Hello, I've been about 90% paleo for a couple months and I've lost about 10 pounds. I dropped from 190 to 180 and what I assume to be 18% BF to about 15%. I'm doing very well eating lots of fat and protein. Mainly animal products, poultry, eggs, and fish. Fats from nuts, avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil. My carbs are mainly raw vegetables in salads and some fruit. I've in the past been able to handle tons of carbs and maintain my weight with lots of exercise. I mainly weight train for volume for about 35 to 40 minutes now, only a few days a week. My question is about maintaining enough energy for strength training and what carbs I should eat. I eat some fruits before I workout and I'm wondering if I need to eat more fruit after or just vegetables and keep it low carb. I want to lose more BF but stay muscular as I have through the last 10lbs. I also take walks some mornings on an empty stomach before breakfast as a small IF. I think this has helped me as well. I'm basically wondering how low I should take my carbs. Maybe about 150 to 180 for now? Should I only eat fruit in the morning as well?
You hit the nail on the head when you said, "..in the past been able to handle tons of carbs and maintain my weight with lots of exercise." It's sort of a "which came first" scenario. Does the high carb intake necessitate a high activity level or does the high activity level necessitate the high carb intake.
Well, just like the chicken and the egg, they're both kinda true and now that you've made the switch to a paleo-style way of eating, and are already dabbling with IF, it might be worth considering reducing your carbohydrate intake in addition to reducing your training volume.
35-40 minutes of weight lifting could be condensed down to 15-20 minutes of high intensity activity. Walking and incidental activity, particularly on an empty stomach, is good too.
Why would you only eat fruit for breakfast though? If anything, eat a piece of meat!
You should include some starchy tubers or roots such as sweet potatoes, peeled white potatoes, Yuca (or tapioca), or taro. These carbs are in the from of mainly glucose which can be used more directly for exercise and replenish muscle glycogen as opposed to liver glycogen. Fruit provides carbs in the form of fructose, which has to go through the liver to be metabolized. If you are getting decent workouts in, you need not worry about 40-60 grams of starchy carbs post-workout, in fact you may see some muscle gains and even a bit more fat loss by doing this.
I have started to exercise and work out fasted, and then have a relatively high carb snack after the workout. The first 2-3 times I did it, I had trouble getting started on the workout, but now this has started to work really great. I have a lot of energy with my workouts and feel that I can work my muscles more than previously. I added 0.5 mile to my 3x-week run the other day just because I was feeling so good.
By "fasted" I mean no food for the previous 12-24 hours. Fasting for 24 hours can be a bit trying, but I have not found that workouts suffer at all, which is interesting in and of itself.
However, when I finish the workout, I really need something to eat within about 15 minutes. I am normally very low carb but here I will eat some carbs. My go-to snack now is a large glass of whole raw milk and a banana, and if I'm still hungry, some protein (i.e. eggs). I feel my muscles recover much better/faster with some carbs post workout.
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