Is this what starving feels like?

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by sypher373, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. sypher373

    sypher373 White Belt

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    Hey all,

    I have been lurking here for well over a year and decided it was time to make a post. I'll try to keep it short, but just looking for some input.

    Currently I'm 5'10" ~175lbs trying to improve my body comp. I calculate my BMR to be 1,888. Not sure how much my activity boosts that (using x1.55 would be ~2900).
    About 3 months ago, I tried the low carb thing. Lost 11-12 pounds in 7 weeks. Went on vacation (no diet, but kept my activity level up), gained about 4 pounds in a week.

    My weight loss stalled, and my workouts seem to be getting progressively worse or, at best, stagnant. I do a decent run as a "warmup" (10 mph for 13 minutes, trying to get to 18 mins) before my lift, 5 days a week. No other real cardio. Intermittently I have some other physical activity outside of the gym - tennis, sprints, hiking, any number of outdoor activities. I try to fill my weekends with these kinds of things. Anyway, my run was getting noticeably harder (at times I could barely hit half my time), and my numbers haven't gone anywhere (some have gone down).

    I have been only eating 3 meals a day, with small snacks in between. My diet staples being omelets, salads with protein, burgers and chicken for dinner. Snacks are usually nuts (mixed, cashews, etc). Vegetables from the salad mostly (I know I'm lacking). When counting, my daily intake seems to hover around 1750-2000 cal/day. Weekends I ate carbs, but tried to limit fat intake. Carried away at times, but tried to stay reasonable. I stopped this diet last week after 12 weeks.

    My question, if anyone has any input, is was I eating too little? At what point does the body say "I'm not getting enough energy, so I'm slowing my metabolic rate."? I'm not interested in whether low carb is the best/worst/whatever way to do this. In fact, for the time being, I've stopped it. I would just like to know if undereating could be the cause of my symptoms: quick weight gain (4 pounds in a week?) and lack of energy (mental and physical).

    Should I eat more because my metabolism is slowing? Eat less because to break the plateau? Do more cardio?

    Thanks for any input...
     
  2. pliftkl

    pliftkl Green Belt

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    One of the reasons that low carb diets are popular is because people see scale results right away. Some people might lose a significant amount of weight in the first week. However, a significant portion of this weight loss comes from the body storing less glycogen in the muscles, and thus no longer carrying the water that was necessary to hold that glycogen.

    When you resume a normal carb diet, your body starts storing glycogen (and the associated water) again. That probably explains your vacation weight jump.
     
  3. sypher373

    sypher373 White Belt

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    Thanks for that.. I figured it would come of just as quick, but didn't. In anycase, I forgot to mention the reason I stopped it was I assumed I was undereating and I find it tough to eat sufficient calories (if that is my problem) without eating carbs as well (and I do remember the thread a month or so back about carbs being necessary or not to eat enough- I don't want to start that argument.)
     
  4. XTrainer

    XTrainer Red Belt

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    1. Don't get too absorbed into short-term scale numbers. How much water and food--in varying stages of digestion--you're holding are the main determinants of short-run weight fluctuations.

    2. So, you went on vacation, didn't follow your diet (and probably didn't train hard), and you're surprised your weight went up? Did I get that right?

    3. "Do more cardio" is rarely the answer. "Also, the fact that you're doing cardio before you lift suggests to me that your workout regimen could use some work. What kind of training are you doing?

    4. It's difficult for most people to "accidentally" under-eat to the point that their training suffers, unless they're of the legit hardgainer sort or training extremely strenuously. If you're following the signs your body is giving and don't feel like you're starving all the time, I doubt you're undereating.

    Also, you shouldn't need to count cals.
     
  5. Mustang27

    Mustang27 Orange Belt

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    First off, I would reduce my warmup to 5-8 minutes at around 6-7 mph. A warmup is supposed to be just that, a warmup. I would save anything more that this for an actual cardio workout. Your energy will level during your lifts will increase considerably for your weight training sessions. You should also notice your gains are (added weight, added reps) will go up. At least this is true for me.
    Depending on your goals, i would quit with the no (low) carb diet. You will lose energy and it isnt a long term solution. I would focus on a diet you can stick to for a long time. You dont need to cut carbs to see good results. Eat a good amount of clean protein, raw veggies, pasta, natural almonds or PB, and some fruit, etc.. eat healthy but try to enjoy what you eat or you'll get burned out, pretty quick.
    Hope this helps.
     
  6. sypher373

    sypher373 White Belt

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    I think some of my confusion came through in my first post. I wasn't so concerned about plateauing, and I am fully aware that the scale isn't the best tool for measuring progress in body composition changes. I just started to get concerned, and started to wonder if there was a connection, when my physical and mental energy was slacking shortly after my progress halted.

    Absolutely. I weigh myself once a week at the same time of day in the same state. I don't worry too much about minor fluctuations from week to week - rather overall trends..

    It isn't that I am so surprised I gained weight, I was just surprised by 4 pounds. That's roughly a 14,000 calorie surplus in about 7 days. Considering I was only eating 1750-2000 a day routinely before that, that would mean my intake (minus lack of training) doubled... That 4 pound number was the same the week I came back as well as the week after. At least I expected some of it to be temporary, unless temporary is > 2 weeks, it wasn't...

