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Low Carb, low carb flu and weightlifting??

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 07, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I am a 21 yo female 5'4 170 lbs. I have been doing paleo for 2 mos and have lost 15 lbs. I eat on the verly low carb side of paleo..I eat mostly protein and veggies. I do 2 24 hr intermittenet fasts weekly.

A typical day for me looks like this

Breakfast- 2 scrambled eggs cooked w/ butter or coconut oil, onions and pepper, every now & then i'll have bacon or eat a piece of fruit w/ my eggs (blueberries or an apple)

Lunch- Big salad w/ chicken or steak

snack- (I rarely eat a snack) handful of almonds, apple

Dinner- some type of fish, poultry or beef w/ leafy green veggies

I have one cheat day every week when I eat whatever I want ( Burrito from chipotle, pizza, ice cream etc.)

supplements- Cod liver oil, multi vit, vit d

This past week I have felt like shit and the only thing that has changed is I started to lift weights( 3 day split). I was doing a ton of cardio before lifting (HIIT & a dance fitness class at my gym 3x a week). I have decided to cut out so much cardio because it bothers my foot I had 2 surgeries on and im starting to look really flabby. This past week i have had zero energy..could only get in one cardio workout, takes me like 10 mins to completely wake up in the morning, im a sahm and I have been taking naps w/ my son which is something I have never done before and yesterday instead of going to the gym I laid down and took a 3 hr nap. As i'm typing this I have a really bad headache..and a cold I caught 3 weeks ago is still trying to linger.

Im very new to lifting so my question is should I up my carb intake to recover effectively (add more sweet potatoes and fruit to my diet?) or stick it out and my body will adapt? I am hesitant abouting adding too many carbs because I am loving my rate of weight loss. should I add more fat to my diet? should I just eat starchy carbs post workout?

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on November 29, 2012
at 03:37 PM

That's a really interesting point James; I started lifting weights about 3 weeks ago and the past 2 weeks, really upped the intensity through enthusiasm, impatience and foolish ambition. I currently feel permanently tired and feel like I have a cold coming on despite no real cold symptoms (if that makes sense) I hadn't considered it to be the weights; I thought it was my diet!! Thank you! What would you suggest for beginners wrt intensity, volume and frequency?

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 08, 2012
at 01:59 PM

I probably eat half regular meat and eggs and the other half is pastured/ grassfed. Im not in the best financial situation right now but I will make it a priority to buy high quality food. And I will admit im a little attatched to my cheat days lol. Im 21 and I like to go out w/ my friends, have some wine and eat whatever once a week. I will def cut back for 30 days then maybe add in a cheat once a month..but wow had no idea it took 2 years to get rid of that fat..that makes cheat meals a less tempting now

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 08, 2012
at 01:53 PM

I've been eating this way for 2 mos. I think I may be undereating because I have been really busy and skipping alot of meals. I'm going to focus on making sure I skip no meals and just cut back to 1 24 hr fast for now.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 08, 2012
at 04:01 AM

Let me add to that. Typically ketones aren't used fast enough to fuel that kind of intense exercise. However, we are all different and that's the beauty of some n=1.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 08, 2012
at 04:00 AM

+1 on the grassfed, it made a world of difference for me as well. I do disagree about running solely on ketones because of the intensity of her training. Optimally, a "carb backload" or a refeed would be a prudent idea for her as ketones can't be used fast enough to support that intensity.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 08, 2012
at 03:40 AM

I agree with the fact a much more research is needed. I'm not a fan of drawing conclusions based on mice or just a certain part of the population. However, it is worth noting that women and men are very different hormonally and could quite possibly have different metabolic pathways and biological responses when there is caloric restriction.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 07, 2012
at 09:30 PM

I don't actually see any valid evidence that a couple of 24 hr fasts per week will be detrimental. The link you give cites a studies on mice (nonapplicable) and a study between men who are hyperinsulinemic and woman with normal levels. Quite apples to oranges. And to OP how long have you been eating this way? You may be simply under eating. I would say in most cases that 3 workouts a week would not necessitate a carb reload.

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 07:20 PM

I do think I may have gone a little too heavy on the weights..I have been extremely sore after my workouts. After leg day I could barely walk..I will be more careful and cut back..

