This is our Extreme Fat Loss Seminar that we do on Monday nights in the Science Lab, for more information on how to become a member and be a part of either this or the private group click here for information.
Click “Continue Reading…” to view a timestamp and transcription of this seminar
(Click on a time to jump to that section)[0:00:07] Paul introduces the class, shares his personal extreme fat loss journey, and discusses some success stories [0:05:35] Ditching the scale, getting healthy, and feeling good by putting performance first [0:10:48] How to cycle fat/carbs based upon training and off days [0:15:03] How underfeeding is NOT the answer, recovering from a repressed metabolism, and why we’re doing what we’re doing [0:23:02] Counting calories to get a feel for how much you need to eat, underestimating your TDEE, delaying breakfast, and when to eat for optimal performance [0:28:45] Training fasted to mobilize fat, why underfeeding and doing too much cardio is killing your fat loss, getting your body fat percentage tested, and adjusting diets for your specific goals [0:38:08] Determining activity level when you work a sedentary job, eating like an athlete, [0:42:46] Losing body fat after kids, maintaining your muscle mass, and a short blurb about the private Facebook group [0:49:30] Dealing with hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s [0:54:00] Why eating before bed is actually good for you, why powerlifters need more carbs than CrossFitters, [0:58: 46] Why you need to eat more when you have a repressed metabolism, leptin resets, and why you need to maintain muscle mass to get ripped [1:02:05] Adding carbs coming from VLC, getting stronger to get leaner [1:07:04] Carb requirements for a bigger guy, why CNS is a metabolic disaster for CrossFit, using fat control days
[0:00:07] Paul introduces the class, shares his personal extreme fat loss journey, and discusses some success stories
[0:07] Paul: This is Paul Nobles from Eat To Perform.com and I am in the extreme fat loss class. This class is basically meant for people who are relatively new to CrossFit, or have kinda plateaued with their level of progress, so they’re kinda trying to look for solutions to those types of issues. Hopefully that’s exactly what we’ll be able to explore.
The process that I’m going to talk about tends to be al little bit more of a patient process. Even though extreme fat loss may imply that you’re going to lose an extreme amount of fat, that is true, but it’s probably not the way most people would expect that you would.
Before I get into the questions, this is by far my favorite population to work with because it’s the easiest population to work with. I’ve been able to get really extreme results with people in your situations because most people in your situations, the problem is, and I’m speaking personally…Well…Let’s do that. Let’s start from the beginning.
I chronically dieted most of my life. My last go around, ultimately, I was 215lbs. I currently weigh 165. I got down to 149 at one point. My whole journey has been chronicled through BODPODS and DXA Scans and things of that nature. Some of that was CrossFit, some of that was before CF. This all happened in probably about a 3 ½ year time period from today. Basically, that 50 lbs. of loss also includes gaining 25lbs. of muscle so the net in body fat loss is pretty extreme. The only thing that I ever found that truly worked was eating to my level of performance, and that’s ultimately why I own ETP.com right now.
Working and helping people through these sort of tricky spots…As you guys probably know, I’m not a huge believer of deficit dieting. I believe that if the metabolism is functioning in a high manner, a lot of the work that we’re able to do kind of more gradually ends up being pretty positive. Does that mean that people don’t’ see extreme results? It sort of depends on how long you’ve been CrossFitting. It depends on how patient you tend to be. For some people, men of course, get really good results. I’ve had women clients (Maggie Martin, we’ve posted on Shannon who’s a blogger on the site), both of whom has lost twenty lbs. of fat in less than 3 months. It sort of depends on kind of where you are at your level of CF.
One of the reasons why Maggie and Shannon saw such huge gains is because in the beginning, you’re able to eat at a relatively maintenance type-level. It right-sizes your body when you’re sort of eating mostly whole foods. At that point early on when you’re new to training, you don’t tend to lose a lot of muscle. You’re actually activating a lot of muscle, and that ends up being pretty positive. For them, the next level of change tends to be kind of a trickier, slower process. So that’s a good part of our introduction to the class.
[0:05:35] Ditching the scale, getting healthy, and feeling good by putting performance first
[05:35] Paul: We do have a few questions kind of queued up. For the people that either just got here or have not come up with a question, go ahead and try to post that in the chat. I’ll go ahead and address what people are interested in in the beginning.
Jeremy mentioned…”Are the times central?” Yes. “I’m 5’10”, 235, don’t really care what I weigh, but how my clothes fit, how healthy I am and how I feel about myself.”
It’s not really question, but it is sort of an interesting point. One of the things I talk about quite a lot is, you know, we’re all sort of some version of what we’re going to be eventually too. I’m a lot smaller version of the version (I started at 215), but in general 215 Paul was not like super unhappy. I was sort of bothered by the fact that I felt like I was a pretty smart guy and it seemed like I should have more will. That was always the big thing. “I don’t have enough will to make this work for me.”
Maybe the reason isn’t will; maybe it’s the fact that you’re trying to ask your body something that it really isn’t supposed to do. In the end, once you have CF in place…I actually didn’t have CF in place for the first part of my journey and then I was able to diet down to about 160. I was active; I was doing a lot of high intensity effort. Once I got past that part…There’s this picture of me and I look kind of gaunt. I didn’t have any muscle or anything of that nature. I knew at this point I really needed to start some weightlifting programs, and that’s what led me to the path of CF.
