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Old 03-13-2013, 10:17 PM   #1
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Atkins/Exercise

Atkins is the way my body best loses weight. I've had major success in the past and derailed because of personal issues. Now I'm back with a vengeance. Last time I was successful with Atkins I barely worked out. I know from the book that it's not necessary for weight loss on the plan.

Here's my question. Now I do work out. 30 minutes of moderate cardio 5-6 days a week with full body strength training every other day. My next step is the c25k to meet my goal of running the Disney 5k in Orlando feb 2014.

I remember reading somewhere that too much exercise can negatively impact the Atkins edge. Anybody else work out consistently (and intensely at time) while following the plan and still have the same success?

Thanks!!!
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:45 AM   #2
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Yes - in '07 I trained for and completed a sprint distance triathlon, all doing Atkins. Now I have been doing Power Yoga 2 times a week, Hatha Yoga once a week, Pilates once and weights once a week, and it has changed my body immensly. I am losing weight again as well, but there are lots of factors involved in that. IMO exercise can only help, and improve your body and mind.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:51 AM   #3
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The Atkins 1972 book didn't stress exercise, but the 2002 book does. There is a whole chapter on exercising. Go go for it.

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Old 03-14-2013, 11:03 AM   #4
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I asked a similar question last week and got no responses. So, glad I checked again and saw this one. I've just started looking for the book. Thanks for the information.

i am determined to work this woe. It works for me.

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Old 03-14-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by shaunbeatscarbs View Post
Now I do work out. 30 minutes of moderate cardio 5-6 days a week with full body strength training every other day.
I was completely sedentary before I started the diet, and I started Atkins at 235 pounds -- very close to your starting weight. Then I began working out with a trainer 5 days per week on the very first day I started Atkins. I do intense interval cardio on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (I usually do military-style outdoor tabata training on Fridays). I do upper body weight training on Tuesdays and lower body weight training on Thursdays. My trainer is a professional bodybuilding coach -- he's just training me for free as a favor because we've been close friends since childhood -- so he has me working out with very heavy weights because he would only work with me if I agreed to train like a bodybuilder prepping for competition. I'm a 5'4" tall woman and we do back exercises with 45 pound dumbbells. My leg press and bench press are heavier than many of the smaller guys in the gym, even though we work out at a private facility that only accepts bodybuilders. So I lift really hard, relative to my size and especially my gender.

Because I'm working out in a glycogen-depleted state -- unlike typical bodybuilders -- we split the weight training workouts and only work each muscle group once per week. I haven't had any strength problems in the gym -- I feel very strong and I have plenty of stamina and endurance. But my weight training muscle recovery takes a longer time so my trainer structured the schedule to allow sufficient recovery time between muscle group work.

Since I've been working out from the very beginning of the Atkins diet, and since I don't have a history of dieting, I don't know what effect (if any) the training has had on my pound loss progress compared to what it would be without working out or, at least, without heavy weight training. But from what I've observed of other women on the forum who started close to my size, my pound loss has been relatively slow -- I had a month where I only lost 1.5 pounds. And I didn't even have a huge initial pound loss when I dropped glycogen and water at the start of the diet. I lost exactly 10 pounds in my first month and then another 10 pounds in the second month. I believe a substantial portion of that first 20 pounds must have been glycogen and water, but it certainly wasn't the type of dramatic pound drop that other beginning Atkins dieters have.

In addition to scale weighing once per month, my trainer also measures my body once per month. I did lose inches, fortunately, even when I lost very few pounds. In the month when I only lost 1.5 pounds -- my slowest rate of monthly pound loss -- I lost .25" from each calf, .50" from my right thigh, .50" from my hips, and .25" from my right wrist. This amount of size loss is consistent with my typical monthly size loss on the diet, even though I lost an atypically low number of pounds that month. To date, I've lost almost 4" from each thigh, more than 6" from my hips and more than 7" from my waist. So my inch loss progress has been very steady from month to month, and I've always lost inches somewhere every month.

I would also say, though, that it takes me a longer time to move between sizes than other women who started where I started. I've currently been on the diet for 10 months and I've lost almost 70 pounds, but I've only lost 3 jean sizes -- I started as a (Levi's 515) size 16 and I am currently a (Levi's 515) size 10. This may be because of my body composition. I don't have a central fat storage area, but rather store fat from head to toe. My face and head are smaller, I've lost half a shoe size, I've lost two ring sizes, I've lost a couple of inches from each calf -- I have excess fat EVERYWHERE so it may just take me longer to lose clothing sizes, with or without training.

