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Fat loss, muscle building, workouts, etc. totally confused

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 21, 2013 at 10:52 PM

I have read many of the related threads and am quite confused. I am 5'4", 150 pounds, spent 15 years as (health food) vegetarian (I know, gasp, started eating meat a year ago), had three pregnancies, and I am still nursing. I have been on paleo 1 month ( still have a little raw fermented, goat milk couple times a week) doing bodyweight exercises 2x week for about 20 minutes. I eat big protein breakfast at around 10 and have a few snacks and then dinner. Not getting results. Fat not coming off, energy low. There is so much conflicting advice. I need calories to nurse, want to lose fat, mostly in midsection, and want strength, and stamina. I recently added HIIT workout on a third day. Wondering if I am on the right track here. The crossfit gym is not affordable, so that option is out. I welcome any suggestions. Blessings

235e74b9adb57eff80592f064e1d298b

(421)

on July 23, 2013
at 08:08 PM

You definitely need days to recoup, but that means varying your workouts. There are some muscle groups that can be worked on every day but for the most part you should should work on different muscle groups on different days giving the other muscles time to recoup. I would also say that if you need 2 or more days to recoup you are working out way harder than you need to.

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 11:21 PM

I can add more exercise, just thought I needed rest days to recoup. Sometimes a workout leaves me so sore I can't workout again for two days!

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 22, 2013
at 08:01 PM

Think you're both right in this case: AlohaSpeck was clarifying that an initial caloric deficit doesn't slow down fat loss, but CHRONIC caloric deficit will, which seemed to be your point as well.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 22, 2013
at 05:34 PM

At AlohaSpeck...When you are constantly in a calorie deficit beyond maintenence RMR rates, your body will slow down your metabolism, and increase stress hormones, which limit fat metabolism.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:30 PM

Since you are currently nursing, your priority would be to be very well nourished. If you are eating well but not in excess you will not only provide everything you need, but also your baby and will probably lose weight at a healthy pace by default without being effected by energy dips and hunger. Be nourished first, this is essential.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:23 PM

"If you are not eating enough, your body will do its best to limit fat loss for survival". Just to say I don't think this is actually true, if anything probably the opposite. If you are not eating enough you will have to use body-fat to survive. A slow down in energy requirements appear to only happen after extended periods of significant calorie restriction and change in lean body mass.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:22 PM

"If you are not eating enough, your body will do its best to limit fat loss for survival". Just to say I don't think this is actually true, if anything probably the opposite. If you are not eating enough you will have to use body-fat to survive. A slow down in energy requirements appear to only happen after extended periods of significant calorie restriction.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 22, 2013
at 01:44 PM

Meat should be eaten every day, and I am not a fan of snacking, as I prefer to eat meals. Experiment with upping your eating, but try to consume all of your calories in no more than 3 meals.

30b1bb0fbaebea69017446d4f768f082

(50)

on July 22, 2013
at 12:26 PM

It's great that your still nursing! I suggest you count cals a bit, it helps, just don't get OCD about it. Chronic cardio is not good but that's 5+ hrs a week of steady state stuff. For your situation it might help. I lost 10 lbs by uping my cardio (20-30m jogging, 45min swims, 40min easy bike rides) nothing crazy. Best of luck!

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 12:14 PM

Thank you. most of your suggestions I do follow, but it seems I should eat more. I do ferments, only use coconut, olive or lard for fats to cook. I do bone booths, eat sweet and regular potatoes, dont cheat with grains and farm, so of am active. Permission to eat more is a relief, just have to find time to prepare more food as my afternoon snacks are leaving me still hungry.

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 12:07 PM

Thank you for the encouragement. Eat more seems to be the consensus...that I can handle.

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 12:05 PM

eat More, duh. Just feels counterproductive, but I. Do get hungry and may be toorestrictive. Snacks fruit nuts, jerky, turkey avacado raw milk. Dinner, veggies, salad, ferments, meat 5x week. I only nurse a couple times a day (baby is two).

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 12:01 PM

Oh, dinners...salad, lots of veggies 5x/week meat.

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 12:00 PM

I dont count calories. The baby is two, so only nurses a few times/day. I thought long cardio wasn't good. " heart rate def goes up during workouts. I have 5 lb. weights

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 11:57 AM

Snacks fruit/nuts (not too much) jerky, raw milk, turkey/avacado How do I know if I am in ketosis? I eat carbs, sweet potatoes a couple times/week. Occasionally white potatoes.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 22, 2013
at 12:07 AM

Are you doing low-carb paleo? Are you in ketosis or trying to get into ketosis?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 21, 2013
at 11:35 PM

What do your snacks and dinners look like?

