2

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HACK: Overweight and underperforming ... does it actually get better?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 11, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Hey all, I've been on Paleo since January this year, and I have been strict no carbs eating basically just protein/fat/veg as I'm trying to reach ketosis. But I don't think I'm there yet?! I don't think I've actually lost ANY weight on Paleo, despite doing Crossfit for three days on and one day off for nearly 6 weeks now. Not only, since going very low carb I find I have next to no energy to complete a workout to the best of my ability or be nice from day to day life in general my mood is so low and I feel constantly drained, but cannot sleep a solid night.

My stats are: 82kg 163cm tall

My average day of food at the moment is: B: Coffee with quarter cup coconut milk L: 100-150g protein source with veg stir fry cooked in coconut oil/ghee usually with some spices or a salad S: Some cherry tomatoes or snow peas or a carrot D: 100-150g protein source with veg stir fry cooked in coconut oil/ghee usually with some spices

I can't really eat much more than that, because I'm quite full all the time, which is great, because it's so liberating not to think about needing to eat always (like I used to when I ate non-paleo cause I was hungry, or so I thought, all the time) but I don't feel like i'm losing any inches or getting any strength gains.

Have I waited long enough that something SHOULD be happening? Or am I beginning impatient?

What was your experience? Any stories or advice to help me understand what stage I'm up to would be great.

FORGOT TO CLARIFY! when I say 100g of protein I meant for example 100g chicken breast or 100g tuna ... as in 100g of a protein source!!!

06cf0b860450445b9d399fcc1b2a053a

on March 13, 2012
at 01:13 AM

Yeah. And when it was time to add other stuff, I just started adding paleoish stuff instead of bread and other things he recommends. His vision is for people to go back to a mainstream diet except for one day per week of eating only protein. For exercise, he prescribes 20 minutes a day of walking and no use of elevators or escalators. That's pretty paleo, if you ask me. Lots of moving around slowly.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:57 PM

never checked that before...but I had to guestimate the veg load...so thats rough maybe +/- a few cals depending on the veg I used for the day

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:57 PM

before I went proper paleo in january I ate quite an unprocessed diet (just a hell of a lot of food) and I would eat so much fruit and nuts like a bag of crisps, but that has all changed now...and I did have a bowl of cereal for breakfast (usually all bran) but apart from that I was pretty healthy actually (not the big quantities thing) I usually have about a tbsp or so of coconut oil to cook up a pack of 300g chicken with mixed veg and then divide them into three little boxes for convenience and portion control. one meal approx Fats:20.86g Protein:25.82g Carbs: 3g Cals: 300

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:31 PM

People disagree, though I'd say it's better if you can, but a lot of people struggle to get to that stage. If your main goal is fat loss I'd generally suggest reducing the training load rather than changing your diet plan to fuel it.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:06 PM

I added in the coconut milk to my coffee to try get more calories cause I'm actually just full and I don't like that full/heavy feeling so it's hard to want to each much more... i'm getting so confused I don't know whether to eat more or less :S

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:04 PM

what would be a good target?

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:03 PM

adding in apple and sweet potato? but i'm getting so confused because I thought it was better to fuel your body off fats/proteins, no??

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on March 12, 2012
at 02:17 PM

I see the posts saying to stay hypo-caloric, but I just don't think you're eating enough. Most of the people I train with eat about a pound (450ish grams) of meat on most days. Thats men and women. If you are considering your protein intake based on uncooked meat you're eating less than you think due to evaporation and loss of some fat. My main suggestion was to sit down and feast every couple weeks and on some days fast. Humans evolved under non-perfect conditions. I think most people's problem is rigidity in their diet.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 12:28 PM

it's proper coconut milk not the carton stuff. damn it! I thought I was doing well with the tomatoes over fruit..it's usually only a couple...sigh...

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:50 AM

Oh sorry I meant 100-150 grams of like a piece of chicken so 100g of chicken or 100g of tuna or something.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:49 AM

yeah I've heard of dukan before ... where you basically eat protein only for phase one, then add veggies phase two, then other stuff etc??

