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Tried paleo and vegan/vegetarian, need some honest advice

Commented on February 24, 2014
Created February 23, 2014 at 4:05 AM

Hey guys. I need some advice about how to proceed concerning diet.

I am currently training prior to leaving for the Royal marines. I am a few months into prep training, I started quite overweight and began a program of calisthenics, kettle bells, barbell lifts and running.

I stumbled across the paleo diet when my brother who is currently serving said a lot of Army guys are doing it. I went out and bought a copy of primal blueprint and the paleo solution and really liked what Sisson and Wolf had to say.

I followed very strict paleo for 60 days, double the recommended test time and lost about 9 pounds and felt pretty good but not much better than I did just excersizing and counting my macros for the day and eating bread, beans, chocolate etc. However there was a noticeable improvement in my skin and I started sleeping slightly better. It was too dear though even after getting tips from other people doing paleo.

I then tried primal, I felt that it was pretty similar to strict paleo but it lacked carbs because of the lack of fruit and other carb sources which was problematic when I am training for such a stamina and endurance based career and lifestyle. I would buy gurnsey milk, steak and lots of green vegetables. I think this way of eating is incredibly good taste wise. I lost an additional 8 pounds doing primal and I felt very good. However price was an issue again and I felt that it lacked enough carbs to keep me functioning and losing weight.

I finished 60 days of paleo and 54 days of primal having lost 17 pounds and having gotten a lot fitter.

I lost my main job due to cuts at work and this severely limited my ability to keep eating paleo and it forced me to think of ways to try and get all the micronutrients that paleo offers at a much cheaper cost.

I typically spent around 90 pounds a week on paleo and primal by getting coupons, by buying from the clearance shelf, from haggling for scraps at the butchers, by going to organic foodie coops and I was barely getting by on 90 a week. I suddenly had less than 40 a week to spend after all other bills.

I had a 10 pound tub of organic whey that I bought while doing primal as I liked the argument Sission put forth in favour of them. That meant i had my protein macro covered. So now I had fat and carbs to cover.

I went out and bought a 5kg tub of organic coconut oil for 25 pounds and then went out and bought a freezer full of berries, mango, cherry, banana, grape, melon. I got 5 2 kilo bags of assorted fruit for 18 pounds 77 pence on sale at a wholesalers which I was pretty happy about.

So basically I get up and slam a gallon of room temperature water and then throw around 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 250 grams of mango, some berries and 2 scoops of whey into a blender. I gorge on whatever fresh fruit or veg I buy and then have protein smoothies throughout the day

My results from 65 days have been as follows:

weight lost: 21 pounds

5km run time - from 34 minutes to 28 minutes

chinups - from 7 at the end of primal to 16 as of two days ago.

Pressups - from 74 in 2 and a half minutes to 100 in the same time

deadlift - from 120kgx5 to 145kg x 3

My skin has improved even more probably due to the fruit consumption.

I guess my question is am I fucking myself up health wise eating like this? I mean its almost vegan apart from the fish oil I take and the whey which is vegetarian. I really like the paleo community, I met tonnes of paleo people at the north bank community coop and they are all really great people who offer a lot of friendly advice and help. One even gave me some paleo cookbooks while I was on strict paleo.

Basically you guys are an awesome group and I wanted to get advice from the paleo community because it is pretty much the only group that uses science to dictate its eating habits rather than dogma or some hippy bollocks like the peta people.

PS. please no low carb advise, I can not get ready for 32 weeks of brutal training that culminates in a 30 mile run across hills with 80 pounds on my back in horrid weather. Daily 10-15 mile runs and hundreds of pushups and tonnes of chinups and obstacle courses on the daily.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 24, 2014
at 02:01 PM

I do eat meat now and again but only when I get a really cheep deal. I just got 6 chicken drumsticks and 3 thighs for 2 pounds 50 on sale at the coop. So today I will eat that, but a lot of days the ply protein is whey.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 24, 2014
at 01:59 PM

Gymnastics do not do 20 mile runs so really your point is not applicable.

2a6025992746ff6cd4ffb6ccf0aa03fc

(60)

on February 24, 2014
at 08:09 AM

your don't just have the choices "all meat" and "no meat". How about "some meat"?

2a6025992746ff6cd4ffb6ccf0aa03fc

(60)

on February 24, 2014
at 08:09 AM

i still think you can do it. your calorie requirements may be higher but it's not like you need to make up the extra energy with calories from meat alone. Even eating a small amount of meat every day would make your diet vastly more nutritious. Allow yourself an affordable portion of meat and eggs a day, same with fat (animal fats are cheap), then make up the rest in a bit of non-starchy veg and lots of starchy veg (cheaper than fruit) and also the cheap fruit you can get. White rice is also a cheap source of calories.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 24, 2014
at 01:42 AM

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 24, 2014
at 12:15 AM

I am taking in over 3000 calories a day and still steadily losing weight. I am guessing my activity level and calorie intake is the reason why it is costing too much.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 09:09 PM

Also the navy seals did tests using ketones to treat seizures from toxic reactions. Not for performance, none of them train and run ops on leto diets. It is not optimum. Carbs are an optimum fuel source. To argue that is to argue against scientific fact

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 09:04 PM

The vast majority of Naval special warfare teams slam down calories. If you read any BUDS books, watch videos from seals on how to approach diet and training, they recommend very high carbohydrate intake.

