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Am I undereating?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 20, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I've been 90% Paleo (I can't kick my morning glass of milk) for almost three weeks now... I went through the initial shock of not being loaded with carbs and sugar, felt overall crappy, moderately upped my fat intake which seemed to help. I felt great for about a week, but now I'm super lethargic and my body fat went up 2%... I go to crossfit 5x a week... I eat when I'm hungry and by no means do I feel like I'm starving myself, nor do I count calories. Could undereating be the problem?

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on February 20, 2012
at 10:43 PM

yup agree with Crystal. Just setup an account with fitday, log your intake to see how much you really are consuming. It does seem that 5x crossfit could be a bit much. Personally I recommend sticking to weights and low-intensity cardio (walking) to fat loss if that is your goal. Give yourself plenty of rest to recover and make sure you calories are in check.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 20, 2012
at 07:48 PM

While I understand not wanting to be on medication, ignoring a potentially serious condition is not the answer either. There are ways to treat it with diet and supplements such as selenium and iodine, but you really ought to get tested. It also doesn't look like you're eating near enough for the activity level. You also sound like you're still stuck in the mentality that to lose weight you need to exercise a lot and not eat a lot, and you need to break that or it's going to cost you in the long run.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on February 20, 2012
at 07:47 PM

P.S.: Personally, I'm one of those people who can't get away with 80/20 or even 90/10 (If I want to make progress. 90/10 gets me maintenance, 80/20 gets me chubby). I'm running a little chubby right now, because I'm stressed, trying to prep for the Open, not always sleeping enough, and I started tinkering with some protein powders... Good luck, and keep us posted.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on February 20, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Sounds pretty scant to me, particularly on fat and protein. Just for comparison, I'm 5'9, around 170, CrossFit 4-5 times a week, Bikram Yoga once a week. A sample menu for me: medium sweet potato mashed with coconut milk and chicken thigh post-workout salad with one medium avocado, probably 6-8oz of meat, olive oil, hard-boiled egg, sometimes bacon pieces pot roast (probably half a pound of meat or more) with veggies I'd really recommend that you go strict for a month - to include getting 8+ hours of sleep every night - keep a food and workout log, and then re-assess.

2e29c32e37ffbc96ba0b5e312f4712a5

(65)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:39 PM

I've suspected hypothyroid, though have yet to be tested - all of my family has issues, but I'm not too keen on medicating myself for the rest of my life. I've added details above.

2e29c32e37ffbc96ba0b5e312f4712a5

(65)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Crossfit is typically 3 days on, 1 off. I know I'm working out a lot, and don't feel as though my food intake has increased with the amount of activity. I've been drinking whey protein after I work out - this is newly incorporated into my regimen, perhaps that's the culprit? bmi is around 29% I def have some to lose, not sure why numbers are going the wrong way Meals look something like: Handful of nuts with berries and bananas, milk in the am Snacks of a few pieces of jerky and nuts. Lunch: salad with avocado, tomatoes, half chicken breast Dinner: typically a chicken or beef and veggie soup

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:15 PM

Kinda hard to say with no food log. Details would help. 5x a week is a lot of CrossFit, and will require a LOT of fuel. And probably more carbs (yam/sweet potato on workout days). I worked my way up to that and got over-trained pretty quickly. I now waver between 4 and 5 times a week, and I will often scale in the middle of the week, or just take one day as a slow and heavy day or something. How's your sleep? I'd also cut out the glass of milk for 30 days, just to see how it really affects you.

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2 Answers

1
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:13 PM

Under-eating can result in your body hanging on to its fat stores, but from your question it seems it is equally likely you're overdoing it on the Crossfit and could have cortisol or adrenal issues. I assume you don't want to hear this but you might want to try kicking that morning glass of milk and seeing how you feel for a couple days.

To actually answer your question I think we need some more information about what you eat on a normal day and if you have any other issues you're trying to resolve that might give some hints as to the underlying issue.

2e29c32e37ffbc96ba0b5e312f4712a5

(65)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:39 PM

I've suspected hypothyroid, though have yet to be tested - all of my family has issues, but I'm not too keen on medicating myself for the rest of my life. I've added details above.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 20, 2012
at 07:48 PM

While I understand not wanting to be on medication, ignoring a potentially serious condition is not the answer either. There are ways to treat it with diet and supplements such as selenium and iodine, but you really ought to get tested. It also doesn't look like you're eating near enough for the activity level. You also sound like you're still stuck in the mentality that to lose weight you need to exercise a lot and not eat a lot, and you need to break that or it's going to cost you in the long run.

0
6b9880683eb73a6d1c0c9941e8fa07eb

(180)

on February 20, 2012
at 06:15 PM

If you are doing CrossFit 5x a week, how are you replenishing your muscles? Most people say they eat a sweet potato immediately after the work out or they'll feel awful. The other thing I wonder is if maybe you're over-doing it with the CrossFit without enough time for your body to heal between sessions. This is where the Mark Sisson "primal" philosophy comes into play---don't over-exercise yourself.

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