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Old 07-16-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
Patrick Poblocki
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Fat Loss and Muscle Retention

First of all, I just want to thank everyone for your information. I've been posting about Zone, Paleo, and IF for the last few months and learned a lot. Here's my progress:

Previous weight--189; current weight (1 month of just crossfit, no dietary changes; 1 month zone, 1 month zone/paleo, 1 month paleo + IF)--162. Good stuff, right?

Well, here's the down-side: CF totals were 790, now are 715. I've obviously lost strength (i.e., muscle). My performance on the running work is better and metcon is about the same.

I'm not happy with A) my body comp, B) my performance. My philosophy, right now, since I have momentum in the losing weight/fat component, is to continue trying to shed fat. After reaching a desireable body comp, I will attempt to increase my work capacity and performance level. Does this generally make sense? I know there should be a blending of the two: an increase in performance in concert with a more fit body comp, but I find doing one at a time is easier...

So, in the last stages of my dieting (I really shouldn't call that as I've totally changed my lifestyle) I've cut all dairy and I've cut fruit. I want to bring back moderate fruit, eventually.

So, a have a couple questions. My diet is strict right now: lean protein, veggies, nuts/oils. I'm not counting calories or blocks! I have, though, posted about 3 weeks worth of food intake on fit day and realized that I average 2,300 calories per day. I've been losing weight on this amount and I don't feel like I'm starving. I generally eat a palm's worth of protein, and double that amount in veggies. Sometimes, though, I'll just have protein and fat (e.g. two hard boiled eggs and a handful of almonds)

1) Is my carb load too small to support muscle growth? Recovery?
2) Am I in ketosis? If so, should I carb cycle and binge one day on the weekends, similar to that ketogenic-cycle fat loss program?
3) Should I bring back fruit, but only as a post workout snack to aid in recovery?
4) Should I up my fat intake? Right now I'm at about 50%
5) Is it possible to gain muscle mass and increase work capacity if I am in ketosis, or if my carb intake is basically 0?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


POBS
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:47 AM   #2
Derek Weaver
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Re: Fat Loss and Muscle Retention

If you wouldn't mind, posting your fitday totals, or a link to it would be beneficial.

I tend to be more in the pretty darn low carb camp, but do recognize the benefits for CF'ers to have a moderate carb intake. Zone, or a cyclical or targeted approach can all work and work well.

If you are into CF "as rx'd" a la the main page, then I'd actually think that a more targeted approach would be good if you like ketogenic diets. Otherwise, just go with an eyeball approach to the Zone.

If you haven't improved for a while in any domain, then something in your diet or recovery needs to change. Try adding in sweet potatoes and/or yams post workout and see how things go.

My one problem with a CKD is that most people turn it into an epic binge. In my own trials with CKD's, I had some really nasty carb ups... not fun.

Tinker a bit for what works for you. Get that fitday information up soon though if you can.
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:58 PM   #3
Patrick Poblocki
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Re: Fat Loss and Muscle Retention

http://www.fitday.com/WebFit/PublicJ...Owner=pjonpobs

That's the link to my account. It dates back to the last few weeks in June when I was tracking my intake. You'll notice that this was when I was doing a lot of IF, which led to many binges. I went from 1500 cals to 3500 cals in a day to day cycle--very bad. Most of my success came when I did less IF (three days per week at 14 hour fasts) and eliminated fruit and dairy (i.e., the last two to three weeks.)

Thanks for the help.

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Old 07-16-2008, 02:14 PM   #4
Derek Weaver
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Re: Fat Loss and Muscle Retention

Don't sweat the massive caloric differences. Your body knows how to handle them just fine.

You really can't be in ketosis for any meaningful stretch of time. Depending on who you talk to, Ketogenic diets happen around 50-60 grams of carbs/day or less. Very low carb intake occurs around 30 grams/day. At an average of 150 grams per day the intake is moderate, but not low by any means.

Looking at some of the food choices, I would suggest going more in a Paleo direction. A lot of people notice that they lean out much better/easier when they drop the legumes (peanuts, peanut butter, beans etc.) and reduce or eliminate the grains.

Also, the fat tends to come in a touch low. Try going with more leafy greens and other non starchy veggies, a touch more fat, get rid of the oatmeal and other grains and legumes and let us know how you feel.
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:30 PM   #5
Patrick Poblocki
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Re: Fat Loss and Muscle Retention

Thanks! I do have to say, though, that since my fitday log I had made those changes and lost a considerable about more weight (about 6 lbs in July alone). I switched from peanut butter to almond butter and I've only been eating the oats once on the weekends (my girlfriend loves my oatmeal pancakes and I'm forced to make them when she comes over).

