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Switched to Paleo and Lost All of My Muscle!

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Updated December 14, 2014 at 4:02 AM
Created August 31, 2013 at 12:17 AM

I'm from a bodybuilding background, so to say (I've been into bodybuilding for a solid 6 years). A friend of mine, who is a personal trainer, switched to the Paleo Diet and suggested I do the same as he had ??lost here?? (pointing at his stomach) and ??gained here?? (pointing at his upper body). So I read ??The Paleo Solution?? by Robb Wolf, saw Loren Cordain's video on Mercola, as well as a few other Paleo videos and websites. So I tried it! Within two weeks, I was 100% Paleo. Here's what happened (it's been about 20 weeks now):

I used to be, at my heaviest, 190 pounds with about 15% body fat. I lost as much as 20 pounds in the first five weeks, plus an extra five in the following weeks. So I'm now 165! Last time I was 165, I think I was 17! Not only that, I lost A LOT of muscles!. Being a hard gainer, gaining one pound of muscles is a huge milestone for me. At the gym, I now do 7 reps with weights that I used to do 15 reps with, 8 to 12 reps with weights I used to do 20 reps with, and some stuff I used to do 5 or 6 reps with, I can barely do one!!! This strength lost has increased rapidly as is till ongoing (slower and slower - but yet still present). When I was eating Oatmeal, pasta and milk, I was doing so much better! Not to say I used to sleep better and be a ??nuke????at the washroom. Now I sleep no more than 2 hours at the time, visit the washroom every other day for what feels more like diarrhea (as opposed to what I had before - One, big, long and solid, smooth out-going log). The worse of all: I've lost all of my strength and... I feel bloated! I actually have a bit of a stomach now! NEVER EVER had that before, even at my heaviest! The only good side: aside form my clearly bloated stomach, I have lost fat all around and have visibly much leaner legs, back and arms (though the arms are WAY more skinnier now). Hey, I ought to give credit where credit is due!

HELP!!! And desperate for it!

(I red a summary and some reviews of ??The Paleo Diet for Athletes??: It appears to be geared towards endurance athletes. I'm looking for bodybuilding and strength conditioning).

To help you guys help me, here's what I eat:

Meal 1 3 eggs (occasionally alternated with ground porc or turkey in a patty) 1 smoothie (1 banana, 1 peach or pineapple pieces, frozen mango chunks, coconut milk) 3 table spoons of nut butter (alternate between almond, walnut, butternut, cashew, hazelnut and macadamia nuts) Vitamin D supplement (2000 IU - BlueBonet Nutrition)

Work Out

Post Workout Meal 100g Meat (usually ground porc of beef in a patty) Smoothie (1 banana, mixed berries)

Meal 2 (10:00-11:00 am) 100-150g Meat (usually boneless, skinless chicken breast, occasionally porc or fish) All dressed salad with olive oil (mixed with mustard and garlic, for taste) Omega 3 supplement (4g - NutraSea)

Snack All dressed salad (same deal, just smaller) 2 teaspoon nut butter (same deal, again - I love nut butter, I'll never get tired of it!)

Meal 3 100-200g Meat (chicken, fish, seafood or beef) Stir fried vegetables (broccoli, peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots, whatever) (stir fried in either olive oil or coconut oil) Omega 3 supplement (4g - NutraSea)

Here's what I used to eat (before going Paleo): I would wreak havoc at the gym with this, believe or not!

Meal 1 Smoothie (banana and mixed berries, but with soy milk instead of coconut milk) 2-3 eggs with a couple of egg whites

Work out

Post workout meal 2 scoops Whey protein isolate with 500 ml milk (1%) Oatmeal or Mass gainer (1 scoop whey protein, 2 scoops mass gainer, 500 ml milk: total of around 800 calories!)

Meal 2 Either: Chicken fried rice, lasagna, Cannelloni, Potato salad (with lots of boiled egg whites) (all of the above where packed with vegetables, believe it or not) Rice cakes (yeah, a whole bag!)

