I hope someone here can give me a little advice. For the past month or two, I've been feeling exhausted almost every day. I've had muscle soreness/tightness and a general feeling of instability. My chest, shoulders, back, legs, hips, ankles, and arms ache. I can't do my workouts all the way through because of how fatigued I feel. The fact that I can't finish my workouts, especially at the level of intensity that I used to, leads me to believe that the exercise itself isn't causing the fatigue. I'm thinking its diet-related.
I'm 21 years old, 200 lbs, 5'11, male. By eating healthy, by CW, and using the Insanity and P90X workouts, I've lost 110 lbs since June 2010. I've never been a bread person, but I did enjoy oatmeal and brown rice upon occasion. Black and kidney beans, also. Really, the only things I had to do to "go primal" in June was give up oatmeal, milk, rice, and beans. I've also chosen to give up most dairy and nut butter for the time being. I've replaced those carbs with olive oil, rendered fat, butter, fatty meat, and coconut milk.
Anyway, in addition to adopting the primal eating plan, I've tried my hand at intermittent fasting and keto. I'm fine with the once-a-week fasting, but I think either the keto or my calories are adding to my problems. (I do count calories, and I don't need any comments trying to convince me to stop.) I'm 200 lbs, trying to get down to 180 (no specific time frame, preferably before Christmas), so I've been eating around 1900-2100 calories per day. I've also been trying to keep carbs around 30g on Monday through Wednesday, and then under 75 the rest of the week, to get into ketosis.
I do feel like I've been depriving myself lately, not due to the primal diet, but because I'm eating a set amount of calories every day and never to the point where I feel full. I have a negative association with that feeling because for 20 years I "ate til I was full" and that got me to 310 lbs. To this day, I can sit down and eat an entire jar of peanut butter because it tastes good and not truly feel full. I have to force myself to show some constraint.
Could I be depriving myself by not eating enough? I get 140-170g protein every day, so I find it hard to believe that catabolism is occurring.Yesterday I made a big bowl of chili and just ate all afternoon. I threw the calorie count out the window and just ate chili (with beef heart), coconut milk, protein shake, eggs, popping strawberries and spinach left and right. I knew I would be fasting from dinner to lunch today, so I didn't feel bad. I truly felt full for the first time last night, but I didn't feel bloated. I'd guess I hit around 2600-2800 calories. I suppose I'll find out later tonight if I'm more energetic and less sore.
The other issue: I've been working out constantly since June 12, 2010. I only do DVD workouts (Insanity, P90X, Rushfit, The Pit), and although I take Sunday and Thursday off in favor of stretching, yoga, or walking, I am consistently active for at least an hour every day. I lift upper body twice week, plyo/cardio twice a week, back twice a week, and abs 3 times a week. I haven't had the time/energy to really focus on compound/full body workouts, playing, stretching, or the 2 hours a week of low-intensity movement. I'm trying to incorporate sprints, but I'm so damn exhausted that I can barely get myself off the couch once I get home. This is very unlike me (you don't lose 110 lbs by couch-surfing.)
Can anyone offer some advice? The first thing in my head is "EAT MORE, adopt the primal fitness plan, sprint more, move slowly more often, quit sitting so much during the day, quit eating less than 30g carbs." I've tried to drink coffee, but the caffeine kills me. I've been trying to stand up at work, but that gets old very quickly. I just don't know what else to do....I hate not being able to workout. I used to enjoy the pump I got every day, but now I just leave my home gym pissed off that I couldn't finish. My muscles don't feel stronger, even if I'm losing some fat, and I can't "up my weights" like I used to. Its very frustrating.
TL;DR - I'm tired. Why?
You work out constantly, you weight 200lbs, and you only eat 2000 a day with minimal carbs. That's the only information you need to see why you feel tired. I can't be too critical because I did the same thing a year or so back and became a zombie.
Why are you so keen on ketosis? For your meals, have a fist-sized chunk of meat (more if you need it) and then fill the rest of your plate with veg. I mean twice the size of the meat, easily. TONS of veg. This will rapidly make you feel better and will magically not transform you into a fatty.
Oh, and fry all the veg in a good dollop of oil or butter.
Go back and look at Marks Carb Curve, you're not getting enough. You are an athlete, you are active! I understand wanting to loose that last bit of weight, but your tired, eat more. I did the same thing IF, watching the calories. Starting eating 3 meals a day again, listening to my body. I am now gaining muscle again and the pants are falling off. This isn't a set plan, Mark promotes healthy eating but doing what feels right to you. There are plenty of people here who eat 100-150 carbs a day (athletes like yourself) and are in great shape. You sound like you are doing awesome, up the carbs a bit, have a sweet potato, parsnip, turnip a tuber something, see what happens. This is about balancing your lifestyle with your nutrition experiment and see what works for you. Your needs change as your body changes. Go with it. Just my thoughts
Thanks guys. That is definitely reassuring. I'll cut out the keto and get in those veggies, with some more meat. I'll eat up over the weekend and let you know how my workouts go.
I was so keen on keto because I've been hearing that it drops fat quickly. I've been questioning the under 30g rule (read it on bodybuilding.com, admittedly) since I read what Mark has written about varying levels of ketosis, even up to 125-150g carbs.
Oh, cutting out the carbs will help you drop fat. But your chances of leading an athletic life become essentially zero
Sure, it drops fat quickly when you have a lot to lose. The plain fact is, the less fat you have to lose, the longer it will take. I had a spectacular fat loss in the first three months, but I also started at 400 pounds. I'm now down to about 290 and still losing, but a lot more slowly - maybe a half pound a week. It's unrealistic to expect rapid fat loss when you only have 20 pounds to lose.
Originally Posted by CoS
Hijacking the thread to say Griff, that is amazing! You're such an inspiration!
Back to the topic, CoS, I used to have the exact same problem you're having and it was definitely because of too few carbs. I was shooting for under 50 a day and hitting anywhere between 20 and 45, usually. Now I keep it between 75 and 100, go up to 150 on long slow run days, and have a cheat day once a week. I think the cheat day is key, both for sanity's sake and for fat loss.
ETA: Sorry, CoS! Fixed it.
Last edited by heatseeker; 07-28-2011 at 11:43 AM.
I was the OP, not Primal Fist.
Heh. Well, it's true that I did have that problem. But more veg has fixed it, and my cheat day helps both physiologically and psychologically.