0

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Paleo Diet for Abs/Lower body fat

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 10, 2012 at 9:19 AM

I've been following Paleo for about half a year now and I've seen significant improvements in my running and overall fitness, which is definitely a plus. I'm a growing 15-year old who's running everyday and goes to the gym three times a week (squats, deadlifts, presses etc), so this is more or less what I'm having daily:

Post-Run Breakfast: 4 eggs in coconut oil, ground beef, vegetables, sweet potato

Lunch: A lot of vegetables, 2 large grilled chicken breasts, extra virgin olive oil

Post-Gym: 1 whole fresh coconut, water and meat (if I go to the gym that day)

Dinner: White rice, grilled fish/chicken breasts, stir-fried leafy greens in coconut oil with aromatics or some curry made with coconut milk or bone broth

Supper: Fresh fruits (berries, plums)

I'd like to get more toned (aka lose the slight chubbiness/flabbiness around the stomach and arms especially) and lower my body fat; are there any foods or macros that I should avoid or add to my diet?

*I find I bonk and get really tired after eating white rice so I usually have it for dinner so that I can go to bed early since I get up early to run. Just a side note.

026dde5c5ed48e30d006ac075410871e

(288)

on July 28, 2013
at 09:50 PM

Eating less is not appropriate advice for a person who 1. has amenorrhea from from too-low body fat 2. is doing lots of chronic cardio 3. is undergoing puberty

026dde5c5ed48e30d006ac075410871e

(288)

on July 28, 2013
at 09:49 PM

Eating less is not appropriate advice for a person who 1. has amenorrheafrom from too-low body fat 2. is doing lots of chronic cardio 3. is undergoing puberty

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on June 27, 2013
at 05:01 PM

Definitely echoing what JeJ said. Also, speaking as a heterosexual male, I've gotta say that lower body fat on a woman isn't inherently attractive; normal range body fat with muscle is where it's at. Focus on that (specifically on the weight lifting and HIIT that TomKat mentioned, though I'd cut the HIIT to just once or twice a week) and you'll look fine in no time :)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on November 22, 2012
at 07:47 PM

This is a very reasonable (and safe!) answer!

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on November 22, 2012
at 07:33 PM

I agree with JeJ. When I was her age, I had a bottomless pit for a stomach, too. I would always clean my plate and then eat my dad's leftovers, too. That's not the case now, at all, because I don't think I could physically eat that much now, much less want to. Lacesandlabcoats is a growing young lady who has different needs from a fully grown woman and I think it's better to go by her appetite, when she's not obese or anything, and eating healthy clean foods, than to try and guess exactly where she's at in puberty. It can vary a lot and it's best not to take risks with her hormones right now.

Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

(1297)

on October 12, 2012
at 03:01 PM

Fair enough. I'm not sure that I knew about any ""history". The challenge of faceless forums.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 12, 2012
at 04:38 AM

I downvoted, not because I don't like your answer (sorry David McC, I really like the answer!) but because I think it's inappropriate to give any advice to a 15 yr old girl who already has a history of stopped menses due to an extremely low body fat percent.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 12, 2012
at 04:37 AM

Do not take any specific eating or exercise advice here- it is not thorough enough to address what you are dealing with specifically. It would be inappropriate for anyone to speculate how you should behave given your history.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 12, 2012
at 04:36 AM

If you are 15 yrs old and you've already lost your period from a lack of body fat? You don't have to post the answer here, but if you are not already in a close relationship with your family doctor or another health care provider, you need to be in one ASAP. You seriously don't want to mess with this stuff at all, and it already sounds like you've had a measurable impact on your fertility in a very negative way.

A90dfb3c8b984191d8102ccfc0203e90

on October 11, 2012
at 07:04 AM

Thanks. :) And yeah I had waaaay too low body fat in the past with no muscle at all so I lost my period. I enjoy chicken breast because it has the most meat! And it's cheaper. Steak's expensive around here and pork tastes really porky and chicken thighs are... less meat. Heh.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 10, 2012
at 11:16 PM

See also: http://suppversity.blogspot.de/2012/09/the-female-athletes-triad-part-iii-how.html

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:48 PM

When answering, keep in mind: life stages matter! Female in the middle of puberty up in here.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:47 PM

You know a lot of very active folks in the middle of puberty eating less than that? Age matters!! PSA over haha.

A90dfb3c8b984191d8102ccfc0203e90

on October 10, 2012
at 10:27 PM

I'm female. And yep, I've heard that too. :)

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on October 10, 2012
at 02:05 PM

Are you male or female? Asking because at your age girls lay fat down on their bellies, butts, breasts and thighs to prep their bodies for childbearing.

Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

(1297)

on October 10, 2012
at 12:27 PM

Yeah, I also wanted to say that as you are still growing you need to be respectful of your whole system ~ your central nervous system & your muscular-skeletal system. You no doubt have loads of energy and recover quickly. Please be mindful that you have a long life ahead of you and going mad at this stage could casue you problems later in life. In a way I'd like to recommend that you find a personal trainer or soemone who REALLY knows what they're talking about to guide you. But recognising those people can be tricky. Tread cautiously.

B84597b7853f695c90593a6dc659078a

(130)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:56 AM

I would agree with what's been said above. Firstly identify your actual goals (tone, lean, lose weight etc), then look at ways of achieving your goals. I would personally cut down on the running and focus more on the weight training with the odd run/activity on gym rest days for fitness/wellbeing/social. Your still very young and don't want to be stressing your body out by doing too much. I'm pretty impressed with your diet, you have obviously researched this well - for your goals I would drop the sweet potato post run and move to post workout on gym days.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:38 AM

Good advice :)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:37 AM

Good advice though! :)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:34 AM

Good advice though :)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:33 AM

Well sisson doesnt say no cardio per se. He says that 1 tabata sprint sesson a week, and regular long distance slow walking is superior for cardio health gains that running/jogging all the time (and thats backed up by studies, showing that a short session of hardcore sprints once a week ARE better than running for hours and hours each week for cardio health). And most will also tell you that running/jogging/cardio all the time actually generates health risks. But yeah, he does also suggest hardcore heavy lifting 1-2 a week for a short session each time too (and dont do running).

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10 Answers

3
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:46 PM

Note: very few girls smack in the middle of puberty will be able to approach a low body fat in a healthful way that does not impact their development. If you want to cycle regularly and support further growth/development into your 20's, you are going to have to have a minimum amount of fat deposits. Focus on managing your stress, optimizing your sleep, and if you want to get more in tune with your body ("Taking Charge of Your Fertility", best purchase ever) you could start tracking so that you'll be able to tell if your habits are affecting your development. Some more info here: http://huntgatherlove.com/content/why-women-need-fat

Also, in terms of eating, why so much chicken breast? Could definitely have better sources of meat.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 10, 2012
at 11:16 PM

See also: http://suppversity.blogspot.de/2012/09/the-female-athletes-triad-part-iii-how.html

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 12, 2012
at 04:36 AM

If you are 15 yrs old and you've already lost your period from a lack of body fat? You don't have to post the answer here, but if you are not already in a close relationship with your family doctor or another health care provider, you need to be in one ASAP. You seriously don't want to mess with this stuff at all, and it already sounds like you've had a measurable impact on your fertility in a very negative way.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 12, 2012
at 04:37 AM

Do not take any specific eating or exercise advice here- it is not thorough enough to address what you are dealing with specifically. It would be inappropriate for anyone to speculate how you should behave given your history.

A90dfb3c8b984191d8102ccfc0203e90

on October 11, 2012
at 07:04 AM

Thanks. :) And yeah I had waaaay too low body fat in the past with no muscle at all so I lost my period. I enjoy chicken breast because it has the most meat! And it's cheaper. Steak's expensive around here and pork tastes really porky and chicken thighs are... less meat. Heh.

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on June 27, 2013
at 05:01 PM

Definitely echoing what JeJ said. Also, speaking as a heterosexual male, I've gotta say that lower body fat on a woman isn't inherently attractive; normal range body fat with muscle is where it's at. Focus on that (specifically on the weight lifting and HIIT that TomKat mentioned, though I'd cut the HIIT to just once or twice a week) and you'll look fine in no time :)

2
3decccb9ae35c52099f70476ce47b65c

on October 10, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Unless you are a long distance track runner in high school I would lose the everyday run. Interval sprints of 6 repeats 3 times per week will help build up your body to be more muscular - compare the build of olympic sprinters versus marathoners.

I believe you are probably overeating proteins - 2 breasts at lunch! The caveman lived in groups of 30 family related people who shared all their food. Doubt that he ate more than 1 pound of protein per day. More realistic is half a pound - 8 ounces of meat per day. Excess protein gets converted to carbs. I am a 175 pound, 66 year old man who now never eats more than 4 ounces of meat per meal. When first starting the Paleo diet, I ate twice that and soon came down with gout - very painful lesson! I have lost 20 lbs since June without working out at all -just diet. Try to stay alkaline overall with your meals by eating lots of veggies. Checkout alkaline diet web sites for info on what veggies to eat.