Meal 3 Same as ??either?? of meal 2, but without the rice cakes

Meal 4 Meat + starch + vegetable (e.g. Steak with potatoes with broccoli or Fish with rice and a salad)

Meal 5 (shortly before bed) Pasta salad (pasta with vegetables and an soybean oil based salad dressing) Casein protein shake with 400 ml 1% milk

Medium avatar
0 · March 03, 2014 at 6:13 PM

It is most likely you didnt lose alot of your muscle....you see muscle is riddled and marbled with fat....as you lose fat your muscles compact and will look smaller but will be more dense. The appearance you losing muscle is just a appearance! You also retain less water in the Paleo Diet...also appearance....your diet seems spot on. Focus on heavy compound movements and increase your protein levels and you'll be ok!

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394 · September 01, 2013 at 11:08 PM

WHY, IT HAS NO BENEFIT, IF YOU WANT MORE AMINOS EAT MORE OF ANYTHING.

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · September 01, 2013 at 10:53 PM

I don't think it is all that retarded. I'm sure you'll get enough BCAAs from a well balanced diet, however what I am looking at here, is absolute maximum performance. Supplementing with BCAAs should be a way to help achieve that.

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · September 01, 2013 at 10:50 PM

What do you recommend for probiotics? Other than sauerkraut!

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · September 01, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Thank you very much for your tips, Paleo God. You'll notice that I wrote how I used to eat (at 190 pounds, non-Paleo) and how I eat now (at 165 pounds, Paleo). That's where you might have seen the «non-Paleo» food. As for now, I am 100% Paleo, except for the rice that I'm about to put in starting tomorrow. But even then, I'lll SLOWLY start adding more carbs in my diet. The idea that the body is adjusting to using proteins and fat as a main energy source as opposed to carbs seems legit. I'll look into that some more. Thanks for your help.

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394 · September 01, 2013 at 12:01 PM

you get them from plain old food. Using BCAA's is retarded.

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0 · September 01, 2013 at 1:08 AM

What's wrong with some BCAAs?

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414 · August 31, 2013 at 10:59 PM

any white rice will do--organic better b/c of pesticide issues.

Medium avatar
321 · August 31, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Awesome, good luck!

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · August 31, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Allison, The rice was suggested to me. What kind would you suggest? I thought of organic white basmati rice.

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · August 31, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I take vegetable based (beets) BCAA before the workout. Use to take after too... But I've red that before, during and after is best. Just never tried it. I shall try that from now on. Thank you, Skyler.

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · August 31, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Yeah, Gruffalo! You know what, I'm thinking that too! Very unfortunate, bust most likely true. With even just 0,5 cm of fat all around, you look quite a bit bulkier! Hopefully I manage to get my strength back, though!

Medium avatar
321 · August 31, 2013 at 3:20 AM

Before during and after workouts!

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7302 · August 31, 2013 at 3:12 AM

That would have been my guess also, Gruffalo. I sometimes feel weird agreeing with you.

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394 · August 31, 2013 at 1:50 AM

It sounds like you lost fat and are just realising you have very little lean mass underneath it. Either that or you are just glycogen depleted and are looking really flat. Try a carb up day.

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7302 · August 31, 2013 at 1:25 AM

I am guessing either you are trolling, or something else is wrong.

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5 Answers

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414 · August 31, 2013 at 1:51 AM

It seems like you are doing more a Low Carb version of Paleo. Your primary carb of choice appears to be fruit. I am a powerlifter, and I found that LC destroyed my performance. I changed my diet to eating more sweet potatoes, some potatoes, rice (debatable on the paleo front), plantains, beets, etc. My performance has improved--hitting a lot of PR's, putting on muscle, consistently getting stronger. I suggest you add in more carbs and see how that feels.

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · August 31, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Allison, The rice was suggested to me. What kind would you suggest? I thought of organic white basmati rice.

B2eb3ff4456b2408e6db558072e7d3f2
414 · August 31, 2013 at 10:59 PM

any white rice will do--organic better b/c of pesticide issues.

9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136
1
394 · September 01, 2013 at 12:37 AM

Branch chain amino acids are the biggest con since all creatine post mono hydrate.

9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136
394 · September 01, 2013 at 12:01 PM

you get them from plain old food. Using BCAA's is retarded.

9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136
394 · September 01, 2013 at 11:08 PM

WHY, IT HAS NO BENEFIT, IF YOU WANT MORE AMINOS EAT MORE OF ANYTHING.

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · September 01, 2013 at 1:08 AM

What's wrong with some BCAAs?

