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Paleo Zone Diet - How to get below 10% Body Fat Levels??? Have I hit a plateau? What should I do?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 20, 2013 at 4:09 AM

Hi Guys,

Long time reader, first time poster.

Zone Paleo Diet

I am currently undertaking a Zone Paleo style diet, making the jump from straight paleo for the first time. The main reason for this is the portioning, tracking and performance gains associated.

I am undertaking a challenge together with my crossfit gym across a 9 week period, currently 60% of the way through at the 5 week mark.

Starting Stats: WEEK 1 Weight 70.3kgs BF 11.9% Height: 175cms

Current Stats: WEEK 5 Weight 68.9kgs BF 10.9%

INITIAL ZONE PRESCRIPTION

I initially started on a 17 Block plan, inline with doing crossfit 5x per week, yoga 2-3 times per week and at times additional strength training at 2x per week.

On 17 blocks at prescibed zone ratios of 40/30/30 I felt full, definite jump in carb consumption however a lower intake on the fats.

UPDATED ZONE PRESCRIPTION

In an effort to drop some bodyfat, I reduced by blocks to 16 by week 2 mark of which I have maintained through weeks 2-5.

SMALL LOSS IN WEIGHT / BODY FAT

Now at 10.9% bodyfat, down from 11.9% I feel like I haven't got to the BF levels I desire (ultimate goal is 8%).

Having read plenty of articles, including Robb Wolf's 42 Ways to skin the zone, I am potentially looking at reducing the carb blocks.

PROPOSED ZONE BLOCK ALTERATION

My proposed was 16 blocks protein, 12 blocks carbs and 16 fat. Initially, I was dropping the carbs post breakfast (WOD in the morning), across my lunch and snack as at this time I am a sedintary office worker.

  • Question 1: Is this the right approach? Reduce the carb blocks?

  • Question 2: Is it imperative that when I drop the carb block, I sub in a 3x fat block? Or can I go without?

I have been trialing the dropping carbs approach for 3 days now, and feel slightly less energetic, little lathargic however not as "full" looking and feeling with the increased carbs.

  • Question 3: Would it be an alternative to increase the fat blocks and try and build muscle? Or do I keep going the way I am?

  • Question 4: Once you get down this low, is there only so much I can do with my diet to get below 10% Body fat? Does exercise become more important?

I am doing 4-5x Metcons per week, 3 x Strength Training (5/3/1) with Compound lifts.

  • Question 5: If I was to change my training, what would be suggested? Do I need to increase cardio? Incorporate HIIT 2x per week in form of sprint training?

I feel like I have hit that mega plateau having only lost 1.5kgs over the course of 5 weeks and 1% loss in Body Fat. It feels like the last 2-3 weeks, there has been no change in body composition. I am looking to make a few tweaks so I can go sub 10% bf towards the 8% mark I so desire.

Any help, guidance or references would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers, Andy

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 22, 2013
at 04:36 PM

Spotted this: http://paleohacks.com/questions/56533/have-you-combined-crossfit-with-leangains-style-intermittent-fasting-what-was-yo I have never tried CF, but simply do HIIT 3 x week. I think read Martin's guide and look at your intensity, calories and carbs and try something for a few weeks and see how you go.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 20, 2013
at 11:14 PM

i have similar scales myself, as you say they are okay for tracking. just make sure you check yourself at the same time & conditions each time. ie. first thing in morning (after pee) before any food, liquids, shower. the readings will vary though out the day (supposedly due to fluctuation of the bodies water content). i actually tested this a few days ago, with an 8am & 4pm check...my bf% had dropped 1.7% & my water% had increase by 3.1%

E31eeabac764338e16f7332d51eefde0

(5)

on February 20, 2013
at 09:47 PM

That's great, definitely puts things into perspective. Appreciate the effort! I agree with what you are saying as to gaining Lean Body Mass, which will overall reduce my BF%. I would like to stay around 70kgs, ultimately up to 75kgs over the course of the year, but have a 7-8% body fat levels at each of these markers. First goal is 70kgs, 7-8% body fat. How do you recommend incorporating Lean Gains into my crossfit regime? How would it work together with a zone/paleo style diet? Keep the answers and dialogue coming, great source of information!

E31eeabac764338e16f7332d51eefde0

(5)

on February 20, 2013
at 09:45 PM

It was on a scale which had all the readings. weight, bf, water levels etc. Need to have a more detailed check in soon. Whilst it might not be the most accurate, it is a like for like measurement...So its a start!

