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Some initial Paleo questions


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Decided to join the community after reading a few articles on NF here, especially the introduction to the Paleo diet one. It did lead me to some questions. I re-joined the gym back in April and have been doing strength and endurance training 3 times a week since then. I've lost 4% of BF, but need to lose quite a bit more while gaining some muscle strength at the same time. Hence the first question:

1. Steve says with this diet you "eat when you're hungry". How does that reconcile with the need to have adequate amount of protein in the system for strength training (1 gram per lb of weight, ideally)? Does it mean that you're always hungry? :)

2. Have people done something like a Paleo diet for 6 days and then eat more general (but not completely crappy) stuff on Sunday, for example? What are the effects/repercussions?

3. Is there a decent resource for Paleo meals that can be cooked for the whole week ahead? The resources linked from the article were mostly for individual servings.

Thanks!

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welcome aboard!!!!

I'll try and answer as best I can based on what ive gone through/am going through as Im fairly new around here myself.

1) Because you only eat when you're TRULY hungry (do not eat because you feel you can eat or should eat and knowing its "guilt free"), you're body dictates what it wants. Its as simple as that. You when when you feel you need fuel. If you're hungry, eat more protein and veg. if you're not dont. Some people get very hungry in the beginning as their bodies detox from the grains/dairy/sugars/etc. Some people don't get hungry.

Once you level off you'll be able to know when you are and are not. (I have days where even though I strength train, Im not hungry at all, and other days I'd consider eating my laptop if it had some value to it)

2) yes. Some people do have "cheat days" As for the repercussions I honestly don't know. Ive been paleo long enough now, that i don't really do "cheat days" because I feel so crappy afterwards (feel free to read my blog post about eating rice in sushi this weekend and being glutened and how painful that was) So that's your call. Some people can do it with little to no repercussions, and others notice that their bodies have become more sensitive to foods and choose not to. Its totally up to you

3)The easiest way with the recipes- is to just look up, and increase the amounts you make at once. Some people do a batch cooking day, some people cook up a metric-f-ton of say chicken ahead of time so its ready to just throw into something. Some weeks I make 2 dozen hard boiled eggs ahead and a HUGE mixing bowl of cooked greens. Other weeks I wing it. (im kind of winging it this week) (ok, so this answer may not be the best one)

LOL

but, welcome aboard!!!!

~It's when Pirates count their booty that they become mere thieves.~My Fitness Pal TrackerMy 6 Week Challenge Page- Scout

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I'm still fairly new to paleo, and I do have one cheat meal a week. I usually get takeout (what depends on my mood), and eat it, then start again. I'm trying to cut it out, and honestly, last week I didn't cheat, but this week I did. My cheat days seem to be getting more and more spread out (which is really nice).

As for preparing in advance, I get really tired of eating the same thing day in and day out (with the exception of salad. I can eat that all day any way), so I make enough food for 2 meals every night for dinner, then eat the second one for lunch the next day. If you are able to eat the same thing day in and day out, make giant batches of stuff... then portion it out, and leave each portion in a container/baggie in the fridge waiting for you.

If you really listen to your body, you will begin to be able to tell when you are actually hungry, not thirsty, bored, lonely, stressed, or anything else that drives you to eat. My solution for the first few weeks, when I thought I was hungry was to have a glass of water, and wait 1/2 hour, and if I was still feeling hungry, I'd grab something to eat. I did a lot of snacking in my first while, but because it wasn't chocolate, chips, and candy, I still ate fewer calories, and better calories too.

I will admit that I am still learning what "hungry" is, and sometimes my tummy rumbles to remind me that I do indeed need to eat, and that I'm not bored, thirsty, anxious, stressed, or any of my other triggers.

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1. Steve says with this diet you "eat when you're hungry". How does that reconcile with the need to have adequate amount of protein in the system for strength training (1 gram per lb of weight, ideally)? Does it mean that you're always hungry? :)

Getting protein in your diet when Paleo is not an issue. And honestly, once you've gotten to the point where you're more fat-adapted, you won't feel hungry all that much. Protein and fat create more of a leptin response and bring you feelings of satiety, where carbs have NO leptin response (therefore no satiety). As long as you eat some protein a little bit after a heavy workout (as well as some Paleo-friendy carbs such as some yam/sweet potato if you need to restore glycogen levels) then you'll do fine.

2. Have people done something like a Paleo diet for 6 days and then eat more general (but not completely crappy) stuff on Sunday, for example? What are the effects/repercussions?

