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I am used to working out with a trainer 3 times per week with circuit training of at least a moderate to high level.  The workouts are tiring, but I always get through them.  I am currently on day 9, and my past two workouts have left me exhausted to the point I have had to sit down and rest during the workouts--not usual for me at all.  Also, I have noticed just a general lack of energy over the past 5 days of the program.  My trainer likes the idea of my new healthy eating, but she does not agree with such a lack of carbohydrates-especially on days that I am working out.  Any ideas on why I am feeling so tired, and also, what I should do on my work out days to boost my energy level to get through these workouts without exhaustion?  I keep waiting for the tiger blood, but I think I have sloth blood at the moment.  

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In the transition to becoming fat-adapted, it typically takes folks 2-3 weeks of Whole30 eating to get there.  So you may notice some sluggishness in your workouts until then.

Why are you not eating carbs? Whole30 is not low-carb. The recommended post workout meal is protein and carb. A popular choice around here is chicken and sweet potato.

The general recommendation, if you find your energy suffering, is to consume at least a fist-sized serving of carb-dense vegetables daily.

Can you post 2-3 days worth of your typical Whole30 food log, including portion sizes, daily water consumption, nightly hours of sleep and exercise?  With that information, we can check to see if you're on the right track and suggest further tweaks.

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I am used to working out with a trainer 3 times per week with circuit training of at least a moderate to high level.  The workouts are tiring, but I always get through them.  I am currently on day 9, and my past two workouts have left me exhausted to the point I have had to sit down and rest during the workouts--not usual for me at all.  Also, I have noticed just a general lack of energy over the past 5 days of the program.  My trainer likes the idea of my new healthy eating, but she does not agree with such a lack of carbohydrates-especially on days that I am working out.  Any ideas on why I am feeling so tired, and also, what I should do on my work out days to boost my energy level to get through these workouts without exhaustion?  I keep waiting for the tiger blood, but I think I have sloth blood at the moment.  

Apart from the starchy carbs that Chris has suggested you really need fat.

What is your current fat intake like?

Are you eating a pre/post WO as recommended?

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I am eating carbs- just a drastic drop in them from my prior diet. My trainer believes in eating a small healthy carb meal prior to working out- like oatmeal, so her school of thought is just that I don't have enough carbs on board for energy to sustain the workouts. Typical day of my whole30 is: Breakfast: 3 eggs, 1/2 grapefruit, sautéed green veggies or green veggie juice; lunch: lettuce greens, topped with salmon, walnuts, tomato, avocado, cucumber, balsamic vinegar and olive oil; dinner: grilled chicken breast, sautéed spinach, roasted beets. More starchy vegetables perhaps?

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Your beets count as starch and our recommendation is for at least a fist sized serving per day - more if you're particularly active - so it would do no harm to add in some more.

Your meals look light in general to me but particularly light on fat - other than the oil you're using to saute your veg you have no added fat at breakfast or dinner and it's the fat that provides the energy.

I'm assuming you know that smoothies are not recommended - your body doesn't register liquid nutrients in the same way so they don't provide the same level of satiety - this could also be contributing to your lack of energy...

Our recommendation for pre WO is a lean protein & fat - something like a hardboiled egg, or some chicken & mayo/guac/olives. Our recommendation for post WO is lean protein & starchy carb - are you incorportaing either into your training days?

 

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I will try to incorporate more fat I to my diet along with extra pre and post workout meals as you decribe and see if this helps. I may be low on fats for sure, so I will pay special attention to that too.

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I will try to incorporate more fat I to my diet along with extra pre and post workout meals as you decribe and see if this helps. I may be low on fats for sure, so I will pay special attention to that too.

 

You might find inspiration from this other forum member who just posted on this subject matter. 

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Libbaxx, did their suggestions help you?  Like you I'm feeling "extreme fatigue during workouts" and after them.   My workouts are no more intense than usual but it can now take me hours to recover instead of still feeling energized afterwards.  Every other day I typically run 5 miles with 20 pushups and sit ups at every mile interval.  I’m currently 21 days in and my workouts / training are really suffering.  With only 9 days left I’m going to stick with it but I can’t keep taking hours to recover. 

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Libbaxx, did their suggestions help you?  Like you I'm feeling "extreme fatigue during workouts" and after them.   My workouts are no more intense than usual but it can now take me hours to recover instead of still feeling energized afterwards.  Every other day I typically run 5 miles with 20 pushups and sit ups at every mile interval.  I’m currently 21 days in and my workouts / training are really suffering.  With only 9 days left I’m going to stick with it but I can’t keep taking hours to recover. 

 

Could you list a couple of days' worth of what you've been eating, including approximate portion sizes and water intake?

 

Are you eating pre- and post-workout meals? Are you eating at least one serving of starchy vegetable each day? Salting your food?

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Well I can’t remember exactly what my wife (the cook) has prepared in the past.  Usually she’s very good about following what the book says.  Today is day 27 and it was a better day.
Breakfast: 2 Eggs, Sausage, Fruit, and a healthy serving of hash browns to try and make the work out better.  (Usually she has more vegetables but we ran out.)
Workout: The usual 5 miles, 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups.
Post work out: Banana, Hardboiled Egg
Lunch: Vegetable situation corrected.  Salad with 2 hardboiled eggs, raspberry walnut dressing, blueberries, avocado, pecans, and a leafy green mix.
Dinner: Curry chicken, potatoes, broccoli, carrots.
Dinner 2: Raw broccoli & pork ribs.
 

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Well I can’t remember exactly what my wife (the cook) has prepared in the past.  Usually she’s very good about following what the book says.  Today is day 27 and it was a better day.

Breakfast: 2 Eggs, Sausage, Fruit, and a healthy serving of hash browns to try and make the work out better.  (Usually she has more vegetables but we ran out.)

Workout: The usual 5 miles, 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups.

Post work out: Banana, Hardboiled Egg

Lunch: Vegetable situation corrected.  Salad with 2 hardboiled eggs, raspberry walnut dressing, blueberries, avocado, pecans, and a leafy green mix.

Dinner: Curry chicken, potatoes, broccoli, carrots.

Dinner 2: Raw broccoli & pork ribs.

 

 

It's possible your meals are a little on the light side. If eggs are your only protein source (like at lunch), have as many whole eggs as you can hold in your hand. I'm a 5'4 female with average sized hands, and that's 3-4 for me, so likely it's at least that many for you. If you don't want that many eggs at once, you could have some eggs and some other protein to make up the difference. 

 

When you have salads, you need really, really huge salads. Leafy greens break down to almost nothing and tend not to keep you satisfied as long. Alternately, fill your salads with denser vegetables in addition to the leafy greens -- throw in some beets, roasted sweet potatoes, jicama, radishes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes -- whatever sounds good to you. 

 

Post workout, go for lean protein and (optionally) starchy vegetables. You don't want fat, so a whole egg is actually not ideal, because the yolk does contain some fat. Many people like chicken breast or tuna with some sweet potato or potato. Here's an article with more on what post-workout meals should look like. 

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