This is all documented, so I know pretty exactly what I was able to gain in terms of muscle mass. I was able to gain right at 11 lbs. within 6 months, which most people refer to as “newbie gains”. I was not doing necessarily what I’m going to be teaching you guys to do, because I hadn’t learned that that was the best approach. I got really fixated on a number and that was actually to the detriment of some of my progress. The nice thing was that I didn’t get distracted for too long. There was maybe a month-two months that I was so close to single digits that I really pushed the pedal. I was able to get down to 9%, but I was 9% at 149lbs…I had abs, but I had to flex to do it. I had kind of dieted down to a point where I didn’t have a lot of muscle, so there wasn’t a lot to diet down to.
I ended up kind of weak, not particularly great at CF at that point. It was hardly noticeable because I was already not that great at CF. I’m still not phenomenal, but I can Rx most things.
The journey after that was actually pretty interesting because that’s when performance became the driver, and ultimately kind of the reason why this site exists now. What I found, and what I was able to start to teach people, was that if their performance became the driver, then everything else sort of came in line a lot easier. It became almost trivial.
Paul: I don’t really count calories. I talk about that quite a bit, but for a 160-165lb. guy, I eat 3,000-3,500 calories. Some of my normal friends, who’re sitting here eating salads and things of this nature all the time, are kind of always blown away by kind of how much I’m able to eat. One of the reasons I’m able to eat so much is that I have that kind of resistance training background. It sort of allows your body to function the way that it wants to function in the first place.
[0:10:48] How to cycle fat/carbs based upon training and off days
[0:10:48] Paul: Tiffany said, “My main confusion has to do with how to handle rest days. I think I understand that on rest days, I increase my fat 25g and keep my carbs at around 100g. However, if I WOD on the day, do I change that? What about the night before rest days? Is that a high carb night?”
That’s actually one of the confusing parts about this. You would want to eat carbohydrate the night before. You’re talking about 100g of carbohydrate, which is sort of that “safe zone” that I have for women that are wanting to try more carbs but don’t necessarily want to dig themselves too deep into a hole. The goal is to try it out.
Tiffany and I were talking a little earlier. She said that she’s been doing this for about a week. She hasn’t seen any substantive weight gain, but part of the reason why she might not be is because she might not be as aggressive with the carbs in the beginning. You will sometimes see a little bit of weight gain. (we’re having those conversations in the private forum right now.) Usually people that are low carbing, their weight stays relatively stable. With a high-functioning metabolism, you actually want your weight to go up occasionally. You want that 2-3lb. increase, and then you wanna come back and do more of a fat-cycling type of approach to sort of keep your weight and body composition goals in line.
In terms of the day that you work out…Tiffany, can you go ahead and hit me how many days you WOD? So you WOD 5 days. In the case of somebody that WODs 5x a week, you would pretty much backload every day. The only difference would be that you would change based on how the mirror looks. Being that you’re at 100g of carbohydrate (and that’s actually a relatively low amount of carbs), I don’t think that you’ll actually have to go up or down. Your brain uses close to 100g of carbs through daily function, so at this point you’re pretty much just supporting your brain. It’s not the only source of energy that can be used, but in general, you want to push things up a bit. At some point here, you’re probably gonna wanna go with 125g.
A good opportunity for that would be…Let’s say that you put 2-3 WODs together…Maybe you’re starting to feel a little run down, and you have a WOD the following day…Go ahead and kinda push it a little bit. Maybe have one of those “eat for joy nights”, and then (as a chef and someone who likes to cook)…Tiffany lives in Portland, which is a great town for food. Her second favorite town is the town which I’m originally from, New Orleans. I’d say New Orleans is probably known a little bit better for food…
[0:15:03] How underfeeding is NOT the answer, recovering from a repressed metabolism, and why we’re doing what we’re doing
[0:15:03] One of the things I think is real interesting, for this class and this population, is that the thought process is that to mobilize a great deal of fat, you need to have an extreme deficit. We are creating a deficit; just because you’re eating at your TDEE, the adaptation process that goes on in your body when you’re adjusting to new work capacity isn’t always represented in the TDEE calculation. The calculator is a guess; it’s a starting point. Especially if you’re at -10%, you can dial that in. What I see a lot of people doing is that they have a deficit approach, or maybe they were taking a Zone type of approach where they might have 15 blocks but in fact they should probably be at like 32 blocks.
Adding really any calories at that point tends to be someone favorable, and as they get closer and closer to what that total daily energy expenditure is, they tend to see the metabolism start to recover. A lot of people that have a lot of fat to lose think that they have a slow metabolism, and there are some issues related to hypothyroidism, and some endocrine function…Pituitary type stuff…That can cause issues there. But in general, most people who have a high amount of fat to lose a lot of fat early on because they just had a repressed metabolism. Initially, that’s why you see a lot of results.
