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Old 05-23-2008, 11:00 PM   #1
Will Moore
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Default Paleo, Carbs, and Muscle

I've followed and IF pattern of eating for at least 15 years, long before there were blogs and books about it. Like many IF fans, I found that eating during the day only slowed me down and that I function much better just eating one large meal late in the evening.

Now, in regards to following a Paleo type eating plan for best results. I have attempted this several times and found that is was NOT the best way to produce lean muscle, strength, and overall well being. I don't understand why, but that's been my experience.

I spent the largest part of my adult life in the military (Marines) and I'm now retired, working as an Information Technology contractor. The first job I took after leaving the Marines was in a bakery. It was an artisan bakery, making European style breads with organic ingredients, fresh ground flours, no sugar, etc. I worked hard on my feet 10 -12 hours a day and would come home and workout in my home gym. I practically lived on that bread! Regardless of the fact that it was organic, its still a load of refined carbs. Yet, I was the strongest and leanest I had ever been! I practically ate no fat, less than 8% of my calories were from fat and this only came from what occurs naturally in the food. My only protein sources was a large shake consisting of whey, egg, and casein protein....I estimate about 75g per day. The bottom line here is that I could work my ass off doing manual labor all day, then come home and workout like an animal and get strong.

Now, for my Paleo experiences: I would eat lots of protein, the recommended 1g/lb. body weight (170). No bread, potatoes, starchy foods, sugars, etc. Just meats (mostly salmon, tuna, chicken), healthy fats, nuts, veggies, etc. However, I never felt strong, I lost muscle, and workout quality suffered. I also never lost any weight this way.

Another tactic, which I have been using for the past 6 months, is another high carb, very low fat, and low glycemic index approach. Once again, My protein comes from one large protein shake at night containing about 90g protien. I eat a huge salad with veggies of all kinds. For carbohdates, I eat of mixture of split green peas, whole barley, Kamut, and rye berries (sometime oat groats). All of these can be cooked just as you would rice. Anyway, I eat a ton of this stuff and lose weight big time. At first, I just get really cut...can't complain about that. But then, strength and size start to suffer, as it is doing right now.

The bottom line here is that despite eating a diet loaded with carbs from whole grains, I lose weight and become very lean....too lean, where strength and size start going downhill. I always read on this blog and others that reducing carbs is the only way too get lean. I find the exact opposite to be true: cutting dietary fat, and eating mostly carbs makes me lean.

So here is my problem: I don't want to return to a diet of refined carbs, even though I know I was much stronger and more muscular eating them. I can't keep going with the "prudent" whole grain thing I'm doing now or I will never get stronger. There must be something I can do better with a Paleo plan that will produce better results. I must admit, I have not tried to include red meat. I know many swear by it, but from what I have read, the protien quality from fish products is equal to, and better is some cases, to that found in red meat. Plus, there's the added benefit of the omega 3s. I also used plenty of nuts for healthy fats as well. My calorie intake was more than adequate, I did gain weight, but not nearly as much muscle as I would have liked.

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated. As stated earlier, regardless of what type of diet plan I am on, I always employ IF. I eat one large meal late in the evening. I'm always amazed how people will ask me "Aren't you starving? How can you go all day with no food?" They don't understand that its their constant eating and snacking that makes them hungry. Most people ride the insulin roller coaster all day long. The more they snack, the hungrier they get. I see people come into the office with donuts at 10 am and then at 12 they say "Where are we going for lunch?" I say, "How can you be hungry? You just ate donuts and you haven't done a friggin' thing to work up an appetite!"

I think if people would just swith to IF, even if they changed nothing about the foods they ate, they would naturally reduce their intake, their constant hunger would cease, and obesity rates would plummet. At least that's how I see it.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:31 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Looks like you're one of the lucky people who respond well to carbs.

Well, you can tell if after you have a big carb meal if you're feeling energized. If you tend to get sleepy and lethagic like the rest of us you probably have trouble with lots of carbs.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:12 AM   #3
Derek Weaver
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Well, I would say that you're spot on about IF helping reducing intake. The improved insulin sensitivity would also be beneficial, so I guess even with the junk food like donuts they'd still be at a more manageable weight.

If you want to stay more Paleo, might I suggest sweet potatoes, squashes, more fruit etc.? Paleo is typically a low carb plan, but it doesn't have to be if you go nuts with tubers and fruit.

