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I am currently trying to reduce body fat percentage and losing a few pounds in the process would be nice too.

I have been eating a primal-ish diet and doing body weight exercises, including yoga, as well as lots of long walks. I have been losing weight, although it's been at a slow pace. I have gone from 207.5 to 198.2 lbs over the last 6 weeks. I would love to get down to 190 lbs (I am 6' 1").

I keep reading about keto... something or other. Should I be aiming for that or is it unhealthy? I know you get there by eating super low carb but just how low is that? Under 100g per day? Under 50g?

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Going low carb is a short-term solution so I wouldn't recommend it. The first thing you should do is make sure you're in a caloric deficit. You could be eating completely healthy all the time but if you're consuming more calories than you burn then you'll never lose weight.

 

Second, I would start doing some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This will definitely help boost your weight loss results!

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People have a lot of different opinions on this subject. My personal recommendation is to remember that fruits contain good carbs. Even if you're cutting down on carbs, don't limit your fruits.

 

Other than the obvious bad carbs (sugar, white bread, etc.) what are the good ones and the bad ones?

 

Going low carb is a short-term solution so I wouldn't recommend it. The first thing you should do is make sure you're in a caloric deficit. You could be eating completely healthy all the time but if you're consuming more calories than you burn then you'll never lose weight.

 

Second, I would start doing some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This will definitely help boost your weight loss results!

 

I am eating at at caloric deficit - after all, I've been losing weight. Just... more slowly than I would like.

 

Unfortunately a chronic foot problem makes running very painful for me but I am open to other suggestions.

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There aren't really "good" or "bad" carbs.  There are, however, carbs whose sources give you other nutrients as well.  Fruit is a source of sugar, but it's also a source of vitamins.  The sugar's treated the same way in your body as if you got it from a cookie, but at least the fruit is giving you more nutrients than the cookie is.  Think of carbs as a basic unit that are neither good nor bad, but some SOURCES can be more useful than others.  When you're trying to lose fat, you usually want to stay away from foods that are energy dense but nutrient poor.

 

To lose fat at a quicker rate, you'll need a larger deficit than what you have now.  You'll achieve that by either eating less, moving more, or some combination of the two.  The nice thing about losing fat is you can go about almost however you'd like.  Don't worry if you can't do HIIT.  You could do cycling, or more walking, or swimming, or anything that makes you move around more.  On the "calories in" side, you could approach it in a few ways.  The easy thing is to do what you've already done and eliminate the "junk"-type food, the stuff that is energy dense but nutrient poor.  And that's working for you!  To go faster, you'll want to take a closer look at the quantity of your food.  You don't need a primal diet, or a keto diet, or a juicing diet, or anything: you just need less calories overall.  Find what's easiest for you to go without and leave it out for now.  Or, you could try calorie counting.

 

Also, keep in mind that your overall weight might be misleading.  If you're relatively new to strength work (within a few months), you might be adding some weight despite the calorie deficit.  Do you take measurements around your waist?  Those will be more accurate than overall weight.

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Other than the obvious bad carbs (sugar, white bread, etc.) what are the good ones and the bad ones?

 

 

I am eating at at caloric deficit - after all, I've been losing weight. Just... more slowly than I would like.

 

Unfortunately a chronic foot problem makes running very painful for me but I am open to other suggestions.

I'm going to have to disagree a little with JPrev (no offense). Fruit contains high amounts of fiber that offset all the sugar. It basically makes it impossible to gain weight on fruit. I'm being completely serious about that. Have you heard of fruitarians? They eat almost nothing but vast quantities of fruit every day. I'm talking about thousands of calories from fruit. Some of them can eat thirty bananas in a sitting. They eat at least ten oranges or bananas per meal. They are lean and strong. If you find an obese person that got that way eating fruit, let me know. Not that you have to be a fruitarian to enjoy the benefits of all the nutrients that come from fruit. (Check out Freelee the Banana Girl on YouTube for more)

 

Back to the question about good and bad carbs. I personally avoid carbs that are highly processed and/or contain gluten. So, I would count any kind of rice as being a good carb. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are both good too as long as they aren't fried, cooked in oils, or covered in cheese and cream. I also suggest checking out some pastas (made from corn or beans instead of flour) in the oranic section of your grocery store.

 

Again, I'm not saying you should avoid all carbs except for fruits, potatoes, healthy pasta, and rice... but limit them.

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This is all extremely helpful. Thanks guys and gals!

 

Re: measuring - I haven't been measuring myself but I could do that. My wife sews and we do have a tape measure...