Let’s say you’re having a mostly processed carb diet, and then you move to a low carb approach. You’re artificially keeping your leptin blocked by having your insulin high, so when you go to the low carb approach, that tends to move your leptin. That’s positive initially. You sort of move some fat, but you end up losing a lot of water as a result and your body starts to adjust to that new reality. That’s where you see people start to plateau, even at really heavy weights…Even at 325lbs. they’ll be like, “Look I’m eating 1200 calories and I’m CFing 2x a day and nothing’s working!”
Well, it’s because you’re CFing 2x a day and it’s because you’re eating 1200 calories. A lot of that is logical, right? If anybody sat down and thought about it and went well, “I’m doing this and it’s not working.” It stands to reason that the opposite probably would work. But more often than not, the opposite scares the hell out of people. They’re just scared that they’re gonna end up fatter than they were previous to that. In fact, that’s one of the things that does end up happening when you empty out your fat cells.
One of the things that we definitely need to talk about…We’re gonna end this class right at about an hour, otherwise it will become really difficult to transcribe, and we will walk through a fair amount of questions in that time-period. This won’t be the only class that we’ll be doing. There’ll probably be a lot of questions that people have as their journey goes farther down the path. That’s sort of what I’m helping people do. The problem with most people is that they read a book, or whatever, and then they kind of run through some hurdles…
(We have a child in the seminar. I think this is the first child we’ve ever had in the seminars!)
What ends up happening is that you read the book…let’s say that the book is a relatively low carb approach, you get a good result from it, and then you plateau. You look for that chapter, and it’s just not there. You might be able to track down the author, but in general, you don’t have resources. That’s why we created this group. It’s been pretty nice. It’s a little hard, because in general, people want me to solve all of their problems all at once. It gets kind of difficult dealing with these essays that people write me. I’m relatively ADD as well, but when we’re talking about a patient gradual approach, that lends itself to a longer conversation. I will say this; you should see better progress in your workouts almost immediately. Does that mean that you’ll be top of the board? It might not mean that. I don’t think I’ve ever made the top of the board in my own gym. Unless they did bodyweight deadlifts, that’s the only workout that I would crush. I do think I have a good shot at crushing Diane one day…That’ll be one but I’ve kinda gotta work through a shoulder issue.
So, we’ll be having this discussion, and you’ll have me as a resource. I think that’ll end up being positive as we go down the road here. I’m hoping Tiffany, that that sort of helps you. Because you’re WODing 5x a week, you will possibly have some control days for fats at about 75g of carbs, but until you start pushing the carbs 1-2x a week (maybe with some white rice, more sweet potatoes than you might normally have), you actually sort of want the scale to go up. If the scale goes up a lb. or two, that kind of sends a signal to your body that we’re functioning the way we were supposed to function all along! Your body then starts to work through that, and you start to figure out…”Okay, this is what I could do here…” You try not to become super obsessive about it, and after a while your body becomes very flexible. We refer to this as metabolic flexibility; it allows you to have those eat for joy days and kind of move on.
[0:23:02] Counting calories to get a feel for how much you need to eat, underestimating your TDEE, delaying breakfast and when to eat for optimal performance
[0:23:02] Paul: So Jeremy says his calculator is 3600 calories. “What time of day do I eat that best supports performance? Also, I don’t count calories currently. How can I best figure out how much I’m eating today?” That’s a good question! I think that you should count calories at least once. One day, or two days…I think you have to know what 3600 calories looks like. Even though I don’t necessarily believe that a counting calorie approach is going to lead to a more intuitive style of eating, in the end, you need to have some idea…I can tell you what 3600 calories looks like, because I eat 3600 calories all the time. Which kind of brings up the point that…You’re a 235lb. man; I’m a 165lb. man. My TDEE is 3000, so there might be something a little off with your TDEE. I don’t know what your activity level is, or how many times you CF, so that might make a difference…But that’s not a huge problem, especially if you’re coming from a huge deficit and moving into eating more correctly. Do you mind, Jeremy, giving me some idea of how many days a week you CF?
So…You WOD 4-5x a week? What that means is that you would actually be on the “very active”, and I suspect that you wrote yours as “moderately active”. That’s probably 300 calories more, you know, not a huge deal one way or the other and if you did -10% that might have accounted for a little bit of the difference. One of the big things that we talk about…(this is actually only the second class, in the first class there was a bit of a misunderstanding) The big thing that I like to teach people in this situation that are trying to mobilize a great deal of fat is that if you can delay breakfast a little bit, that helps because your body is more prone to storage right after you wake up. Now, does that mean that you can’t eat when you wake up? You could take a fats and proteins, like a ketogenic/low carb approach, and that’s sort of…If you’ve read the book CBL or if you’ve read Foundations (which we sent to you in an e-mail as part of this class, I know some people might have just got that today so maybe they haven’t caught up to speed quite yet) But in general, you want to keep your insulin levels relatively low. It’s not like a death sentence is for instance you had oatmeal this morning mistakenly, or if you occasionally have some carbohydrate in the morning time but as a general rule, you want to delay breakfast for a few hours.