Working out at the gym can be great for building up your body but don't overdo a good thing by becoming a gym rat that works out for long sessions. Google Mike Mentzer training. He believed in short intense work outs for building up both size and strength.

Stay Paleo and green! Good luck.

1
Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on February 03, 2013
at 02:15 AM

I think the excessive may be a problem. If you do track and you really like it, don't quit. However, if you are doing it just to get in shape, you might want to lose it. When I first went paleo, I did the whole chronic cardio thing (45min elliptical, 6 days per week). I did weight machines 3x per week, which was far inferior to free weights. I was basically burning away so many calories with the cardio that I had none left over to build muscle. I was thin, but I still looked soft and smooth. Skinny fat, as many say. I hated this look. I loved the look of strong women like gymnasts and many women who CrossFit. I then switched to HIIT on the stationary bike 3x per week. I also lifted hard 5x per week (focusing on different body parts each day to avoid overtraining!). I switched from machines to dumbells (more than 10 pounds) and free weights. I did compound exercises like squats and military presses. Those will make your arms muscular and firm and get rid of that chub.

1
86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 22, 2012
at 03:44 AM

I was going to say cut out the fruits...buuuuut you're 15 so you need a good variety for your growing body.

Instead, move the fruit to the morning. They provide good carbs and sugar that will be good fuel for your day. Having them at night, however, just allows the fructose to turn into fat.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on November 22, 2012
at 07:47 PM

This is a very reasonable (and safe!) answer!

1
2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on October 10, 2012
at 12:08 PM

if you want to see your abs and lower your bodyfat % prioratise weightliffting

0
B4dc21cb4cf3482d1fa2f5d46c016046

on June 27, 2013
at 01:08 PM

I am also a 15 year old sort oh in the same situation as you, except I only running and don't go to a gym-don't belong to one but want to. I run for xc and track and recently started paleo the beginning of outdoor track, well 80-90%. even though I don't go to the gym, I cross train by swimming and doing calisthenics like body weight and light dunmbells.

I am 5'4 and range from 97 to 100 ish lbs now that is now. Before track I did field hockey instead of xc freshman year and the break between that and indoor track I was around 110 lbs then went down to 103 near the end of indoor and remained the same- though you would think I would gain weight taking a two week break from indoor to spring track but I actually went down a bit more at 98-99 - and I wasn't even paleo yet! I still can't believe my pre race snack/meal would be a almondbutter banana sandwich on 9grain bread lol I guess I could tolerate it then.

Around then I was interested in paleo but never thought I could pull it off as I wouldn't get enough, which I probably don't, but also since I'm on my own since I havnt really told my mom... she thinks I just don't like bread. though it would be easier just to make everyone switch to paleo and then they could have the benefits but I know my mom and especially my dad and brother would want to or handle the switch...

As for your question, which I clearly have gotten off topic, I would suggest that you keep eating all that you are, like others have said, eat fruit in the morning would be better, and maybe just skip the rice unless it settles well with you. You could also add more fish and salmon and some beef, and try body weight exercise that targets the abs and arms like burpees. I also tend to cheat pretty hard with dessert, (just don't overdo it like i do and feel sick the next day, my sister brings me to these downfalls lol) but you can always have a cheat once or twice a week for the mental part of this paleo lifestyle. It actually helps I think, I seen some resources, or you could try some books like the paleo diet, but I own paleo diet for athletes so...

But also like you I have kinda lost my period or haven't had one since November which I think is due to my hard training and low bodyfat percentage. so its best not to mess with horomones , I don't know how much mine are messed up, and keep that training in the gym. lucky since I want to go just don't have membership or time or the money lol.

wow I just now noticed t you posted this a long time ago... well I hope I could help, I like it when I have someone to relate to, knowing that there are others make it easier. Also not the best place to get info but good for advice, since I don't know everything, but am really interested in nutrition, so I hope you are on your way to your goals... I mean you could already be there by now :)

0
F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on February 03, 2013
at 12:02 PM

Eat and keep excercising and grow..

When you reach a more mature age you can then cut off the fat with a caloric deficit.

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on November 22, 2012
at 12:25 AM

You're 15. Embrace the start of raging hormone levels and focus on lifting heavy with compound movements and whole body development. In-terms of cardio, I tend to keep it around if you enjoy it. For instance, I don't mind 20-30 minutes a day but it's more to build up a sweat and for movement. Other than that, just walking around a lot.

