October 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm #13143
Hey all, I have been here since Matt started the forum. It’s been 8 months now & still not really feeling better. I went to a holistic dr last month. She told me to take thyroid supplement, adrenal or B-complex, & potassium. So far I have only started on adrenal sup. I’m sure it is too soon to notice any difference/improvement.
Last month I thought I was ready to exercise. I’ve been walking regularly & sometimes doing basic yoga poses when I feel I need to do a good stretch. I tried doing some strengthening exercises but the next time I tried (a few days later), I couldn’t finish. I have had no energy since. I took my temp & didn’t crash so thought it was ok. Also somehow hurt my heel. I think when I did downward facing dog the first time I pushed too hard to flatten my foot. It has been sore ever since. I have to be careful with any stretch/exercise with that foot.
After I have eaten any meal I don’t feel different. I don’t feel any energy. Don’t necessarily feel better. Confused about the sugar. I stopped restricting it. I add some to coffee, tea, but it doesn’t make me feel better. It doesn’t give me any energy. Certainly by this time I had hoped to be recovered & able to exercise & lose the weight. Am I still in recovery & need to hold off on the exercise?
And so you don’t have to ask, my sleep is a little better. Still wake up once or twice but get back to sleep quicker. 97.7 AM temps, hands & feet are warm most of the time, but husband is always warmer. Not sure if I’m still gaining weight. Not weighting myself these days, too depressing. I have to work very hard at not being depressed. I felt so much better when I was thinner. I may have said that before. Maybe it’s just carrying around all this extra weight. Just looking for reassurance that I am doing the right things. Thanks.October 15, 2013 at 12:33 am #13156NYC1234Participant
Have you restricted calories in the past?
If so, have you eaten enough calories in the last 8 months to reverse the adaptations your body made when you restricted in the past?October 15, 2013 at 9:32 am #13159
I have never counted calories in my life until now so I probably ate less than I should have. Then again, I ate the typical crappy food in the grocery store, frozen dinners, candy, chips, soda. I am confused about the calories. In youreatopia I should eat 2500-3000 cal/day. On gokaleo, somewhere in there it says eating more calories than you burn will make you fat. And I am definitely fat. I have been trying to count calories off and on during these 8 months & always have to make myself eat something with lots of calories to get to 2500, even though I’m not hungry. I am at that point Matt mentioned in one of his books about wanting to give up.October 16, 2013 at 10:36 pm #13176
I reached that point too, and I did give up on overfeeding. Afterwards, I went through a brief period where I tried to lose weight quickly with gimmicky diets like low-carb, no-fat, ultra-high protein, and it turned out they didn’t work me. Now I am feeling good–better than I did during overfeeding, which did have some positive effects–while I reduce calories to a sensible level and aim for a gradual weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week.
For me, exercise is what’s been boosting my mood and making me enjoy life again. I know you said that you were having trouble with exercise, but you may need to start more gradually. When I started exercising after my period of rapid weight gain, I couldn’t run a quarter of a mile without feeling like I was going to die. I got tired even walking a couple of miles. But I stuck with it, gradually increasing the distance of my walks and then adding short running intervals. After 4-5 months, I can now run over three miles without much difficulty–and I’m increasing my total weekly miles every week (it will 16 this week). Notably, it wasn’t until I could run a couple of miles at a time that I started noticing major improvements, so it does take a while.
I went through a lot of soreness, and occasionally I had to take breaks when I pushed too hard. At one point I even took a full week off because of concern that I had sustained an injury. After resting, I got right back into it.
I have become a complete supporter of the idea that calories matter. I aim to eat fewer calories than I burn, but enough to allow for recovery from work-outs. A mixture of protein, carbs, and fat is probably best, but I have to somewhat limit the amount of carbs and fat I would prefer in order to keep my calories down. However, I’m not fanatical about it. I drink a soda most days, and I have favorites like pizza and pasta pretty frequently. I just aim to keep my calories below my BMR, with 500 additional calories allowed on days that I run.October 17, 2013 at 9:48 am #13184
Hey David, did you wait till you felt more energetic to start exercise or did you decide to just do it to see if it helped? I let it go all last winter except for walks because I didn’t really have the energy & followed the advice of just resting.
I have read all your posts here. It’s great that you have figured out what foods work best for you. I know there is no point is going low carb because I tried that before I even started this, back when I was thinner but starting to gain a little bit. I thought I could control the gain before it got out of control. It didn’t work, as you mentioned so no point in trying again. I am trying to figure out percentage of carb, fat & protein to eat, but still don’t know how to do that. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try to go a little bit low fat.
So what about sugar? Everyone here seems to be on the sugar bandwagon. As I mentioned above, I haven’t noticed any difference with increasing sugar except it makes things taste better. Gaining all this weight back has been my biggest nightmare & am so depressed about it. It’s like I have no control over my body. Last night I told my husband that it feels like I put on a corset-like bodysuit to make me look thin and ever since my body has been straining to break out of the suit until finally the suit ripped apart & here is all the fat again. (I was 110 at my lowest weight). I was never that thin in my life & I don’t think I am meant to be that thin so I expect that diet I was on really messed me up.
There are days when it is hard to keep going when I don’t see any improvement. I am trying to get back to some strengthening exercises without overdoing & still walking, which I can always do. Hoping I will get more energy & feel better as I do them. Don’t know about the food. I try to eat big breakfasts so I can get a lot of calories in 1st thing.
