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Just getting started. What am I forgetting?

by (35)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:15 PM
Created October 03, 2010 at 8:35 AM

I'm starting off with a personal Paleo test.

Gonna try it for a month and see how it makes me feel. I am in decent shape, eat consciously, exercise 4-5x/week, drink tons of water, etc.

I am 6'1" and 188lbs with around 14% body fat now and would like to hit single digits. (Mostly out of curiosity.)

I wanna eat correctly, so I got Mr. Cordain's book. I am eating tons of collards (I'm a southern boy), lots of turkey and beef, green cabbage, carrots, raisins, apples, bananas, almonds, broccoli. Using so much olive oil that I seems insane.

What am I missing? Is counting calories necessary? Or just obsessive? (I don't want to.)

I also take one giant spoon of ground flax in the morning along with psyllium caps and a multi-vitamin.

Thank you guy and gals! I am super stoked to have found this site.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4
9647 · October 06, 2010 at 10:03 PM

As for fat percentages: I generally think that when you're getting started the only thing you have to do consciously is cut out the carbohydrate. Your sense of fullness should tell you how to mix your protein and fat. I don't usually count calories, but I would guess that my 5-10% carbohydrate leaves me with about 70% fat and 20-25% protein. (I eat around 3,000 calories a day I'd guess.) I usually do my fat and protein mixing right there on my plate, with each bite. Just whatever feels right. May not work for everyone though. I'll let some others answer.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4
9647 · October 06, 2010 at 9:59 PM

The first thing I can say is: that doesn't seem like very much food as a total. Around 1750 calories? For someone who's 6'1"? And exercises 4-5 times a week? Doesn't seem like enough to me. Or was that not an entire day.

Bd7740eafe18b0eecc8137ff736cb667
35 · October 06, 2010 at 5:42 AM

Enough fat? How much is enough? (I know it's diff for everyone, etc.) Today, I had 102 grams of fat, 102 grams of carbs, and 107 grams of protein. The breakdown is 53%f 22%c 25%p. Am I close?

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20411 · October 05, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Ditto on skip the flax. Not a fan of Psyllium either - seems more like gut abusing than gut healing.

4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284
1409 · October 05, 2010 at 4:41 AM

Don't cook with unsaturated oils as a general rule- only heat saturated fats (butter/ghee, coconut oil, bacon fat, lard...). You don't want to consume oxidized oils and any time you heat an unsaturated oil you run the risk of damaging it. I seem to be sharing this link a lot tonight but there are a lot of fats questions- check it out and print my guide for your fridge :) http://www.balancedbites.com/2010/07/fats-which-to-eat-and-which-to-ditch.html

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4
9647 · October 03, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Also, on the flax seed: animals are generally better, and in the case of o-3 PUFAs also: http://paleohacks.com/questions/277/is-alpha-linolenic-acid-ala-necessary-by-itself/278#278

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12174 · October 03, 2010 at 10:32 PM

See my added coconut links above!

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf
2604 · October 03, 2010 at 5:43 PM

some nuts are ok, although some people avoid then because the fats are inferior (higher n6 rather than n3). However, I wouldn't get hung up over a handful. Exercise sounds fine

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2759 · October 03, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Get your fats from animal sources or coconuts.

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35 · October 03, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Ps. Nuts? A small palm-full per day? Trying to get my fat, is this misguided?

Bd7740eafe18b0eecc8137ff736cb667
35 · October 03, 2010 at 9:08 AM

I do strength training 3 times a week. Major body parts, a lot of body weight stuff. For cardio I am taking a swim class. Used to lifeguard, but never learned how to swim laps like a mad dolphin. It hurts, in the good way.

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2604 · October 03, 2010 at 9:04 AM

First brief thoughts:

Watch the nuts, don't have too many.

Get plenty of sleep.

Throw in a fast from time to time if you can. Plenty of different ways of doing this.

You didn't say too much about your exercise. Avoid too much cardio. Do some sprints if you're capable, lift some weights.

Enjoy - and tweak your experiment from time to time be observe your changes

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf
2604 · October 03, 2010 at 5:43 PM

some nuts are ok, although some people avoid then because the fats are inferior (higher n6 rather than n3). However, I wouldn't get hung up over a handful. Exercise sounds fine

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795
2759 · October 03, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Get your fats from animal sources or coconuts.

Bd7740eafe18b0eecc8137ff736cb667
35 · October 03, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Ps. Nuts? A small palm-full per day? Trying to get my fat, is this misguided?

Bd7740eafe18b0eecc8137ff736cb667
35 · October 03, 2010 at 9:08 AM

I do strength training 3 times a week. Major body parts, a lot of body weight stuff. For cardio I am taking a swim class. Used to lifeguard, but never learned how to swim laps like a mad dolphin. It hurts, in the good way.

best answer

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12174 · October 03, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Coconut oil and coconut milk will help get your fats up - and even Cordain is now cool with coconut oil as a cooking oil as his stance on saturated fats has changed a bit as of late. Also consider ghee (clarified butter, pure animal fat!) if you're willing.

