2

votes

Do I need very low carb Paleo diet to blast the fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 03, 2013 at 4:30 AM

I'm not perfect at it or claim to know the ins and outs of Paleo 100%, but I have been doing Paleo for a few months and changed it very recently to more carbohydrate to support my crossfit I do most of the week. A typical meal would be something like a sweet potato and usually will add butter to it and also have eggs, beef or chicken. I will indulge in some fruit too. I usually eat 100% bakers chocolate for a fat source. My crossfit coach today was talking about a nutrition seminar get-together at our box and said that adding a fat to a carbohydrate, especially a sweet potato can actually make you gain some unwanted fat, but doing a fat with a protein source would not or protein and carbs, as long as every meal is separated by 2-3 hours.

I have noticed lately I have started getting flabby around the love-handles and some around the stomach and have been contemplating doing a Paleo VLC diet to drop the pounds, 10 or so pounds of which I have gained. My concern is, should I go very low carb or no carb, or what might be a better alternative?? I keep hearing about VLC Paleo diet, and the success that follows. I just don't want to be starving and carbohydrates seem logical to eat but I'm not sure, especially that I do crossfit and I don't want to feel crappy and performance go down. I have been incorporating some extra workout time to oly lifting post main crossfit WODs.

What would be the best bet, because I'm not sure what to do, and do it safely. Is my diet to blame or should I even worry?

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:37 PM

I really recommend checking out Martin Berkhan's ideas - he and Lyle McDonald were supposed to write a book together, and it never happened.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:37 PM

leangains.com/2009/02/low-carb-talibans.html "I subscribe to the idea, that the best diet is the one you can maintain in the long run. For me personally, this entails intermittent fasting and a cyclic approach of higher/lower carbs, plenty of protein and low/moderate fat. My main focus lies on high quality foods, with nutritious and satiating properties, and not discrimination towards a particular macronutrient. I don't believe there is any magic to be had when one is excluding fat or carbs from their diet."

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:33 PM

Martin Berkhan has a lot of experience with leangains - getting stronger while losing fat. He says that sure you can try VLC but most people seem to be better on moderate carb. The other thing I would advise you is that it's really easy to undercount and might you try a scale? (I know but eyeballing it can really be wrong sometimes), and 2) bodybuilding is HARD, WOD's are hard, and if you don't have everything dialed in - sleep, diet, stress, etc. then I think that maybe take some breaks every now and then.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:31 PM

Sorry the previous comment is from the page: http://www.leangains.com/2009/02/low-carb-talibans.html as well.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:30 PM

The 'rationale' behind this claim, is that the body can’t store fat without insulin (it can). Carbs equals insulin, and that means ditching carbs must mean no fat storage (wrong). They conveniently ignore that a) eating protein produce insulin b) fat stores itself with tremendous efficiency without insulin, due to a nifty little thing called acylation-stimulating protein (ASP).

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:30 PM

http://www.leangains.com/2009/02/low-carb-talibans.html I subscribe to the idea, that the best diet is the one you can maintain in the long run. For me personally, this entails intermittent fasting and a cyclic approach of higher/lower carbs, plenty of protein and low/moderate fat. My main focus lies on high quality foods, with nutritious and satiating properties, and not discrimination towards a particular macronutrient. I don't believe there is any magic to be had when one is excluding fat or carbs from their diet.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:30 PM

http://www.leangains.com/2010/06/intermittent-fasting-and-stubborn-body.html His site has a lot of interesting information.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on April 06, 2013
at 06:49 AM

Great question! I have been reading about the concept of hyper palatability lately. My husband was just commenting on how gross sweet potatoes are without butter!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on April 06, 2013
at 06:48 AM

Great question!

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:25 PM

I went very low carb (<= 25g per day) for a while, wasn't that hard actually for a while, but after about 6-8 weeks had cravings and low energy, digestion problems, etc. I think it is good as a jump start or to fix a potentially broken metabolism (may have been true of me) but really hard to stick to long term. Protein tends to be more satisfying than fat so you could try upping your protein. You might find this interview interesting. http://anthonycolpo.com/interview-robb-wolf-talks-paleo-low-carb-crossfit-caffeine-addiction/

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:08 PM

Nuts, avocados and olives are pretty well-balanced too. But, you really have to track your carbs & protein. A little goes a long way in the numbers. Also, caffeinated coffee & tea will help suppress appetite, as will vinegar. If you really have trouble adapting after 3-4 days you should add carbs a bit. Honestly, I was very surprised at how much food I could actually get into 50g of carbs. Also, I didn't need to stay quite that low to maintain ketosis.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:01 PM

Coconut oil, butter, by fatty meats... your protein should be 75% of your lean body weight in grams. Celery, kale, and other fibrous veggies will help you get the most out of your carbs.

