I posted yesterday re not liking fatty meats-thanks for the useful responses. However I have a few more newbie questions....
Is there such a thing as too much coconut butter? I am absolutely craving it like crazy (didn't before starting paleo ~2 weeks ago). I am eating c3 tbsp per day in addition to other fats eg avocado, spray olive oil, handful of nuts.
For the last ~5 years (I'm 24) i've exercised hard for 45m-1hr 5-6 days per week and have eaten a fairly strict weekday diet - still lowish carbs but not much fat so definitely not paleo or near it. Also counted calories and stuck between 1600-2000 for those years (which ironically might have made my metabolism slower since i havent lose ANY weight on that number). Basically I'm way flabbier than i feel i 'should' be for how much effort I put in. Could cortisol be a problem? I have a medium stress job but always try to sleep between 7 and 8 hours/night. I'm trying to dial back on the exercise and do 3 x week 45m circuit training with heavy weights (supersets), then 1 day of sprints (20-30minutes) and 1 day of bodyweight cardio (20-30minutes), maybe with an hour of pilates thrown in there. I walk 45minutes three times/week too. IS THIS TOO MUCH?
I'm only in my second week and I feel happier and (I think) a bit leaner, but I am aware of my intense fat cravings and the possibility that i am raising my cortisol and preventing fat loss by still exercising this much.....am still stuck in that 'more is more' mindset re exercise...
Sorry for length - any thoughts MUCH appreciated!
I no longer buy coconut butter. I enjoy eating it so much that I can't control myself. If exerting no will power could eat a whole jar in a day. It was causing some undesirable weight gain, so I cut it out completely. There's no moderation with me and coconut butter. It just had to go.
If will power and weight gain aren't an issue, then by all means enjoy. I never experienced any other negative effects. Large amounts can be a bit tough on digestion. It's incredibly dense and coconut fiber is a bit of a challenge to break down.
Yes, I think you are exercising too much. I like Mark Sisson's book, "The Primal Blueprint," where he says: Move about frequently at a slow pace, Lift heavy things & sprint once in a while.
And Primal Blueprint Law # 7: Play
Wouldn't hurt to give yourself a break every other day.
As far as your second point goes, it sounds like you engaged in cardio training for several years. Yes, that will make you the infamous 'skinny fat'. More is not better. Strength training will provide stress that forces your body to develop lean mass. Your body develops this lean mass during recovery. Recovery is all about rest and nutrition.
I would be careful of the 45 minutes of circuit training with 'heavy weights'. I question any program that allows for supersets and circuit training that uses heavy weight. Either you are going to injure yourself or the weight is not truly heavy. Strength training utilizes weights between 80-90% of your 1 Rep Max (1RM) in sets of 3-8 (5 being the most common) with some kind of linear progression. If done correctly, 3X5 and 5X5 sets of heavy squats, a press, and a pull can take an hour in the gym (takes 3-5 minutes of rest between sets). I suggest you ditch the circuit training and adopt a strength training program (I am a huge fan of Starting Strength by Mark Rippitoe...just Google it).
If you adopt a strength training routine like Starting Strength as your core programming, I would trade out the 1 day of BW cardio and just do 2 days of sprints.
My program is 3 days of strength training (Texas Method: an intermediate strength program), kettlebell metcons after my strength workouts (I keep these under 10 minutes), 2 days of sprints, and 2 days of hiking.
Strength training will eliminate the 'skinny fat' issue by developing lean mass. Make sure you are getting enough protein and rest as well (these are essential to developing lean mass).