98266ae0c87836d4bb714b6d31cacbf9

(1632)

on September 07, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Great advice. I second eliminating the cheat day for 30 days or at least not every week.

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 04:02 PM

Oh wow I just read that article about women and IF and I am blown away..I have experienced irregular periods, a shitty mood, and some anxiety this past month. I would have never thought the culprit was my fasts

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 03:53 PM

Its funny you mention lean gains because I have been looking into that and the warrior diet approach. I will give one of them a try and see if I feel better..

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 03:50 PM

maybe your right :( I will miss my cheat days lol but I will cut them out..

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 03:49 PM

What do you eat before and during the workout?

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6 Answers

best answer

1
06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 07, 2012
at 03:38 PM

Two 24 hour fasts a week are very stressful on the body. There is also a lot more research coming out about women and intermittant fasting, here's something to get you started. I would look into possibly something along the lines of a lean gains approach (14 hour window with no food intake, 10 hours of eating) and see how you respond. I would also recommend eliminating the cheat day for 30 days and see how you feel. You will probably notice your tastes and cravings will change and then begin to reincorporate certain food groups and see how they are tolerated. It sounds like most of your cheats are high carb so you are "reloading" your carb stores every week which isn't a necessarily a bad thing, but the food choices are questionable. My wife went through something similar, she would "go bananas" one day a week. This really only made her crave the foods even more during the week. Once she was able to eliminate this, her gains and progress improved as did how she felt. She began @ 175 and is now "jacked" 124 and chooses her cheat meals very carefully and makes sure its something that she will really enjoy.

It sounds like you are really on the right track, best of luck to you on your journey. Just remember that
diet > sleep > exercise.

Matt
PhysiqueRescue.com

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 04:02 PM

Oh wow I just read that article about women and IF and I am blown away..I have experienced irregular periods, a shitty mood, and some anxiety this past month. I would have never thought the culprit was my fasts

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 08, 2012
at 01:53 PM

I've been eating this way for 2 mos. I think I may be undereating because I have been really busy and skipping alot of meals. I'm going to focus on making sure I skip no meals and just cut back to 1 24 hr fast for now.

98266ae0c87836d4bb714b6d31cacbf9

(1632)

on September 07, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Great advice. I second eliminating the cheat day for 30 days or at least not every week.

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 03:53 PM

Its funny you mention lean gains because I have been looking into that and the warrior diet approach. I will give one of them a try and see if I feel better..

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 07, 2012
at 09:30 PM

I don't actually see any valid evidence that a couple of 24 hr fasts per week will be detrimental. The link you give cites a studies on mice (nonapplicable) and a study between men who are hyperinsulinemic and woman with normal levels. Quite apples to oranges. And to OP how long have you been eating this way? You may be simply under eating. I would say in most cases that 3 workouts a week would not necessitate a carb reload.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 08, 2012
at 03:40 AM

I agree with the fact a much more research is needed. I'm not a fan of drawing conclusions based on mice or just a certain part of the population. However, it is worth noting that women and men are very different hormonally and could quite possibly have different metabolic pathways and biological responses when there is caloric restriction.

1
05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

on September 08, 2012
at 03:46 AM

Try adding more fats to your diet, especially coconut oil (medium chain triglycerides) and short chain triglycerides) like pastured raw butter, these your body actually uses for energy , cut back on cardio. Intermittent fasting okay no more than 30 hours, I'd do it once a week. Also make sure you are NOT stressed during the fast. I'd even try some protein restriction about 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight (excess protein can convert into glucose not letting you because completely keto adapted, meaning your efficient at converting fat into fuel) so what could be happening is that you're not totally "fat" adapted, and you are still a glucose burner, so when you go low carb your body still seeks sugar, so I'd try to stay under 50 carbs. The conversion usually take 3-6 weeks, during this time as your making the metabolic change your body may be a little inefficient at using ketones as a fuel source so you will be excreting them through your breath and urine and stuff until your body become efficient, once it does I am sure you'll feel better.

Make sure your fats/meats/eggs are from grass fed/pastured sources (I swear it makes a difference over the nasty GMO feedlot cows and chickens or other animal products) The fatty acid profile of grass fed meats and pastured chicken are WAY better than conventional meats. (they have better "Fats" which more vitamins and tons more Omega-3.