E77cb92d4222cef2430eaaf44b1ca8fe

(30)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:28 PM

What kind of fats are suggested? I'm starving right now, and this is day 1. I've had like about 25-30 grams of carbs today so far...

E77cb92d4222cef2430eaaf44b1ca8fe

(30)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:27 PM

Good to know. So what was low-carb to you, <50 grams/carbs/day? How did you distribute everything evenly to not feel hungry? I'm starving now and some suggest more fat (in what forms?) and more protein..?

E77cb92d4222cef2430eaaf44b1ca8fe

(30)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:18 PM

Additionally, the love-handles, I've had them for a while but they wont go away. Admittedly, I do drink Sugar-Free Diet Arizona Green Tea and usually have a Sugar-Free Rockstar Energy Drink. I do drink around 2 gallons of water a day. Not sure if sugar-free products can cause issues with fat not going away... Just laying out all the issues.

E77cb92d4222cef2430eaaf44b1ca8fe

(30)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:09 PM

I haven't been particularly low-carb. I usually eat an apple with almond butter before a workout, add some protein in too and I'm good. After the WOD, I do a sweet potato. Then for dinner another sweet potato and some butter and a protein source. It's possible that I'm over-doing my caloric intake, I'm supposed to be getting around 2900 calories and another 300 on WOD days, but maybe that's too much?... Before, I stayed leaner and still could lift the same weight I can now, just been seeing if I can take in more calories so I'm not at this plateau I've been at for a while.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on April 03, 2013
at 02:06 PM

I've been doing low fat recently because of paleo, and have done high carb before because of ovo-lacto-vegetarian, also played with high calories, moderate calories, low calories, and a nice ammount of combinations of macronutrient ratios. While I agree that total calories still have something to do with weight gain or loss (I prefer to call it overfeeding or underfeeding) I wouldn't also agree that calories in vs out is the holy grail, I agree with @OmNomBacon and others that hormonal responses play a big rol on how the body will use its fuel. Hormones + food + timings = the real deal.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on April 03, 2013
at 12:52 PM

Don't be too harsh on the Crossfit dude; he was half right. Eating carbs increases insulin which encourages uptake of nutrients to cells. If there's free fatty acids floating about, they get incorporated and stored as fat. That's why fat after a workout isn't great as exercise also illicits an insulin response. After a workout, ingest carbs as they not only replenish glycogen stores but if eaten with protein, encourage growth repair ie it's good for better recovery. This also works on KD as PWO glucose (not fructose) will hit muscles and not liver. This with pre WO sugar is Targeted Ketogenic.

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7 Answers

1
8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 03, 2013
at 01:49 PM

see robb wolf's posts, titled, his thoughts on LC this past december, january. He is admitting that LC may not be best for everyone, especially crosfitters (which btw, crossfit hq does not follow paleo diet philosophy but rather a zone diet type thing, no? I could be wrong on this...)

http://robbwolf.com/2012/12/19/carb-paleo-thoughts-part-1/

and I may understand wrong, but he talks about his experience and how he didn't have enough fuel in the tank to get through crossfit or other workouts VLC or LC.

There are 2 more parts to his series.

Basically - add in some rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. a lb a day or more for your crossfitting.

you may have to experiment to find what works for you, but based on my experience and a lot of the commenters on that blog post, VLC or LC made things worse. some people thrive on it. But if you're already pretty low carb and starting to get love handles, you kind of have to question what's going on! Don't make the mistake I or others did of being super strict VLC or LC or avoiding potatoes even though your body and you are not responding the way you would like because some guru or some person here tells you to do that or live that way or it worked for them.

Personal experience trumps everything else and you have to tinker a lot to find what works for you.

