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Thread: Energy levels just 'switched off' page

  1. #1
    thedoglett's Avatar
    thedoglett is offline Junior Member
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    Energy levels just 'switched off'

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    I was hoping some of you folks could give me a little advice as I've been following the PB since October 2012 and have had very positive results so far but have suddenly lost a lot of energy and I'm not sure if its something in my diet or my health issues.

    Brief background.

    My full background can be found here when I introduced myself and my story; basically I appear to have something akin to ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which has been improving since I started in October last year. I've stayed 'on plan' and fairly low carb since, no grains, pasta or rice and potatoes only occasionally. I eat plenty of vegetables with a reasonable amount of fat and protein.

    I don't eat breakfast as I'm not hungry in the morning but will have a coffee with double cream in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. I don't normally feel like lunch so I eat in the evening @ 6pm most of the time but sometimes will have an omelette or chicken salad for lunch.

    I inadvertently found myself doing intermittent fasting each day, eating at the same time of day; 6pm - 9pm but at the weekend will usually have something like bacon and egg/omelette for lunch. Alcohol is a couple of glasses of wine on a Friday and Saturday evening - nothing during the week. That's how I've been eating for about four months.

    I've been doing convict conditioning 3 days a week since November and have seen a big improvement in my fitness - because of my health I can't do sprinting or HIIT but take the dog for a walk everyday, do push-ups and pull-ups etc which has seen me do well over the months.

    The problem.

    A month back I developed an ache in my shoulder and I decided to take a break from CC over that weekend as I didn't want to risk an injury.

    When I started again the following week I felt sluggish and gradually felt like I was slowly losing my 'energy' - my reps were slowly reducing and I was getting tired a lot quicker. The less I did of CC the worse I felt and my legs are aching and getting tired again. I've also noticed that my weight loss has stalled, although that's not my number one concern - thats the energy level issue.

    I'm male, 5ft 9" and 160lbs. I've tracked my food on myfitnesspal since I started and I seem to be taking about 1500 calories a day, averaging 15% carbs, 21% protein and 64% fat - sometimes the protein is slightly higher and fat lower but carbs are quite low regardless of the meal.

    I'm not sure if this a relapse with the ME or whether what I've been doing for the last four months has done its work well but maybe I've run low on 'something' - possibly glycogen because I've been quite low carb? Is it because I'm not eating enough (due to the 'intermittent fasting' I do 5 days a week)?

    Can anyone suggest any changes I need to make or do you think its more than likely a relapse? Any advice would be appreciated!
    Last edited by thedoglett; 02-28-2013 at 02:15 PM.

  2. #2
    counterpuncher's Avatar
    counterpuncher is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds to me like your metabolism has taken a hit from months of low carb eating, and not enough calories to support your activity.
    If I were you, I would up my carb intake, and calories in general, in order to get your metabolism firing again.

  3. #3
    itchy166's Avatar
    itchy166 is offline Senior Member
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    I would try upping your calories by about 500 a day.
    "It's a great life, if you don't weaken.". John Buchan

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    thedoglett's Avatar
    thedoglett is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice folks, I had a feeling it may be something like that.

    I've already started adding a few potatoes to my meals as I think that they're the healthiest carbs to reintroduce compared to rice or pasta, would that be right? Should I also increase my fat intake or would that be a step too far?

    Can I ask how long you think I would need to reintroduce them for? I'm wary of starting to put on weight back on, especially with a holiday in 3 weeks time!

    Also, do you think I should start eating lunch again and cut back with the IF to maybe two days per week?

    Sorry for asking more questions but I want to make sure I do this properly and not end up sabotaging myself!
    Last edited by thedoglett; 03-01-2013 at 12:15 AM.

  5. #5
    Coach Palfrey's Avatar
    Coach Palfrey is offline Senior Member
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    It's a common mistake with intermittent fasting that people actually end up starving themselves a little bit. Definitely up your calorie intake (keep the ratios as is for now). It would be sensible to stage this over the next 3 weeks - maybe add an extra 100-200 calories per day (and stick there for 2-3 days).

  6. #6
    thedoglett's Avatar
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    Thanks Coach, will give this a try and report back with an update incase anyone else has the same issue.

  7. #7
    Coach Palfrey's Avatar
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    I'd also be interested to find out a bit more about your hydration levels - how much water do you drink?

  8. #8
    thedoglett's Avatar
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    I do get through quite a few litres of water each day. I have one of those 700ml Maximuscle shakers which I used to use for protein shakes when I did weight lifting about 20 months back. I go through several of those each day.

  9. #9
    Tribal Rob's Avatar
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    What, if any, supliments do you take? I've found when I start gettng unexplained fatigue taking a load of vitamins and minerals helps me, esp B vitamins, Chromium, fish oil and magnesium. I usally chuck in a general multi vitamin and mineral in the mix too. I also found this helped the uncontrollable appitie I have had in the past, so came to the conclusion I wasn't getting something I needed from my food leading to fatigue and huge munchies and being a massive fat bloater
    You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

  10. #10
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    I take powdered Magnesium, Vitamin C and some fish oil capsules. I don't seem to have a problem with appetite or cravings, I just don't seem to feel like eating very often. I had a feeling that missing breakfast and lunch each day (a form of intermittent fasting, I suppose) may be contributing to it, but its not like I'm looking in the mirror and saying to myself "you need to lose weight - stop eating", I just don't feel hungry.

    The massive loss of energy is what's bothered me the most, but I've not been sure if its the 'ME' or my diet. Looking at it now, I think its a mix of both - the aching in my legs and lethargy points to the ME (if that's what it is) but the substantial energy loss points to something in my diet as I've always been quite strong, upper body-wise, even since I've been diagnosed with some form of ME.

    Two years ago I was so fit and strong - I'd shed 4 stone and had never felt better. A matter of a couple of months later and I was feeling terrible and in so much pain. The Primal Blueprint has got me through that, I really believe it helped, but its still a bit of a battle each day. Setbacks like this can be really disheartening but you have to look past it and just keep on keeping on.

    I realise now how important your health is, I only wish I could go back 25 years and tell my young self to change his ways...
    Last edited by thedoglett; 03-01-2013 at 01:28 PM.

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