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Old 10-11-2011, 08:04 AM   #11
Luke Seubert
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

There are several factors here which you might want to consider and experiment with, Brad.

First of all, 3-On, 1-Off with the kind of weight you lift and the intense workouts you do, is quite a load. This puts a lot of stress on the body. The body responds by, in part, releasing cortisol. Like insulin, cortisol is a hormone in which too much is as bad as too little. Over-exercise leads to too much cortisol. Excess cortisol causes the body to retain fat and burn muscle.

Secondly, there is chronic stress. This can come from the sort of work one does and the hectic pace even outside of work. It can be caused by an anxious state of mind, and it can be caused by insufficient quality sleep. Chronic stress also jacks up cortisol levels.

Finally, as one poster mentioned, you aren't eating very many calories for a man of your size who exercises as much as you do. A severe caloric deficit also stresses the body, leading to elevated cortisol levels. While such a deficit will reduce body fat, it also reduces muscle mass.

Consider the following possible solutions to your problem:
  • 1. Make sure you get 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a silent and absolutely dark room each night.
  • 2. Reduce the hectic pace of your lifestyle - simply stop doing so much crap. Focus only on the really important and essential things in your life, and do those well, thereby creating more downtime and recreational time and playtime.
  • 3. Consider the practice of Insight Meditation, which is a non-sectarian meditation practice leading to substantially lower levels of stress and a tranquil mind. I know, it sounds all hippie and goofy, but it really works. One of the most highly regarded, no-nonsense books on the practice of Insight Meditation is Mindfulness in Plain English (WFS), which is available at the webpage as a free pdf or epub file.
  • 4. Increase your daily caloric intake a bit, and make sure you eat those sweet potatoes right after a heavy workout. Severe daily caloric deficits over a long period of time put a lot of stress on the body. If you reduce such stress levels by increasing your calories a bit, this should help you reduce belly fat.

In my personal experience, I have found that sometimes less is more. I have been losing weight for some 23 weeks now, following a pretty strict Paleo diet with lots of weighing and measuring and careful tracking. Over a month ago, I significantly increased my workout intensity with some new workouts, while following a 3-On, 1-Off schedule. However, I soon found myself feeling quite lethargic instead of energetic, and while my bodyweight loss rate was OK, my rate of fat loss declined significantly. This, even though I was eating significantly more calories.

I reduced the number of workouts per week, while maintaining the intensity, and slightly lowered my caloric intake. So far, it is working well. I am losing fat at a good rate once again, though I am not losing bodyweight as quickly as I did 2 months ago. Somtimes, backing off and slowing down is the way to go.

Brad, try experimenting with differing combinations of the four solutions I proposed above, and see if that helps. That is what I did, and it worked well for me. If you want further details, feel free to read over my Workout Log which is linked in my signature, or send me a PM.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:18 AM   #12
Zane Jones
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

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Originally Posted by Renee Lee View Post
uh...Zane, respectfully, you're totally off base.

OP, what Dave was saying is that you're UNDEReating, like whoa.

I am 5'8", female, and 175, workout fewer times and less intensely than you, and I am maintaining weight with a calorie intake very similar to yours. Eat more.
Well Okay, but only because you said so respectfully!

It's all a guessing game as to who is on base or off. So far, all we know is that his portions are "normal," he does 5-6 strength workouts a week, and he's pretty strong. He hasnt' mentioned what his strength has done over the last 2 months, so I don't know how his diet has worked. I know the CF/PALEO!!!! zeitgeist is to have every male eating 3500 calories a day and mainlining bacon but there is a fairly substantial record of people losing fat when eating less. So I suggested tossing out some of his higher calorie foods and replacing it with veggies. Not a bad place to start if his goal is to lose weight.

Unless you and he are the same person, what you eat and what he eats really doesn't get us that far.

Sleep is also important, good call there.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:28 AM   #13
Zane Jones
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

Also Brad, for what it's worth. You're seemingly pretty healthy, strong, active, eat a good diet and have under 20% body fat. Unless the center of your world is wanting to lose your belly or your work/hobbies require you to be thin, I wouldn't go killing myself or freaking out over all of this. By all measures you seem to be sitting pretty.

How do you know you're 17% BF, by the way?
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:30 AM   #14
Renee Lee
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

Can you front load your calories more so that you don't need to eat as soon as you get home and can get to sleep a bit earlier? Also, is it completely dark?