I actually delay breakfast quite a few hours. Typically, I wake up at about 6:00 and I don’t eat my first meal ‘til about noon. One of the reasons I do that is because I like to eat bigger meals; I like to feel full. In general I would say I average in the neighborhood of about 3,000 calories and 3,500 calories on the days that are higher. What that looks like is about 1,250 calories right around lunch time and then 1,750 in the evening. That probably sounds like a lot of food to people who were eating with a mostly deficit approach. That sort of brings me to the next part of Jeremy’s question, which was “What do you eat?” In general, this morning, I had 3 pork chops, 3 eggs…I actually think I ate at 9 a.m. this morning. I had woken up kind of early, which was like at 3:30 a.m. If you think about it, if you normally wake up at 6, and then you eat lunch (or breakfast or whatever you call it) at noon, you’d better go ahead and just eat at 9:00. I kind of made that adjustment. I was planning on doing pretty heavy squats (for me) and I wanted to make sure I was kinda set up for that. If I go longer than 6 hours (as an example) it’s not setting me up in that “eating to perform” kind of way.
[0:28:45] Training fasted to mobilize fat, why underfeeding/doing too much cardio is killing your fat loss, getting your body fat percentage tested, and adjusting diets for your specific goals
[0:28:45] Paul: So I like to have fats and proteins, fibrous veggies, throughout the day there. In terms of…Is it favorable as it relates to, when do you eat, when do you work out? I think it’s favorable if you work out in the morning. Now, Kiefer (in CBL) talks about more of an evening-type protocol. You can make that work too, but for people that are trying to mobilize a great deal of fat…Let’s say that you can work out fasted…Remember, the good majority of time you’re gonna be eating some level of carbohydrate, you’re gonna be mostly fed from the previous day…So when you wake up, you shouldn’t be ravenous.
If you’re ravenous, that’s two signs: the one big sign is that you didn’t eat enough the previous day, or even the previous two-three days. That can sort of build up on you. Sometimes your workload…This is kind of a class or a group of people that tend to work out excessively. You sort of get that message (through the media and things of that nature) that you need an overly cardio approach to kind of mobilize or burn fat. In fact, my suggestion to most of you would be that an overly cardio approach is not going to help you greatly. I think that one of the positives about CF is that you can sort of modify the workout to what the best result for you would be. For a lot of you guys, you’re going to be coming into this…You know, you can probably get pretty strong pretty quickly and that’s going to be positive as it relates to mobilizing fat, but crushing yourself with these 30-35 minute stressful WODs…You really want your workouts to sort of finish kind of in where the top group is. You have to modify those workouts down to sort of get to that level.
Creating this huge stressful atmosphere within your body, and then potentially under eating (which is kind of a big discussion here) is not favorable as it relates to mobilizing fat. What you tend to do at that point is break down the muscle that you really should be preserving, and that’s where you see people kind of plateauing. When I do body fat tests with people, when people start struggling, usually that’s what’s happening. They’re kinda hitting that nail too hard, and in general that impatient approach doesn’t really work out well for populations that need to lose a good amount of fat.
“What body fat test do you use?” I use BODPOD but I also use DXA Scan. We have a doctor at our gym who has made it a priority to make DXA Scan available relatively cheaply. I can do DXA Scan for about $25; they usually go for about $150. That’s part of the problem with DXA Scan; BODPODs tend to be a little bit cheaper. I can tell you, in the beginning, that it’s a little humbling. The numbers are typically high. They’re a little higher than you would want them to be. I would suggest you ignore that and just view it as a baseline; just say “that is what it is.” Maggie, as I mentioned, lost 18lbs. of fat. Not 18 lbs. She actually only lost 15 lbs. because she gained 3 lbs. of muscle. She was very reluctant to do the BODPOD at first. When she got the news, initially, she wasn’t too happy about it. In fact, it can be a little emotional.
When I got the will to do my first one, I was at 32% and I had already dieted down 35 lbs. I was absolutely convinced I would come in around 25%. I leave it up on MyFitnessPal (I did use MFP for a while there) and it still to this day says, “I’ll do anything to get under 20%.” Well, you know…I got to 9%. The thing about the 9% though, is that there’s no revelry. There’s no celebration. Oftentimes, when you end up taking this deficit/aggressive approach, you don’t end up as the best version of yourself. That’s sort of the discussion that we’re having right now. But yeah, I recommend BODPOD. Don’t get caught up, mentally, in the fact that there’s a 2% difference and things of this nature because what’s going to end up happening is that you think that you’re 28% and then you find out that you’re 34%. You start Googling, and you see all the people that are unhappy with their BODPOD results. I’ve published my BODPOD results for the last 3 years, and you can see definite trends within those results.
I always say to people, “Show me the one that’s just way out of whack.” If that’s the idea, that these tests are not good, I’m saying that if you have a baseline (even if that baseline’s high, even if it’s 34% and there’s a 2% margin of error and you’re actually 32%) it still doesn’t matter. As long as you’re consistently doing them, it’s providing you some level of data that’s allowing you to make adjustments. That’s a big part of what we do here; we’re trying to give you guys tools and ideas that allow you to make the choices, and allow you to make the adjustments. That’s the problem I think we sort of run into when you take a calorie deficit approach, or you get too reliant upon Pale or the Zone or anything like that…You sort of don’t know why it works, or why it should work, or the changes you can make.