I still have a lot of excess fat left to lose -- definitely more than 30 pounds -- so I still can't see significant body shape advantages from the weight training because there's still too much fat covering the muscles -- except for my shoulders, upper chest, and collarbones. That area looks very sculpted. My shoulders are very round the decollete looks shapely and fit, and this is definitely a great result of the weight training. But my tummy and thighs and even calves have too much fat to show significant muscle definition. I can *feel* the muscles underneath the fat when I put my hand on an area, but I can't yet see it.

We're all individuals, so I don't know how much help this information will be to your particular case. But I wish you the best of luck in your journey! I have fallen madly in love with my hard workouts and I think they've been the absolute best part of my fat loss journey. So even though I haven't been the speediest pound loser -- and even if that is somehow a result of my intense training -- I'm really happy that I introduced this level of training into my life. I feel AMAZING! The guys in the gym affectionately call me "She Hulk" because I really am a strong girl who can lift with those big boys.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
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this seems to come up alot.
I think it has to do with alot of misinformation.
First is the incorrect calories in/calories out paradigm that tells us if we exercise more we will burn more calories and so lose weight.
We all know that is not correct.
Second is that Taubes and others have (correctly) stated that exercise does not aid in losing weight, but this gets mis interpreted as them saying 'exercise prevents weight loss' And so the confusion.
I only speak of my personal observation...Namely that one has nothing to do with the other. I started regular exercise and Atkins at about the same time. I have lost weight and gained muscle. I eat <50 carbs a day and train with weights and some cardio 4 days per week.
I love LC for getting and keeping me trim.
I love exercise for making me strong.
The two go together beautifully for a healthy lifestyle. I would hate to give up either one of them. But I do not find that my woe effects my exercise or that my exercise effects my weight. Nope, nada, zilch.....
So to anyone who hesitates to exercise because they fear it may cause them to gain weight I must say "Not in my experience" so get out there and run, ride, and lift,
so long as you don't overdo it and get an injury (easy to do) then it can only benefit your over all health profile.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:57 PM   #7
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That amount sounds reasonable. There were some studies done that showed that exercise can work against goals of fat loss, but it was more like extreme exercise, more than 1 hour a day. Also the subjects were involved in calorie restriction, which isn't really the theory of atkins.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:57 PM   #8
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Wow!! Thank you all for the great information!! Love this forum
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillex View Post
I would also say, though, that it takes me a longer time to move between sizes than other women who started where I started. I've currently been on the diet for 10 months and I've lost almost 70 pounds, but I've only lost 3 jean sizes -- I started as a (Levi's 515) size 16 and I am currently a (Levi's 515) size 10. This may be because of my body composition. I don't have a central fat storage area, but rather store fat from head to toe. My face and head are smaller, I've lost half a shoe size, I've lost two ring sizes, I've lost a couple of inches from each calf -- I have excess fat EVERYWHERE so it may just take me longer to lose clothing sizes, with or without training.
THIS was so awesome for me to read. We must have very similar body types. I've lost between 30 and 35 lbs and have dropped 1 clothing size! Granted, they're on the lose side of this size now, but nothing like other things I've read. People have mentioned losing a size per 10 lbs. Ha!

Your explanation makes sooo much sense to me. My body doesn't have an "area" to drop my fat. It was spread all over I think that impacts size changing. Oh, I've definitely lost a shoe size too, which is frustrating as I have a large shoe closet!
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:14 AM   #10
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This "area" fat thing is confusing to me.
If you were to look at me you probably see a trim guy with a little pot belly.
When I look in the mirror I don't see fat any other place but my abdomen.
Yet, as I continue to lose my wedding ring is getting loser. It's already been
resized once and I may have to do it again.
Fat fingers? LOL if you saw my spindly claws you would laugh at the notion, but
the rings don't lie.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:45 AM   #11
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Oh, I've definitely lost a shoe size too, which is frustrating as I have a large shoe closet!
EXACTLY!!! I've put gel insoles inside, to try to bulk up the shoes I really love and want to save, but they still aren't comfortable because they feel loose as I pick up my feet when I walk.