See Cordain's January 2010 blog commentary on coconut oil here:

http://thepaleodiet.blogspot.com/2010/01/more-on-coconut-oil.html

Try to avoid cooking with olive oil as you risk oxidation. Instead eat it cold in dressings. More info here:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-all-olive-oil-created-equal/

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/oil-fat-overheat-smoking-point/

More preliminary info on coconuts, eaten whole or otherwise:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/coconut/

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-wonderful-world-of-coconut-products/

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/coconut-oil-health-benefits/

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1012 · May 03, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Cut the turkey. It's just about the worst for omega-6.

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20787 · October 03, 2010 at 3:26 PM

I'd try to keep a varied diet. Plug your food intake into fitday.com and see if you are missing any nutrients. Paleos like to get their nutrient intake from actual food when possible. The absorption from vitamin pills is sometimes questionable. For instance, one test showed magnesium oxide, which is the most common and cheapest form or magnesium in pills, to be only 6% absorbed by the human intestine. Also, paleo eating will typically give you more than enough of most nutrients. As for counting calories, I don't suggest it at first. See if it works without as for most, it will. THose who want to lean out and if paleo does not help them do that fast enough for htem, will often cut back on carb intake instead. Mileage may vary by the individual. Also, keep in mind that paleo is not specifically just one diet. Many have contributed to its evolution. There is no one set protocol. It is more of a general theory combined with what we can glean for the current science combined with what works for each individual on a N=1 basis.

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35 · October 06, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Enough fat? How much is enough? (I know it's diff for everyone, etc.) Today, I had 102 grams of fat, 102 grams of carbs, and 107 grams of protein. The breakdown is 53%f 22%c 25%p. Am I close? – Bo

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4
9647 · October 06, 2010 at 10:03 PM

As for fat percentages: I generally think that when you're getting started the only thing you have to do consciously is cut out the carbohydrate. Your sense of fullness should tell you how to mix your protein and fat. I don't usually count calories, but I would guess that my 5-10% carbohydrate leaves me with about 70% fat and 20-25% protein. (I eat around 3,000 calories a day I'd guess.) I usually do my fat and protein mixing right there on my plate, with each bite. Just whatever feels right. May not work for everyone though. I'll let some others answer.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4
9647 · October 06, 2010 at 9:59 PM

The first thing I can say is: that doesn't seem like very much food as a total. Around 1750 calories? For someone who's 6'1"? And exercises 4-5 times a week? Doesn't seem like enough to me. Or was that not an entire day.

Bd7740eafe18b0eecc8137ff736cb667
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35 · October 03, 2010 at 10:01 PM

Thank you to everyone for the quick and thoughtful responses!!! It seems I have much reading to do.

Coconuts are the word, apparently. Is is reasonable to have a coconut per day? The water and the flesh consumed in totale?

I don't really want to start buying special oils and the like, seems intuitively counterproductive to a paleo/simplistic approach. (Although, I could easily run to the store and grab some, not a big deal.)

I'm not in a super big rush to do anything, just trying to eat more mindfully and naturally. Trying to focus on the journey, not any particular destination.

Thanks again!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · October 05, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Ditto on skip the flax. Not a fan of Psyllium either - seems more like gut abusing than gut healing.

4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284
1409 · October 05, 2010 at 4:41 AM

Don't cook with unsaturated oils as a general rule- only heat saturated fats (butter/ghee, coconut oil, bacon fat, lard...). You don't want to consume oxidized oils and any time you heat an unsaturated oil you run the risk of damaging it. I seem to be sharing this link a lot tonight but there are a lot of fats questions- check it out and print my guide for your fridge :) http://www.balancedbites.com/2010/07/fats-which-to-eat-and-which-to-ditch.html

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4
9647 · October 03, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Also, on the flax seed: animals are generally better, and in the case of o-3 PUFAs also: http://paleohacks.com/questions/277/is-alpha-linolenic-acid-ala-necessary-by-itself/278#278

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461
12174 · October 03, 2010 at 10:32 PM

See my added coconut links above!

42321851a87415b340d215f629e574dc
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668 · October 03, 2010 at 3:33 PM

To keep this short:

-Don't calorie count, but be sure to eat enough. It's easy to undereat when first switching
to Paleo -Make sure you are getting enough fat

Bd7740eafe18b0eecc8137ff736cb667
35 · October 06, 2010 at 5:42 AM

Enough fat? How much is enough? (I know it's diff for everyone, etc.) Today, I had 102 grams of fat, 102 grams of carbs, and 107 grams of protein. The breakdown is 53%f 22%c 25%p. Am I close?

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