 

As far as moving more goes, I have a plan to up the intensity of my bodyweight and Yoga workouts. I am already walking 6 days per week at a pretty quick pace. I suppose I could add some distance but I'm already doing 45 minute walks as it is.

 

I suppose it could be portions that are slowing me down, although I didn't think I was eating much anyway.

 

I weigh myself every 2 weeks (no more than that for sanity purposes) and I am averaging a loss of 1.55 lbs per week. Is that slow?

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Oh, OK! That's good to know. I guess I really didn't know what a reasonable rate of weight loss was...

 

Of course, 1.55 lbs per week is my average. In reality it has not been so linear - it seems to have come off in chunks rather than at a steady rate. Is that normal too?

 

I do want to up the activity level though, particularly the weight training part. I have been doing the strenuous kind of yoga (as opposed to the stretchy, meditative kind) but I think adding in more old fashioned push ups, etc. couldn't hurt anything either.

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Weight can fluctuate like mad - it's the trends that you care about.  That's another reason why tape measurements are better.  They'll still fluctuate, but their changes back and forth are less and are more 1:1 with what you really care about: fat and muscle ratios.

 

Remember, you care about FAT loss, not weight loss.  When you start doing more rigorous strength training, your overall weight is going to be affected.

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I'm going to have to disagree a little with JPrev (no offense). Fruit contains high amounts of fiber that offset all the sugar. It basically makes it impossible to gain weight on fruit. I'm being completely serious about that. Have you heard of fruitarians? They eat almost nothing but vast quantities of fruit every day. I'm talking about thousands of calories from fruit. Some of them can eat thirty bananas in a sitting. They eat at least ten oranges or bananas per meal. They are lean and strong. If you find an obese person that got that way eating fruit, let me know. Not that you have to be a fruitarian to enjoy the benefits of all the nutrients that come from fruit. (Check out Freelee the Banana Girl on YouTube for more)

 

Most of the fruitarians on youtube are also big time runners and/or cyclists and burn several thousand calories a day, and have a much higher energy turnover day to day than the average person.  That coupled with the fact that it's very inefficient for your body to store sugar as fat is the main reason why these fruitarians are so lean.  I don't think you were actually disagreeing with JPrev at all.

 

I don't really agree with the whole fruitarian thing for the main reason that it's one extreme end of the dietary spectrum.  A diet really needs balance in order to be healthy.  You would be hard pressed to find a successful fruitarian powerlifter or bodybuilder.  And I wouldn't be surprised if some of those fruitarians had hormonal issues, because the body does need dietary fat to produce hormones.  I'm not ragging on them, I'm just saying any diet that takes thigns to one extreme position like that isn't really a great idea for most people.

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Most of the fruitarians on youtube are also big time runners and/or cyclists and burn several thousand calories a day, and have a much higher energy turnover day to day than the average person.  That coupled with the fact that it's very inefficient for your body to store sugar as fat is the main reason why these fruitarians are so lean.  I don't think you were actually disagreeing with JPrev at all.

 

I don't really agree with the whole fruitarian thing for the main reason that it's one extreme end of the dietary spectrum.  A diet really needs balance in order to be healthy.  You would be hard pressed to find a successful fruitarian powerlifter or bodybuilder.  And I wouldn't be surprised if some of those fruitarians had hormonal issues, because the body does need dietary fat to produce hormones.  I'm not ragging on them, I'm just saying any diet that takes thigns to one extreme position like that isn't really a great idea for most people.

 

While there are a few fruitarians that consume all that fruit to improve their performance as distance runners or cyclists, most do a more normal amount of exercise. Some barely exercise at all and the diet still works.

 

I sort of agree with you that being a strict fruitarian is a bit much. HOWEVER, there has been a huge shift in the fruitarian community in the last year. A lot of them have converted to Raw Till 4, where you consume raw fruits and vegetables (mostly fruit) until 4:00, then you eat a super healthy vegan meal for dinner. It usually works out to eating a bunch of bananas or oranges for breakfast, a giant loaded salad or a huge smoothie for lunch, and then a dinner with lots of rice, potatoes, or corn pasta. Lots of vegan asian dishes are also great for dinner.

 

You may be thinking that someone wouldn't count as a fruitarian anymore if they were Raw Till 4. And you would be right. But so many of the fruitarians I follow have turned raw till 4 and they feel and look the same as when they consumed all fruit. Few new people ever consider going full fruitarian anymore. Why bother when they can eat cooked meals at night and get the same results?

 

Finally, (and MOST IMPORTANTLY) regardless of whether someone is a fruitarian or raw till 4, everyone is always in top health. They have perfect blood tests, feel great, never experience depression, are lean, are strong, never get sick, etc. The only minor issue some of them have is that their B12 is low, which can be fixed with supplements or shots. It's also worth noting that a lot of people have used pure fruitarianism to cure cancer, diabetes, and other major health problems. People told they would die soon, turned it around and cured themselves with fruitarianism... I'm actually not making up that part. You can google it or look it up on youtube.

