Is this what starvation mode feels like?

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    Jun 24, 2011 11:17 PM GMT
    I've been working at this whole weight loss thing for a while. I'm now 237 lbs having worked my way down from 310 lbs. Things had been going great for a long time. I eat right and keep my portions to 350 cals or less 5-6 times a day. As it stands I eat 1400 calories in a day on average most of which is fresh fruits and veggies with vegan protein sources being my main source of protein (soy, legumes). I lead a pretty active lifestyle and if my calculations are correct I burn 4000 calories in a day. My diet seems really low cal, but I'm always full!

    I think that's all the relevant background info.

    Lately I've been feeling lethargic and I feel like I can barely finish my workouts. My body just doesn't want to do anything it seems. Is this starvation mode or could it be something else? What's a healthy way of getting more calories in my diet without just loading up on carbs?
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    Jun 24, 2011 11:51 PM GMT
    Fountains saidWhat's a healthy way of getting more calories in my diet without just loading up on carbs?
    Research the Paleo diet. Pick and choose the things you like most.
    My fav is mixed nuts (raw and unsalted, if possible). I go through about 1000+calories/day of just nuts.

    PS. I don't buy trail mixes. I buy them individually packaged and make my own mix, which is continuously changing.
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    Jun 25, 2011 12:45 AM GMT
    Maybe you're possibly overtraining? What exactly do you do during your workouts, and for how long?
  • Lincsbear

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    Jun 25, 2011 12:59 AM GMT
    Hi there,Fountains,
    My thought is at your weight and height you`re not eating enough calories to get through the day.You could up your calorie intake and still lose weight.Your body is telling you it`s lacking gas to go!You could add in some snacks during the day,dried fruit,nuts,etc.That would certainly bump up your calories,and give you the energy you need to do your workouts.And make sure you drink plenty of fluid,water is pretty good on its own.
    My other thought is are you getting enough rest,say at night,and between workouts?Rest is as important for your body to recover as the exercise is to fitten/strengthen it.
    I hope this is some help.Best wishes!
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    Jun 25, 2011 1:07 AM GMT
    Szchatt89 saidMaybe you're possibly overtraining?
    When you're at a 2600 calorie deficit, ANY training is overtraining.
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    Jun 25, 2011 3:09 AM GMT
    whoa, thanks everyone for all the replies. I'll try to provide the relevant info. Part of me knew I was eating too little but for some reason I thought eating small meals spread out through the day would keep me from feeling like this.

    Szchatt89 saidMaybe you're possibly overtraining? What exactly do you do during your workouts, and for how long?


    Workout is the RJ strength training work out I follow that almost exactly with one exception. I tried P90x for a while 'cause people recommended it but it's just way too intense for me at the moment, I can't keep up. I used to just do the elliptical machine for an hour instead of the cardio portion. when I do the elliptical I just set the machine to 100% resistance and go for 60 minutes. No hills or anything. These days I alternate between the eliptical and swimming laps.

    Other forms of exercise are that I walk everywhere usually carrying my gym bag and laptop. On average I walk 2 hours of the day because I can't afford a car or public transit (kinda sucks in 30 below weather, but you get used to it).

    Typically I'll also work out later at night. So on an average day I'll walk an hour to school, do work and then after dinner I'll end my day by going and doing my workouts. I started doing this because I found I was getting better weight loss results if I worked out after my last meal of the day from 7-9 PM then walked home from 9-10pm. Like, I'd weigh myself the next day and find that I lost a whole pound. I knew that kind of weight loss is really unhealthy, but psychologically the feeling of making that kind of progress was unreal. You couldn't believe the ecstasy.

    My first thought is ...what is the reason for vegan sources?

    This is a whole other discussion. I mainly do veganism for ethical and environmental reasons and I couldn't be happier doing it. you won't convince me otherwise. I'm also a fairly "good" vegan meaning that I don't rely on processed foods (veggie burgers, etc. If I REALLY want a veggie burger I'll make it myself out of fresh ingredients) most of the time with the exception of clif bars (really the only thing in my diet that counts as processed). There's also the fact that a lot of my weight gain came from being a dairy addict. I just love cheese, cream sauces, butter, etc. I used to drink a carton of milk a day. Going vegan made me way healthier (and a lot less greasy). I'm not sure about creatine, but I'm very particular about my protein sources and I make sure that all my proteins are complete.


    Diet

    I kind of had a feeling I was eating too little, but I guess I didn't know how to make my diet more calorie rich without just loading up on carbs (since most of my proteins are legume based, carbs can be an issue). I try to keep my diet at 30% fat, 30% protein, and 40% carbs. Here's an example of what I eat based on what I had today.

    breakfast : Vegan breakfast taco (tofu, nutritional yeast, whole wheat tortilla, little bit of ketchup)

    breakfast 2: green smoothie (fruit juice, soy protein powder, spinach, broccoli rabe)

    lunch: Sprout Salad (lentils, broccoli sprouts, lemon tahini dressing)

    Lunch 2: wrap (whole wheat tortilla, mashed chickpeas w/ some vegan mayo, and sugar snap peas)

    dinner: roasted beats w/ toasted walnuts

    after dinner snack: dried fruit.



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    Jun 25, 2011 4:09 AM GMT
    Fountains saidI've been working at this whole weight loss thing for a while. I'm now 237 lbs having worked my way down from 310 lbs. Things had been going great for a long time. I eat right and keep my portions to 350 cals or less 5-6 times a day. As it stands I eat 1400 calories in a day on average most of which is fresh fruits and veggies with vegan protein sources being my main source of protein (soy, legumes). I lead a pretty active lifestyle and if my calculations are correct I burn 4000 calories in a day. My diet seems really low cal, but I'm always full!

