I'm getting increasingly frustrated because I feel like my body composition is getting worse not better. I am happy that the diet makes me feel and perform better (been paleo since September 2010), but looking better it has not. I am not a heavy guy and never have been, I am very athletic and 5'5" 147lbs. I would say I am 10-12% bf, but who the hell knows. I know thats pretty good for most people standards but I don't feel like it is going in the right direction. I have tried cutting out fruit, nuts, increasing meals, decreasing meals, and many of the other suggestions I've read and heard. My sleep is ok, but not bad. As I have mentioned before on this board, I have kids, so waking up a couple times a night is pretty common but I don't feel tired when I wake up or throughout the day. I eat 95% grassfed/free range/wild caught. I also weight train 3 days a week and do either slow steady cardio or sprints twice a week. Here is a sample of what I ate today (I do not measure my food these are estimations):
Breakfast - 4 eggs with spinach and tomato cooked in tbs of coconut oil
Pre-workout - 2-3 ounces roast beef
Workout (45 minutes)
post workout - 3/4lb ground beef
Dinner - 3/4lb steak
salad with olive oil dressing
1 serving kombuch
To me that is not a lot of food. What am I doing wrong here?? For the life of me I can't get a handle on the body composition thing. I would like to be around 8% but it seems I just keep going up. Also worth mentioning is it is primarily in my mid-section.
I think you need to relax. Everything looks great. Sometimes, you need to stop trying so hard and let your body catch up. Take a week off.
Then log your food for a week. Look at your calories and your ratios of fat/protein/carb and see if there is something you can tweak there. I would say that might not be enough food, but I only eyeballed the calories. Stick with a change for at least 4 weeks before you decide it's not working.
You may want to try cycling your calories or carbs also to give your body some variety. When you do the same thing over and over for too long your body gets used to it.
You may also want to change your workout. Instead of strength try some HIIT or hit different muscle groups.
I do think fasting can help too. Maybe one day a week, try a 16 hour fast.
Don't give up on a change too quick though, it can take your body awhile to catch up to the new thing and if you keep changing it, you won't know what worked!
I put your day of food into MyNetDiary. It looks like you're getting 75g to 100g of carbs per day!
You might want to try and reduce that to 50g or less, per Mark Sisson's carb curve. I know that he says 50g to 100g is good for effortless weight loss, but that assumes that you don't have some sort of metabolic derangement.
Given your history with IBS, you may have some healing to do. Going under 50g of carbs a day might be necessary for body fat percentage reduction.
Also, consider repairing your gut health before gunning for fat loss.
I first want to say that I'm impressed with your understanding and adherence to a Paleo Diet. I also want to thank you for allowing me to write this. I felt compelled.
You've done good, no matter how you feel about your body right now this moment. It's obvious that you care.
However, it's also obvious to you that you're frustrated and your body is trying to tell you something. So, let's listen to it and try something new. Let's hack this shit.
First impression: possibly too many carbs, eats too frequently throughout the day, and needs more rest.
Pretend OK is not good enough. Pitch black room. Aim for 8-9 hours (add 30 minutes for the time it takes to actually fall asleep). Don't stay in bed in the morning.
If your kids don't wake you, do you sleep all the way through the night? Or do you wake up around 3 AM?
1 day/week of sprinting only.
Take out the yam and saurkraut. Consider taking out the tomato and any other nightshades you didn't mention. Get iodine from sources like salt. Add green vegetables like romaine lettuce and celery if and when you feel like it.
Try eating 2-3 times a day starting around noon (ala leangains). Eat to satiety. Don't snack between meals. This will help insulin have more natural peaks and valleys instead of being mostly elevated and level all the time. Take a look at this graph of insulin levels throughout the day (via this post from Jimmy Moore's blog).
Forget about the concept of pre-workout/post-workout. Seriously. It's never inspiring to read or hear people talk about.
How do you feel after your workouts? Exhausted? Aim for Exhilarated. I used to do a 5x5 version of Starting Strength 3 times a week, eventually reaching 255 lb. full range barbell back squats after warming up. I would get out of workouts so tired and depressed, it felt like I was dragging myself back home.
"Do as little as needed, not as much as possible". ~ Henk Kraaijenhof
Your body is a temple. Your body is God. Listen to it and nourish yourself.
I apologize if this doesn't work. Take what you need. Your situation and mine are pretty similar and I'm trying to solve this for myself too. I'm with ya, dude.
Intermittently Fast instead of grazing.
Train Fasted, this tears fat off you. Eat tubers post workout.
If you're not hungry, don't eat.
Don't be afraid of good carbs, especially if you want to bulk.
I lost 105lbs, thru low carb, gained little muscle. Switched to potatoes post workout and I've gained 20 lbs of lean muscle. We evolved with tubers.
I'm repeating myself because this is the #1 failing IMO, if you're not hungry, don't eat. If you are hungry, eat more, but do it all in 1-2 meals a day. Snacking keeps you in storage mode.
Why not try ketosis? Reduce carbs to just about nothing, reduce protein, increase fat intake. Live on macadamia nuts, coconut oil, butter if you do dairy... If you stay in it for a few weeks and do regular exercise and sprints you will kill fat for sure.
Get some Ketosticks at the pharmacy to check and keep yourself in ketosis.
Also I would recommend getting your body fat checked since you are trying to change it, you might want to know where you are at.
Looks like a lot of food to me, and the sugar from the yam and saurkraut might cause fat storage.
What were you eating before you turned paleo, in September, and why did you switch diets if it was working for you?
Thanks everyone for some great answers to my question. Overall, it looks like I need to relax a little, decrease training and carbs,and improve my sleep. I will work on this and give it enough time as suggested.
Is it that you are trying to lose wt?? If so I think your Protein is too high - Eat just one egg white and throw the rest away- have the yolks. Have more green veg with your meals. This worked for me after sitting on the same wt - very low carb for months - I did one simple thing - ditched the a few eggs and ( god forbid) the bacon and added Avo/cucumber/ lettuce to my breakfast - so green food was 2/3 the meal - bang there you go - just changed one meal of the day. I use to have bacon and eggs only.
I also did the high fat and no carb thing ( really hard to have high fat no carbs and small protein if you don't want to have dairy) did not work very well and I started to obsess about what I was eating - Now feel very balanced