One or two men does not mean your theory has any substance. Also you need to realise SEALS and special warfare members are juiced to the gills, so comparing him to us is silly on its own.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 23, 2014
at 08:53 PM

We should also not forget all the keto Navy Seals.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 08:16 PM

It is impossible to eat leto in the marines 32 weeks. It is impossible. And lets not forget all those better marathon runners, sprinters, triathletes, cross fitters who smash carbs down.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 23, 2014
at 04:20 PM

Keto adapted ultramarathoners do 100mi (winning races at significantly lower times than their carb burning peers) with less oxidative stress, a more efficient metabolism, and greater access to energy stores. Be the best you can be.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 23, 2014
at 04:09 PM

40 pounds of egg for the win.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 03:57 PM

Did you read the thread? I am not eating animal meat and am on a 40 pound a week budget. I have whey at home. Meaning it saves me spending money on meat.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 03:16 PM

because the trend for fat lazy servicemen is ridiculous and does not bode well if total war was to break out again. My brother said there are obese guys under his command and they cheat the tests to stay in. The Navy and RAF are obviously the places fatness is running rampant but even the army is letting fitness standards drop and the crap they feed soldiers has led to unfit and fat serving soldiers, sea men and crew men.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 03:13 PM

Thank you for your help but I think the simple science on carbohydrate and its effectiveness in military training is proven and low carbohydrate is not useful for this lifestyle.

In the falklands royal marines slogged 60 miles rather than get transport to outflank the argentinians and route them. This is the MO of the marines and you can not stay combat effective low carb. I asked for no low carb advise or links. This is not a religion.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 03:09 PM

Hi Michael thanks for the reply. I am thinking so much sugar might not be good alongside saturated fat from the coconut oil for a long time. I will only be doing this a few months but it seems a bit worrying. Also lack of organs and fish and meat means I am getting things like zinc, omega 3 vitamin D and A through supplementation.

Don't get me wrong i feel like this is healthier than SAD, but its just not optimal, which docent bother me because its out of necessity, but there is a difference between sub optimal and unhealthy and I don't want to cross that line.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on February 23, 2014
at 10:21 AM

Hey... I put here a coupla questions whcih might help me or others answer..,explore here... Do you think you might be fucking up in someway by eating as you are...? Ie, are you thinking that it might be risky? What might the risks be in your perspective...?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on February 23, 2014
at 10:17 AM

@EnglishRose - I'm curious, and of course you don't need to answer...

.Why do you say/think it's good news many US marines are eating 'paleo..'?

.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 23, 2014
at 09:48 AM

http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Science-Carbohydrate-Performance/dp/0983490716

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 05:11 AM

By low carb I meant please no one recommend a VLC version of paleo or a leto diet, as I can not train in the way I need on a low carb diet. I did not mean paleo is low carb. I probably should of been clearer.

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5 Answers

0
2a6025992746ff6cd4ffb6ccf0aa03fc

on February 23, 2014
at 07:54 PM

I live in the UK and I too am on a tight budget, but £40 a week seems doable and is probably around what I spend even though I do buy a certain amount of organic and high quality stuff too.

Fruit and veg is cheap if you buy from the green grocer. Potatoes are a well known cheap veg, bananas are usually £1 a kilo or less and I can get greens in big bunches (100-200g per bunch) for about 60-75p each. Courgettes are quite expensive right now but there are plenty of other veg that are really really cheap. Lots of shops where I live set out bowls of veg and it's usually £1 for a bowl. I buy a lot of cassava, plantain, taro, yam, sweet potato, etc. which are very cheap per calorie.

For meat I find the cuts with fat, connective tissue and bone are the cheapest and to me are much tastier than lean stuff. Brisket, beef neck, stewing lamb, liver, heart, beef shin, lamb shanks, etc. are my staples. These are usually £3.50-5.50 a kilo. I eat a lot of goat too because I like it, and that's more like £6 a kilo. Bones I get free when I buy my meat. For fish, sprats are usually £3-4 a kilo, and sardines around the same too. I'm talking fresh, not tinned.

Coconut oil can be expensive but I buy in bulk online. If you don't care about the oil being organic or cold pressed, you can get it extremely cheap in any South Asian grocery shop. I buy my spices in bulk there too because I get through a lot.