0
Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

on October 10, 2012
at 09:53 AM

I think you need to get clear what you want. You say you want to get more toned aka lose slight chubbiness around the stomach and arms.

The two things are entirely different. Chubbiness is a matter of (lack of) leanness ie to achieve your goal you need to lose weight. Toning is muscular, depending on your viewpoint it's either size or strength.

If you want to get stronger or bigger, then you need to lift heavy things and for lots of reasons you probably need to stop the cardio until you are the size you want to be. This guy explains better than me how to go about it http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/?page_id=18, but you should also look at http://skylertanner.com/ & http://www.marksdailyapple.com/subscribe-to-blog/#axzz28t7TS6Fe & http://www.leangains.com/

They all say "lift heavy things" infrequently (1-2) per week to (almost) failure, focus on composite exercises, keep sessions short, spend a long time recovering, stop doing cardio.

Leaning out is also part of these guys offerings so you can learn a lot from their versions of paleo/primal.

Good luck

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:34 AM

Good advice though :)

B84597b7853f695c90593a6dc659078a

(130)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:56 AM

I would agree with what's been said above. Firstly identify your actual goals (tone, lean, lose weight etc), then look at ways of achieving your goals. I would personally cut down on the running and focus more on the weight training with the odd run/activity on gym rest days for fitness/wellbeing/social. Your still very young and don't want to be stressing your body out by doing too much. I'm pretty impressed with your diet, you have obviously researched this well - for your goals I would drop the sweet potato post run and move to post workout on gym days.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:37 AM

Good advice though! :)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:33 AM

Well sisson doesnt say no cardio per se. He says that 1 tabata sprint sesson a week, and regular long distance slow walking is superior for cardio health gains that running/jogging all the time (and thats backed up by studies, showing that a short session of hardcore sprints once a week ARE better than running for hours and hours each week for cardio health). And most will also tell you that running/jogging/cardio all the time actually generates health risks. But yeah, he does also suggest hardcore heavy lifting 1-2 a week for a short session each time too (and dont do running).

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:38 AM

Good advice :)

Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

(1297)

on October 10, 2012
at 12:27 PM

Yeah, I also wanted to say that as you are still growing you need to be respectful of your whole system ~ your central nervous system & your muscular-skeletal system. You no doubt have loads of energy and recover quickly. Please be mindful that you have a long life ahead of you and going mad at this stage could casue you problems later in life. In a way I'd like to recommend that you find a personal trainer or soemone who REALLY knows what they're talking about to guide you. But recognising those people can be tricky. Tread cautiously.

Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

(1297)

on October 12, 2012
at 03:01 PM

Fair enough. I'm not sure that I knew about any ""history". The challenge of faceless forums.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 12, 2012
at 04:38 AM

I downvoted, not because I don't like your answer (sorry David McC, I really like the answer!) but because I think it's inappropriate to give any advice to a 15 yr old girl who already has a history of stopped menses due to an extremely low body fat percent.

-1
Medium avatar

on October 10, 2012
at 09:00 PM

Sounds like you're eating a lot! I know everybody is different, but to me that sounds like a ton of food for one day!

Perhaps try ditching the white rice and the fruit for dessert. As for toning your stomach, try less running and more crossfit exercises that target your abs and obliques.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 10, 2012
at 10:47 PM

You know a lot of very active folks in the middle of puberty eating less than that? Age matters!! PSA over haha.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on November 22, 2012
at 07:33 PM

I agree with JeJ. When I was her age, I had a bottomless pit for a stomach, too. I would always clean my plate and then eat my dad's leftovers, too. That's not the case now, at all, because I don't think I could physically eat that much now, much less want to. Lacesandlabcoats is a growing young lady who has different needs from a fully grown woman and I think it's better to go by her appetite, when she's not obese or anything, and eating healthy clean foods, than to try and guess exactly where she's at in puberty. It can vary a lot and it's best not to take risks with her hormones right now.

026dde5c5ed48e30d006ac075410871e

(288)

on July 28, 2013
at 09:49 PM

Eating less is not appropriate advice for a person who 1. has amenorrheafrom from too-low body fat 2. is doing lots of chronic cardio 3. is undergoing puberty

026dde5c5ed48e30d006ac075410871e

(288)

on July 28, 2013
at 09:50 PM

Eating less is not appropriate advice for a person who 1. has amenorrhea from from too-low body fat 2. is doing lots of chronic cardio 3. is undergoing puberty

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