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Returning Bloat with High Intensity Cardio?


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Hi everyone,


I was hoping somebody here has some experience with this.


So, I am on day 32 of a Whole 44 (I had the flu at week two, took some cough meds/drops and decided to extend it). At week two/three I felt the bloat drop away and I was so excited! Right at the same time I decided to start the Insanity workout program, maybe because I had more energy :). Things seemed okay for a couple days but I think the bloat has been sneaking back and I am not sure why. It's about back to normal now. Here are my possible theories:


1 The workout is so strenuous that it has pushed my body back into a stressed state making me retain everything.


2 Maybe I haven't been eating enough. I've tried to increase meal sizes but I haven't really been that much hungrier post Insanity. I have not added a pre/post workout meal because I workout at 4:30 and when I finish I have to get ready and go to work immediately. Hard boiled eggs upset my stomach (or at least they used to/I haven't tried it since Whole 30) but I was going to make something to add when I get some time. I did have a couple low blood sugars with Insanity (kinda normal before Whole 30) so I was hungry at that time but otherwise no.


3 I've been eating more fruit as part of the "larger meal" plan above. I've also been having more spaghetti squash.


4 I'm maybe not eating enough carbohydrates. I was not having any real cravings before Insanity but now I'm having frequent cravings for baked goods. Heart shaped doughnuts especially ;) . BUT I don't feel like I'm hungrier, just having specific cravings for sugar/grain rich foods.


5 I've added a probiotic at a more frequent interval.



So, in case you need it, here is a typical day of meals:


Breakfast: three eggs, two breakfast links, 1 cup broccoli, two tbsp mayo/cilantro sauce or 1/2 can coconut milk




5 oz ground pork patty, 1/2 large sweet potato, 2 tsp ghee, 1/2 can coconut milk


Lunch: 5-6 oz chicken thigh, asparagus & onion in coconut milk curry sauce, 3/4 cup spaghetti squash




Fish filet, kale, tartar sauce




Ground Turkey, 1/2 head raw cabbage, handful tomatoes, salsa, whole avocado, mayo dressing


Dinner: usually tonight's dinner is tomorrow's lunch so more of the above




I really don't want to give up the Insanity but I think it is the most likely cause, one way or another. Any ideas on how to save it? Has anyone experienced this bloat late in Whole 30 with high intensity cardio?



Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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Time wise you've seen this change with your new workout, so it seems a pretty likely trigger. 


Do you follow any kind of recovery protocol? 

Do you rest between workout days?


The cravings sound more like an imbalance between the energy you need vs what you have, which could be recovery related, especially if it's a lack of glycogen.


It could be the cortisol levels created by the workout, other things to think about:

  • If you workout in the morning, change it to afternoon (cortisol baseline is highest in the morning, exercise adds to it) - this has made a huge difference for me, but I switched out cardio for lifting heavy too.
  • Bloating could be inability to digest food, so bigger meals could make it worse. If it's digestion, lots of options, cut down raw foods, cut down anything with gas potential like cabbage (not sure about kale?), don't drink water with meals (let food digest without diluting stomach acid)
  • Cut out the fruit and use non-sugar forms of starch for the carb load (could be fructose?)
  • Cut out nightshades (not usually bloat, but if nothing else works it can cause inflammation)
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