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LindaLee

Don't Want to Lose My Gains During an Upcoming Challenge

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Hi, all - 

 

Three-year Crossfitter here, 53 years old, gained a bit of weight recently when I switched from 3 days Crossfit/3 days half-marathon training/distance running to Crossfit and weightlifting 5 days a week. I'm far from the strongest person in my gym, but I have PRed a dozen lifts over the last six months and I don't want to lose my gains, but I DO want to lose the fat I've put on by eating too many Paleo and gluten-free treats.

 

Monday our gym starts the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge, which at the Elite level is very like Whole30 with the exception of allowing two tablespoons of natural sweetener per day. In the past, this would be used in my current pre-workout (StrongerFasterHealthier's Push), protein powder (SFH Recovery) and FitAid. I'd like to not use these for at least the first 30 days - it's a 7-week challenge.

 

I've typically done extremely well on these challenges eating at the Elite level, but I also end up losing a lot of muscle, because it's very difficult to get enough compliant carbs. I do love sweet potatoes and squash, but if I ate a sweet potato a day I literally would start turning orange. (It's happened before.) 

 

My breakfast typically consists of a breakfast "hash" with a ground meat (usually turkey, venison or wild pork, or chicken if they have the organic), squash and a broccoli slaw, plus baby carrots and olives.

 

Lunch varies, though lately it's been the spaghetti sauce from the Success Guide over steamed broccoli and some grapes.

 

Pre-workout I actually have a lot of success with just 2 ounces of chicken.

 

Post-workout is where I fall down. I typically workout at lunch, so I go right back to work and eat my lunch. It's hard to get that additional protein and starchy carb - again, I know this is where chicken and a sweet potato would be great, but it has to be something I can eat in the car on my way back to work from the gym. Or I could do an egg pre and chicken and something post.

 

Dinner varies from day to day  - most recently my husband and I have been clearing out wild pork from our freezer in preparation for deer season, which he makes in a nice marinade, and I surround it with Paleo mayo and cucumbers and tomatoes. 

 

Since I've been eating a lot of Paleo treats, I figure it'll take a little while for my sugar demon to calm down and my "fullness factor" to reset, but I really want to make sure I'm getting sufficient carbs to fuel my workouts. 

 

As I said, I WOD five days a week - sometimes that includes one day of personal training or a 90-minute Oly lifting class (I'm not a beast, I'm just trying to get better) - and go in for some extra training 3 days a week (right now it's core work - planks and GHD extensions - plus some overhead squats). If I don't fuel, I'm too tired to do the extra, which takes its toll and isn't fun, because I really do like going to the box and lifting.

 

I appreciate any feedback from other athletes, and will scroll through the rest of subject as well.

 

Thanks in advance - 

 

Linda

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I'm not an expert at all here, but the starchy vegetables are needed for your energy and glycogen levels. You don't have to just eat sweet potatoes and squash. There are regular potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips...lots of options...many that are not orange. Heck there are purple sweet potatoes out there.

 

My understanding is that muscle loss comes from not enough food overall, not enough protein specifically, and not enough recovery time.

 

I would focus on finding a good post workout meal that works for you and maybe eating to the upper side of the food template and then making sure you get enough starchy vegetables to recover well. 

 

I will say I'm preaching to the choir here. I struggle with getting a good post workout meal when on Whole30 and because fitness is my job I don't always give myself enough recovery. But I can definitely tell when I'm doing it right and when I'm not and the things I've mentioned above all seem linked to my success/non success. Hope this helps.

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I CrossFit 4x & run 2x per week on my last Whole30 and did not have any problems with losing muscle although the first week was an adjustment. I always have 2 boiled eggs preWOD sometimes with mayo and chicken & sweet potato postWOD. I am not a fan of yams or orange sweet potatoes at all, they are way too sweet. However, I have found white sweet potatoes which are absolutely delicious, they are the best roasted and they are not nearly as sweet as the orange ones. If you can find them, you might want to give them a try. By the way, I am 47 years old and have been doing CrossFit for 7 years. Not at comp level but have seen some PRs myself that I am proud of.

Based on the amount you are crossfitting, you definitely do not want to skimp on your pre & post snacks, they should be in addition to your 3 meals. When I get in the car after my WOD, I eat my snack right away, then I eat my meal shortly after I get home, remember you only need a small portion for your snack.

Good luck to you, I am sure you will find what works for you, just trust the basics, protein+fat before & lean protein+starchy veg carb after your WOD. Let us know how it goes!

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but if I ate a sweet potato a day I literally would start turning orange. (It's happened before.) 

 

I used to think this was just a kind of funny/weird thing that happened to me too, until I learned that the orange color means my body isn't processing nutrients properly and is flushing them out via the skin. For me personally, adequate iodine and thyroid replacement meds allow me to eat sweet potato and kale (yes, oddly, kale turns me orange too) without changing color--turning orange is a sign I need to check my medication dosing.

 

Keep in mind, I'm not a doctor, but maybe it is worth getting some blood levels checked just to be sure?

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Kruddock - how do you prepare your sweet potatoes for portable eating?

I usually do a big veggie roast on Sundays for the week. I just peel, cube, coat in compliant oil and some spices, I like salt, dill and onion powder & roast in a 350 degree oven until you have the desired tenderness. I eat my sweet potato and chicken cold and it tastes delicious. You can also leave the peel on, I tried that and it was good too, the peel is quite thin.

You could also steam them, I did that once when I was in a rush, with no seasonings on and it was still tasty!

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I usually do a big veggie roast on Sundays for the week. I just peel, cube, coat in compliant oil and some spices, I like salt, dill and onion powder & roast in a 350 degree oven until you have the desired tenderness. I eat my sweet potato and chicken cold and it tastes delicious. You can also leave the peel on, I tried that and it was good too, the peel is quite thin.

You could also steam them, I did that once when I was in a rush, with no seasonings on and it was still tasty!

Thanks, Kruddock! I will try that.

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I CrossFit 4x & run 2x per week on my last Whole30 and did not have any problems with losing muscle although the first week was an adjustment. I always have 2 boiled eggs preWOD sometimes with mayo and chicken & sweet potato postWOD. I am not a fan of yams or orange sweet potatoes at all, they are way too sweet. However, I have found white sweet potatoes which are absolutely delicious, they are the best roasted and they are not nearly as sweet as the orange ones. If you can find them, you might want to give them a try. By the way, I am 47 years old and have been doing CrossFit for 7 years. Not at comp level but have seen some PRs myself that I am proud of.

 

 

I am with you on the orange sweet potatoes:  they are waaaay too sweet for me!  I much prefer the white fleshed ones, as well as Stokes purple-fleshed ones when I can find them.  They have a nutty taste.  I also eat a lot of parsnips, roasted in EVOO.

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