E77cb92d4222cef2430eaaf44b1ca8fe

(30)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:18 PM

Additionally, the love-handles, I've had them for a while but they wont go away. Admittedly, I do drink Sugar-Free Diet Arizona Green Tea and usually have a Sugar-Free Rockstar Energy Drink. I do drink around 2 gallons of water a day. Not sure if sugar-free products can cause issues with fat not going away... Just laying out all the issues.

E77cb92d4222cef2430eaaf44b1ca8fe

(30)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:09 PM

I haven't been particularly low-carb. I usually eat an apple with almond butter before a workout, add some protein in too and I'm good. After the WOD, I do a sweet potato. Then for dinner another sweet potato and some butter and a protein source. It's possible that I'm over-doing my caloric intake, I'm supposed to be getting around 2900 calories and another 300 on WOD days, but maybe that's too much?... Before, I stayed leaner and still could lift the same weight I can now, just been seeing if I can take in more calories so I'm not at this plateau I've been at for a while.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:30 PM

The 'rationale' behind this claim, is that the body can’t store fat without insulin (it can). Carbs equals insulin, and that means ditching carbs must mean no fat storage (wrong). They conveniently ignore that a) eating protein produce insulin b) fat stores itself with tremendous efficiency without insulin, due to a nifty little thing called acylation-stimulating protein (ASP).

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:30 PM

http://www.leangains.com/2009/02/low-carb-talibans.html I subscribe to the idea, that the best diet is the one you can maintain in the long run. For me personally, this entails intermittent fasting and a cyclic approach of higher/lower carbs, plenty of protein and low/moderate fat. My main focus lies on high quality foods, with nutritious and satiating properties, and not discrimination towards a particular macronutrient. I don't believe there is any magic to be had when one is excluding fat or carbs from their diet.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:37 PM

I really recommend checking out Martin Berkhan's ideas - he and Lyle McDonald were supposed to write a book together, and it never happened.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:31 PM

Sorry the previous comment is from the page: http://www.leangains.com/2009/02/low-carb-talibans.html as well.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:33 PM

Martin Berkhan has a lot of experience with leangains - getting stronger while losing fat. He says that sure you can try VLC but most people seem to be better on moderate carb. The other thing I would advise you is that it's really easy to undercount and might you try a scale? (I know but eyeballing it can really be wrong sometimes), and 2) bodybuilding is HARD, WOD's are hard, and if you don't have everything dialed in - sleep, diet, stress, etc. then I think that maybe take some breaks every now and then.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:30 PM

http://www.leangains.com/2010/06/intermittent-fasting-and-stubborn-body.html His site has a lot of interesting information.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on April 24, 2013
at 01:37 PM

leangains.com/2009/02/low-carb-talibans.html "I subscribe to the idea, that the best diet is the one you can maintain in the long run. For me personally, this entails intermittent fasting and a cyclic approach of higher/lower carbs, plenty of protein and low/moderate fat. My main focus lies on high quality foods, with nutritious and satiating properties, and not discrimination towards a particular macronutrient. I don't believe there is any magic to be had when one is excluding fat or carbs from their diet."

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on April 03, 2013
at 09:29 AM

I did a very low carb paleo diet for a while combined with crossfit, and while there was definitely less energy for the workouts, it did burn the fat. I lost several inches off of my waist and noticeably leaned out.

This couldn't last forever though, I'd come home from workouts starving. And staying low carb for more than a month or two can be really difficult. I still limit my carbs because they cause me to gain weight, but don't cut them out completely. At least one meal a day is low- or no-carb, and I have carbs primarily right after workouts, and not at other times.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:25 PM

I went very low carb (<= 25g per day) for a while, wasn't that hard actually for a while, but after about 6-8 weeks had cravings and low energy, digestion problems, etc. I think it is good as a jump start or to fix a potentially broken metabolism (may have been true of me) but really hard to stick to long term. Protein tends to be more satisfying than fat so you could try upping your protein. You might find this interview interesting. http://anthonycolpo.com/interview-robb-wolf-talks-paleo-low-carb-crossfit-caffeine-addiction/

E77cb92d4222cef2430eaaf44b1ca8fe

(30)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:27 PM

Good to know. So what was low-carb to you, <50 grams/carbs/day? How did you distribute everything evenly to not feel hungry? I'm starving now and some suggest more fat (in what forms?) and more protein..?

0
F69da86ad5ad986a09c73abd757863a1

(127)

on April 03, 2013
at 03:04 PM

Just keep your carbs in and around your training sessions. A bit before for energy and a bit after for replenishment. Other than that, you shouldn't need many carbs.