In my opinion, you NEED to do a 30-day total Paleo period in order to clear the physical cravings for carbs out of your system and reset your body to expect fat as an energy source. After that you can experiment with more foods and see how your body responds, but you need that 30-day period to clear out the bad stuff so that you have a basis to see how you're going to react to other more questionable foods.

3. Is there a decent resource for Paleo meals that can be cooked for the whole week ahead? The resources linked from the article were mostly for individual servings.

There are TONS. Here are some of my favorites - look for things like crock-pot recipes and the like.

1. Mark's Daily Apple - he posts recipes on occasion and they're always good.

2. Nom Nom Paleo - Lots of great stuff here - and she has a new smart phone app out.

3. Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations - one of my favorites, try the Beasty BBQ sauce!

4. Everyday Paleo - Sarah Fragoso has a book out, too, by the same name.

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Thanks everyone, this is helpful. I'm struggling with how combine Paleo with strength training in a way that allows BF loss while maintaining or improving muscle. Even though Paleo doesn't make you count calories, in the end you still need a caloric deficit to achieve fat loss. So I'm trying to figure out how to eat 200+ grams of protein a day (and some low amount of carbs for glycogen build-up) without going over what my daily calorie burn and while only eating when I'm hungry. I've been using some whey protein isolate powder with good results and it'd be hard to give that up as a way to reach the required protein intake. Any thoughts on this?

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You'll find it easier than you think to lose fat. I myself have been paleo this last 6 weeks (hooray challenges!) and I dropped weight yet still increased my lifts, with no undo signs of muscle loss. I wasn't counting, just eating when I was hungry (And sometimes when I was not, darn protein requirements). Take a month to see what happens without calorie counting would be my suggestion. Or at least track it but don't change your eating habits. A lot of people find that their hunger is satisfied much more than when they had a high carb count in their diet. Being hungry is not an issue.

As for the whey, people use it. If it works for you great, continue to use it. Paleo is a guideline, not a hard and fast religion. Modifications are fine as long as you recognize what you are doing.

"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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One of my favorite Primal posts about gaining muscle is here. :)

Thanks, great read, but leads me to a follow-up question. In the article, Mark says to eat one big piece of fatty meat every day. I was under the impression that on Paleo the meats should mostly be lean cuts?

Also, if I'm doing weight loss/strength training, is it okay to have good carbs in the form of sweet potato or should I limit those to a couple of times a week?

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Thanks, great read, but leads me to a follow-up question. In the article, Mark says to eat one big piece of fatty meat every day. I was under the impression that on Paleo the meats should mostly be lean cuts?

Paleo doesn't really make a distinction between fatty and lean being good/bad. The only thing is really says is that you do need to up your fat intake compared to the SAD and that fats should be of good quality. If you get that all through a fatty cut of meat, go ahead and be free. Fattier cuts can also be more tasty. :)

Also, if I'm doing weight loss/strength training, is it okay to have good carbs in the form of sweet potato or should I limit those to a couple of times a week?

Yes it's fine. Have them as a post workout meal where they have the most benefit. And of course don't overdo it.

"I lift heavy things. Sometimes these things are people."

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Thanks, great read, but leads me to a follow-up question. In the article, Mark says to eat one big piece of fatty meat every day. I was under the impression that on Paleo the meats should mostly be lean cuts?

The only distinction between fatty and lean cuts are when it comes to grain-fed beef and pig meat. If you are sticking to eating pastured, well-taken care of (and grass-fed) animals, there is no need to worry about meat fats. It is good fat. But on grain-fed animals, the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty ratios are lopsided and it is advised to avoid fatty cuts (not a hard fast rule though). Also, when it comes to pork, Whole9Life said it best:

In addition, not all bacon is created equal. The vast majority (more than 90%, based on 2007 data) of the pork sold in the U.S. today comes from the factory farming system. This is the stuff you’ll find at your typical grocery store, from producers like Smithfield, Oscar Mayer, Hormel and Tyson. Pigs are arguably the most abused, poorly fed, sickly animals in the factory farming system. (Visit the Humane Society factory farming page for details on the inhumane treatment of pigs in our industrial food system.) And fatty cuts of pork from this system are perhaps the least healthy form of meat.

Residues that accumulate as a result of the factory farming system (such as those from pesticides, feed additives and antibiotics) are often fat-soluble. This means these compounds are stored in the animal’s fatty tissues – and when we consume the fat from these animals, we are also ingesting these toxins. These residues can be hazardous to humans, and is dose-dependent (the more you consume, the greater the potential risk). Bacon is one of the fattiest cut of pork – which means bacon from the factory farming system contains a large potential “dose†of these unhealthy residues.

Emphasis/links theirs; link to article on bacon

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