I guess what I'm saying is that paleo/primal/whatever needn't be expensive. Seriously, I have a minimum wage job and I do fine.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 24, 2014
at 12:15 AM

I am taking in over 3000 calories a day and still steadily losing weight. I am guessing my activity level and calorie intake is the reason why it is costing too much.

0
Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 03:05 PM

Hey guys thanks for so many replies. First off I am only using whey exclusively because I have a lot of it from before i lost my main job, meaning that I don't have to buy protein. I am on a 40 pound a week budget remember and not having to buy meat is a huge help cash wise.

Once I am in the marines I will most likely be eating meat and seafood again when stationed in the UK.

I must say though, I have not felt any negative affects from not consuming meat. And the fruit has really made me feel good. Like I say I am taking cod liver oil and coconut oil for healthy fats and omega 3 and I don't drink or smoke.

Everything has improved even though I am not consuming meat. While I will go back to eating meat once I am earning a decent wage in the marines, it will be due to taste and loving red meat, not because I have noticed any deterioration in health or fitness from abstaining from it.

As for people saying its good to hear people in the forces are going paleo. It is quite a fast growing trend. I have two cousins who are in the Army who are paleo, a brother in the Airforce who is primal, two friends in the Army and marines who do a whole foods diet which consists of fruit, veg, red meat, seafood and legumes and starches like basmastti rice. no wheat or gluten etc

I think its due to a lot of the physical fitness instructors being into crossfit and recommending it on the marine forums and the navy forums so people sort of group together and form little paleo groups.

Infact my choice to use the whey I had and buy a tub of fat and gorge on fruit is something I was not alone in doing on the navy forums. Like 3 other guys are doing it. It is basically a poor mans paleo until we can afford to do real paleo again.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 23, 2014
at 09:14 AM

Protein supplements always seem like such overkill to me. It's easy to go overboard if you're eating animals and restricting carbs, so I don't quite see a reason to push that number even higher into the red. You need maybe a gram to 1.2g per kilogram of body mass. At 150lb, you reach nitrogen balance with about a single steak, maybe a little more. Some days, I'm there before lunch.

On an IgG test, whey was on my list of foods that cause inflammation for me. I used to supplement with the stuff before workouts, but my recovery time wasn't as nice as it is without it. Big tip for workouts -- magnesium, and sodium.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 03:57 PM

Did you read the thread? I am not eating animal meat and am on a 40 pound a week budget. I have whey at home. Meaning it saves me spending money on meat.

0
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on February 23, 2014
at 09:05 AM

Good luck with entry to the marines and I am very encouraged by your saying so many of the people in there already are into paelo eating. That is really good news.

You can eat paleo and not much meat. Eggs are pretty cheap in the UK and tinned fish, sardines etc. I have always been a fish and meat lover but I do think if you avoid processed foods and sugars then whether you are 100% carnivore or 100% vegan you will be much much healthier than the standard diet full of bread, sweets and chocolate and alcohol. I suspect some meat will keep you fuller longer and you could eat two large meals a day not 3, intermittent fasting of course is very very very cheap!

If I'm not trying to lose weight I think sweet potatoes in skins with butter for example are a fairly cheap but lovely healthy food. Paleo is not necessarily low carb. I like high fat, medium protein, lowish carb when I want to lose a bit of weight as I do not.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on February 23, 2014
at 10:17 AM

@EnglishRose - I'm curious, and of course you don't need to answer...

.Why do you say/think it's good news many US marines are eating 'paleo..'?

.

0
8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on February 23, 2014
at 05:05 AM

Coconut oil raises the metabolism, so thats probably helping. I think if you ran your diet through cronometer, you'd find nutrients missing. Eating nutrient dense food generally is more expensive that eating wheat and rice. But that'll be why your skin has improved, I noticed the same thing. As for low carb, I don't regard paleo as low carb, I see it as medium carb myself. Tubers and fruit have always been a part of our diet since fire. Whey doesn't make a lot of sense to me, because milk fats are like coconut fats, they boost your metabolism (recent science shows that dairy is also associated with weight loss, and it makes sense) - so why extract the protien, when the whole product has other good stuff. But each to there own. I think there are some meat specific nutrients. I am also not sure that coconut fat alone will cover all the bases - you do need _some_ omega 6, and I don't know how effecient the conversion between fats is. Zinc is in meats. Copper is heavier in plants. Zinc copper balance is important for males especially, its linked to thyroid function and testosterone balance. In general, all I can recommend is thinking about your diet, taking in information, modifying it as you go, and run everything through cronometer.

Ee2fb37666db6f51d338f69d00d4fc3e

on February 23, 2014
at 05:11 AM

By low carb I meant please no one recommend a VLC version of paleo or a leto diet, as I can not train in the way I need on a low carb diet. I did not mean paleo is low carb. I probably should of been clearer.

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