As an example with the Zone, most people don’t realize that they can actually adjust their blocks. That can actually make a really big difference. I think a lot of times, the way that people do the Zone tends to be insulin-intensive because it ends up being really focused on lean types of foods. Even in the case of a 2,000 calorie diet, (as an example, just as a round number) the 40% number…Let’s say that you were a woman, that would be 800 calories of carbs, which is 200 grams. That’s pretty high. That’s high for people with TDEEs of 2,800. We’re recommending way less than that for women. That’s just sort of the adjustments that I think people can make with diets, they just don’t know to do it.
[38:08] Determining activity level when you work a sedentary job and eating like an athlete
[38:08] Paul: Camilla said she works out 5-6x a week, but she spends a good 8 hours a day sitting on her butt behind a desk. “How can I account for the differences in activity level? What kind of activity level is that for the calculator?” When you work out 5-6x a week, it just kind of builds upon itself. As it relates to resistance training, what happens is it sort of accumulates over time within your body. Even though you’re sitting on your butt, you’re kinda burning calories at that moment. I think one of the biggest mistakes that people make is that because they have inactive jobs, they don’t accurately put the things into the calculator, and they get a bad reading. Once again, it really doesn’t matter all that much because the calculator is just an estimate. In the end, you’re going to be trying to dial this in one way or the other. I still make adjustments to this day, and you’re going to be doing that the rest of your life. The difference is that you’re going to be doing that for the rest of your life with your performance as a driver. That’s one of the reasons that I like working with people who do CrossFit. When you work with sedentary people (bodybuilders/models) what you tend to get are people that want to work against their own biology. CrossFitters have it mostly right, because we have a high level of activity. The only discussions that I need to have with CFers are that you need to move correctly (you should be moving mostly with a good ROM) but that also, you need to eat like an athlete.
I think part of the problem…And you know, I’m the same…I allowed the fat suit I was wearing to cloud the fact that I was an athlete. So even as I was doing this relatively intense stuff and started to lift in the 300s, I still didn’t view myself as an athlete at that point. I didn’t necessarily eat to perform. Once I was able to get over those mental struggles…In a way, it was kind of a big gift for me to get to that super-low BF% because it did allow me to get over that mental hurdle and say, “Well, I did that. That didn’t feel right.” So I was able to focus on performance and I’ve been doing that for about the last two years. I can tell you that that is really gratifying. As someone who chronically dieted for a long time, gave myself hypothyroidism…I’ve been able to fix that. I test once a year and my health markers are all really good. Once you start eating the correct amount of food, your body actually responds positively. So that’s a long answer to Camilla’s question, but I still believe that you should probably put extra active in the calculator because you’re working out 5-6x a week. If you want to put moderately in the calculator, you’re more than welcome to do so, but you need to move your CrossFitting down to 4x a week even though you have a relatively inactive job.
[0:42:46] Losing body fat after kids, maintaining your muscle mass, and a short blurb about the private Facebook group
[0:42:46] Paul: Tara says, “My calculator, in my mind, seems to vary so much. Which seems best to go off of?” I don’t know why the Katch-Mcardle is so low, but she says that her average BMR is 2110, expenditure is 2944…She says 219g of fat, which is roughly 2000 calories from fat a lot. I don’t know how she’s coming up with that calculation. My guess is that she’s trying to take a relatively low carb approach. “Which calories are best for 24%? Can’t decide which formula to use.” Well, you don’t have to worry about the formula you use; you use the average. Tara, can you write down your statistics? I need to know your height/weight/things of that nature, and we can kind of back it in from there. I don’t know why, necessarily, you’re at 2,000 calories of fat. My guess is that you’re trying to take a low carb approach, which I would not recommend, but we’ll see once we come back to it.
Paula mentioned that her TDEE is 2,400. She’s 37 years old, 5’8”, 165 lbs., body fat 20%. I’m not sure necessarily how you’re coming up with 20% Paula, but I’d be interesting to know that, whether it be like calipers or a scale or something of that nature…Okay, calipers? Calipers are kind of tricky because it depends on how many points you read and things of that nature, but it’s still a good measurement from the standpoint of using it as a baseline. But oftentimes, you will get a caliper reading, and it’ll be a little bit lower than BODPOD. It really depends on the person and the BODPOD facility. I will say that; if you guys do BODPOD, do it at the same place. They vary greatly, the way that they calibrate the machines and things of that nature.
So Paula WODs 4-5x a week…I’d like to say Paula, that you’re not actually the type of person that’s supposed to be in this class. This class is for women that are above 30%, so I will try to address your question really quickly but I’m not gonna give it a lot of time and attention because that’s actually the subject and topic of the normal women’s class. So she WODS 4-5x a week…”I’ve had 5 babies, can’t get the last baby weight, it’s been 18 months to start, should I be 10% for my goal as lean?” Okay, so here’s the thing about people that are in your shoes Paula. They want to focus on the deficit portion of the way things are, when in fact their biggest priority needs to be maintaining their muscle. You wanna be closer to TDEE, possibly even a little bit more, because the focus needs to be muscle retention. When you’re lean to a level that you’re lean, your body actually views your muscle as a very viable energy source. It breaks it down a lot easier, so that’s where the creatine recommendation, and possibly even some carbohydrate, is okay for you because you need to make sure you’re putting your body into a position where it’s willing to save that tissue and potentially create some new tissue. I am going to try and get to the people that are the emphasis of this class…I am noticing also that Tara’s at 24%…Once again, this class is a little bit difference, we’ll still try to address this.