9faea9e231d519588949f1bc631a7709

(50)

on February 20, 2013
at 05:09 PM

Very detailed. Loved the Lean Gains reference

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on February 20, 2013
at 11:51 AM

Nonsensical. I smell link farming to come soon..

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 20, 2013
at 07:03 AM

out of interest, how did they measure your body fat% ? i just did a basic calc (not sure how much value you can give this tho)...if you had lost 1% of body fat that would be around 0.7 kg of fat. but your weight has dropped by 1.4 kg, of course there is water weight to consider, but may be you have lost muscle as well? possibly 50/50 fat/muscle if you assume zero change in water...

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 20, 2013
at 07:01 AM

out of interest, how did they measure your body fat% ? i just did a basic calc (not sure how much value you can give this tho)...if you had lost 1% of body fat that would be around 0.7 kg of fat. but your weight has dropped by 1.4 kg, of course there is water weight to consider, but may be you have lost muscle as well? half & half if you assume zero change in water...

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2 Answers

1
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:09 AM

This doesn't answer your question directly, but perhaps gives you something to think about.

Lyle McDonald's Body Composition Calculations[1].

Fat Mass (kg)               = Body Mass (kg) × Body Fat (%)
Lean Body Mass (kg)         = Body Mass (kg) − Fat Mass (kg)
Goal Weight (kg)            = Lean Body Mass (kg) ÷ (1 − [x] Body Fat Goal (%))
Gain [y] (kg) Muscle BF (%) = Fat Mass (kg) ÷ (Body Mass (kg) + [y] (kg)) × 100

So if you put in your numbers...

7.5                         = 68.9 × 0.109
61.4                        = 68.9 − 7.5
66.7                        = 61.4 ÷ (1 − 0.08)
10.4                        = 7.5 ÷ (68.9 + 2) × 100

Therefore to reach your 8% BF goal your goal weight should be around 66.7 kg.

But if you aimed to gain 2 kg of LBM your BF would drop from 10.9% to 10.4% .

Now I would say your goal should be putting on LBM rather than cutting weight to reduce your BF. If you really are wanting to drop sub-10% I think you are going to have to look at something more programmed. Most likely cycling calories in the traditional bulking/cutting methodologies. Though I cannot see why someone under 70 kg would want to reduce their BF that low at a cost of edging down in weight.

I would simply try and cycle 20% more calories on work days, -10% less on rest days. This is pretty much the standard bulking/cutting methodology and even what's prescribed in the Lean Gains protocol[2].

Another point to think about is that your BF taken on the scale is probably out by a number of percentage. Even fat calliper tests have a margin of error of about 5% either side especially when measuring people with pretty low BF. But you still have a consistent number to work with whether or not it is actually true. Also probably helpful to look at some comparisons[3].

It may also be worth your while looking at the The Ultimate Diet 2.0 [4].

Please note: the UD2 is an advanced diet for advanced dieters and is only for those seeking very low levels of body fat. A male should be at 12-15% body fat or lower and females at 21-24% body fat or lower prior to considering the UD2. As well trainees must have at least 6 months of consistent training in the weight room under their belt before they even consider the UD2.

[1] http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/body-composition-calculations.html
[2] http://www.leangains.com/
[3] http://paindatabase.com/body-fat
[4] http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/ultimate-diet-20

9faea9e231d519588949f1bc631a7709

(50)

on February 20, 2013
at 05:09 PM

Very detailed. Loved the Lean Gains reference

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 22, 2013
at 04:36 PM

Spotted this: http://paleohacks.com/questions/56533/have-you-combined-crossfit-with-leangains-style-intermittent-fasting-what-was-yo I have never tried CF, but simply do HIIT 3 x week. I think read Martin's guide and look at your intensity, calories and carbs and try something for a few weeks and see how you go.

E31eeabac764338e16f7332d51eefde0

(5)

on February 20, 2013
at 09:47 PM

That's great, definitely puts things into perspective. Appreciate the effort! I agree with what you are saying as to gaining Lean Body Mass, which will overall reduce my BF%. I would like to stay around 70kgs, ultimately up to 75kgs over the course of the year, but have a 7-8% body fat levels at each of these markers. First goal is 70kgs, 7-8% body fat. How do you recommend incorporating Lean Gains into my crossfit regime? How would it work together with a zone/paleo style diet? Keep the answers and dialogue coming, great source of information!

-1
1a61b51431da0e319f1063ba1e812e7d

on February 20, 2013
at 09:46 AM

It was a simple scale will all the measurements.

Makes sense what you are saying, potentially some water weight.

What are your recommendations?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on February 20, 2013
at 11:51 AM

Nonsensical. I smell link farming to come soon..

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