I'm not doing paelo specifically, but I am doing keto (very low carb, high fat), so hopefully this isn't too out of place.
Is dieting enough to lower body fat percentage on it's own, given a reasonable calorie deficit?
I'm currently at 5'9", 130 lbs, and 19% body fat. I'm aiming for 12% body fat, but I'm going to be in a very rural area for six months and won't have access to any sort of weights, and this diet doesn't leave me with enough energy to do any serious cardio.
Go for daily walks and also do some weight lifting. Perhaps your own body weight:
75% is diet, the rest is exercise. I wouldn't recommend a lot of cardio anyway, Eric gave already the best advice for workouts.
If you have been on the diet for a while (a month or two at least) and still have low energy levels, I would check your diet for maybe adding some carbs (sweet potato etc.) at least on workout days.
Hi zsuper. I'm a paleo-friendly low carber, too. I'll just add a few points to what's already been said:
Many people find that strenuous exercise can stall a low carb diet, especially at the start, so you're probably better off with the mild exercise anyway.
What will you be doing in that rural area? If there's physical labor involved, you may not need any exercise beyond that!
Many low carb diets do recommend gradually adding back some carbs over time, so I agree w/LauraFIN: if you continue to have low energy, see about adding back some calories, and then some healthy carbs.
Glad you asked about lowering body fat, and not losing weight. 130 sounds like a low weight for 5'9". You may actually need to gain some weight (as muscle), depending on your build.
zsuper, 12% body fat? I hope you are a dude!
I would incorporate strength training, but not for burning calories, for the hormonal benefits and because studies have shown that strength training 2 to 3 times per week (lower volume/higher weight) is the SOLE factor that determines how much LBM the body retains during a reduced calorie stint.
And yes, it's all diet, basically. There is a saying, you can't outrun a bad diet. People try to eat garbage and exercise it off and they are for the most part, unsuccessful.
Don't forget sleep!
You also need to get proper amount of sleep each night.
If your sleeping patterns are off it will block weight loss
There's no strong evidence that exercise will help you lose body fat. However, weight training will help you build muscle mass, so you look ripped once you do lose the body fat. :)
I have been eating Paleo/Primal for two months with practiacally zero real exercise. Within last two weeks, I have started working out again. I enjoy rowing, walking, Kettlebells, but after a knee injury, I let myself go. Over the two months of Primal eating, I have lost 19 pounds and 2% fat.
So yes, you can lose the fat without the exercise. However, with renewed energy levels and the benefits of keep your body strong, you should at least walk daily and if you don't have weights, then at least do squats and pushups.
I was away from home for one year, constant travel to one location at one point in my career. I walked everyday, bought a several garbage bags, duct tape and duffle bag and made a sand bag for weight lifting. It was a great workout that I walked away from when my job project was over. Try it.