    Fair point. I never thought much about this, I have just made adjustments to the same routine over the past 2.5 years. What was originally a 5 minute warmup jog turned into a conditioning/cardio run. I suppose at some point that crossed a line and should have been moved from pre to post workout. I never did that.

    I should also let you know that I changed my workout routine a bit when I changed my diet 3 months ago. For the previous 2 years I was training heavy 5 days a week, 3 or 4 exercise per muscle group 3 sets of 4-6 reps. I would rest on weekends.

    When my diet changed, I decided I would lift one heavy set per muscle group (usually the "most" compound exercise of the day (squat, rows, etc) and do 3x10 for the "filler" exercises.

    All of this came of a change in mindset that I wanted to switch goals from getting stronger/larger to improving my body comp first. I felt was I torn between the two goals and needed to pick one, so I did.

    I'm certainly not a hardgainer, and I'm not sure what extremely strenuously means in general, but I'd be hesitant to put myself in that category. I don't feel hungry all the time, but I tend to ignore myself when I am and it goes away pretty easily. I can make it most of the day without eating if I choose to... many times I'll eat because I know I should...

    Thanks for all the info, I hope I answered your questions well enough...
     
  7. hardheart

    hardheart Brown Belt

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    THIS.

    Do cardio after your workout.
     
  8. sypher373

    sypher373 White Belt

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    Update:

    I made some changes. I slowed down and shortened my warmup, so it actually is a warmup now. I'm also eating a "normal" diet again. My workouts seem a lot better. I have more energy, less dizziness, etc..

    Quick question: What do you propose as best for cardio? Is it best to keep it strictly after my workout? I was toying with the idea of fasted cardio in the AM. I was also thinking about biking to work in the morning, then again home after the gym. Any specific guidelines you'd recommend?

    Perhaps the direction this took is better suited for S&C?
     
  9. cooks1

    cooks1 No matter where you go-there you are Platinum Member

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    Others have given good advice. The only question I have is your BMR.

    1888 seems pretty low to me for a healthy 5'10 dude.
     
  10. hardheart

    hardheart Brown Belt

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    Sorry for the late reply. Though I'm certainly no expert, the personal trainers I've worked with prefer the treadmill or eliptical for cardio. They don't think cardio should be done "sitting down" as it's the "lazy way".
     
  11. turbozed

    turbozed Red Belt

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    The difference is that in sitting down you're not supporting your weight. This doesn't mean it's "lazy," but it does mean that not exerting yourself quite as much. This might not be great if your goal is cardio, or if you don't like to sit the few extra minutes on the bike to make up the energy exertion difference.

    However, if your goal is just to warm-up and increase your core-temp, then it's fine. It's also a lot easier on the joints if that is an issue for you. In any case, anyone simply dismissing it as the "lazy way" don't seem very serious and are probably not worth listening to.
     
  12. hardheart

    hardheart Brown Belt

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  13. turbozed

    turbozed Red Belt

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    So going to the gym to increase your core temperature so that you can lift heavy weights is now considered "lazy" when you are on a device that accomplishes that slower than a different device, even when a purpose for using that device comes from preventing joint strain?

    I always thought lazy meant sitting on your couch watching tv. But since your personal trainers told you that, it must be true.
     
  14. SunNovaGun

    SunNovaGun Blue Belt

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    How hard you're riding a bicycle will determine whether you're being lazy or not. What are these pt's thoughts on rowing?

    The real advantage running has over cycling is in building and maintaining bone density. The low impact nature (as long as you keep the rubber side down) of cycling can have a negative effect on bone density. It's not a concern though for anyone who supplements with weight training.
     
  15. hardheart

    hardheart Brown Belt

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    Look, you chose to get in to the semantics of what I said. You directly stated that using a bike is not lazy compared to a treadmill, where I said a bike is more lazy than a treadmill. By the core definition of the word lazy designates less exertion of effort. Using an exercise bike requires less exertion than a treadmill, therefore comparatively speaking doing cardio on a bike is the lazy way.

    Fat people sit, fit people stand. My personal trainer's opinion is moot. Your need to feel superior and impose your opinion because of your higher post count led you in to directly contradicting yourself then attempting to subvert the issue to draw attention away from that fact. Fucking loser.
     
  16. mimo

    mimo Brown Belt

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    By your definition, running a marathon is lazy compared to doing an ironman competition.
     
  17. immovablestone

    immovablestone Purple Belt

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    Any personal trainer that suggests someone do "cardio" on a fucking treadmill or eliptical machine shouldn't be a personal trainer at all.
     
  18. hardheart

    hardheart Brown Belt

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    You mean the one I quoted from the dictionary?

    By my definition your argument is strawman at its worst.

    To compare apples to apples:

    Riding a bike 26.4 miles would be lazy compared to running 26.4 miles.
     
  19. SunNovaGun

    SunNovaGun Blue Belt

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    That comparison is poor also.

    Cycling for three hours compared to running for three hours would be more apt.
     
  20. Blackice

    Blackice Orange Belt

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    It's exactly the same in terms of heart rate. If you go all out cycling, it's the same as all out sprinting. You can't do either at 100% for very long. The only difference is, you're doing a lot more damage to your joints long term running. You can do everything on a bike you can running, including standing up, inclines, and there are a lot of gears that make your legs burn and feel like rubber more than running does. You need to seriously get your heads out of your asses if you think cycling is lazy compared to running. The REAL question is...how much are you putting into it, not whether or not you're sitting down.
     

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