I have been doing Paleo for a few months now, and I have a few questions I can't seem to find the right answer to. I do CrossFit 4-5 days / week and want to build muscle, which I am seeing great results. However, I don't seem to be losing the fat either. I am 5'2" 145lb and would like to lose 10lb of fat realistically. I have cut back on nuts significantly, and only eat 1-2 fruits (bananas, berries) / day in a morning smoothie. Is there anything else I should be limiting in my Paleo diet for weight loss? What are the do's and don'ts of Paleo for fat loss?
Thanks for your input!
asked byMegW (10)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on May 14, 2013
at 09:07 PM
You can, as a woman, build muscle and lose fat simultaneously... but it is going to take LOTS of time. This is know as a recomp. So, you could, as the dudes above advised, cut calories, cut carbs... cut and then bulk, etc, but they likely aren't women and therefore what has worked for them is never going to work for you.
You could cut carbs and cut cals, but that is going to lead you down a dangerous road bc every time you diet in the future you will have to cut calories further. The only sane and healthy way to recomp is to eat at veerrrry slightly under maintenance on rest days and eat a surplus on lifting days. And when I say surplus, I am not kidding. Eat until you're stuffed, none of that salad bullshit. And don't mind carbs, on any day really. The idea being here that as you are building muscle, the larger muscle cells are forcing out the fat cells. This is a slow and sometimes anguishing process, but it works.
Also, if you want to workout hard as much as you are I think more power to you, but you have to fuel yourself for these workouts. So, dieting and hardcore activity is not sustainable. You gotta pick one.
If you want some inspiration I would suggest checking out GoKaleo's blog.
on May 15, 2013
at 03:46 PM
( Insert Pretentious Title here) OR The 5 Essentials For Elite Body Recompostion (gaining muscle and losing body fat)
- Strategic cardio: (2-3x per week) fasted (either 3 hours after a meal or upon waking) burst/HIIT training (to release catacholamines which dump free fatty acids into the blood stream) followed by 20-40 minutes of low intensity steady state cardio (to burn off those fatty acids so they aren't transported back elsewhere onto your body).
- Resistance training: (2-3x per week) This can be any kind. body weight calisthenics, free weights/barbells, machines, whatever you fancy. This will develop muscular insulin sensitivity, allowing you to preferentially store carbohydrates as muscle glycogen and not used for immediate energy at rest (and halting fat burning) or used for fat storage. This will also provide the stumulus to break down and then repair the muscle, making it stronger and more dense. this creates a healthier hormonal/metabolic profile overall, and raises your resting metabolic rate, allowing you to both eat and burn more calories, which means allowing your body to get more nutrition (food is good, and healthy and nutrition, not toxic poison).
- Carb cycling: On cardio/burst/HIIT days, follow a low carbohydrate diet. That means elminate all concentrated active carbs like fruit and starches. Increase fats slightly (fish oils, avocado, eggs, fatty fish, wild/grass fed meats, and dairy fat if you tolerate or so desire). consume protein, leafy greens, and healthy fats at each meal. On resistance training days, consume fruits/starches, greens, and lean protein, with smaller amounts of fats. This strategy allows you to become metabolically flexible, and is 1000x more effective than a plain low carb diet, which results in reduced leptin up to 50% and reduced thyroid within the first week! Don't go more than 3 consecutive days low carbing. Ideally, go for 1-2 low carb (hiit/cardio days) followed by 1-2 moderate carb (restince training) days.
- nutrient timing: protein at every meal, always. Carbs (on resistence training days) should be kept to the 3 most critical times. 2-3 hours pre workout, 45 minutes post workout, and withing 3 hours after that. This takes advantage of GLUT-4, which diverts carbs (and amino acids) into muscle cells and not fat. Keep fats low in all of these meals (under 10 grams, ideally under 5). Other meals make protein and greens with some healthy fat. I like to do a whey protein shake 45 minutes post workout with fruit or dextrose. Then my next meal a protein/starch. Pre workout is protein/starch as well.
- 1 higher carb "treat" meal per week: Like a Saturday night when you have some drinks and/or go out for sushi. This will help reset leptin that can be restricted diets (either calories or carbs). ideally, make this on the day of an intense resistance training workout and/or the day prior to one. 1 meal/week. not 1 day/week.
Be consistent. Stay hydrated. stay motivated. Beyond nutrient timing requirements, the other meals don't matter. 5-6-8 small or 3-4 moderate sided meals won't make a substantial difference. Personally, I usually hit about 4 a day. Only eat 1-2 and you'll be neglecting rule number 4, so at least 3 meals.
on May 14, 2013
at 07:26 PM
If you want to build muscle, you probably need to put the weight loss goal on the shelf for a while. Building muscle requires you to eat more, losing weight requires you to eat less. Additionally, Crossfit that many times a week also requires you to eat more.
So, the most healthy long term idea would probably be to cut back on the exercise, maybe go a little low carb, but don't go hungry. Eat real food, lift heavy things, and wait for your body to sort itself out.
on May 14, 2013
at 07:17 PM
Keep lifting weights/exercising, reduce carbs, and reduce calories intermittently, that's what works for me
I find i can burn fat & build muscle over a few weeks by doing the above, maybe because im an ectomorph just losing the last bit of pot belly, if i was obese it might be another story
Saying what works for you & stick to it doesn't work, because we adapt so if you stick to it you will plataeu & it stops working, so you have to keep pushing it, in my case it would be exercise harder, go lower carb, fast for a bit longer
on May 14, 2013
at 07:01 PM
I would check out leangains.com. I'm not into muscle building at the same level as this guy, but he's got pretty much the right idea, although it looks recently like he's getting a little jaded doing a blog and people ripping him off.
The basic concept is to do just the "cutting" phase of the "bulking and cutting" that body builders do, making it a lot more like paleo.
You do need to pay attention to your calories and macronutrient content a bit, and you might want to find out how glycemic your morning smoothie is. If your insulin is high, your body has trouble burning fat, even if you've just worked out.
After looking at the site again, I had forgotten his main point, which is intermittant fasting. A lot of us here don't eat anything before a workout, or at minimum some bulletproof coffee or BCAAs. When I started working harder, for shorter periods of time, with no breakfast, I've started to lose waist size (fat) but not lose weight.
on May 14, 2013
at 06:33 PM
If you're noticeably building muscle and not losing fat that may suggest that your calorie intake is too high. Have you been taking measurements? If the scale has stayed the same but you've gotten smaller than you've both built muscle and lost fat.
I don't believe that there's any particular do's and don't for fat loss - it's very subjective and each person reacts to different foods and macronutrient ratios in different ways. If what you've been trying isn't working for you then don't be afraid to switch it around until you find whatever balance feels right.