Hello! I am a 22 year old female, 5'9 and I hover around 155 lbs. I started eating paleo about 2 years ago. In the first month of eating paleo I lost about 30 lbs and in the two years following I have only lost about 10 more lbs. I am looking to get rid of belly and leg fat and trim down to about 135 lbs. You should know that about 3 years ago I was treated for Grave's Disease through radioactive iodine and now I have an underactive thyroid for life. I really wish I would have known about the paleo diet before I did that irreversible treatment, I have a feeling a change of diet could have fixed it.
I notice that I feel lighter/less bloated when I focus on eating fewer carbs (still eating a good amount of vegetables) but if I even have one taste of fruit or sugar in general, I can not stop eating it. This is why I am considering trying keto. I can not eat dairy, even full fat without suffering horrible consequences. ;P I am a full time art student and work full time ( up until recently; I just lost my job). Until I became unemployed I did crossfit 4 times a week. Once I get into ketosis or get my diet back on track (lots of almond butter and maple syrup was had over Christmas break) I am looking to do some body weight exercises that mimick crossfit. I also have the Insanity tapes which I am considering trying but I know that is a lot of cardio.
-How to get into ketosis safely
-How much fat to eat per day and where to get it from
-How to get fat into my diet without eating as much protein (cooking food in lard or coconut oil)
-Will this be a long term option
-Will this help with my intense sugar cravings
-Should I exercise while in ketosis
-Will I lean down, look somewhat muscular just by ketosis
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First off. Insanity is NOT a lot of cario. Each workout lats between 40-50 minutes, about 10 of which are stretching. There is nothing wrong with normal cardio. Your female paleo ancestors did abotu 5 miles a day on average, more for men.
Second off. Ketogenic diets and glucose intensive exercise (non-endurance) are antagonistic. You want to eat more fat as a proportion of calories if you do very long endurance exercise, but "paleo" practitioners don't recommend cardio. Oddly, they recommends (High intensity) exercise like HIIT and weight training, which are glycolytic and by definition burn glucose for energy...so the last thing you want is keto while doing this kind of exercise.
If you want to lose fat, eat "Clean" and nutritious foods and create a slight deficit and be consistent with it. Make up the remainder of that small deficit by burning more energy through increased exercise and NEPA (non exercise physical activity).
Anyone that says you need to cut out carbs to lose weight really has no idea what they are talking about and you should not listen to them or drink their carb free cool-aide.
Try intermittent fasting for 14 hours daily and upping your fat intake through some tasty coconut oil, butter, or fatty, grass fed meats being added to your meals.
Ketosis is a great part to incorporate into the rest of your life as your brain actually runs most efficiently on ketones. However, especially of you exercise a lot, make sure you have to carb refeed days a week.
Exercising in ketosis will certainly help you burn more fat and help you lean down.
Don't stress about your weight dropping down all the way to 135. You might find that if your doing strength training combined with ketosis you might be dropping in pant sizes but not losing a ton of weight. Gaining muscle and losing more body fat is much more healthy anyway!
There's not much of a safety issue for the short term. For the long term, you may want to introduce carb refeeds. Since you've got thyroid issues, it will be difficult to lose fat, and if you go too low carb for too long, T3 becomes rT3, so it's a good idea to have some sort of carbs either daily (preferably at night), or weekly.
You can exercise while in ketosis, or just fasted. Leaning down won't make you look muscular unless you go too low (under 10%, maybe even lower.)
Good fats to use - coconut oil (especially since half of it is MCT which will be converted to ketones), butter/ghee, extra virgin olive oil, lard, tallow, bacon. Eat as much as you need until you're satisfied.
L-Glutamine (as a powder) can be used to blunt sugar cravings, as can Alpha Lipoic Acid.