Thealything has also lost a shoe size and we've lost, basically, the same clothing sizes for the same weight. So there are a few of us out there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by avid View Post
This "area" fat thing is confusing to me.
If you were to look at me you probably see a trim guy with a little pot belly.
When I look in the mirror I don't see fat any other place but my abdomen.
Yet, as I continue to lose my wedding ring is getting loser. It's already been
resized once and I may have to do it again.
Fat fingers? LOL if you saw my spindly claws you would laugh at the notion, but
the rings don't lie.
You're actually dealing with some of the complicated issues of *fat loss patterns* rather than *fat storage patterns*. Bodybuilders are constantly fighting against their individual fat loss patterns. For example, it's very common for female bodybuilders to have trouble losing lower body fat -- even if they weren't "pear shaped" when they began cutting fat, many start looking pear shaped as they approach competition because their upper bodies have released stored bodyfat more readily than their lower bodies.

The human body won't necessarily cut fat from the areas that have the most stored fat, because fat loss patterns are partially driven by signals from hormone receptors that are stored in bodyfat and because fat loss patterns are partially limited by circulatory system mechanics. There are additional causes, beyond these, but these are the main culprits with regard to why many female bodybuilders go pear shaped as they lean down.

The predominant hormone receptors in the lower body are "alpha adrenoreceptors," which shut down fat release more readily than the "beta adrenorecptors" that are primarily located in stored upper body fat. Lower body fat is also served by fewer veins -- small, narrow capillaries serve most lower bodyfat rather than larger veins -- so it takes longer to transport fat from storage areas in the lower body. And if the fat isn't efficiently transported away from the cell, the released fat can and will be restored to the fat cell. When released fat from the lower body doesn't make it to the tissues that need that fuel, the body releases more fat from other areas and burns that fat to fuel the system. So the upper body continues to "lean down" in some female bodybuilders, even though their upper bodies contain a far smaller amount of fat than their lower bodies.

Male bodybuilders commonly run into problematic fat loss patterns in the lower abdomen and/or lower back. Some guys will be at 5% bodyfat and still have a roll of fat that runs around their lower abdomen and/or lower back -- they'll look cut and lean and perfect everywhere, except they'll have a weird "spare tire" that looks like it couldn't possibly exist on that body. Different "beta adrenoreceptors" are located in the bodyfat of the lower abdomen and lower back, and those receptors are more prone to shutting down bodyfat release than the beta adrenoreceptors that are located in upper abdominal fat. Some guys have problems with their upper chest or upper arms or calves, but the most common loss pattern problem for male bodybuilders is the lower abdomen and lower back.

Last edited by Trillex; 03-15-2013 at 10:49 AM.. Reason: I meant "loss" but I said "storage"
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:14 PM   #12
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Threadjack:

Trillex, I love reading your posts! You are always so informative and I think it's awesome that you take the time to help and share your knowledge.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:14 PM   #13
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I am a runner and just started strict nutritional ketosis this week- after 5 days of under 30 grams total carbs I did my usual 4 mile run with no problem at all! Might i add I was fasted for 13 hours when I ran and felt stronger than ever. Your workout will be almost entirely fueled by fat so excercise will just add to your fat burning potential. Go for it!!

Last edited by healthy for life; 03-15-2013 at 06:16 PM..
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:15 PM   #14
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I asked a similar question last week and got no responses. So, glad I checked again and saw this one. I've just started looking for the book. Thanks for the information.

i am determined to work this woe. It works for me.
Hi Reta. I responded to your question that you posted in a challenge thread. I'm sorry you might have missed my response. Have a good weekend.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Trillex View Post
EXACTLY!!! I've put gel insoles inside, to try to bulk up the shoes I really love and want to save, but they still aren't comfortable because they feel loose as I pick up my feet when I walk.

Thealything has also lost a shoe size and we've lost, basically, the same clothing sizes for the same weight. So there are a few of us out there!
I've done the same! But now I'm finding that I have to re-tighten my shoes repeatedly and I'm also curling my toes when I run (to hold onto the shoes, I think) and it's causing me leg/foot cramps!
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:01 AM   #16
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small, narrow capillaries serve most lower bodyfat rather than larger veins
Yet another awesome post in a string of awesome posts Trillex!

