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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 04-11-2007, 06:09 AM   #1
Jaime Steele
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Hi all

I am just a couple of weeks into crossfit and I'm finding it superb. I've read dilligently all the different areas so thanks to everyone who contributes. It's the best resource I have ever found on the net.

On the nutrition side, I have always stuck to a decent diet of fresh meat, veg, nuts, seeds, supplementing with whey protein shakes etc. and tried to avoid the obvious sugars and fast food but I have always eaten a large amount of carbs in the form of granary bread, rice, pasta and (being Irish) potatoes. I do a fair bit of cycling and running and play field hockey at a competative level which involves alot of interval training and cardio.

I would naturally have low body fat, currently around 12% and would naturally have a build on the slimmer side which I have built up over the last few years by weight training (the general bodybuilding excercises) and eating alot. I am 6 ft tall and weigh 80kgs.

My question is this - if I switch to the paleo diet or zone will I have the energy to keep this up and will it make me lose muscle? The so called experts in the sports of cycling, running and field hockey all insist on eating alot of carb and "carb loading". I have read the various articles on GI, Paleo, Zone, about hunter gatherers, eskimos etc but I am worried about fully giving up the carbs.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:12 AM   #2
Daniel Miller
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Hey Jamie,

Welcome!

There are many people on this board who will advise you to change your diet around and to begin utilizing fat as your main energy substrate. I myself have tried being strict paleo getting 50-80% of my kcal from fat, while including protein and copious fibrous veggies. I did this mostly to experiment, not because I buy the theory of evolutionary diet (the idea that pre-agrarian diet is what we evolved under and is therefore the best diet for modern humans due to supposed genome related reasons) being applicable...ok I'm getting off track, let me just talk from experience and not talk theory.

I've always been lean and have also always been an athlete. I do much better eating a healthy Mediterranean diet (fruits, veggies, brown rice, sweet potatoes, healthy low GI grains) with low fat protein and generally low fat. My diet is similar to that of Clarence Bass (w/f safe: http://www.cbass.com/Carbs_Athletes.htm)

I eat around 50-60% Cho(2.45 grams Cho per pound body mass), 20-35% fat, and 15-25% protein. This allows me to get anywhere from .7-1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.

I feel better and performance is much better on this diet. Not to mention that I have a much more convenient diet when dining out or eating with other people.

My advice would be to experiment. If you think that you would like to try paleo then go for it; but don't do so because experts claim that we respond better in terms of gene expression because that is an immense over simplification, ignores epigenetics, and can be countered by observing millions of current day dancers, athletes, and other healthy modern humans who listen to their bodies and eat a well balanced modern diet.

Cheers.
-Dan
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:12 AM   #3
Eric Lester
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You are still getting a significant amount of carbs from the Zone. The percentages are
40/30/30, Carbs/Protein/Fat

Obviously all of us who use the Zone or Paleo believe that we get enough energy to perform, but the best answer I can give you is try it yourself. Give it a go for a month and see :-)
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:39 PM   #4
Greg Battaglia
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Yeah, listen to your body. Avoid being dogmatic. The second you begin to think "this is healthy because it fits this theory or so and so said that it's the best" despite contrary results, you're delusional. Been there, done that. A key factor in effective diets is eating whole foods. Not necessarily Paleo or Zone, but just whole food. Fresh meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, whole sprouted grains, beans, clean whole dairy products. Use this as a basic template and then pivot around it. You may (probably) find that you end up feeling best with something very similar to paleo/zone. If not, then just listen to your body. It's the smartest nutritionist you could ever have.
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:40 PM   #5
Jaime Steele
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Thank you everyone for your feedback. It all seems very sound and sensible advice - i.e. experiment and do what fits and what your body responds to.

Had my last big bowl of spaghetti tonight so tomorrow starts the experiment with what you guys have suggested.

Thanks again. I'll post an update of how I'm getting on in a few weeks!

Jaime
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:27 PM   #6
Brooks Beless
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Daniel says that the paleo diet ignores epigenetics. What are epigenetics?
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:11 PM   #7
Jeff Evans
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First google hit is... surprise, surprise, the Wikipedia article.

Short answer: "it can refer to reversible, heritable changes in gene regulation that occur without a change in DNA sequence"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:56 PM   #8
Greg Battaglia
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Yeah, basically what it means is that your nutritional requirements and tolerances can change due to environmental factors or recent mutations despite your initial genetic inheritance. Nutrigenomics is the field of nutrition that partially encompasses this idea. I personally feel as though Nutrigenomics is the next huge step in nutrition. With this technology we will probably eventually be able to map the exact genes that control nutritional requirements. As a result it would become possible to tailor highly individualized diets that meet precise nutritional requirements. Until then, we'll have to just listen to our bodies the good old fashioned way!
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:47 AM   #9
Jaime Steele
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Sorry guys, with the obvious risk of sounding stupid here - does Cho mean carb? And can you give me an example of clean whole dairy products? I did google this term but didn't bring much up. Does with mean for example, full fat milk?

Thanks again
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:07 PM   #10
Greg Battaglia
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CHO, yes this means carbohydrates. It is the scietific way of saying that there is a carbon chain with hydroxyl groups (OH) attached. Hence CHO. For clean dairy type in "grass-fed raw dairy products"
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