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  1. #1
    Senior Member nerys's Avatar
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    Dietary Problems. Seeking some assistance

    I noticed by pure coincidence via my fitnesspal diary that I have basically been low carb to some extent.

    while there is not really anything wrong with this its causing me some trouble. I am running out of energy. no go go juice. I am keeping up a VERY aggressive calorie burn routine.

    the last few days I have been feeling "odd" hard to describe. imagine how your muscles feel after a really heavy day of work. all achy painful and tired. now REMOVE the pain and just leave the "tired" don't want to do anything feeling in those muscles. but only in the muscles not "YOU" mentally. its hard to describe.

    NOT YOU are tired (I am fine) my MUSCLES feel like I should be tired. I an ready and rearing to go the muscles just don't want too.

    I almost could not complete my 60 minutes of cardio on the stationary on tuesday and wednesday morning I felt worse.

    Once I realized I was kind of low carbing I figured OK I am going to eat chinese like I always do wednesday night lets see what happens.

    I woke up this morning and I feel GREAT. the odd feeling is completely gone. (yet i was still around 2000 cals a day) so it was not a calorie INTAKE deficiency it was, I am GUESSING here correct me if I am wrong, a calorie conversion deficiency.

    I notice also my bowel movement was small. so my body kept and used more of what I ingested less to go out the rear :-) Seems to confirm I was lacking and had just "corrected" the lacking.

    SO there in lies my problem (correct my assumptions if they are wrong please)

    it seems I am missing something in my diet (could it be as simple as carbs ??)

    I liken it this way. you have a small fuel tank that you operate on. when you eat food you you convert that food to gogo juice and "fill up" this little fuel tank.

    there are two factors that control the filling of this fuel tank. How MUCH fuel you eat and how quickly your body can convert the fuel you eat into the "gogo juice" that fills this little fuel tank.

    I think I am eating enough fuel but my body can't convert it to gogo juice and fill the little internal tank fast enough.

    SO i am burning cals faster than my body can refuel the internal tank IE I run out of fuel even though i am eating "enough" I just can't convert it fast enough.

    this tells me I am eating the wrong foods OR just not eating "x" that I need to be eating.

    whatever X is its in the chinese food (pork fried rice roast pork egg foo young and wonton soup and an egg roll)

    SO what is X and what are some healthier alternatives to getting X besides the chinese food ?

    any suggestions?
    Last edited by nerys; 01-31-13 at 05:55 PM.

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Doesn't myfitnesspal give you a daily carb target too? The only thing I would suggest (besides making sure your diet is balanced & nutritious) is to pick complex carbs & steer clear of white, processed carbs (also known as all the really tasty stuff) and eat veggie carbs.

    I'm not sure what you're eating but when I did atkins 5 years ago or whatever, I really lacked any kind of stamina, much like you're describing. I lost weight, sure, but it came right back when I went back to my carb hogging ways.

    At the end of the day I think there's something to be said for listening to your body. Just keep in mind it'll lie like crazy to get more food, so there's that.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nerys's Avatar
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    oh yes well aware of how the mind will lie to me to get what it wants. more bad stuff :-)

    I agree on listening to my body the problem is I don't speak the language my body speaks so I can't understand what its asking me for. I only know its demanding something and I was not giving it to it.

    Suggestions? what good veggies have carbs ?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    Its common on low carb diet to go through what is called an induction phase where your body switches from burning carbs to burning fat, It took me about 2 weeks to get through induction with the attendant odd feeling of having a hangover or weak flu symptoms. After it passed I was fine with lots of energy even on long hard bike rides.

    Charlie
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  5. #5
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Your way over thinking this in my opinion.

    the post actually hurt my pea brain.

    i have said over and over again, if your doing the exercise thing correctly, it's hard, there is some pain. Your going to have good days and bad days. It's normal. There is no real reason. I have never figured out why one day I kill it, and one day I crash. You need to eat enough calories for your weight to I sure you have energy and something to rebuild the tear down you do from exercise. I see so e reference to 2000 calories per day. My opinion is that's an extreme low for you. I am eating that and I am half your weight...and I am losing weight. I am not suggesting you double your calories, but 2000 can't be the magic number if your going to really push in your exercise program.


    i also do not buy into all low carb, all the time. Being primarily vegitarian these days I eat quite a few carbs...losing weight each week too. Maybe that's just me, and maybe you can't do that, but any blanket statement of carbs mean fat, is crap. I don't eat sugar, and don't eat processed, but I eat a ton of rice, pasta, potatoes, and quinoa, and frankly bread. So far today I had on breakfast sandwich with two slices wheat toast and scrambled eggs, one wheat bread sub with tuna and tons of veggies for lunch, and a footlong veggie sub from subway for dinner...that's a lot of carbs without a lot of cacalories there is no magic formula or magic bullet...adapt it around till you find what works over time for you, but you have to eat enough to fuel your expenditures minus your weight loss.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nerys's Avatar
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    this was not just one day to the next. it got worse and worse over 3 days (I was working extra hard this week too) the day after I ate the chinese food (in fact a couple hours afterwards) yet still at my 2000 cal limit I felt significantly better.

