Why are my muscles all soft - not taunt and tight female

Answered on October 13, 2013
Created September 24, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Adult female here. I've been following the Paleo lifestyle for about 2 months. Prior to this I was on the good old-fashioned SAD. It was all wrong because I was eating way too much of something because I looked disproportionate in certain areas of my body (for ex, my booty was growing and was unsightly larger for my small frame). I could no longer fit into my regular clothing and was miserable. I heard about Paleo and have never looked back. Things are much better now where I have streamlined down and my clothes finally fit again, yeah!!! I work out 5 days a week on a split. Three days a week lifting/two days a week yoga. Weekends are for recovery. Similarly, I did workout on the SAD. My burning question is why are my muscles soft and not taunt and tight? When I was on the SAD, my muscles tone was tighter but since going on Paleo everything has softened. I know I am gaining strength as I have increased my gains each and every workout. When will the muscle development and severe fat loss follow? Results can be painfully slow if I worry too much but I would love to see all my hard work come full circle. Any suggestions/feedback? For women out there that lift and don't do anything too extreme in terms of programs does it take longer to see results? If it helps any, I am an ectomorph (someone that has a hard time building and keeping muscle). I don't want to give up on this lifestyle as I feel great. I just want those extra perks:)

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3 Answers


on October 13, 2013
at 01:42 PM

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on September 24, 2013
at 03:58 AM

It has to do with water retention--if you follow a low carb paleo diet, you probably don't hold onto as much water weight as someone on a SAD diet. Water is what makes muscles look taut and tight. I know that when I water load for a powerlifting meet, it puts my body in a dehydrated state. My muscles look flabby and unimpressive. When I eat a lot of carbs for dinner, the next day my muscles look full, and my abs show more. If you want them to look fuller, up your carb intake which will cause water retention. Note: it will also make the scale go up.



on September 24, 2013
at 12:41 AM

First, muscle doesn't look or feel soft. Muscle looks and feels like muscles.

Second, you didn't mention weight loss. I have read some theories about how fat storage is part genetics, part hormones. And while you cannot "spot" reduce fat on a specific area, there are ways of redistributing based on your hormones.

So, my out-there theory, is that you fixed a hormonal problem that was causing you to store fat in your butt, and are now storing it evenly throughout your body (which is normal for women).

Also at play is that healthy women tend to carry some fat on their body (significantly more than men). While an "athletic" man may have 8-12% bodyfat, a comparably athletic female may have 20%.

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