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Old 05-10-2012, 11:05 PM   #1
Hannah McFarlane
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Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

Trying to figure out this nutrition thing. My goals are really mostly just about appearance at the moment. I just want to lose the last of this belly fat before bikini season.

I will be doing crossfit workouts. Either by myself or at an affiliate if I can find (and afford) one. Regarding paleo vs. zone, is one diet more geared for weight loss and the other for performance? Do many people try both. If I really just want to lose weight fast, is there a better diet out there?
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:29 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

Height and weight? Current training load and activity level?

To lose weight fast, take an appetite suppressant and eat 1000 calories under maintenance. Don't worry about exercise, because you won't have the energy anyway.

Problem is, that's neither healthy nor sustainable. It will also leave you "skinny fat," with nothing to fill out whatever skeletal thinness you achieve.

Yes, I'm being a little snarky, but a number of women who've posted here recently were already at or below a healthy weight and seemed determined to starve themselves into medical complications. If that's your goal as well, we probably won't help you achieve it.

If you actually want to look good in that bikini, things like posture and musculature will have more of an impact than the number on the scale. Plenty of people find that their "belly fat" magically disappears if they develop some core strength, because they stand up straighter. This is popularly known as "toning," although that's kind of a bad word around here because the only way to "tone" is to get stronger.

Katherine
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:30 AM   #3
Luke Seubert
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Re: Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

Hannah, what Katherine told you was pretty solid advice. I would especially encourage you to lift heavy weights and eat enough quality food to support such lifting. Don't worry about getting big muscles. Women who lift heavy don't get huge - they literally don't have the balls for it. Rather, women who lift get curvier. And stronger. See Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength, 3rd Edition" for an excellent beginning lifter's program.

That said, getting rid of the last of the belly fat is tough. There are factors at play here above and beyond just good nutrition and exercise. Resilient belly fat is often caused by high levels of stress, which in turn causes chronically high cortisol levels. So in addition to diet and exercise, you need to work on lifestyle issues, most especially proper rest, recovery from exercise, and stress reduction. Once you knock down your cortisol levels through lifestyle changes, the diet and exercise will take you the rest of the way in achieving your fitness goals and desired appearance.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:37 PM   #4
Hannah McFarlane
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Re: Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Seubert View Post
Women who lift heavy don't get huge - they literally don't have the balls for it.
Funny.

I hope that's true (although I have definitely seen some women who are huge). Like I said, I plan to crossfit, so I assume that means lifting heavy. I was just hoping for a little more guidance on the nutrition side. From what I have seen on this site, it seems most people either do paleo or zone. Paleo seems easier to follow -- at least in terms of the rules of the diet, maybe not in practical terms -- but I would like to know peoples thoughts on which is the better diet for weight loss.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:45 PM   #5
Hannah McFarlane
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Re: Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
Yes, I'm being a little snarky, but a number of women who've posted here recently were already at or below a healthy weight and seemed determined to starve themselves into medical complications. If that's your goal as well, we probably won't help you achieve it.
Yes, you are being a bit snarky, and I am not sure why. Like many, I want to lose weight. So I posted a question on the "Nutrition" forum about the best diet to get me there and you automatically lumped me in with the eating disorder crowd.

In any event, I am 5'6" and between 135 to 140 most days. Not obese by any stretch, but probably 15 pounds over where I would like to be. As for training load, I will be crossfiting. Either on my own or at an affilliate.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:45 PM   #6
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

Sorry, you caught me at the end of a long day.

In any case, 135-140 is not particularly heavy for someone who is 5'6" and athletic. The desire of people who are taller than I am (which you are) to weigh less than I do (which you would if you lost 15#) was one of the frustrations behind my original post.

From what I have seen here, the Zone seems to encourage an obsession with precise amounts that I would consider unhealthy. Standard Zone prescriptions for women also appear to be pitifully inadequate for anything beyond sitting on the couch all day. So no, I wouldn't recommend the Zone.

The Paleo diet, in contrast, is IMO fundamentally healthy. Meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts. What's not to like? However, some paleo variants encourage extreme carb restriction, eliminating essentially all fruit and starchy tubers. Not only did paleo man indisputably eat both, there's plenty of evidence that severe carb restriction undermines athletic performance.

For you specifically, I think my advice would be to train hard, to eat moderate portions of real food, and not to be overly concerned with the number on the scale. I don't see anything in you goals or your present situation that calls for much more than that.

Katherine
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
Cain Papettas
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Re: Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

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Originally Posted by Hannah McFarlane View Post
Yes, you are being a bit snarky, and I am not sure why.
Snarky or not u asked a question you got your honest answer,
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:18 PM   #8
Luke Seubert
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Re: Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah McFarlane View Post
Funny.