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Weight can fluctuate like mad - it's the trends that you care about.  That's another reason why tape measurements are better.  They'll still fluctuate, but their changes back and forth are less and are more 1:1 with what you really care about: fat and muscle ratios.

 

Remember, you care about FAT loss, not weight loss.  When you start doing more rigorous strength training, your overall weight is going to be affected.

 

Yeah, that's true - I do care about fat loss more than the number on the scale. So far, I have been in the stage where weight loss has been more or less equivalent to fat loss.

 

I am just eye-balling it (and doing some jiggling here and there), but I estimate that I am still carrying approximately 10 lbs of unnecessary body fat at the moment. My current goal is to get the scale to read 190 lbs and see how I look/feel at that point and re-assess.

 

Minor personal nutritional news: I have been reading about the role of water intake in the fat/weight loss process. I am upping my water intake accordingly - that has always been a problem area for me - I just don't drink enough water (I rarely feel thirsty for some reason). I am making a conscious effort to drink more but honestly, I feel a bit water logged...

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I think you should not overthink this too much. Obviously, what you are doing so far is working very well for you. Why change a running system? 

 

You're doing all the right things: Eating quality food most of the time, exericsing regularly and most importantly walking a lot.

 

Stick to what you're doing!

 

 

...

 

Minor personal nutritional news: I have been reading about the role of water intake in the fat/weight loss process. I am upping my water intake accordingly - that has always been a problem area for me - I just don't drink enough water (I rarely feel thirsty for some reason). I am making a conscious effort to drink more but honestly, I feel a bit water logged...

 

Can you post a link to what you've read about the water intake/weight loss correlation? I'm of the opinion that drinking when you're thristy is sufficient.

 

Here is a blog post that's about using common sense when dieting, if you want to read more about that.

 

Good luck with your weight loss project!

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http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson175.htm

 

(scroll down near the bottom of the article)

 

Now, I am definitely NOT a body builder. I don't want to be a body builder. I have no desire to "bulk up" or significantly increase my muscle mass beyond adjusting the muscle/fat ratio I currently have.

 

But I figured body builders would know about cutting fat.

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You're overthinking your water intake.   If your pee isn't bright yellow you're probably getting plenty of water.  

 

It sounds like your current strategy is working well.  Why do you think you need to change your approach?

 

I think you're right about the water thing - it's been too much the past few days. The "drink when your thirsty" systems is good and all... the problem is that I very rarely feel thirsty! But I keep thinking that surely I need more water than that...

 

Well I was thinking about making some changes due to the fact that I my weight loss has slowed down a bit the past 1-2 weeks. It's probably just more non-linearity and I should get over it. Maybe I should just weigh myself less - once per month maybe?

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Well, on top of the spikes, you would expect the rate of fat loss to slow down over time if you only did the same things.  The majority of the reason is as the fat comes off, you weigh less overall and so burn fewer calories per day.  So you could be eating the same amount today as you were a month ago, but since your body is burning fewer calories (it has less fat attached to it) your deficit has effectively shrunk.  If you want to maintain the speed over time, you need to tweak things about your diet/exercise to maintain the deficit's original size.

 

So don't freak out when the rate of fat loss slows down - it's normal.  Just make some small changes to maintain the size of your deficit, and you'll keep moving along at a good rate.

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Well, on top of the spikes, you would expect the rate of fat loss to slow down over time if you only did the same things.  The majority of the reason is as the fat comes off, you weigh less overall and so burn fewer calories per day.  So you could be eating the same amount today as you were a month ago, but since your body is burning fewer calories (it has less fat attached to it) your deficit has effectively shrunk.  If you want to maintain the speed over time, you need to tweak things about your diet/exercise to maintain the deficit's original size.

 

So don't freak out when the rate of fat loss slows down - it's normal.  Just make some small changes to maintain the size of your deficit, and you'll keep moving along at a good rate.

 

That makes a lot of sense.

 

More sun salutations and push ups! MOAR!!1!

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If you're losing at 1.5lbs per week, and are satisfied with your diet (i.e. aren't feeling ravenous all the time, having major cravings etc), then it sounds like you're doing well and should keep doing what you're doing.