SO, I guess the fitday log would be a great example of the period where I dropped a lot of weight and STRENGTH. But, since that time, i've cleaned it up, but I'm still concerned with shedding more fat and increasing performance. I'm hoping that it can be done at very low levels of carbs.

I think I'm going to stay without tubers, legumes, or fruit for 6 out of 7 days for two weeks and see how I respond. I'll have one cheat/higher carb day. Then, I think I'll gradually add tubers or fruit to a post workout meal. Does that sound like a good strategy? Currently, my food intake includes a bit more fat that the fitday log and a lot more veggies.

Thanks again for your help Derek,

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Old 07-16-2008, 04:40 PM   #6
Derek Weaver
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Re: Fat Loss and Muscle Retention

I think that for sanity, a cheat meal or day (depending on where you're out, what's going on and who you're with) isn't just alright, but completely necessary, even when fat loss is the goal.

Tubers are better than most fruit for PWO, mainly as they will help to refill muscle glycogen. The majority of sugar in most fruits is fructose, great for liver glycogen, not great for muscle glycogen.

Carb intake should be adjusted for activity level. If you're following mainsite programming, you need some carbs. If you are doing more a MEBB type of programming, then a CKD or a TKD may be perfectly in line. If you plan on growing and progressing performance wise, then a very low carb intake isn't gonna do it.... this is one of the things that I've come to grips with in the last few weeks.... though I still keep 'em pretty low.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:11 PM   #7
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Fat Loss and Muscle Retention

There's a difference between losing strength and losing muscle mass, though preventing both is easiest with the same prescription - lift heavy stuff. If you're worried, add in some 3-5 rep heavy workouts, and your CFT and LBM should be preserved, as long as you don't go crazy with the caloric deficit. Congrats on the weight loss so far, by the way, I'm hoping to lose a similar amount in the near future, while actually increasing my CFT and maintaining as much LBM as possible.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:18 PM   #8
Derek Weaver
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Re: Fat Loss and Muscle Retention

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Cloud View Post
There's a difference between losing strength and losing muscle mass, though preventing both is easiest with the same prescription - lift heavy stuff. If you're worried, add in some 3-5 rep heavy workouts, and your CFT and LBM should be preserved, as long as you don't go crazy with the caloric deficit. Congrats on the weight loss so far, by the way, I'm hoping to lose a similar amount in the near future, while actually increasing my CFT and maintaining as much LBM as possible.
Good point Jacob.

Often in our pursuit of 6 pack abs we forget that lifting heavy things is perhaps the single most important thing we can do in the gym for performance as well as body comp.

Steven Low wrote an article for the PMenu "Neuroendocrine Response" or something like that. Worth looking into.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:36 AM   #9
Bryan Gates
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Re: Fat Loss and Muscle Retention

The best way to lose fat and maintain muscle is to, like others have said, lift heavy.

It is best to use a strength routine with frequent full body w/os using heavy compound lifts. If you see strength drop, drop volume not weight. Do whatever it takes to continue lifting as heavy as you can. Example minimum w/o 3x5 max (except for deadlifts) 1x5 minimum

A
Squat
Bench Press
Power Cleans

B
Squat
Press
Deadlifts

Work in pullups and other ancillaries as your abilities and desires provide.

You diet should include a significant caloric deficit that contains adequate protein and, if on a longer term conventional diet, adequate fats to maintain optimal hormone production. Adequate protein as a general rule is 1g/lb LBM, but can change depending on how lean you are. For more details I would suggest any of Lyle McDonalds books such as "The Rapid Fatloss Handbook" or "A Guide to Flexible Dieting".

Also some of the important facets of diets that people either do not know about or forget about are refeeds (or carb ups), free meals (or cheat meals), and diet breaks.

There are psychological and physiological reasons for all of these. Phsychologically these make diets easier to deal with in general. Physiologically, the body fights fat loss because it thinks it is starving and going to die. Almost immediately after a sustained (couple days) caloric deficit the body will begin changing the hormonal profile to hold on to fat. This is the reason why diets stop working after a while. Periodic refeeds and cheat meals will make the body think that the danger is over and return to a more normal hormonal profile allowing the diet to continue more effectively. Eventually the refeeds and free meals will stop working as well and the time will come for a diet break where you must return to maintenance calories for at least 2 weeks (continue lifting heavy).

Adressing muscle/strength loss: If the body is in full fat sparing mode, it will still need energy to maintain itself. This energy, if it does not come from food, will come from your muscle mass. Refeeds and cheat meals will help restore some of the inevitable lost muscle mass if you are lifting heavy.
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