0
37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on April 03, 2013
at 02:08 PM

I lose muscle AND fat when I train on very LC, even on very high protein levels. Although I'm a classic ectomorph and you may not be. But I basically have to eat lowish carb most of the time and then eat high carb (but from paleo sources) after workouts and runs. Otherwise I waste away.

0
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on April 03, 2013
at 11:39 AM

I find moderating the muscle meat the best thing for slimming down the belly; moderating the potatoes for the all over body fat. And quitting dairy too, that helped for me. Depends on the person though apparently.

0
A0c49f398499246c623e6527e9dd5ca2

(548)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:11 AM

'[He] said that adding a fat to a carbohydrate, especially a sweet potato can actually make you gain some unwanted fat, but doing a fat with a protein source would not or protein and carbs, as long as every meal is separated by 2-3 hours.' That's CW nonsense. It doesn't hold true in studies and doesn't make sense when you think about it and see all the evidence for the calorie-is-a-calorie-hypothesis.

Low or No-Carb is IMO the best way to get rid of any excessive weight. It won't keep your starving but it will be easy to cut calories down. You, however, want to keep fueling your exercise which is quite difficult to do but it can definitely be done. Be careful to still get enough calories in to set a low caloric deficit. To do that easily you can track one of your current days on something like cronometer and then track a NC-day. Providing your current caloric levels lets to maintain your weight you want to aim for a 10-20% percent caloric deficit on NC. The less calories you eat, the faster your weight loss will be and the worse your performance will get. But in that range the effect should be negligible.

You also want to take a specific look on your protein intake. To avoid losing excessive muscle mass on this NC caloric deficit you definitely want to increase your protein intake.

Like UncleLongHair I also recommend to incorporate carbs into your post-workout meal. Carbs will decrease protein breakdown in your muscles while the protein (which hopefully comes along with the carbs in your post-workout-meal) will increase your protein synthesis. Low-protein-breakdown + High-protein-synthesis = Muscle gain

To read more on this topic I recommend to read Lyle McDonalds blog. He really has a wide variety of topics he covers diligently, although his last article was published in November of 2011.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on April 03, 2013
at 02:06 PM

I've been doing low fat recently because of paleo, and have done high carb before because of ovo-lacto-vegetarian, also played with high calories, moderate calories, low calories, and a nice ammount of combinations of macronutrient ratios. While I agree that total calories still have something to do with weight gain or loss (I prefer to call it overfeeding or underfeeding) I wouldn't also agree that calories in vs out is the holy grail, I agree with @OmNomBacon and others that hormonal responses play a big rol on how the body will use its fuel. Hormones + food + timings = the real deal.

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on April 03, 2013
at 12:52 PM

Don't be too harsh on the Crossfit dude; he was half right. Eating carbs increases insulin which encourages uptake of nutrients to cells. If there's free fatty acids floating about, they get incorporated and stored as fat. That's why fat after a workout isn't great as exercise also illicits an insulin response. After a workout, ingest carbs as they not only replenish glycogen stores but if eaten with protein, encourage growth repair ie it's good for better recovery. This also works on KD as PWO glucose (not fructose) will hit muscles and not liver. This with pre WO sugar is Targeted Ketogenic.

0
Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

on April 03, 2013
at 09:27 AM

Try it... You might like it, you might not. Make sure you make up for those carbs with fats, though. Otherwise you'll be running on empty.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:01 PM

Coconut oil, butter, by fatty meats... your protein should be 75% of your lean body weight in grams. Celery, kale, and other fibrous veggies will help you get the most out of your carbs.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on April 03, 2013
at 10:08 PM

Nuts, avocados and olives are pretty well-balanced too. But, you really have to track your carbs & protein. A little goes a long way in the numbers. Also, caffeinated coffee & tea will help suppress appetite, as will vinegar. If you really have trouble adapting after 3-4 days you should add carbs a bit. Honestly, I was very surprised at how much food I could actually get into 50g of carbs. Also, I didn't need to stay quite that low to maintain ketosis.

E77cb92d4222cef2430eaaf44b1ca8fe

(30)

on April 03, 2013
at 09:28 PM

What kind of fats are suggested? I'm starving right now, and this is day 1. I've had like about 25-30 grams of carbs today so far...

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