You seem to handle carbs well, so figure out your paleo carbs and eat away.
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:06 AM   #4
Dan Heaney
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I practically lived on that bread! Regardless of the fact that it was organic, its still a load of refined carbs. Yet, I was the strongest and leanest I had ever been!
Then why change?
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:09 PM   #5
Will Moore
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Thanks for the input guys. Dan: you asked, "why change?" Well, for one thing I'm 45 years old now and I don't think its a good idea anymore to being pounding down high carb foods all the time. Also, although I make time for a meaningful workout every day, I do have a desk job now. I'm not on my feet working hard all day doing manual labor, and then working out in addition to that. Also, my old diets were not without their side effects: Mostly anger and downright anti-social behavior at times. I did notice when I had tried low-carb/paleo in the past, I felt like a better person, even if I didn't have the body I wanted.

Anyway, I thought all of you here saw Paleo and IF as a commitment to a lifestyle, something you truly believe in, not just some dietary means to an end. When I hear things like "Why change?", it makes me think you would throw it all away if you found out you could get away with eating Big Macs and Krispy Kreme donuts with no ill effects.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:58 PM   #6
Mike ODonnell
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If you want to stick with meats...you need more fats. Sounds like low calories if you workouts are suffering and you are losing muscle. Have as much carbs as you feel your body needs....but overdoing the carbs can be going down a road of insulin resistance and silent inflammation. As even skinny people can get diabetes and heart attacks.

Oh yeah...nothing wrong with Red Meat....in fact....you will build more muscle (and maintain it) rather than a meat like chicken that has nothing else to give but protein. Meat and eggs.....has worked for 100s of years.
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:37 PM   #7
Will Moore
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Actually, no, calories were not the problem when I was eating Paleo/low-carb. In fact, I took in at least 1000 more everyday than I did when I was eating low fat. I know that for a fact, especially with the large amounts of nuts and seeds I ate each day along with all the protein. Did I allow time to become "adapted"? Indeed I did, going 5 or 6 months each time before giving up on it. All I got from it was decreased performance (strength and endurance), less muscle, and more body fat. Maybe 20 years of fat free, high carb eating perverted my system to the point where no other fuel will work...that's a joke, but it sure seems that way.

Seriously though, I would like to find a better way, preferably a new approach to Paleo....like maybe red meat as you suggest. Like I said, I am eating high carb right now, but at least its all non-processed. The only problem is, I'm getting way too skinny and I'm losing muscle, no matter how much of that shit I shovel in.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:22 AM   #8
Derek Weaver
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Will,
I am getting curious as this is a bit of a unique case. From what's been said so far, you did very well with a large amount of breads and other refined carbs.... not so well going more low carb Paleo. Your strength/muscle retention is shot without carbs, but you're still going high(er) carb now? How many nuts and seeds were you eating before? If you were eating enough to keep your calories high, then you certainly weren't going low fat, high carb.

It's late, I don't feel well and can't sleep so I may have misread something. Either way, I just want to get all the facts straight so the board can help pitch in on a solution.

What's your programming like? Height, weight (then and now)... you're 45 years old now right?

My guess is that it's more in recovery than anything. Do you sleep 8+ hours? How bout any LSD work (a likely culprit for many who are feel they're lacking in their physiques)? Do you take fish oil at all? In the meantime, do what Mike said... more red meat, more eggs, enough fruit, yams, sweet potatoes and other Paleo tubers to keep the fire burning.
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:06 AM   #9
Michael Wong
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Question

Sorry for bumping an old thread, hopefully someone can help me understand this nutrition stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Moore View Post
They don't understand that its their constant eating and snacking that makes them hungry. Most people ride the insulin roller coaster all day long. The more they snack, the hungrier they get. I see people come into the office with donuts at 10 am and then at 12 they say "Where are we going for lunch?" I say, "How can you be hungry? You just ate donuts and you haven't done a friggin' thing to work up an appetite!"
I don't understand this either. I am trying to assimilate all this information about insulin resistance but I don't really comprehend it, but I want to. All I know is, when I'm not working out and not eating regularly, I can easily live off one meal a day. When I'm gymming and eating lots to gain weight, it seems, like the example, every 2 hours I'm hungry. For example today: squats, bench, deads, finished at 4:30 pm. Went out to dinner at 5:30 and had a steak and veggies. By 8pm I was "hungry" again (insulin response?) and cooked myself 6 eggs omelet and toast. Now its 10, I might be full but I'm having pangs or something in my stomach that I equate to wanting to eat again.

Should I not be eating so much? I am trying to get stronger and put on weight, but I want to do it healthily. I'm 6'0 and 150lbs, so I have a ways to go.. But what if health goals take precedence over weight gain goals?

From what I've read, I should be aiming for low carbs and high fats. How can you consume high fats? Just eat bowls of nuts all day? Buy avocados by the dozen? I drenched my eggs in olive oil, is that enough? Where else do you get your fats?

Finally, should I just not worry about insulin and paleo and all this stuff while I'm trying to put on some size?
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:08 AM   #10
Michael Wong
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anyone?
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