Camilla says she’s about more food; I don’t think you are. I really don’t. I think a lot of people say that. I think that they talk about, “Oh, I’m a good eater.” And things of this nature, and when they actually sit down and start to calculate it out, they might be a good eater from the standpoint of eating for joy. I get that, that should be fine, and I think everyone should have those moments. But on a daily basis, you really do need to be focused on what will allow you to perform the best in your gym and allow your work capacity to be at its highest. I think what ends up happening is that once people start to realize the levels of what they’re supposed to be eating and sort of breaking down the timing and things of that nature, that’s where the real magic happens. I’m hoping that everybody’s actually a member of the private group right now, in the Science Lab. That will allow you to ask me some questions outside of these seminars, because obviously we have some time constraints.
[0:49:30] Dealing with hypothyroidism
[0:49:30] Paul: Maria mentioned that she has hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s Disease that is autoimmune. “So I have thyroid destruction. How did you get out of the hypo?” Well, I was not in your situation. My situation was starting to be extreme; I have kind of a skin marker that shows that I was pre-diabetic. I had a couple of bad things going on. We were definitely starting to see some different things. The doctors strategies for me at that time were pretty simple (like doctors tend to be): I need you to lose weight, and I need you to take these 3 pills. I did start to take the hypothyroidism medicine for about 2-3 weeks, then I decided I was gonna take a diet approach. At that point, the diet approach that I took was called “The Leptin Diet”, which was pretty enlightening but it wasn’t nearly as advanced as I became later on. Leptin diets are very simplistic diets; eat 3 meals, you know, there’s not a lot going on there. There’s not a lot of puzzle pieces to put together. It was okay to know but in general, it’s pretty simplistic.
Tara mentioned that she’s 5’5”, weighs 143lbs, 24-27% body fat, CrossFits 3x a week…TDEE is 2944. It looks like you actually did the calculator pretty correctly. “I should be eating daily. I have been eating 1400-1500 currently.” I would say that 2944 is probably pretty aggressive. It probably is pretty close to what you should be eating, but you probably wanna be maybe in the 2,500 range starting off. As a 143 lb. woman, you probably do wanna try out at least about 150g of carbs initially to sort of get your metabolism rolling. I am gonna try to run through your question, because like I said, it’s more of a question for the regular ladies class. “I say 27% because one reading said that two different people said it, which is the problem.”
You know, one of the things that you have to realize as it relates to body fat tests is that there is some room for error, so you kinda have to factor that in. I’m telling you guys, if there’s one wish that I could give you that’s just been a godsend to my wife, it’s been a godsend for me, it’s just been really super valuable to a lot of the people in my gym…Is doing these tests and using the scale, and using measurements around your body parts. Any data that you can have is going to be helpful. It tells part of the story. That’s one of the ways that you’re able to figure out pieces of the puzzle.
I think that, in general, people like to be told what to do. People say that to me all the time: “Tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” Well, where’s that gotten you? Ultimately, it’s the path of our own discovery that makes a really big difference and the pieces aren’t really that hard to put together. You try and keep insulin relatively low, relying mostly on fats, and then you use strategic carbs related to your athletic performance. That’s the approach there. Tiffany said, “Thanks for the info, gotta run to class, will sign up for the women’s class as well.”
[0:54:00] Why eating before bed is actually good for you, why powerlifters need more carbs than CrossFitters
[0:54:00] Paul: Jeremy asks, “I’ve always heard it’s bad to eat before bed. Is that true?” Absolutely, 1000%, not true brother. I can tell you this ‘cause I got skinny doing it! The science behind that is pretty interesting. Kiefer actually talks about it. I don’t know if you saw the video that I posted about needing fats in your back-load. I won’t go too much into ‘cause I spent a lot of time on it recently, but for the longest time…There’s a Dangerously Hardcore forum on Facebook…And I was like, “You’re wrong about the fats thing!” Because what would happen is you’d get like this big insulin dump in the evening, and you’d wake up starving. You more or less needed some fat in your back-load to kind of blunt that.
I think that fats are fine even during the dinner time, which is kind of contrary to what Kiefer talks about as well. You have to realize that we’re talking about two different populations. For CFers, we’re talking about relying mostly on fats for our energy. We don’t have these extreme carb requirements like you would if you were sitting down with 1,000 lbs. on your back and trying to get up. Some of those guys are doing these crazy workouts with you know, 600 lbs. for reps. That puts a real big demand on your glycogen system, that puts a real big demand on your musculoskeletal system, so the amounts of carbohydrates they need to recover end up being pretty big.
