she's already putting too much muscle on? Doesn't make any sense to me. With you on the IF/leangains aspects, I'm just suggesting a milder version, no need to go the whole hog straightaway.

1
D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

on March 27, 2013
at 07:44 PM

Yes I'd say you should give it a try. I've been using whey protein for years, as a way of keeping my protein intake up both before I started eating Primal and now. It's true that it is hard for girls to get 'bulky' but it does sound like you naturally have a mesomorph body type, which means you build muscle easily. I'd suggest maybe having a few sessions with a personal trainer who can help you come up with the best way for you to lose body fat primarily, without just building more muscle. Remember, if you're eating at a deficit it's pretty much impossible to gain muscle.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:05 PM

Yes, which makes me wonder - is 1200 cals not a deficit for me? I'm planning to go have a resting metabolic rate done so I can get some data on that.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on March 27, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Girls don't generally produce enough natural testosterone to ever get "too muscular." Think about it. 1lb of muscle is more dense than 1lb of fat, so, if you really are "too muscular," you'll actually appear smaller in clothes, and your silhouette won't be as wide without them. In other words, you'll occupy less space, which most girls are happy with. So, it is actually that girls mistake "too muscular" or "bulky" with excess body fat. Meaning, that they aren't "Toned" enough. When people say toned, they really mean muscular with a low body fat. What you would probably like to do is drop some body fat and "tone up?" IF this is your goal, just lift weights, move, and eat at a slight caloric deficit IF YOU WISH TO WEIGH LESS. If you just want to recomposition (shift away from body fat and towards muscle) and remain at the same weight, then eat at maintenance calories, adjust your macros, and exercise properly.

In fact, if you're really worried about getting "too bulky," lean protein (like whey for instance) is the LEAST likely of all macronutrients to do it. It is the most likely to make you more compact and dense with muscle. So, by all means go ahead and incorporate some whey into your diet. It's not a miracle food, nor is it something that only bodybuilders should eat. It's just a lean source of protein, little different than any other aside from the fact that it requires little digestion because it is so readily absorbed by the human body (has a biological vale of over 100. Higher then egg, and of course higher than fish, poultry, and beef). If you think you are getting too bulky, it is more than likely a calorie/macronutrient thing that needs rebalancing, not an omitting whey protein thing.

Hope that helps.

(I know I'm not a girl so may not be qualified to answer, but I saw that this question has been up for a while now and no one has decided to answer. Sorry if butting in was inappropriate- just trying to offer my two cents.)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:50 PM

Go for it. Google search "Dr. John Berardi G-Flux." It might make the notion of upping calories a lot easier for you if it makes you nervous at all.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:04 PM

No, I appreciate your input - I know you've seen all this from the inside. I really am one of those women on the genetic end of the bell curve who bulks - I've had guys in the gym ogling my biceps and quads, and not in THAT way! I've been eating at a caloric deficit for years, and it's done nothing. I've tried all macros I can think of from keto to PHD to paleo zone. Has no impact on weight. I'm going to try more calories, hoping it will put me over the threshold to exercise at a higher intensity.

0
1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

on March 27, 2013
at 08:36 PM

If you bulk up too easily you need to eat less protein, not more.

If you bulk up too easily you need to do less weights/resistance exercise, not more. Try cutting out 1 or 2 of the cross-fits and do more walking or slow jogging/cycling/whatever.

Do you get plenty of omega-3 (i.e. daily)? Do you vary your calorie intake through the week? How many carbs do you eat, and at what time of day? How many times a day do you eat and when?

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on March 27, 2013
at 11:10 PM

My suggestions would be; eat less meals, same total food but in 2 or 3 bigger meals instead of 4 smaller ones, e.g. 11am, 7pm. Some people say fasted workouts are good for fat loss, you could try that. Vary your daily calories more, so 1000 or less 2 or 3 days a week, make up the difference on other days so same total for the week. Eat more carbs, not more protein, probably best in the evening on workout days or evenings generally, but experiment and see what works for you. I'm not an expert, but you could try and see if any of these help.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 27, 2013
at 09:09 PM

Yes, I'm pretty good on o-3. I do not really vary my caloric intake. Haven't gone down that road yet. Any good resources? I usually aim for 50-75g carbs, though lately I have been under 50, with no effect. I tend to eat them in the morning, with the exception of the night before I crossfit when I eat a sweet potato. I eat 4 meals a day: 8am (pre-workout), 11am (post-workout), 4pm, and 7pm. I do not snack, and am truly not hungry for snacks. I was planning to add the whey to my post workout meal on those days. Does this spark any ideas?

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!