    SO what are some good healthy carbs. ? what are the carby veggies ? I am trying to avoid too much bread since that is an addiction angle for me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    Low on carbs - Man you are doing great - Its just time to grab some pasta with butter.... You deserve it...
    No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)

  8. #8
    Senior Member nerys's Avatar
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    so its just as simple as low carbs ?? interesting. what are some other "healthy" sources of carbs.

    I will add a pasta night to each weeks menu see how that goes. Figure out my lowest energy day and do the pasta night the previous night and see if I can prevent it. do you think once a week is enough?

    because of my work schedule (meaning lower activity wed-friday) Monday would likely be the best night since tuesday night wednesday morning it was its worst.

    is that enough? is that early enough? how much carbs is enough? is raising my cals to 2400 on the carb day enough?

  9. #9
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Most vegetables are actually a healthy source of carbs.

    OK, but the trick to eating carbs (and I subscribe to the notion that nothing is bad in moderation) is to not feature them as your primary course. Pasta should probably be a side dish rather than the feature, is what I'm saying. Old me would eat a plate full of spaghetti and go back for more. Old me isn't very far away either.

  10. #10
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    Aside from the dietary issue, this could very well just be a case of overtraining and fatigue. Correct me if I'm wrong but you've really only started hitting the cardio hard over the last month. Give yourself time to rest and recover and your body time to adapt to the new workload before piling on more work. This is one of the hardest lessons for newer folks. Ask Chef. I had to beat this into his head for months before he got the lesson. If I was you, I would take a day or two off to rest and then resume the cardio at either a lower intensity or cut the duration back a bit until you feel fresh again.

  11. #11
    Senior Member nerys's Avatar
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    so I should drop a day of cardio ? ie give the body a break somewhere in the middle?

    so maybe go at it sat sun tue but take mon off?

    most of the veggies I eat "say" they are zero or close to zero carb. which ones are good for carbs? ie what are "healthy" carbs ?

  12. #12
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paisan View Post
    Aside from the dietary issue, this could very well just be a case of overtraining and fatigue. Correct me if I'm wrong but you've really only started hitting the cardio hard over the last month. Give yourself time to rest and recover and your body time to adapt to the new workload before piling on more work. This is one of the hardest lessons for newer folks. Ask Chef. I had to beat this into his head for months before he got the lesson. If I was you, I would take a day or two off to rest and then resume the cardio at either a lower intensity or cut the duration back a bit until you feel fresh again.
    THIS! You've got to give your muscles time to recover. Good rule of thumb for weights is one day on, two off. Now that can be achieved by rotating muscle groups. Do chest and triceps and shoulders one day, then back and biceps the next, then legs, then back to chest. Do legs only once a week and take a day or two off every week. Do abs daily. Also, stick to 2 sets of 12-15 reps of two exercises per body part in the beginning. Legs, do 20 reps per set.

    my sample... (Note:aside from machine exercises, I use dumbbells for everything as they work the connecting tissue better and they're safer if working out alone)

    Monday/Thursday
    Chest - flat bench press, 2 sets of 12-15 reps; incline bench press, 2 sets of 12-15
    Triceps - triceps pull downs, 2 sets; overhead triceps extensions
    Shoulders - Military press x 2 sets, dumbbell raises ("pour" at the top) x 2
    30 minutes cardio

    Tuesday/Friday
    Back - Lat pull downs x 2 sets, seated rows x 2 sets
    Biceps - dumbbell curls x 2, hammer curls x 2
    30 minutes cardio

    Wednesday
    Legs - leg presses x 2 sets of 20 minimum, leg extensions x 2 of 20, dead lifts (hamstring, not back) x 2/20, hamstring curls x 2/20, calf raises x 2/30
    NO cardio

    Saturday - 1 hour cardio
    Sunday - OFF/REST

    Alternatively, you could do full body circuit workouts 2 days a week (do two full circuits) and cardio on off days. Go at your own pace, push yourself, but not TOO hard, and always take at least one day off.