The science on that is basically that insulin and human growth hormone (luckily, we posted an article about this today.) are antagonists. Logically, people went, “Wait a second: if I eat carbohydrate or food before I go to bed, my insulin levels are going to be high and that’s going to repress my HGH.” In fact, that is not the case. When you go to sleep, your body starts to regulate. Now, Kiefer talks about this a little bit in the book; sometimes it takes a little while for it to regulate. I think having fat in your back-load allows for a little bit more of a reasonable adjustment. But when you don’t eat this excessive amount of carbohydrate in the first place, you don’t have to really worry about it that much.
It’s sort of funny that their level of logic went to, “Okay, HGH and insulin are antagonists, therefor if your insulin’s high it’s gonna cause you problems.” When in fact every part of nature tells you that when you have a big meal, you get sleepy. Carbs make you sleepy! If you have a pasta lunch (as an example), good luck making it through the day. You’re probably gonna need a lot of caffeine. Logically, now you go, “Wait a second…If the lion chases down the gazelle, eats that gazelle and immediately falls asleep…”
A lot of it comes from Oprah. Her trainer Bob Greene was a big fan of not eating anything past 6:00. People have made a lot of pot shots at Oprah, because obviously, she struggled with her weight…I don’t think that needs to be part of the equation here…But I think what Bob is saying is wrong. People should be eating in the evening. There are many examples where it works perfectly fine. There are cultures that eat very late. I actually haven’t eaten now. I’m probably going to end up eating at about 8:30-8:45 and I’ll probably end up getting to bed around 10:00.
That tends to be a myth. It’s been de-bunked many times. I don’t intend to do a lot of “de-bunking” type articles but that’s one that could be very easily “de-bunked”.
[58: 46] Why you need to eat more if you have a repressed metabolism, leptin resets, and why you need to maintain muscle mass to get ripped
[58: 46] Paul: Maria mentioned that her TDEE is 2283, she’s 5’4”, 42 years old, 23% body fat. Once again, we’re kind of getting into…That’s kinda not the point of this class…”Been eating Paleo 2 ½ years eating low carb, 100g of carbs a day, 75g of fat, 2000 calories…Do you really think I’m eating too little? Can I do it even if I’m hypo?” Meaning eat more if you’re hypo, Maria? Because eating more closely to what your body actually wants will help, not hurt your hypothyroidism. You’re currently hurting yourself by having a low carb approach. Hypothyroidism is basically one sign of a repressed metabolism. You’re artificially repressing your metabolism by having too low carbohydrate. “By the way, I did the leptin reset and lost 4 lbs. but regained them two months after. I wanna lose 10 lbs. to lower my body fat to 18% and get ripped.”
Okay, once again, the class is actually close to ending. We’ve had a few people that probably didn’t understand the goal of the class, but I did go over this a little bit earlier. The goal, for you, Maria, is going to be to drop your calories and maintain your muscle mass. You might wanna consider supplementing with creatine; that would be really valuable for you. But in general, the reason why you’re holding onto fat is because you’re eating too little. Your metabolism is repressed as a result, and in general you need to get your calories higher. You need to work on maintaining your muscle mass because currently, you’re in kind of this “see-saw” area where you’re constantly not eating enough for your level of performance. Therefore, your work capacity’s probably suffering a little bit as a result. When you talk about being ripped, or 18% or things of that nature…What a lot of people don’t make that connection, is that ripped people with abs…Abs are muscles. You need to build those muscles. If you’re constantly eating less than your body requires, that is not favorable as it relates to building muscle, so that’s something to consider.
[1:02:05] Adding carbs coming from VLC, getting stronger to get leaner
[1:02:05] Paul: Erica said, “Coming from VLC Paleo to Eat To Perform, how many carbs should I start with as a 140 lb. 29% body fat, 5’4”, 49 year old female who CrossFits 4x a week with 1 recovery run plus one tempo run?” It might surprise you. This TDEE…2092…That sounds pretty low. I don’t know if you’re basing that off of your DXA numbers…Or if you’re basing it off of moderately active…Okay, -10% moderately active right? 4x a week CFing with one recovery run plus one tempo run is not moderately active; that’s extra active. That’s interesting. That’s surprising. That’s very possible. I do think that, once again, when you need to go from say 29% to closer to 20%, especially as it relates to age, you’re really sort of running into a problem. I run into this problem even as a 44 year old man, where muscle maintenance becomes part of the issue and that’s why your body ultimately holds onto fat. Once again with some of the creatine recommendations.
Now, you don’t necessarily want to be as aggressive with the post-workout shakes but you do wanna be able to make sure that you’re getting adequate protein. You wanna make sure that you’re kinda fueling some of that performance, but also, you wanna lift slower occasionally. You might wanna lose some of those runs. Those runs trigger catabolic effects, and catabolic effects from running tend to break down more muscle than you would like. That’s muscle that you’re earning in the gym. You’re earning muscle in the gym, and then you’re coming back and kind of tearing it down, and so I suspect that given your weight and numbers and things, that your squat, deadlift…You need those numbers to start getting much, much higher. That will start to fuel some of your work capacity.