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · September 01, 2013 at 10:53 PM

I don't think it is all that retarded. I'm sure you'll get enough BCAAs from a well balanced diet, however what I am looking at here, is absolute maximum performance. Supplementing with BCAAs should be a way to help achieve that.

Medium avatar
0
91 · September 01, 2013 at 6:15 PM

A lot of the weight you might have lost might have been muscle and fat. You'll most likely gain that muscle back soon as your body adjusts to your lowcarb diet. It takes the body a while to switch from using glucose as its primary fuel source to ketone bodies and fat therefore it uses protein reserves from the body (muscle) to fuel itself therefore you'll probably gain that muscle back. As for low carb I really wouldn't recommend it. People think paleo is defined by low carb but its really not. Its eating the way our ancestors ate. Eating whole foods without grains industrial seed oils and dairy. The fact that your a body builder you should be in perfectly good health even if you get 200 carbs on an active day. If you go very low carb you'll become carb sensitive and that might cause more problems in the future. You should incorporate a lot of more starches into your diet such as sweet potatoes, potatoes and white rice if you can handle it. THe diarrhea might be caused by another serious problem and I would really look into probiotics. I really suggest you get rid of the pasta, the oatmeal. Basically all the grains except rice. I also noticed that your taking a lot of omega 3 supplements which I wouldn't recommend. You don't need that much polyunsaturated fat in your diet. It will lead to more problems. If anything you should reduce your omega 6 intake by removing the soybean oil in your diet which is pretty inflammatory. Try replacing chicken with beef. Chicken has a lot more omega 6 fatty acids than beef. In honesty I think you need to really reevaluate your diet. Your eating a lot of things that are not allowed on the Paleo diet.

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · September 01, 2013 at 10:50 PM

What do you recommend for probiotics? Other than sauerkraut!

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · September 01, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Thank you very much for your tips, Paleo God. You'll notice that I wrote how I used to eat (at 190 pounds, non-Paleo) and how I eat now (at 165 pounds, Paleo). That's where you might have seen the «non-Paleo» food. As for now, I am 100% Paleo, except for the rice that I'm about to put in starting tomorrow. But even then, I'lll SLOWLY start adding more carbs in my diet. The idea that the body is adjusting to using proteins and fat as a main energy source as opposed to carbs seems legit. I'll look into that some more. Thanks for your help.

Medium avatar
0
91 · September 01, 2013 at 6:14 PM

  A lot of the weight you might have lost might have been muscle and fat. You'll most likely gain that muscle back soon as your body adjusts to your lowcarb diet. It takes the body a while to switch from using glucose as its primary fuel source to ketone bodies and fat therefore it uses protein reserves from the body (muscle) to fuel itself therefore you'll probably gain that muscle back.
 As for low carb I really wouldn't recommend it. People think paleo is defined by low carb but its really not. Its eating the way our ancestors ate. Eating whole foods without grains industrial seed oils and dairy. The fact that your a body builder you should be in perfectly good health even if you get 200 carbs on an active day. If you go very low carb you'll become carb sensitive and that might cause more problems in the future.

You should incorporate a lot of more starches into your diet such as sweet potatoes, potatoes and white rice if you can handle it. THe diarrhea might be caused by another serious problem and I would really look into probiotics. I really suggest you get rid of the pasta, the oatmeal. Basically all the grains except rice. I also noticed that your taking a lot of omega 3 supplements which I wouldn't recommend. You don't need that much polyunsaturated fat in your diet. It will lead to more problems. If anything you should reduce your omega 6 intake by removing the soybean oil in your diet which is pretty inflammatory. Try replacing chicken with beef. Chicken has a lot more omega 6 fatty acids than beef. In honesty I think you need to really reevaluate your diet.

Medium avatar
0
321 · August 31, 2013 at 3:05 AM

I agree with Allison, especially about the sweet potato for carbs, and as I suggested once already today, take BCAA's!!!

Medium avatar
321 · August 31, 2013 at 3:20 AM

Before during and after workouts!

Addf4504a84c85a48050cef20a1f114e
0 · August 31, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I take vegetable based (beets) BCAA before the workout. Use to take after too... But I've red that before, during and after is best. Just never tried it. I shall try that from now on. Thank you, Skyler.

Medium avatar
321 · August 31, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Awesome, good luck!

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