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5 Answers

1
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 21, 2013
at 11:34 PM

During nursing, the body needs to consume at minimum 300+ calories per day just to maintain. If you are not eating enough, your body will do its best to limit fat loss for survival. If you experiment with upping your food amount, you might feel that you have more energy, and that your body will begin to release fat stores as well. Think of eating as fueling the body for performance, not restricting it. As for exercise, there are tons of bodyweight exercises that can be performed in a HIIT style that will help you without going to a crossfit box and likely getting injured.

As a side note, what are you eating for snacks, and for dinner, as an average?

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 22, 2013
at 01:44 PM

Meat should be eaten every day, and I am not a fan of snacking, as I prefer to eat meals. Experiment with upping your eating, but try to consume all of your calories in no more than 3 meals.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 22, 2013
at 08:01 PM

Think you're both right in this case: AlohaSpeck was clarifying that an initial caloric deficit doesn't slow down fat loss, but CHRONIC caloric deficit will, which seemed to be your point as well.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:23 PM

"If you are not eating enough, your body will do its best to limit fat loss for survival". Just to say I don't think this is actually true, if anything probably the opposite. If you are not eating enough you will have to use body-fat to survive. A slow down in energy requirements appear to only happen after extended periods of significant calorie restriction and change in lean body mass.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on July 22, 2013
at 04:22 PM

"If you are not eating enough, your body will do its best to limit fat loss for survival". Just to say I don't think this is actually true, if anything probably the opposite. If you are not eating enough you will have to use body-fat to survive. A slow down in energy requirements appear to only happen after extended periods of significant calorie restriction.

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 12:05 PM

eat More, duh. Just feels counterproductive, but I. Do get hungry and may be toorestrictive. Snacks fruit nuts, jerky, turkey avacado raw milk. Dinner, veggies, salad, ferments, meat 5x week. I only nurse a couple times a day (baby is two).

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 22, 2013
at 05:34 PM

At AlohaSpeck...When you are constantly in a calorie deficit beyond maintenence RMR rates, your body will slow down your metabolism, and increase stress hormones, which limit fat metabolism.

0
235e74b9adb57eff80592f064e1d298b

on July 22, 2013
at 01:48 PM

It sounds to me like your eating properly, Im not so sure about your snacks however but that is up to you. There is nothing wrong with turning your snacks into meals, by that I mean eating meal type food instead of snack food.

What I would suggest is upping the frequency with which you are exersizing. 2 x's a week is definitely not enough. I would say even 3 x's a week, while it would be better is still not enough. If you could possibly do 10 to 15 minutes 4 to 5 x's a week you would immediately start seeing a huge difference. Check out the web for Jake Hunter's 4 minute abs, I have posted this before on here and really believe this is something that everyone could incorporate into their lives. Can you spare 4 minutes a day to get the results you are looking for?? Or even better, 8 minutes a day?? All you have to do is repeat the set for that day and you are still spending less time working out.

Try this and you WILL lose fat and build lean muscle mass!!!

235e74b9adb57eff80592f064e1d298b

(421)

on July 23, 2013
at 08:08 PM

You definitely need days to recoup, but that means varying your workouts. There are some muscle groups that can be worked on every day but for the most part you should should work on different muscle groups on different days giving the other muscles time to recoup. I would also say that if you need 2 or more days to recoup you are working out way harder than you need to.

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 11:21 PM

I can add more exercise, just thought I needed rest days to recoup. Sometimes a workout leaves me so sore I can't workout again for two days!

0
1f9b52f29960095986234231d91e1967

on July 22, 2013
at 06:34 AM

In general, a few suggestions:

  • Are you eating enough fat?
  • Are you eating enough in general? (calories in, calories out is incomplete at best, incorrect at worst.

  • High intensity workouts can be done for very little time, once or twice a week; calories in, calories out being bad or incomplete applies here as well.
  • Constant movement and keeping the body's structure correct is very important to bodily health. This can be low-intensity work at a standing desk or learning to tuck the pelvis or squat more regularly when standing up/squatting down.
  • Full squats are some of the best body-training exercises for overall health.
  • Try walking longer distances, or carrying heavy groceries with good form.
  • Try some basic full-body (Romanian deadlift, squat, overhead press) barbell/dumbbell exercises, again for good form in the body.
  • Easing into cold baths/ice baths will quite potentially promote rapid fat loss through heat in body and energy needed to regulate, and is very stimulating/healthy otherwise. One can begin with a cold washcloth, then progress to pouring cold water as comfortable. Then progress further as appropriate.

