1

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Diet for recovery from overtraining

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 12, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I'm pretty overtrained right now, and my doctor has forbidden upper-body strength training for a few weeks because of an overuse injury. I'm still overweight (5'5" 189lbs) and was just starting to lose despite months on paleo. I also want to minimize muscle loss. How can I tweak my paleo diet so I don't gain fat while I take it easy for a while?

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on January 14, 2012
at 08:19 PM

I'd try starches before high-GI fruits for workout recovery. You want to replenish glycogen stores with glucose after workouts and this is key to workout recovery. Just sounds too low carb, try a bit of sweet potato or white rice with each meal. Aside from better workout recovery, I sleep much better when I'm not low carb (which helps with weight loss a lot.)

15928f79439aa1bbe8930c14d0a31139

(5)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Lots of meat, shooting for a minimum of 100g protein a day. Most of the time I feel the meat lean and add healthy fats like avocado or olive oil. I eat 2-3 eggs for breakfast on most days, I can easily go through a dozen or more eggs a week. I've been sticking to paleo-friendly vegetables and the lower-GI fruits. I do best when I avoid starches altogether, because I'm not great at self-control. I rarely eat nuts (less than 1x/week) while I'm trying to lose. I was wondering if I should try eating more starch, or at least high-GI fruits, after intense workouts, to support recovery.

15928f79439aa1bbe8930c14d0a31139

(5)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:48 AM

The biggest issue is a persistent ache in my chest, doctor tested me for every imaginable reason for chest pain, and this is it. Also, assorted aches and pains in several parts of my body that are not DOMS, irregular sleep, and long periods of stalled weight loss even when I'm religious about diet and workouts.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 12, 2012
at 05:07 PM

Do one-two HIIT workouts on a recumbent or regular bike per week wile you recover.... That should help you keep your muscle and burn off a bit more goo :)

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on January 12, 2012
at 03:17 PM

Can you please post how you are over trained, what your overuse injury is, your age, etc?

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 12, 2012
at 02:49 PM

...and I also intended the strongest part of my recommendation to be the non-diet element ie the walking. There may indeed be no need for any adjustments to the diet at all (hence my use of the words "a little".

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 12, 2012
at 02:47 PM

OK cliff - I had made an assumption that the protein level of a very regular strength trainer would be higher than that advisable for not so often strength training. Most bodybuilders consume in the upper regions of normal recs for protein consumption. The reason I would replace with fats is because that is preferable to carbs...in order to maintain (or get into) ketosis and maintain fat burning. But thanks for the downvote anyway...

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on January 12, 2012
at 02:36 PM

how is upping fat and lowering protein a good idea for someone trying to maintain lean mass? Sounds counter-productive.

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3 Answers

1
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 12, 2012
at 02:56 PM

Hi Aimee, obviously it would help to know what your current diet looks like to best suggest how to tweak it. But essentially I would suggest you stick to the basics. Get good sources of meat, don't worry about adding or removing fat - just take it as it comes. And then add a different veg on the side each meal. I'd also concentrate more on meal timing - this would be a good opportunity to learn to only eat when hungry, and possibly experiment with some fasting if you haven't already.

Also, maintaining low intensity activity (walk, swim, cycle) well within your comfort zone will make a big difference. If you feel hungry, try going for a walk and see if it lasts. You can probably still do 10 minutes of sprint training once a week as well. You'll be able to recover the muscle mass when you start using the muscles again, but the important thing is to get your body fixed and working properly.

0
Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

on January 12, 2012
at 03:10 PM

Over-training could mean a lot of things, from injuries to adrenal fatigue like stuff so give more specifics about how you're hurt.

Need more diet details too. How strict paleo are you? Eating ONLY meat, veggies, some fruit, some safe starches and a bunch of saturated fat? I might eat slightly lower carb while you're not working out but that's me.

If you were losing weight eating the way you were eating, why would you change the way you were eating to recover from an injury?

Just keep eating real food and things will correct themselves, your body will repair itself and the weight will come off as a nice side effect.

15928f79439aa1bbe8930c14d0a31139

(5)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Lots of meat, shooting for a minimum of 100g protein a day. Most of the time I feel the meat lean and add healthy fats like avocado or olive oil. I eat 2-3 eggs for breakfast on most days, I can easily go through a dozen or more eggs a week. I've been sticking to paleo-friendly vegetables and the lower-GI fruits. I do best when I avoid starches altogether, because I'm not great at self-control. I rarely eat nuts (less than 1x/week) while I'm trying to lose. I was wondering if I should try eating more starch, or at least high-GI fruits, after intense workouts, to support recovery.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on January 14, 2012
at 08:19 PM

I'd try starches before high-GI fruits for workout recovery. You want to replenish glycogen stores with glucose after workouts and this is key to workout recovery. Just sounds too low carb, try a bit of sweet potato or white rice with each meal. Aside from better workout recovery, I sleep much better when I'm not low carb (which helps with weight loss a lot.)

0
6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 12, 2012
at 02:00 PM

I would suggest you drop the protein level a little and up the fat to offset (if indeed you change your diet at all, which may not be necessary).

And then (just) focus on the non-diet elements. Just walk, walk and walk some more...no stress on your upper body, giving time for your injury to heal but will keep everything else ticking over and your weight loss on track.

You may lose a little upper body muscle mass in those few weeks, but not so as you need to worry about it too much, as long as you keep losing fat and keep fit generally.

EDIT: in brackets...

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 12, 2012
at 02:49 PM

...and I also intended the strongest part of my recommendation to be the non-diet element ie the walking. There may indeed be no need for any adjustments to the diet at all (hence my use of the words "a little".

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on January 12, 2012
at 02:36 PM

how is upping fat and lowering protein a good idea for someone trying to maintain lean mass? Sounds counter-productive.

6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 12, 2012
at 02:47 PM

OK cliff - I had made an assumption that the protein level of a very regular strength trainer would be higher than that advisable for not so often strength training. Most bodybuilders consume in the upper regions of normal recs for protein consumption. The reason I would replace with fats is because that is preferable to carbs...in order to maintain (or get into) ketosis and maintain fat burning. But thanks for the downvote anyway...

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