I'm a 25 year old female, 5'9", 153lbs, ~24% body fat (per my scale). I'm trying to lose fat and build muscle.
I've been eating Paleo (ala Robb Wolf) for over 2 weeks now and lost about 1 inch off my hips and waist. I've allowed myself 1 cheat meal. I will allow myself another in about 2 weeks.
I do CrossFit 2 times a week and use the elliptical 3-5 times a week (used to run - knee injury right now). I also take 1 or 2 walks a week with my dog and a weighted vest and go to Zumba 1 night a week. I like to workout twice a day when I can, early in the morning and again around 2pm.
I am planning to make some adjustments.
I am not hungry as often as I was but I still am in the habit of 3 meals and 2 snacks, so I plan to start Intermittent Fasting instead. So I plan to wake at 4am, go to CrossFit or the gym at 5am, have some espresso after, eat around 11am, and then eat again around 7pm.
I am also going to start doing CrossFit 3x a week. I also plan to cut back on the high intensity cardio and replace that with heavy lifting. I will probably do cardio 2 or 3 times a week. I will probably keep the walks with my dog and the Zumba because I enjoy them.
So what do you think? Any suggestions on how to improve my new approach?
Don't cheat on your meals, and, as you mentioned, stop using the elliptical and crossfit more often (3 on, 1 off.) Also, I'd stay away from IF. In one of Robb Wolf's first few podcasts he talks about IF--it's only to be used by people who really have their diet controlled and their sleep regulated, which is also something to note. Sleep as much as you can, in a dark room.
Not sure why you even asked this question because it sounds like you've got a firm grasp on this lifestyle. I agree with hile about IF... IF isn't something to be used by "metabolically deranged" people, but with your height and weight it sounds like you're fairly close to a very healthy (aka lean) body weight. So, try IF-ing out. If it feels good, stick with it. If not, pick something else and move on. Just be consistent. Even if you go back to three meals and two snacks, which works for plenty of paleo people - especially those with families, more important than WHEN you eat is WHAT you eat. keep it healthy, keep it paleo, and, if leaning out is your goal, keep it lower carb. (but eat enough carbs to sustain your crossfit). Keep up the dog walks, I'm going to steal your weighted vest dog-walk idea. :)
ETA: Forgot to mention that you should rethink the cardio! It works against your leaning-out goals! http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/09/02/friends-dont-let-friends-do-cardio/
It sounds like you have some good ideas in there, but I would only caution that you've only been dialed in on the food piece for a little more than two weeks, where most recommend trying out a new diet regime for at least 21 days and then observing differences.
From your post, it sounds like you're doing a lot of exercising, which may eventually turn around to bite you; like others have mentioned, adding too many stressors (exercise, fasting, stress from work, relationships, sleep quality) will eventually cause you to plateau or even regress. I personally work on 2 heavy volume kettlebell sessions a week, with lots (5-6 miles a day) of walking and some body-weight work with pullups and squats.
It doesn't take marathon efforts, but a little time will work wonders. No need to overdo it, it sounds like you're on the right path! Best of luck.
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