The fact that your energy levels are low during the day is yet another indicator that you've got some overreaching stuff going on.

Altering the way you're cooking your food can definitely help. Like you said, grilling chicken isn't going to leave you with a lot of fat. pulled pork, chicken thighs, ribeye steaks, etc. veggies roasted in bacon fat...etc.

In addition to eating more, I'd try to add some starchy carbs in the morning, which will a) help with the cortisol issues and b) help make you hungrier sooner.

5 eggs, 2 breakfast sausages, a sweet potato.

10oz meat, roasted veggies of some kind, etc

something like that.

I'd also recommend dropping back the CF workouts to 3/wk at the most. At least until you've got stuff sorted out.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:32 AM   #15
Brad Weiss
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

Hi Luke,

Thank you so much for your detailed response. I really appreciate it.

Couple of situational things from my end maybe you can help me work through.

My whole goal in this is to compete in games, so its not likely that my training will decrease. I have performed at a high level in collegiate athletics and before so my body is used to high volume of workouts and load. that bieng said i am not blowing out full 20 min metcons every day. A lot of days are lower intensity strength work and interval training.

I know less is more and maybe I am taxing my body too much. but is there another way to lower cortisol levels ?


Zane- I will say that my strength has jumped up a ton since i have switched and backed off the metcons a bit. I have always been able to put on weight quickly be it msucle or fat. I could gain 3 lbs in a weekend just from eating one bad meal. I am very endomprhic.

I can add in some veggies in breakfast and see if that helps. I am eating half a plate of veggies for dinner and lunch. I feel like i am eating a ton of veggies comparted to what i did prior to paleo.

Since starting paleo- my stength has gone up, but so had my overall weight. I used to be at 195. I would say this is due to a combination of trianing techniques as well as diet. But I dont see a reason why if my diet is clean i shouldnt be able to maintain a steady BW even without exercise.

THe main factor I would say is my fullness I can feel that my metabolic function is way low. Maybe this is due to change of diet and eating richer fuller foods. But I am very full after breakfast, and especially if i eat early in AM after eating such a late dinner.

Maybe i will try decreasing portions and adding in more frequent meals..thoughts?
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:37 AM   #16
Brad Weiss
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

Zane- I have done caliper testing, although not 100% accurate , pretty close. You are correct, but in terms of BW performance and competition, this is something that affects it so wanted to increase performance and best as possible.

Renee- great idea with morning starch.. i will definitaly give that a shot. As well as eating larger meals earlier on and cuttin back at night.

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:49 AM   #17
Zach S
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

There is no thing as overtraining just undereating. Eat more, esp carbs!
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:01 AM   #18
Zane Jones
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

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Originally Posted by Brad Weiss View Post
Hi Luke,



Zane- I will say that my strength has jumped up a ton since i have switched and backed off the metcons a bit. I have always been able to put on weight quickly be it msucle or fat. I could gain 3 lbs in a weekend just from eating one bad meal. I am very endomprhic.

Since starting paleo- my stength has gone up, but so had my overall weight. I used to be at 195. I would say this is due to a combination of trianing techniques as well as diet. But I dont see a reason why if my diet is clean i shouldnt be able to maintain a steady BW even without exercise.

THe main factor I would say is my fullness I can feel that my metabolic function is way low. Maybe this is due to change of diet and eating richer fuller foods. But I am very full after breakfast, and especially if i eat early in AM after eating such a late dinner.

Maybe i will try decreasing portions and adding in more frequent meals..thoughts?
Doesn't everyone gain 3lbs in a weekend with a bad meal? Only certain types of people do that?

You've been eating the same diet for the past two months, and during that time you've gained 20lbs, increased your strength, and generally feel full.

Since you said you want to compete at the games (and that's far from what i know), I'm going to stop offering any advice other than to say I would recommend hiring a professional sports nutritionist.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:15 AM   #19
Renee Lee
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

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Doesn't everyone gain 3lbs in a weekend with a bad meal? Only certain types of people do that?
gaining 3lbs in a weekend with A bad meal implies eating 10,500 extra kcal in that meal.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:17 AM   #20
Zane Jones
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Re: Need Help on Paleo Diet

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gaining 3lbs in a weekend with A bad meal implies eating 10,500 extra kcal in that meal.
or that you just put 3lbs of food and liquid in your stomach.
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