  • Are you overtraining, then "reward"-eating unhealthy things like artificial protein shakes or bars or grains/carb-stuffing?
  • The Four-Hour Body has many interesting muscle-gain/fat-loss ideas. Might be worth getting as an e-book or print book. (Not strictly Paleo, but valuable approach and experiments with fat-loss/muscle-gain. Lots about overtraining and minimum effective dose/approaches to fat loss.)

  • Fat loss comes from chemical, hormonal, and other effects in your body, not generally from eating less.
  • That said, actual overeating (until uncomfortable) is likely not so good.
  • Other than that, if fat loss is a subset of being healthy, consume enough nutrients and food, and the body should begin to correct.

  • Are you digesting fat properly? If attempting to eat Paleo low-carb, one's gall bladder and digestion must be functioning properly and geared towards digesting fat rather than carbs. (This can take awhile and contribute to low energy if swirching from a high-carb diet.) Chris Kresser has interesting research on this, if you need a research starting point.
  • Is your gut needing healing? Also can research: ferments (dairy is Paleo-grey area and can be useful raw if tolerated), bone broth vs. stock, sauerkraut, FODMAP...
  • Try consuming lots more, and lots more healthy fats until full (coconut oil, grass-fed ghee, pastured/grass-fed/wild animal fats...
  • With my (limited) experience of fat-loss, most fat-loss ways of eating/living which make one healthy involve eating until satiated, with good energy throughout)

  • If pregnant, nursing, wanting to be fertile, eat plenty of: fish (research why selenium in fish nixes mercury problems, as "high-mercury" fish are often much healthier), liver, raw dairy, high-vitamin butter oil, and real raw/fermented cod liver oil . See the Weston A. Price Foundation for further information on health during fertility and health for young human beings.

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 12:14 PM

Thank you. most of your suggestions I do follow, but it seems I should eat more. I do ferments, only use coconut, olive or lard for fats to cook. I do bone booths, eat sweet and regular potatoes, dont cheat with grains and farm, so of am active. Permission to eat more is a relief, just have to find time to prepare more food as my afternoon snacks are leaving me still hungry.

0
E80fcc74f0036fba038dcd1428e759f5

on July 22, 2013
at 03:33 AM

EAT!! You need even more energy if you want to make up for nursing + workout. Low energy levels signal that your body is reducing your energy expenditure to make up for the energy you are not eating. If you restrict your food, you will not lean out because your body is holding on to body fat (it is in some sort of starvation mode).

So you can up the carbs or the fat - you pick. You know your body, you know what makes it feel better. If you feel like your insulin sensitivity hasn't increased (since you've only been 1 month paleo) I recommend increasing fat consumption over carb consumption.

Last, you need to be patient. Your body won't heal all the damage from a 15 year grain-based diet in just a month. It takes time, but eventually your body will find balance and it will start releasing the stored fat you have. Just keep going!

Much love(:

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 12:07 PM

Thank you for the encouragement. Eat more seems to be the consensus...that I can handle.

0
30b1bb0fbaebea69017446d4f768f082

(50)

on July 21, 2013
at 11:12 PM

Low energy means you need to change something. Up the startchy veggies for carbs? Eat plenty of nutrient dense foods. Are you tracking calories at all? If not, try for a few days, also calculate your TDEE so you have a rough idea of what you need. Young children, one nursing? You need to eat! So don't go restricting a lot.

Patience is key, in your situation especially. Once you are done nursing maybe add in some more cardio (take classes if you can, so its more fun).

Do you have access to any weights? Keep up with the bodyweight stuff for sure! There are tons of videos online.

I feel like if you up your workouts a bit you'll see results. I'm hesitant to tell you to do so though if your energy is already lacking and you are nursing. If you've only been paleo a month, keep with it and might need more time to adjust?

30b1bb0fbaebea69017446d4f768f082

(50)

on July 22, 2013
at 12:26 PM

It's great that your still nursing! I suggest you count cals a bit, it helps, just don't get OCD about it. Chronic cardio is not good but that's 5+ hrs a week of steady state stuff. For your situation it might help. I lost 10 lbs by uping my cardio (20-30m jogging, 45min swims, 40min easy bike rides) nothing crazy. Best of luck!

D62cc653ab61bc97e45ba2ce9b3b57aa

on July 22, 2013
at 12:00 PM

I dont count calories. The baby is two, so only nurses a few times/day. I thought long cardio wasn't good. " heart rate def goes up during workouts. I have 5 lb. weights

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