I believe the reason I don’t feel good is because I am not used to carrying all this fat around. And really, it doesn’t want to budge.October 17, 2013 at 10:48 am #13188
Just like in your experience, the weight gain made me less energetic, so I had to start exercise from a very low point. I really cannot emphasize enough how out-of-shape I was at that point, and I hope that others, who may feel they are too weak or fatigued to exercise, can use my experience as motivation.
It probably took me three months of gradual improvement before I started to notice real physical changes. In order to burn many calories–and really target that belly fat–you need to be able to do cardio for at least 30 minutes. But it’s important to work up to that level very slowly to avoid injury and burn-out. My own suggestion would be to start walking five times a week, for short distances, then increase the distance until you’re able to walk three miles each workout at a 15 minutes/mile pace (for a total of 45 minutes). Then I’d add short running intervals each week, as short as a minute at a time, and keep increasing the intervals, while walking less, until you can run the full three miles. That could take several months, but it is well worth it. At that point, you can think about increasing mileage, but it isn’t necessary. My own goal is to add one total mile a week until, in half a year, I’ll be running 40 miles a week. That’s my ultimate goal: 8 miles, 5x a week. Occasionally, I’ll do a “fast” run, but usually I keep my pace slow enough that I never have to breathe out of my mouth, because that ensures I go slow enough that I won’t overtrain.
Low-carb is by far the worst diet for most people, and low-fat is much better. However, I’ve become “macro-nutrient agnostic,” which means that I’ll eat as much fat and carbs as I want, as long as I remain within my calorie goals, which I set at 500-1000 calories below my BMR of 2,500 (if your BMR is lower, I would aim for a smaller deficit, like 400-600). On the days that I run, I increase my calorie allotment, and currently that means an additional 500 calories five days a week. Sometimes I’ll have a cheat day, like if I go out with friends for dinner, but I’ll make sure I don’t exceed my BMR+exercise.
I like sugar, so I have some sugary food each day–or more likely sugary drinks. They can increase calories rapidly, but I’m careful to add them to my total. I prefer to eat a little more sugar, and a little less fat, but that’s just personal preference. And because fat is so calorie dense, I can have a whole can of soda for the “price” of about a tablespoon of olive oil.
The only macro-nutrient that I consider non-negotiable is protein. I aim for 100-150 grams a day. If I eat less, I don’t recover from exercise as well. If I eat more, my digestion suffers. My protein intake is probably higher than yours would need to be, because I’m also lifting weights 4x a week, and so I need the extra to build muscle. If you don’t lift weights or do resistance training, your protein needs will be a little lower.
Weight-lifting will also slow your weight loss, but in a good way. I weigh 195 pounds now, which is only 20 pounds less than my max, but my belly looks significantly smaller because I’ve also built several pounds of muscle.
October 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm #13192
- This reply was modified 10 years, 4 months ago by David. Reason: fixed some typos
David, I bought a pedometer today so I will know how far I am walking & how many steps I take each day. I hope the strength exercises will start firming me up & maybe the belly fat will start to go. I appreciate your response. I hope to see something positive soon.October 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm #13195cindy01Participant
I am in the same boat as you. I ventured into nutritional ketosis, Atkins then followed by Primal and the PHD diet. Felt awful from day 1, and still suffering with low energy/brain fog/lack of motivation despite failed refeeding attempts. Low carb destroyed my health so extensively, it feels almost irreversible. Post-meal hypoglycemia has really affected me, it has contributed to a mental acuity decline and just an overall feeling of exhaustion/depression. I have never felt so stressed about my health, I am constantly fearing the next symptom striking.
I reintroduced cardio after giving it up when I ventured into Primal and adhering to Mark Sission’s ‘chronic cardio’ principles. It felt so stimulating and exhilarating . Unfortunately, it has only improved my hypoglycemic issues sporadically. I only started two weeks ago and exercise 3-4 times a week.
I am completely focusing on carbs. My fat grams are usually under 10g a day, all starch and sugar. I have noticed replacing starch with sugar has helped me, as starch triggers a larger insulin release. I find completely eliminating the fat (especially weaning off a low carb diet) is helpful and will promote a more efficient glucose metabolism, paired with exercise. My refeeding attempts started five months ago, and I don’t feel any different.
As for the thyroid/adrenal supplements, this is my second day supplementing with both. So far I have experienced a slight energy improvement but this may also be thanks to my cardio routine. I’ll be more patient and see.
I think you should continue with the supplementation and focus on cardio and carbs. Do not be afraid of sugar.October 17, 2013 at 7:23 pm #13199
@Linda- Sounds like a great plan. One caveat: The strength training, while very important, won’t have much immediate effect on your belly fat. Cardio burns far more fat in the short term. Keep us posted on your progress!
@Cindy- I wouldn’t be surprised if your blood sugar issues improve as you continue to exercise. Many studies have shown that exercise improves insulin resistance, and IR is also promoted by visceral fat, which cardio is very effective at burning.
Just like you, I find it much easier to limit fat than carbs, though after a while I do start to crave it. I’ve tried keeping my fat intake very low, but I usually come back to the cheese after a couple weeks. In my opinion, it’s all about preference. Some people find it easier to lose weight on a low-fat diet, and some people prefer a more mixed diet. The most important thing is creating a moderate calorie deficit, which allows weight loss while still nourishing the body.
I also feel that the choice between starch and sugar is a matter of personal preference. I’ve tried limiting both of them, but whichever one it is, I start to miss it after a while. I’ve determined that I enjoy my food more when I have both. As an example, my typical lunch is a turkey and cheese sandwich with a can of Dr. Pepper. I get some protein, some fat, some starch, and some sugar (and some salt). It’s only about 500 calories total, but it satisfies me because I get a taste of all the foods I like best.
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