Boxing, running and Whole 30 -- how do I keep up?


stephmcc

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Some things I read say to take it easy on the Whole 30, but I really don't want to cut back on my training.  I'm a 48 yo female boxer.  Typically train twice a day (either two boxing sessions or one run + one training session).  My arms feel like lead in a way they normally do not, since I started (four days in).   Trying pre and post workout meals (either apple and almond butter or banana and almond butter).  That's not really working.  Any advice?

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Hi,

 

First, our recommendation is for pre workout (protein and fat) and post workout (lean protein and starchy veggie) meals.  We do not recommend fruit as a post workout food as it preferentially replenishes liver glycogen over muscle glycogen.

 

Second, Whole30 can be a huge transition depending on what your previous intake was like.  If your body is used to relying heavily on carbs for energy, the conversion over to fat burning can be a rough one resulting in "lead legs" or in your case, "lead arms".   ;) . The recommendation to "take it easy" is really only until that transition has taken place and even then what we really mean is "have some grace for yourself, if the workouts are kicking your ass, scale back temporarily until your energy is back up to par".

 

Having said all that, I wonder about what you're eating, given that your workout food is not within our recommendations. There may be things that we can suggest to you in order to help you tweak and get back to feeling great!  Feel free to post a few typical days of food consumption including portions and timing, fluids, sleep, exercise duration/intensity, stress and anything else that might be pertinent (autoimmune conditions, bowel conditions, pregnant/nursing etc).

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Hi.  Thanks for the quick reply.  Ok, didn't get that fruit wasn't a good option for pre/post workout.   A few responses to your points/questions.  I do believe that my body was relying too much on carbs for energy.  Prior to starting the Whole 30, I had been eating vegan for the past 3 years or so.  So whereas I was getting plant protein sources (tofu, seitan, tempeh), my diet was more filled with whole grain carbs (oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, etc.).  So yes, I guess its a big adjustment in many ways :)  A few days worth of food consumption:

Breakfast @ 8am -- 1 egg + 3 egg whites, spinach, 1 banana, berries, and cashews (handful); coffee

Workout @ 10am

Lunch @ 1pm -- 1 can tuna, romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup roasted beets, 1/4 avocado or 1/4 cup olives, cherry tomatoes and green onions; yerba mate 

Snack @ 3pm -- pumpkin seeds, a few figs; water

Workout @ 6am 

Dinner -- 4 oz. piece of salmon, fingerling potatoes roasted with olive oil, broccoli, cashews, berries and coconut flakes; yerba mate

 

Sleep -- typically sleep from 11pm - 7:30am.  Have been waking up in the middle of the night a couple of times night since starting.  Correlated, I think, with having some hot flashes (which have commenced again since starting the Whole 30 :(

 

Exerciser duration and intensity:

Sunday -- 90 minutes running and hill sprints/training with team

Monday -- 30 minute run in the morning; 50-55 minutes of boxing (pad work, bag work, sparring) + squats, pushups, situps

Tuesday -- 50 minutes of boxing (pad work, bag work) + squats, pushups, sit-ups; 50 minutes of boxing (sparring) in the evening.

 

Low stress right now :)

No conditions except for being 48 yo and in perimenopause.

 

REALLY appreciate any tweaks.  I feel good about this!

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Hi.  Thanks for the quick reply.  Ok, didn't get that fruit wasn't a good option for pre/post workout.   A few responses to your points/questions.  I do believe that my body was relying too much on carbs for energy.  Prior to starting the Whole 30, I had been eating vegan for the past 3 years or so.  So whereas I was getting plant protein sources (tofu, seitan, tempeh), my diet was more filled with whole grain carbs (oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, etc.).  So yes, I guess its a big adjustment in many ways :)  A few days worth of food consumption:

Breakfast @ 8am what time do you wake? -- 1 egg + 3 egg whites why are you eating only egg white? When eggs are your protein source, the serving size is as many whole eggs as you can hold in your hand wihtout dropping. A good starting point for most women is 3-4., spinach you would need a heck of a lot of spinach to make up enough veggies (1-3 cups per meal), thinking of how greens wilt down into almost nothing, 1 banana, berries some people report sugar cravings and energy dips later in the day when they include fruits in the morning. Bump the veggies up and skip the fruit and see how you do., and cashews (handful); coffee

Workout @ 10am

You are missing a Post Workout meal here.  It is meant to be an additional serving of protein and starchy veggie, just using lunch isn't recommended to maximize recovery and later performance.  Don't short change yourself.  Get that protein and starchy in within 30 minutes of working out.

Lunch @ 1pm -- 1 can tuna, romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup roasted beets, 1/4 avocado or 1/4 cup olives, cherry tomatoes and green onions; yerba mate 

Snack @ 3pm -- pumpkin seeds, a few figs; water The fact you need a snack here means that your previous meal wasn't large enough (or all your previous meals). Try to compose your meals so that they last you 4-5 hours.  Note that our recommendation for a good "mini meal" if you need it is at least two of three macros (protein and fat or protein and veggie, for example).  For you, your better bet would be to have a larger breakfast/lunch to negate this snack and then have a proper pre-workout meal before your evening workout.