Drinking enough water to be well hydrated is good, because sometimes we confuse thirst with hunger, and drinking water instead of things with calories is also good. Drinking excessive amounts of water is only likely to help by the virtue of increasing your activity levels throughout the day as you go to the bathroom repeatedly ;)

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Finally, (and MOST IMPORTANTLY) regardless of whether someone is a fruitarian or raw till 4, everyone is always in top health. They have perfect blood tests, feel great, never experience depression, are lean, are strong, never get sick, etc. The only minor issue some of them have is that their B12 is low, which can be fixed with supplements or shots. It's also worth noting that a lot of people have used pure fruitarianism to cure cancer, diabetes, and other major health problems. People told they would die soon, turned it around and cured themselves with fruitarianism... I'm actually not making up that part. You can google it or look it up on youtube.

This is a common experience for most people who meet a diet that corrects common vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The simple biology is that (as Shortgorilla pointed out) the body needs fat and cholesterol to synthesise hormones. Of course there is a built up reserve, the body can produce some cholesterol itself, but eventually, the well is going to run dry. When that happens, you end up with problems- raw vegans who lose the ability to menstruate due to lack of sex hormones, or who start developing cavities all through their mouth due to a lack of fat soluble vitamins. 

That's not to say there is no benefit, you've mentioned yourself the therapeutic effects of Fruititarian diets, but short term success does not necessarily predict long term success. The best strategy is what it's always been- eat a variety of different macronutrients in their original natural packaging and don't be afraid to challenge your preconceptions when things stop working.

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This is a common experience for most people who meet a diet that corrects common vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The simple biology is that (as Shortgorilla pointed out) the body needs fat and cholesterol to synthesise hormones. Of course there is a built up reserve, the body can produce some cholesterol itself, but eventually, the well is going to run dry. When that happens, you end up with problems- raw vegans who lose the ability to menstruate due to lack of sex hormones, or who start developing cavities all through their mouth due to a lack of fat soluble vitamins. 

That's not to say there is no benefit, you've mentioned yourself the therapeutic effects of Fruititarian diets, but short term success does not necessarily predict long term success. The best strategy is what it's always been- eat a variety of different macronutrients in their original natural packaging and don't be afraid to challenge your preconceptions when things stop working.

What fruitarians are you talking about? You said, "raw vegans who lose the ability to menstruate...who start developing cavities all through their mouth due to a lack of fat soluble vitamins." I know of many fruitarians who have been doing this for a long time, like years, a decade, or longer. While it is possible that a fruitarian may skip their period a few times in the beginning while their body adjusts, they get to a point that they have their periods every month but light and without painful and uncomfortable symptoms. And none of them have teeth problems. One of the initial detox symptoms is that teeth may turn yellowish before eventually becoming a bright and healthy white.

 

And I already said that they have all the vitamins and nutrients they need except for B12 which they can get through supplements or shots. I know this because fruitarians tend to be obsessed with their health, so many of them get regular blood tests... which (when a genuine fruitarian is eating correctly) results in perfect results across the board (except for the B12).

 

I can tell you are a tough one to convince... and I don't blame you. It took me a while to be convinced too. So I have attached four links of some of my favorite diet role models. 'The Fruitarian' has been a pure fruitarian for years to improve his running and was featured on CNN. 'FullyRawKristina' has been a fruitarian for over nine years and does enjoy a fair amount of exercise. I have her recent blood test results video. And my favorite is 'Freelee the Banana Girl' from Australia who had already been a fruitarian for at least six years when she made the decision to go Raw Till 4 (she invented Raw Till 4). She and her boyfriend are doing great on the lifestyle. While her boyfriend bikes a ton, Freelee is fairly lazy and she jokes about it a lot. She may go for a short casual bike ride, jog, or hike once or twice a week... but not much. She lost a lot of weight and fixed a lot of health issues she used to have. I attached Freelee's blood test video and another video she made about how fruitarianism cures cancer (which I already new about when she made this video... but she has a great mash up of information... so I'm going to pass it on to you).

 

Freelee's video links are below the other two videos. Don't miss them!

 

      The Fruitarian on CNN

       Kristina's Blood Test Results

     Freelee's Blood Test Results

       Freelee on the Cure for Cancer
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You would be hard pressed to find a successful fruitarian powerlifter or bodybuilder.

 

This is a key point. 

 

I looked up some things, and did some math.  To meet my protein nutrient needs on fruit alone, I'd have to eat over 9 lbs of fruit.  Daily.  Which brings with it somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 calories.  Daily.  

 

And with my current lifts, I could hardly be called a powerlifter or bodybuilder.   Imagine how much a fruititarian version of Konstantivos would eat.

 

What I'm seeing is that if I adopted the fruitatian diet, I'd have to choose between becoming morbidly obese while meeting my protein nutrient needs, or instead eating a healthy amount of calories and being weak as a kitten.

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