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:48 AM

haha even if you wanted to eat as much as you like I think you'd be too full all the time to really test that!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:48 AM

thanks for the tips sounds good! I was trying to up my fat in place of the dropping of carbs but maybe a more even approach would work better!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 12, 2012
at 02:40 AM

Plus one for mentioning workout stress.

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on March 11, 2012
at 10:26 PM

Is it like full fat coconut milk or that stuff in the half gallon cartons with flavors? Tomatoes are kinda sugary as well. Generally if you're under 50g of carbs a day your body will go into ketosis, especially with the cross fit. Don't be afraid of some berries with your coconut milk I think you'll find the little bit of sugar is a nice boost in the morning. You need to recover from working out at some point so remember that every now and then a hunter-gatherer scored a buffalo or an ibex, so go on and eat heavy every now and again. Hope this helps.

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9 Answers

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6
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 12, 2012
at 12:32 AM

Steffi~

You don't need to worry about ketosis.

Working out so much can increase your cortisol and slow (or stop) fat loss. You do need a calorie deficit to lose body fat & you are taking in a LOT of fat calories in that coconut milk.

Remember that body composition is 80% diet/20% exercise.

Here's what I would suggest:

Get rid of the scale & take measurements once a month. If you are gaining muscle, you will weigh more, even if you are losing body fat--the scale is not a good measuring device unless you have more than 100 lbs to lose, IMO.

Drop Crossfit to 3x a week.

Drop Coconut milk in coffee to 2 tbsp. Eat a high protein/med fat/low carb breakfast!

Reduce the amount of coconut oil you cook with.

Get your Vitamin D level checked & sun or supplement to get your blood level to 125 nMol/L.

Take 200-400 mg Magnesium Glycinate before bed (will help you sleep & work with the Vitamin D to balance your hormones.)

Eat enough carbs to fuel your activity, so maybe a potato or some fruit on workout/high activity days.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:48 AM

thanks for the tips sounds good! I was trying to up my fat in place of the dropping of carbs but maybe a more even approach would work better!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 12, 2012
at 02:40 AM

Plus one for mentioning workout stress.

3
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on March 11, 2012
at 10:41 PM

If you're struggling with energy, going low carb might not be right for you. I'd try upping the carbs with things like sweet potatoes and evaluating how it makes you feel.

Increasing carbs might help with your sleep too - and more sleep will definitely make you feel better!

I also think it's incorrect to assume that you can eat as much as you like on Paleo and lose weight. I reached a plateau and remained there for ages. I didn't lose any weight until I drastically reduced my portion sizes, despite the fact I was eating strict Paleo before hand. I think once you've reached the right weight, you probably can eat as much as you like - but until then you can't.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:48 AM

haha even if you wanted to eat as much as you like I think you'd be too full all the time to really test that!

1
B2c50a97efefd8eea2624c57f3c04204

(110)

on March 11, 2012
at 11:38 PM

Low carb crossfit doesn't work for me! I've tried, and it just leads me to sluggish workouts and poor recovery times.

I suggest leaving out some of the coconut oils / fat out and adding in an apple and sweet potato post workout. I saute my stir fries in beef / chicken stock instead of oil...

I feel like I need to glycogen that carbs give me to breath fire during CF workouts!

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:31 PM

People disagree, though I'd say it's better if you can, but a lot of people struggle to get to that stage. If your main goal is fat loss I'd generally suggest reducing the training load rather than changing your diet plan to fuel it.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:03 PM

adding in apple and sweet potato? but i'm getting so confused because I thought it was better to fuel your body off fats/proteins, no??

0
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on March 12, 2012
at 03:42 PM

The joy of uninformed hacking. Contrary to what most have said, I read your diet as being underfed. Which for me fits with the the poor energy, mood, sleep etc. It does take time for your body to adjust, particularly if you ate very differently before January. It doesn't always help to go all out on the change of diet - you want to get used to it and feel good before worrying too much about losing weight (it should happen fairly naturally in due course).

