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Day 31 - Lost Muscle


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So here I am at Day 31. I will say I'm proud of myself for making it through the program without any slip ups or cheats. I have never eaten this clean for this long in my life.

I'm an endurance athlete and was a bit of the deep end towards August as I took recovery from my last ironman (end of May) a bit far. I wanted something to reel me back in and this looked like a good answer.

I've cooked and cleaned more than I ever have before and experienced a fair bit of loneliness as a single person cooking and eating my meals alone. I was able to get out a bit more towards the end as I felt more comfortable, which was a very nice plus.

I started on a Tuesday and my long run that Saturday was supposed to be 9 miles (as it had been most weekends the previous month or two) and I was dying by the first mile and it only got worse from there. I threw in the towel after about 4 miles and walked home. My runs never really got a whole lot better. Each time, it felt like my muscles were just screaming and not getting anything to help out.

Fast forward to Day 31. I did 3 miles this morning and had to walk over half of it. I weighed myself as well. I have lost 8 lbs (was 138, now 128, 5'5" F). Sounds awesome, right? Well, 5 lbs of that was muscle. Not the intended result by any means.

Some people may say I need to extend my Whole30 to let my body get the hang of burning fat, but I'm not willing to sacrifice any more time, fitness, or muscle to find out.

I do plan to follow the reintroduction plan as I am curious to see how my body reacts, but I have to figure out now how to stop losing the muscle and be able to build my endurance instead of losing it.

Has anyone else experienced similar results?

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It sounds like you did not eat enough throughout your Whole30. Looking back at previous posts, I can see that others raised the issue of eating more with you. This doesn't work if you don't eat enough to fully nourish your body.

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Hmmm...I never really was that hungry, which I considered a plus on the plan. When I was hungry, it wasn't the "I'm going to kill someone if I don't eat now!" kind of hunger - but a much more manageable one.

I didn't count calories on a regular basis, but ballparked on occasion and think I was anywhere between 1300-1800 (higher end on workout days) or so on most days. My BMR is under 1300, so I don't think I was too far off. Yes, I wish that were higher, but not so much.

I definitely ate more protein than ever before and was adding carbs to each meal to ensure the glycogen stores had something to go on.

Thanks for the insight though - definitely something to think about throughout reintroduction, etc.

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