  13. #13
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    All veggies have carbs of some amount. I'm a big fan of salad, I love it. Romaine, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, mini zucchini, cherry tomato add in half a chicken breast or can of tuna with EVO and balsamic and you will have plenty of carbs.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    Spinach is a nutrient rich food. I prefer it raw, in a salad.

  15. #15
    Neil_B
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    Sigh. We've been going back and forth over this all day. As I wrote this morning.... "My guess, from looking at your diary, is that you are working very hard and not eating enough good carbs. Add some pasta or rice. Not a lot, but some. Stop trying to do Atkins......In the meantime, eat sensibly but eat more. Don't overcomplicate things.... which I gather is something you like to do. :-)"

    Vesteriod and Paisan hit the nail on the head. You aren't eating enough and you are pushing yourself too hard for someone who has only been going to the gym ten days or so.

    In that same email I also wrote: "
    Your weight loss is a success, and a fantastic ongoing success. Rushing it means nothing." Stop trying to undo a couple of decades in a day. Eat some more, add some carbs, give yourself some rest. You will get there. I believe in you Chris. So do most of the people here. You will do this.



  16. #16
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    You need to get adequate rest and recovery. If you are doing a "very aggressive" calorie burn routine every day, you will burn out in short order. I recommend some intense interval training about three days a week with a day off in between each session, like MWF. On the alternating days get some active recovery through low intensity physical activity like walking, swimming, or leisure riding.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  17. #17
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    If it's not overtraining you're short on something. It may be a shortage of carbs, since they're the most efficient way of replenishing glycogen stores, but it might be something else, too. How much protein to do you get? Not enough protein means slow recovery time since your body has to take apart muscle to get the proteins needed to repair the damaged ones.

    If you're sweating a lot and not replacing enough salt the less severe symptoms (weakness, lethargy) are kind of similar.

    If you have insurance you might want to see if it will cover talking to a nutritionist or something.

    I'm not really qualified to give advice...

  18. #18
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerys View Post
    so I should drop a day of cardio ? ie give the body a break somewhere in the middle?

    so maybe go at it sat sun tue but take mon off?
    Take Sunday off. You are doing a five mile hike that day, remember? That will wear you out enough.

  19. #19
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    Your way over thinking this in my opinion.

    the post actually hurt my pea brain.

    i have said over and over again, if your doing the exercise thing correctly, it's hard, there is some pain. Your going to have good days and bad days. It's normal. There is no real reason. I have never figured out why one day I kill it, and one day I crash. You need to eat enough calories for your weight to I sure you have energy and something to rebuild the tear down you do from exercise. I see so e reference to 2000 calories per day. My opinion is that's an extreme low for you. I am eating that and I am half your weight...and I am losing weight. I am not suggesting you double your calories, but 2000 can't be the magic number if your going to really push in your exercise program.


    i also do not buy into all low carb, all the time. Being primarily vegitarian these days I eat quite a few carbs...losing weight each week too. Maybe that's just me, and maybe you can't do that, but any blanket statement of carbs mean fat, is crap. I don't eat sugar, and don't eat processed, but I eat a ton of rice, pasta, potatoes, and quinoa, and frankly bread. So far today I had on breakfast sandwich with two slices wheat toast and scrambled eggs, one wheat bread sub with tuna and tons of veggies for lunch, and a footlong veggie sub from subway for dinner...that's a lot of carbs without a lot of cacalories there is no magic formula or magic bullet...adapt it around till you find what works over time for you, but you have to eat enough to fuel your expenditures minus your weight loss.
    Looking at Nerys' diary for Tuesday, it looks like he did more than an hour of cardio, and possibly strength training, and consumed about 800 calories total during breakfast and lunch. Said calories were from ham, eggs, green beans, and yogurt. Total calories for the day were below 2K. My Fitness Pal notes he'd "earned" 1200 more calories through exercise. Nerys weighs 425 pounds, and to maintain that weight he'd need about 3500 calories a day.

    He's not eating enough, and he's not eating when it counts.

  20. #20
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paisan View Post
    Aside from the dietary issue, this could very well just be a case of overtraining and fatigue. Correct me if I'm wrong but you've really only started hitting the cardio hard over the last month. Give yourself time to rest and recover and your body time to adapt to the new workload before piling on more work. This is one of the hardest lessons for newer folks. Ask Chef. I had to beat this into his head for months before he got the lesson. If I was you, I would take a day or two off to rest and then resume the cardio at either a lower intensity or cut the duration back a bit until you feel fresh again.
    ^ This. I've been at this for over 3 years and sometimes I need to take nearly a week just to rest my body and feel "right" again. You're working hard and that is commendable, but don't forget that this is not a sprint. Hell - this isn't even a marathon. This is the longest ultramarathon of your life. And in a life-long race, no one will fault you for metaphorically "walking" now and again.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  21. #21
    Bulky Bullet Sayre Kulp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    He's not eating enough, and he's not eating when it counts.
    This is definitely worth considering as well. The heavier the workout, the more you need to eat. You indicated you wanted to keep muscle, right? Understand that there is a fine line between weight loss and reshaping your body. And the best time to eat is within 30 minutes of your workout.
    "Obstacles don't like me very much. I make them look bad."