I'd get the book "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance"

You really don't need carbs ever, your body can make the necessary glucose through gluconeogenesis. I think only your red blood cells which feed anaerobically need carbs since sugar is an anaerobic fuel source. I been carb free for 7 weeks. I work out with weights but I limit my cardio to 20 minutes a day, fast once a week I take two days off and I work out moderate to heavy weights to bulk up on muscles which been working nicely without carbs.

I'd also cut out the cheat day at least for a few weeks until you make this metabolic transition. I never have a cheat day, I actually found it easier the long I go. I no longer see food as "entertainment" but as a "fuel" source, so cheating no longer temps me. Especially since I know everything all the "cheat" foods are full of Genetically Modified foods, chemicals and all the trans fats found in those rancid cooking oil used by restaurants. When you consume a food with trans fat it take about 2 years for your body to get rid of that fat that was consumed. So just think about that next time :)

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 08, 2012
at 04:01 AM

Let me add to that. Typically ketones aren't used fast enough to fuel that kind of intense exercise. However, we are all different and that's the beauty of some n=1.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 08, 2012
at 04:00 AM

+1 on the grassfed, it made a world of difference for me as well. I do disagree about running solely on ketones because of the intensity of her training. Optimally, a "carb backload" or a refeed would be a prudent idea for her as ketones can't be used fast enough to support that intensity.

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 08, 2012
at 01:59 PM

I probably eat half regular meat and eggs and the other half is pastured/ grassfed. Im not in the best financial situation right now but I will make it a priority to buy high quality food. And I will admit im a little attatched to my cheat days lol. Im 21 and I like to go out w/ my friends, have some wine and eat whatever once a week. I will def cut back for 30 days then maybe add in a cheat once a month..but wow had no idea it took 2 years to get rid of that fat..that makes cheat meals a less tempting now

1
E6c14efded576a0bea38a2fe2beced6a

on September 07, 2012
at 05:05 PM

You may want to take a look at your lifting routine. It's not uncommon for someone, when they first start to lift, to get sick. This is especially true for people who have a good level of fitness then hit the weights often going way overboard in both volume and intensity before they are ready for it. Your bodies response to the increased stressor will often look and feel like a cold and if you don't recognize it soon enough you can leave yourself open for a real cold.

Often times just cutting back on both volume and intensity to allow yourself to ramp up and prepare your body for what is ahead is all that is needed.

I lift four days a week using a Westside template and also do a strongman workout on the weekends along with other activities and have never had a need to stray from my low carb plans. You may intact need to up your carbs but my experience has always been that it's more effective to fix your training first then use diet to dial in the results.

You can't out train a bad diet, but you also can't eat away inappropriate training.

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 07:20 PM

I do think I may have gone a little too heavy on the weights..I have been extremely sore after my workouts. After leg day I could barely walk..I will be more careful and cut back..

C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

(637)

on November 29, 2012
at 03:37 PM

That's a really interesting point James; I started lifting weights about 3 weeks ago and the past 2 weeks, really upped the intensity through enthusiasm, impatience and foolish ambition. I currently feel permanently tired and feel like I have a cold coming on despite no real cold symptoms (if that makes sense) I hadn't considered it to be the weights; I thought it was my diet!! Thank you! What would you suggest for beginners wrt intensity, volume and frequency?

0
A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on September 07, 2012
at 03:29 PM

I would also recommend cutting out the pizza,ice cream and other SAD type stuff and see if that makes a difference. Garbage in usually equals garbage out.

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 03:50 PM

maybe your right :( I will miss my cheat days lol but I will cut them out..

0
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on September 07, 2012
at 03:28 PM

If I lift on zero carbs I sometimes hit the wall mid workout. Lately I've been doing 8 grams before and 8 grams during the workout. That doesn't sound like much but if gets me through fine. Get plenty of salt as well.

Here's a good reply on the subject...

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/137040-Burning-Fat-Burning-Glycogen?p=1559337&viewfull=1#post1559337

F56a25befbef8c50ec64c2a6e511a958

on September 07, 2012
at 03:49 PM

What do you eat before and during the workout?

0
98266ae0c87836d4bb714b6d31cacbf9

on September 07, 2012
at 03:16 PM

I recommend adding carbs since you've started lifting. Don't worry about the weight loss. That will still happen, though you'll add on muscle so do take that into account.

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