Felt great during workout...then awful


Keri W.

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Today (2nd week of my whole30), I felt fabulous! I lifted weights (upper body) and then started into my usual treadmill workout. Well, I felt so great, that I decided to increase my intensity and managed to do my complete former workout from about 8 months ago. I felt terrific. I drank plenty of water while exercising. Afterwards, I went about my day, but about 1.5 hours later I was hit with a sick feeling and I thought that maybe I needed to eat. It was about 4 hours since I had last had a meal. However, the idea of steamed fish and broccoli, didn't sound appealing. I didn't know what else to do, so I decided I had better eat, even though I didn't think I was hungry. I cooked up 2 eggs with onions and green peppers in olive oil. I even made some herbal tea. I waited about 30 minutes after eating and I still didn't feel quite right, but definitely felt better. I decided to have 5 figs and 5 macadamia nuts. It has been about 30 minutes since I ate them and I am definitely starting to feel much better. According to my treadmill...I burned a little over 450 calories during the workout. Is it possible that I need a snack after I do that? All last week I worked out and burned about 300-350 calories per workout and I didn't eat a snack afterwards. Since I need to lose weight, I don't want to counteract the work I've done on the treadmill, but I also don't want to feel so awful after working out. I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice! Thanks so much! :)

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You may remain vulnerable to "difficulties" in the second week of a Whole30, but it is great that you felt fabulous!

That you felt better after eating something suggests that eating was a good idea. The length of time you exercise as well as the intensity is important, but it is good practice to eat something soon after working out. Your muscles are especially ready to eat after work, so you should feed them some protein. If you want to lose weight, you do not have to include carbs like figs or sweet potatoes, but that may reduce how quickly you rebound from the effort.

The Whole9 calls pre- and post-workout eating "bonus meals" and recommends them in addition to eating 3 regular meals per day. I could not wrap my head around eating so much when I was wanting to lose weight when I started this journey, but lost weight steadily when I quit trying to be smarter than the program and just followed it.

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Another thing to consider, especially if you are sweating a great deal, is replacement of electrolytes. It's great that you are drinking water but water will not replace the minerals/electrolytes you lose when you sweat. On the SAD this usually isn't a problem for most people because there is so much salt in processed food. However, you cut out all that stuff when you started the whole30 so your sodium intake has probably dropped considerably. Many of the "low carb flu" symptoms can be improved by increasing your sodium intake. Phinney and Volek touch on this subject in "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" and "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living".

While the whole30 is not a low carb diet per se, it is probably lower than what you ate before and you may be feeling some of the effects of lower a lower sodium diet.

You might try some bone broth before or after your workout with a bit of sea salt added in and see if you start to feel a bit better.

I noticed I felt a great deal better when I started drinkng a cup of bone broth after my workouts. I am one of those people who get salt rings on my shirts though so YMMV.

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Don't be scared of eating while trying to lean out. Its tempting I know. But you are probably going to eat that food anyways so might as well get it in when your body is primed to absorb it best.

This will always happen to me after an intense workout and I can't get a post meal in. You feel great during the workout b/c of all the endorphins and workout "high" that you are on. It's not until a few hours later when it starts to catch up with you. So be proactive, eat some chicken and sweet potato after you workout. Trust the program, Dallas and Melissa have this figured out ;)

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