Cooking in oil means different things to different people, but since you use chicken breast and tuna as your examples of protein I'm guessing you're really not getting much fat. Is it possible to run estimates through fitday or something to get both calories and the macro breakdown for your typical meal? There's just so much variation possible in interpreting what you've given so far.

You're certainly eating veg, but arguably not enough protein if you're looking to build muscle with all your training. If you're more interested in the fat loss right now then you probably want to reduce the stress the Crossfit is putting on you - a week's break every 6 weeks is a good idea in any case. If you're not eating enough to repair and recover then you will struggle and feel worse and worse. Eat more or do less. Find a balance that works (ie. you don't feel like crap every day) and then shift that balance if you're not getting thinner.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:57 PM

before I went proper paleo in january I ate quite an unprocessed diet (just a hell of a lot of food) and I would eat so much fruit and nuts like a bag of crisps, but that has all changed now...and I did have a bowl of cereal for breakfast (usually all bran) but apart from that I was pretty healthy actually (not the big quantities thing) I usually have about a tbsp or so of coconut oil to cook up a pack of 300g chicken with mixed veg and then divide them into three little boxes for convenience and portion control. one meal approx Fats:20.86g Protein:25.82g Carbs: 3g Cals: 300

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:57 PM

never checked that before...but I had to guestimate the veg load...so thats rough maybe +/- a few cals depending on the veg I used for the day

0
96f9196d670ced8b2b2a247af0f1df9e

on March 12, 2012
at 02:50 PM

I am down 46 lbs since January 1st. Eating a very simple, high-protein, low carb diet with minimal fruits and nuts and all of the green leafy veggies I want. Coconut oil for eggs in the morning. A salad and protein in the afternoon. Protein and veg for dinner. I also occasionally fast for a day. No hunger pains and appetite has decreased a lot.

0
F3920b85be76a5d8cf466d805bfb99e4

(638)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:30 AM

I would relax the workout routine and tighten the calories. While fats nor starch are not bad, I find in weight loss mode I have to be cognizant to keep them under a certain level. Lake of sleep is a huge impediment to weight loss and good mood. Sleep disturbances can be caused by lots of different things such as stress, apnea, hormone imbalance. But it's really important to get that sorted out.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 03:04 PM

what would be a good target?

0
22424c9eef944ade83d4e4ffda907056

(1402)

on March 12, 2012
at 02:06 AM

You eat 200-300 grams of protein a day? Unless that's coming from a very low fat source (chicken breast, shrimp, turkey breast NOT cooked in fat) I'd say you are eating too much. To a normal person, 100-150 grams of protein translates to between a whole lot and a shit load and you're doing that for two meals? I can see why you're not hungry. You need to either cut the fat (by either cutting out your added fats like butter, coconut oil, coconut milk or changing your meat source to something very low fat) or cut the portion of meat you are eating.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:50 AM

Oh sorry I meant 100-150 grams of like a piece of chicken so 100g of chicken or 100g of tuna or something.

0
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 11, 2012
at 11:51 PM

I think you're eating too much to lose weight and too little to be Crossfitting 3 days on/1 day off. I think having low mood, being constantly drained, and being unable to sleep are signs you're burning the candle on both ends!

0
06cf0b860450445b9d399fcc1b2a053a

on March 11, 2012
at 10:24 PM

Before I went paleoish, I lost most of my excess weight (17 pounds) rather quickly on the Dukan diet. It's a high-protein, very low carb, low fat diet. I have no idea why you aren't losing weight, but just wanted to share the fact that this worked for me.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 12, 2012
at 07:49 AM

yeah I've heard of dukan before ... where you basically eat protein only for phase one, then add veggies phase two, then other stuff etc??

06cf0b860450445b9d399fcc1b2a053a

on March 13, 2012
at 01:13 AM

Yeah. And when it was time to add other stuff, I just started adding paleoish stuff instead of bread and other things he recommends. His vision is for people to go back to a mainstream diet except for one day per week of eating only protein. For exercise, he prescribes 20 minutes a day of walking and no use of elevators or escalators. That's pretty paleo, if you ask me. Lots of moving around slowly.

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