    I think that's all the relevant background info.

    Lately I've been feeling lethargic and I feel like I can barely finish my workouts. My body just doesn't want to do anything it seems. Is this starvation mode or could it be something else? What's a healthy way of getting more calories in my diet without just loading up on carbs?



    My guess is......your body needs CARBS!
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    Jun 25, 2011 4:35 AM GMT
    Fountains - I'd like to share a little workout elixer of mine. I make this concoction just before my workouts and it give me so much natural energy it's insane.

    You'll need a juicer to make this correctly.

    1 young coconut (not the brown dried out kind. These are white on the outside)
    1 bunch of fresh kale
    Fresh ginger

    Open your coconut. If you don't know how, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZquDvW9X_U
    Pour the coconut water in a tall glass and set aside.
    Note: If you don't have a juicer, you can drink this alone, although it might not be quite as effective.
    Next, juice the kale. You will need to learn how much to use to suit your own tastes. If you use too much it will not taste good.
    Now juice the ginger. I like a LOT of ginger.
    Add the kale and ginger to the coconut water to taste. Drink this before a workout and tell me how it worked. Coconut water is the closest food substance to human plasma that exists in nature. They actually used coconut water IV's during WW2.
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    Jun 25, 2011 5:18 AM GMT
    I don't have a juicer, but I might have to invest in one now!
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    Jun 25, 2011 5:56 AM GMT
    My man - you're eating RABBIT FOOD!!!!icon_eek.gif

    It is no wonder why you are feeling lethargic and hitting the wall - there isn't enough carbs in your eating regimen.

    First and foremost, if someone mentions or suggests the word 'diet' in any way shape or form, run from them. Diets are not sustainable or maintainable over the long term as proven by studies of how many people relapse. The focus should be about adopting healthy eating habits in general.

    I'm sure you're aware that in order to lose you must expend more calories than you're taking in. 3500 calories=1 pound of fat.

    Convential thinking is to lay off of the carbs as the day draws to an end as our metabolism begins to slow and can't efficiently burn off calories but in your case it's a bit different because you work out after your last meal of the day.

    That being the case I suggest you make your last meal the most carb and calorie dense. You'll be going to the gym after eating so your workout will have a ready source of calories to burn as fuel.

    With the way you're going about it now, your body is going to start rebelling against you and making it more difficult to lose because you're starving it.

    If I was your trainer I'd actually up your calorie intake and shuffle around your meals and change some of your food choices.

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    Jun 25, 2011 7:03 AM GMT
    Hey man, I dont have anything to add since I am going the exact opposite direction you are going, I just want to say good job on your progress so far and I admire your dedication. You did not take the easy way out and opted for a healthy lifestyle instead. Kudos. icon_smile.gif

    Scruffypup saidFountains - I'd like to share a little workout elixer of mine. I make this concoction just before my workouts and it give me so much natural energy it's insane.

    You'll need a juicer to make this correctly.

    1 young coconut (not the brown dried out kind. These are white on the outside)
    1 bunch of fresh kale
    Fresh ginger

    Open your coconut. If you don't know how, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZquDvW9X_U
    Pour the coconut water in a tall glass and set aside.
    Note: If you don't have a juicer, you can drink this alone, although it might not be quite as effective.
    Next, juice the kale. You will need to learn how much to use to suit your own tastes. If you use too much it will not taste good.
    Now juice the ginger. I like a LOT of ginger.
    Add the kale and ginger to the coconut water to taste. Drink this before a workout and tell me how it worked. Coconut water is the closest food substance to human plasma that exists in nature. They actually used coconut water IV's during WW2.


    This energy mix sounds really cool. I've been looking for a way to beat the lethargy I sometimes get after a long workday. Totally screw up my workout routine. Will try this the next time I find me some coconuts and report back if it works or not.
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    Jun 25, 2011 8:00 AM GMT
    eat more.

    reconsider the vegan thing.

    then you will feel human again
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    Jun 25, 2011 3:32 PM GMT
    ssguy69 saidMy man - you're eating RABBIT FOOD!!!!icon_eek.gif

    It is no wonder why you are feeling lethargic and hitting the wall - there isn't enough carbs in your eating regimen.

    First and foremost, if someone mentions or suggests the word 'diet' in any way shape or form, run from them. Diets are not sustainable or maintainable over the long term as proven by studies of how many people relapse. The focus should be about adopting healthy eating habits in general.


    I actually realize this. when I use the word diet I mean it in the original greek definition of its root "diata" which means "way of life". I'm not on a diet, I'm in the process of trying to make healthy changes to my lifestyle so as to not look awful.
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    Jun 25, 2011 4:17 PM GMT
    Lostboy saideat more.

    reconsider the vegan thing.

    then you will feel human again



    This is a false generalization. He might not be getting the nutrients his body needs, but I doubt it's because he's vegan. Humans are not carnivores. We're omnivores. Being a vegan makes optimum health a little more involved, but not impossible by any means. He sounds like an intelligent, educated guy so I'm sure he's capable of making this lifestyle work for him. Not to mention it has enormous health benefits meat eaters will never come close to having.
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    Jun 25, 2011 9:42 PM GMT
    one last question. Since I think it's a combination of overtraining and under eating. If I do as some have suggested and take some time away from the gym. Should I adjust my diet to the proper calorie intake or will that matter in the long run?