But I think that one of the things you can consider is occasionally taking out some of those runs, and just kinda see what effect that has on your look in the mirror. I am going to be ending the class here pretty soon; I did allow it to go a little bit longer mostly because we had some confusion related to the theme of the class and I wanted to be able to address…
What carbs though? Actually, for you Erica, I would say probably start conservatively at about 125g, but you almost certainly want to get to 150g or at least right close to where your body is and then potentially higher than that. What you need is protein turnover to get from 29 ½ % to the lower 20s. You don’t get protein turnover with a low carb diet. That’s why low carb diets fail people like you in that portion, because it sort of gets them to where they need to go…So maybe they started at 38%, it kinda gets them to 29 ½ %…
I say this a lot: What got you there won’t get you the rest of the way. You need to start strategically adding a little bit more carbohydrate. I think it’s always funny, because I talk about carbohydrate quite a bit, but 200g of carbs is actually a pretty low amount compared to what most people eat. That’s something to consider. So I’m gonna end on Cory’s question.
[1:07:04] Carb requirements for a bigger guy, why CNS is a metabolic disaster for CrossFit, using fat control days
[1:07:04] So I’m gonna end on Cory’s question. “6’4” 330 lbs. 33.1% body fat, 4 weight training workouts per week, 3-4 WODs per week…” I like the weight training, the 3-4 WODs a week, I would probably suggest you don’t need to do near as much. That actually might hurt your progress.”…Struggling with Zone and low carb. Only losing 1-2lbs despite averaging 2,500 calories every day. TDEE estimate is 4100 per day. What is the best way to get metabolism back in shape?” That’s easy. Eat 4100 calories per day. You’re gonna say, “Well gosh, that’s gonna make me gain weight.” I would suggest to you that you think about adjusting your zone if you’re gonna stick with that, but you need to have some carbohydrate for protein turnover. You’re in the same boat, you know, that 33% kinda number…If you wanna get into the 25s and the 20s and things of that nature, you need a high functioning metabolism. You need protein turnover related to carbohydrate. If you’re low carbing (let’s say 100-125g of carbohydrate), you’re probably supposed to be much closer to 250-300g minimum. “…I’m done with Zone and currently doing CNS but that sucks for CF.”
Yeah, CNS is a metabolic disaster for CrossFitters. You could maybe do it better. The problem with CNS in general (it’s not a great solution for CFers, I think Kiefer would tell you that personally) is that as people start to struggle is that they start eating less fat. That’s when things go real bad. So, in general…Julia talks about this quite a bit…She actually takes more of a modified CBL approach. Kinda what I talk about as it relates to using CBL and then like, “fat control days”. That’s probably what’s going to end up working best for you. That will allow you to be much closer to that 4100 calorie number, and then also allow yourself to systematically reduce the inflammation that you get on the carbohydrate days and just kinda get your metabolism functioning the way that it’s supposed to.
“250-300g carbs minimum per day or on high carb days?” I believe that on your low carb days, the lowest you would wanna go is about 250g of carbs. You could have a control day occasionally at 150g, but I really don’t think you need to. I think that what you’re going to need is that metabolism sort of starting to get right. Now, one thing I will say to you is that your cells are actually pretty inflexible at the moment. That’s my suspicion, though men…it does tend to work a little bit easier for men, to kind of get their metabolism rolling, so I suspect that the 250g will serve you just fine. You probably have empty, depleted glycogen right now so it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to gain 3-5 lbs. as a result of adding in some carbohydrate. You will see the dividends from those 3-5 lbs. once your work capacity starts to increase, once your metabolism starts to recover, and then ultimately once you start to mobilize fat as a result.
Jeremy says he has to leave, I also have to leave. I would suggest that everybody use the private group to ask me questions. I can tell you exactly how I do things in the private group. It’s pretty easy: The shortest questions are the ones that I answer first. The longest questions are gonna get answered last, because it’s just sort of harder to do. So if we can take a systematic approach to your overall list, that would be positive. But I think I’ve answered Cory…
“So 250-300g per day each day for a while?” Well, no, like I said, you can cycle it with 150g days occasionally. “What types of change should I be looking for when things are working properly again?” Don’t concern yourself with that. I know that you wanna be the version right now, but that’s just not how things work. Enjoy this part of the process and allow yourself to work out the way that an athlete works out. (That is fully fueled). Then, use some control days to occasionally sort of systematically to 150g. Occasionally, go up to 350g. But you wanna keep your calories high. If you don’t keep your calories high, you will not get the result that you want no matter how much you adjust your carbohydrate. You definitely need carbs to get your metabolism kicked up and rolling again, and you also need that for protein turnover. So that’s a good spot.
Maria asked, “What ratios do you suggest?” Why don’t you ask me that question in the private group Maria, but it is not 40:30:30 and I will tell you why tomorrow. This was a great class. I was actually surprised; we started off with a small amount of people and we ended up with a lot of people. That worked out great. Maria said, “Thank you. What is the private group?” The private group is one of the other functions of the Science Lab. If you just make a post on the Facebook page, I will get you a link to the private group and we’ll just kind of go from there. Thanks everyone. This was a great class, and hopefully we’ll be able to kinda work through all of this together. Thanks.