I hope that's true (although I have definitely seen some women who are huge). Like I said, I plan to crossfit, so I assume that means lifting heavy. I was just hoping for a little more guidance on the nutrition side. From what I have seen on this site, it seems most people either do paleo or zone. Paleo seems easier to follow -- at least in terms of the rules of the diet, maybe not in practical terms -- but I would like to know peoples thoughts on which is the better diet for weight loss.
The huge women have one or more of three things going on:
  1. Very abnormal hormone levels
  2. Freakish exercise and diet regimen - I mean REALLY freakish
  3. Like their male bodybuilding counterparts, they shoot up lots of anabolic steroids
If you don't have an Adam's apple and a furry back, you don't have to worry about #1. If you don't shoot up steroids, you don't have to worry about #3. A rigorous workout regimen coupled with healthy diet means never worrying about #2. While CrossFit workouts can be tough, they aren't freaky like what natural female bodybuilders do.

Whether or not your CrossFit workouts incorporate heavy lifting depends upon your affiliate. Ideally, CrossFit workouts SHOULD include plenty of heavy lifting. However, affiliate quality varies quite a bit, and some of them do not program enough strength workouts. If yours doesn't, you can always do Rippetoe's "Starting Strength" program on the side. Just make sure you eat enough and don't do too much MetCon, or you'll burn out.

Katherine's advice about Paleo is spot on - it is a very healthy diet, but it can be too low in carbs. If you are working out a lot, you need plenty of healthy carbs to replenish depleted glycogen stores. You can do this with Paleo. Easily. However, most people approach Paleo dieting from a fat loss perspective, not an athletic training perspective. Thus, a lot of people wind up pushing a low-carb version of Paleo as the only version of the diet. This simply is not true. And I say this as somebody who is following a mostly low to moderate carb Paleo diet for losing fat. Once I switch over to hard athletic training after most of the fat is gone, my carb intake levels will go way up.

In my experience, Paleo is easier to follow than Zone. Zone requires a lot more "calculating", or at least estimating, to follow properly. That said, I began with a Paleo-Zone diet, and it helped me a lot in developing "Weigh & Measure" discipline, and learning how to judge portions. Even though I don't follow the Zone much these days (I was always on a low-carb version of it anyway), the experience taught me a lot, and I still weigh and measure many of my meals. The rest I can estimate pretty well.

If you have read the standard Paleo diet books such as Wolf's "The Paleo Solution", then I would recommend taking a look at Rob Faigin's "Natural Hormonal Enhancement". It is a Paleo-compatible dietary regimen, which is quite flexible. There are different versions depending upon one's needs - fat loss, muscle gain, or bodyweight maintenance. It sidesteps the perils of long-term low-carb dieting, while avoiding the problems associated with too many garbage carbs. Protein and fat levels are a bit higher than normal, but not outrageously so.

If you want to lose fat quickly, try a Paleo diet combined with Natural Hormonal Enhancement, and restrict your calories a bit. Of course, restricted calories will limit your exercise volume and intensity. Moderate weightlifting is OK, but not heavy weightliftng 3X per week. Try high-intensity interval training twice a week, coupled with an light to moderate weightlifting workout on another day. Bar none, my favorite HIIT workout is Prowler sprinting. Pushing a prowler around is one of the very best Metabolic Conditioning exercises you can do. See the following post from my Workout Log, "Playing With Prowlers" (WFS). To get an idea of just how powerful and effective this conditioning tool is, please see, "Prodigious Prowler Progress" (WFS). Once you drop the fat, consume more calories and add heavy weightlifting and more varied MetCon. That will get you into great shape.

In closing, don't take Katherine's "snarkiness" personally. That was just Katherine being Katherine. She is one of the most well-informed and frequent posters in this forum, dispensing a lot of good advice quickly and efficiently, i.e. with less verbiage and verbosity than, say, me. If her tone seems curt, that is because she conveys vital information as quickly as possible and then moves on. She also gets frustrated, because she keeps having to say the same things over and over and over again, like "Eat more food" and "You need more carbs to support that much hard training". It gets a little tedious for her, but it is generous and helpful work she does. She provides much better advice than 95% of the personal trainers and registered dietitians out there.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:31 PM   #9
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

Aw, shucks, Luke. You're sweet.

Katherine
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:10 PM   #10
Hannah McFarlane
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Re: Going Paleo, or Zone, or Zoned Paleo ... Help

First off, let me say congratulations. I just saw your Paleozone v. Morbid Obesity thread and, if I am reading it quickly, you have already lost 130lbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Seubert View Post
Thus, a lot of people wind up pushing a low-carb version of Paleo as the only version of the diet. This simply is not true. And I say this as somebody who is following a mostly low to moderate carb Paleo diet for losing fat. Once I switch over to hard athletic training after most of the fat is gone, my carb intake levels will go way up.
What is your protein, carb, fat ratio now? How precisely do you try to calculate it? Do you cycle the ratios at all (I have heard of people doing higher carb on workout days, and higher fat on rest days)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Seubert View Post
If you want to lose fat quickly, try a Paleo diet combined with Natural Hormonal Enhancement, and restrict your calories a bit.
First I have heard of the NHE book, I will definitely look into it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Seubert View Post
In closing, don't take Katherine's "snarkiness" personally. That was just Katherine being Katherine.
No hard feelings. Re-reading my post, it sounds like I was more taken aback than I really was.

Thanks to both of you for the helpful advice.
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