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maintaining muscle mass, losing fat and bicycle messengerhood

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 02, 2013 at 9:50 AM

i hope somebody could help me a bit, i'm struggling a lot with the paleo diet and my physical activities... i've been on paleo for 1,5 years now, having to ditch some bad habits at first, but since 6 months doing quite well in the diet department. i started exercising in the gym, doing a lot of low heart activities (i live a car-less life in the netherlands, i have to cycle everywhere). this way i've lost about 7 kilo's of fat, and also a bit of muscle mass, which i started to gain a bit again after i started taking whey proteine (i do not eat meat and i dont have a lot of money for fish etc.). recently though i started as a bicycle messenger, about three afternoons a week of real hardcore cycling. i ditched some low heart rate activities due to time constraints but kept on going lifting weights in the gym (2/3 times a week for 60 minutes). i started to lose more muscle mass and feeling very tired (low glycogen was my guess) so i started to eat more fruit during work and a little more sweet potato etc. afterwards. i also started to get very very hungry all the time, so on non cycling days (and ok, i admit, also cycling days) i changed my paleo routine to less dairy (though my stomach does not mind dairy, actually it cheers me on when i eat it), less nuts, more avocado, mayonnaise, eggs, also trying to avoid legumes and beans. but i just had a measurement and now i've lost muscle mass AND gained fat!!! i don't know what to do anymore, i liked paleo so much because i didnt have to mind about what i was eating (except of course the obvious no-no's like grains and a lot of sugar), but now i'm suspicious of everything i eat, again. i wonder if i eat to much carbs, i wonder if i ingest to much sunflower oil, which is in my mayonnaise, i wonder if i got fat from that half a pizza i ate once after a gruwesome workday of cycling, i wonder i wonder i wonder... it's hard to discuss this at the gym or with pro's because everybody thinks you're weird and trying to kill yourself when you eat a jar of mayonnaise a month... any suggestion/question is welcome!!! tnx! and oh yes, i'm a 31 year old woman (less testosterone, grrrr), with whom intermittent fasting does not sit well...

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on September 03, 2013
at 01:08 AM

Either carbs or fat is fine IMO. And BTW PortlandPandy, tofu is not a great choice from a Paleo perspective because it's made from soy, and not traditionally fermented soy but the gross modern processed soy. I'd go for more dairy, more carbs (potatoes/sweet potatoes/whatever), or more fat from oil, avocado, etc. before tofu.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on September 03, 2013
at 01:06 AM

OK, I remember feeling totally confident of that when I wrote that, but I can't for the life of me find the citation. I remember it had something to do with aerobic exercise during calorie restriction (or possibly fasting). Possibly I'm mixing something up in my memory?

3013d1b44fd7f65b4c8412f229d1d00e

on September 02, 2013
at 11:40 PM

Jikke, welcome to the forum. It looks like you're doing a modified keto plan. Instead of raising fat or carbs, I suggest you eat more protein--tofu? eggs? Some people have problems with one or all of those, but if *you* don't, they're a great source of protein for people who don't eat meat. Another option is to go back to dairy, as it seems to work well for you. I hope this helps.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on September 02, 2013
at 03:01 PM

oh man I know I read about this SOMEWHERE but I can't find it right now - will be back after work when I have time to go hunt down the reference.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 02, 2013
at 01:44 PM

Under what mechanism does the body prefer to break down muscle over body fat to induce GNG?

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3 Answers

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3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 02, 2013
at 11:29 AM

Why don't you eat meat? Sounds like too much activity, not enough fuel.

If you want to lift twice a week and do the bicycle messenger thing. You need lots of protein, lots of rest, and lots of calories.

The weight gain is likely just a hormonal imbalance thing.

0
Bd5f481fd3b27f02a174aa2c611b32c1

on September 02, 2013
at 09:38 PM

tnx for the answers (especially when they tell me to eat more :) but if i'm not eating enough, what should i eat then, more good carbs or more fat?

3013d1b44fd7f65b4c8412f229d1d00e

on September 02, 2013
at 11:40 PM

Jikke, welcome to the forum. It looks like you're doing a modified keto plan. Instead of raising fat or carbs, I suggest you eat more protein--tofu? eggs? Some people have problems with one or all of those, but if *you* don't, they're a great source of protein for people who don't eat meat. Another option is to go back to dairy, as it seems to work well for you. I hope this helps.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on September 03, 2013
at 01:08 AM

Either carbs or fat is fine IMO. And BTW PortlandPandy, tofu is not a great choice from a Paleo perspective because it's made from soy, and not traditionally fermented soy but the gross modern processed soy. I'd go for more dairy, more carbs (potatoes/sweet potatoes/whatever), or more fat from oil, avocado, etc. before tofu.

0
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on September 02, 2013
at 12:45 PM

i wonder if i got fat from that half a pizza i ate once after a gruwesome workday of cycling

No, you didn't. Half a pizza as a one-time thing will not make you fat.

At a guess? Your body is starving. Your activity levels sound really high, and I'd bet anything you aren't eating enough!

Your body is designed very well to keep you alive during famines. When you're starving, your body thinks there's a famine. So it tries to make you tired, so you won't move around and use up extra energy. And it starts breaking down muscle for energy - if you're active, you'll use muscle before you use fat.

This completely wrecks your hormones if you let it go on long enough. I'm not surprised that it's making you gain fat and lose muscle.

I think you should try eating more - at LEAST 2,500 calories/day.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 02, 2013
at 01:44 PM

Under what mechanism does the body prefer to break down muscle over body fat to induce GNG?

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on September 02, 2013
at 03:01 PM

oh man I know I read about this SOMEWHERE but I can't find it right now - will be back after work when I have time to go hunt down the reference.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on September 03, 2013
at 01:06 AM

OK, I remember feeling totally confident of that when I wrote that, but I can't for the life of me find the citation. I remember it had something to do with aerobic exercise during calorie restriction (or possibly fasting). Possibly I'm mixing something up in my memory?

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