That is very interesting. I wonder if conscientious application of massage, to stimulate the tissue, and heat, to increase blood flow, would help with trouble areas like the mid section for men and lower body areas for women?
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:01 AM   #17
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I've gone down a boot size. From 12R to 11R.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:00 PM   #18
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That is very interesting. I wonder if conscientious application of massage, to stimulate the tissue, and heat, to increase blood flow, would help with trouble areas like the mid section for men and lower body areas for women?
As always, you have a really good point about the process!

Some bodybuilders have "problem" areas that won't lose fat as readily as other areas, so they're left with disproportionate deposits of fat even when they're at (or extremely near) the 3-4% competition level of bodyfat. In men, lower ab and lower back fat can be a HUGE problem because they're being judged on symmetry. A few extra millimeters of fat running around the lower torso means they can't compete at a high level.

So one of the *tricks* that bodybuilders use to reduce/remove stubborn fat deposits is to increase circulation to the "problem" area by insulating that area to keep it warm (for example, by wearing a neoprene wrap around the area), while doing sustained periods of "low intensity steady state" (LISS) cardio in the fasted state. (1) Exercise in the fasted state puts the body into a hormonal condition that is prone to release stored fat rather than burning fed nutrients. (2) LISS cardio increases overall circulation to encourage fat transport from fat cells into the muscle cells that will burn the mobilized fat. (3) The neoprene wrap keeps the "problem" area warmer than other areas to optimize circulation in that specific area.

As noted, one of the problems (although there are other issues) with lower-ab/lower-back fat in male bodybuilders and hip/thigh fat in female bodybuilders is that the capillaries in those areas don't efficiently mobilize fat for transport as well as other areas of their bodies. As Lyle McDonald points out:
In addition to differences in responsiveness to lipolytic stimuli, certain fat depots have significantly poorer blood flow than others. You can test this yourself, touch an area of your body where you lose fat more easily, it should feel fairly warm. Now touch your butt, hips or thighs. Probably stone cold. Studies have shown that blood flow in lower body fat can have 67% lower blood flow than other depots. Visceral fat has extremely good blood flow, it also goes away very quickly. If you could drive your hand into someone's stomach and feel their visceral fat, it would probably feel fairly warm.

Poor blood flow has two consequences of importance here. First and foremost, it means that blood borne hormones (such as the catecholamines which, recall, don't work well in the first place) can't get to the fat cells. Second, poor blood flow makes it harder to get mobilized fat away from the fat cell so that it can be burned elsewhere.

Why is Stubborn Fat Stubborn? | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald
There is good blood flow to visceral fat in the abdomen of male bodybuilders, for example, but that is the fat that is underneath the muscles and the subcutaneous fat they need to cut to show good abdominal definition is on top of the muscles and is served by smaller capillaries. So heating the area encourages a spot-specific increase in circulation and, in this way, helps mobilize additional fat from that specific area.

Bodybuilders have been using this trick for decades and it had always been assumed that this worked to *fix* the area for competition by removing additional water but people didn't really believe it removed additional fat. However, DEXA and MRI scans now show that the process actually does result in lower fat levels and not just water reduction as had been previously assumed.

I think the main reason they use heat wraps to stimulate circulation, rather than massage or some other form of circulatory stimulation, is because mobilizing the fat and getting it into the bloodstream is only one part of the equation -- the fat has to be burned or it won't actually leave the body, so LISS cardio helps to burn the fat off. Sustained periods of LISS cardio keeps the body in the "aerobic" zone where fat is preferentially burned, rather than the "anaerobic" zone (of weight training or intense cardio) in which glucose is largely burned. Fat produces fuel when it is "oxidized" (metabolized in the presence of oxygen). Anaerobic exercise produces energy when lower amounts of oxygen are available but this pathway primarily uses glucose, so bodybuilders use LISS to focus more specifically on burning the mobilized fat, rather than simply burning more calories and reducing bodyfat through a general energy deficit. For a lot of bodybuilders -- like my brothers -- this is the absolute only time and the only reason they will ever do any cardio.

Also of note, bodybuilders often eat a ketogenic diet during this type of "stubborn fat" reduction because the hormonal changes that accompany a ketogenic diet contribute to fat release -- although they still workout in the fasted state as part of this procedure so that the body will burn stored bodyfat rather than dietary fat.
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