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Add me to the list of those who believe this sounds like a combination of simple muscle 'fatigue' and a restrictive diet.

    Without considering the diet, back to back days of heavy fitness work will cause fatigue. I suffered it this week as a consequence of riding 4 out of 5 days over the later part of last week. I felt like crap. Sore, achy, etc. I took 2 days off. On the 3rd day I went for a short (for me) ride at a moderate pace and just loosened the legs back up. Yesterday, the 4th day, I resumed training.

    As you gain fitness your body will become capable of enduring additional exercise. There is a old rule about not increasing your weekly total by more than 10% per week. When you're new it seems almost hard to do, as your capable of quickly ratcheting up from near 0. But, just as you start to feel the rewards of your new found health is when you need to be thinking about this rule the most. Otherwise, you're on a road to fatigue, burn out and worse yet injury, all of which are worse than simply taking it a bit slowly in the beginning.

    On the diet issue. If you're on a formal plan, I encourage you to exercise your willpower and continue with that formal plan, rather than starting to cheat or make excuses. If you've created your own plan, I encourage you to either speak with a nutritionist or at the very least do a fair bit of reading on what constitutes a balance and appropriate diet for someone in your position.

    I encourage you to continue to exercise your patience and willpower along with those muscles of yours. It continues to be a fact that people who loose weight slowly have a better chance of keeping that weight off. Don't rush it. Find pleasure and joy in a new lifestyle and menu choices that are sustainable and that you will continue to find enjoyable as the weight loss eventually slows at some point in the future.

    And, also, add me to the ever growing list of people who believe in you and are inspired by you to address my own short comings on a day by day basis.

    Keep it up.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  23. #23
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    As I read this I see myself in a lot of what you write. I do my best when I have some form of activity everyday, it keeps me focused on what I want to accomplish. What I have came up with is pretty simple but this is only for activities but I will say I no longer lift weights just bike and yoga. I ride the bike every day it's what I enjoy. One day hard training session on trainer next day active recovery on rollers. The hard day I consume about 300 more calories, when riding season returns I will do hard rides back to back but I will also be taking in 500-1200 more calories a day depending on ride. Our bodies need fuel to perform properly and that fuel should be a good mix of everything. Keep up the good work OP, I expect pictures of smiling face with every milestone.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  24. #24
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by youcoming View Post
    As I read this I see myself in a lot of what you write. I do my best when I have some form of activity everyday, it keeps me focused on what I want to accomplish. What I have came up with is pretty simple but this is only for activities but I will say I no longer lift weights just bike and yoga. I ride the bike every day it's what I enjoy. One day hard training session on trainer next day active recovery on rollers. The hard day I consume about 300 more calories, when riding season returns I will do hard rides back to back but I will also be taking in 500-1200 more calories a day depending on ride. Our bodies need fuel to perform properly and that fuel should be a good mix of everything. Keep up the good work OP, I expect pictures of smiling face with every milestone.
    He is closing in on two milestones..... ten per cent of starting body weight lost at 409 pounds, and the 400 pound mark.

  25. #25
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Doesn't myfitnesspal give you a daily carb target too? The only thing I would suggest (besides making sure your diet is balanced & nutritious) is to pick complex carbs & steer clear of white, processed carbs (also known as all the really tasty stuff) and eat veggie carbs.

    I'm not sure what you're eating but when I did atkins 5 years ago or whatever, I really lacked any kind of stamina, much like you're describing. I lost weight, sure, but it came right back when I went back to my carb hogging ways.

    At the end of the day I think there's something to be said for listening to your body. Just keep in mind it'll lie like crazy to get more food, so there's that.
    +1 on the brown diet (whole wheat, not white, brown rice not white). +1 on balanced. +1 on listening to your body.

    Unless you are under the the care of somebody who really knows what they are doing (and I'm not actually sure such people exist ), I recommend against doing extreme things. Portion control is good. Making sure you eat balanced meals is good. Remember, you aren't looking for diet advice (and that's not what you asked for), you are looking for lifestyle changes.

    Cheers and good luck!
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