Workout @ 6am 

Missing a post workout meal here.

Dinner -- 4 oz. piece of salmon, fingerling potatoes roasted with olive oil, broccoli, cashews, berries and coconut flakes make sure that your nuts, berries and coconut flakes are not trying to replicate "dessert" at the close of your meal.; yerba mate

 

Sleep -- typically sleep from 11pm - 7:30am.  Have been waking up in the middle of the night a couple of times night since starting.  Correlated, I think, with having some hot flashes (which have commenced again since starting the Whole 30 :( This is pretty common while your hormones are shifting and rebalancing.

 

Exerciser duration and intensity:

Sunday -- 90 minutes running and hill sprints/training with team

Monday -- 30 minute run in the morning; 50-55 minutes of boxing (pad work, bag work, sparring) + squats, pushups, situps

Tuesday -- 50 minutes of boxing (pad work, bag work) + squats, pushups, sit-ups; 50 minutes of boxing (sparring) in the evening.

 

Low stress right now :)

No conditions except for being 48 yo and in perimenopause.

 

REALLY appreciate any tweaks.  I feel good about this!

I've put some questions and suggestions up above in your dialogue.  Sorry they are in red, in hindsight it looks kind of attacky and mean.  Not intended that way at all.   :)

 

Overall you are really underfeeding yourself.  Coming from a more carb dense diet, you have automatically eliminated a lot of calories. We don't work based on calories here at Whole30 but the fact is, your body is not trying to survive on a lot less energy.  Get those pre and post workout meals in there and bump up your meals in general so that they match the template and last you 4-5 hours.  The template is linked in my signature below.

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Thanks very much!  No problem with the red corrections all over!  Very helpful.  I left out those pre/post workout meals because we had already addressed them. They would have been the fruit/almond butter meal.  But I will add them in as you've outlined.  One of the only issues I have though is if I eat breakfast at 8am (I get up at  7:30 or so) and then am going to workout at 10, I eat again at 9:30?  Same with the post-workout.  I get home from training at 11:30 or so, then eat lunch at 12:30 or 1.  So you'd recommend that even in those cases, I'd still eat the pre/post-workout meals?  That will be HARD!  :)

Last question is on the berries, cashews and coconut flakes after dinner.  Not sure what you mean "recreate dessert."  Never ate dessert after dinner but would have some berries, raisins and nuts.  That wasn't a habit that I was particularly thinking needed to be "undone" (but perhaps it should?)  If its not replacing ice cream or some other "dessert" is it ok to have?  Thanks!!!!!!!  I really appreciate this help.

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The pre and post workout food is definitely meant to be in addition to your regular meals, especially given your duration, quantity and intensity of exercise.  You don't necessarily HAVE to have the pre workout if your meals are basically right before the workouts but we never recommend that someone turn down the post workout meal.  That doesn't have to be a full meal but a few bites of chicken breast and sweet potato (for instance) within 30 minutes.  This maximizes recovery and performance down the road.  Try and get that in.  Lean protein, starchy veggie.  

 

The berries/coconut thing....just be careful. Having come from a rather carb heavy background, this could be your sugar dragon trying to get more easy/quick sugary carbs into its system.  If you are having a full dinner of all the recommended amounts of food (including up to 3+ cups of veggies) and you still want to have the berries, go for it.  If you skip them one night and feel ripped off or bummed out, consider that a warning sign.  :)  Not every habit we have needs to be remade...but during your Whole30 it's worth at least looking at them with fresh eyes.

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Wonderful advice on the "looking at actions" with fresh eyes.  Will definitely get those post workout meals.  Its hard when my only proteins are eggs and fish.  If I could only find some smoked salmon that doesn't have sugar in it!  Oh, and lastly, thanks for your comment on the hormones/hot flash issue.  Couldn't find anything when I was googling about this.  Seems like anything on it is people saying "Whole30 got rid of my hot flashes."  And here, it seems to have resurrected mine!  Thanks again!

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I eat tuna packed in water as post-workout protein because it is so easy to keep in the pantry and take to the gym if that is where I train. I ate tuna and a big sweet potato at 11:30 AM after my morning workout and was ferociously hungry within 45 minutes. I was not able to eat until about 1:30 and was ready to eat my leg. Once you get used to it, eating lean protein and some starchy veggies starts to feel like a small snack as you are waiting for your next meal because your body needs fat to keep you satisfied for long periods. 

 

I eat a lot salmon salad using canned salmon. You can pair the salmon with hundreds of other things to create a variety of tastes. It is easy to find compliant canned salmon.

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Thanks, Tom!  Hadn't thought of canned salmon.  Sounds like a great idea.  I did find a smoked salmon that is compliant (no sugar!) so I ordered it online.  That will be GREAT for post workout meals.  I'm going to get this right!  I skipped my evening workout tonight and will start tomorrow with a bigger breakfast and a good post workout meal after my morning workout.  Hopefully that and a big lunch will make my evening session a LOT better!  Thanks again.

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Will do!  Had my morning workout and muscles were still fatigued sooner than normal.  But came home and had a can of tuna and a 1/2 sweet potato.  I feel great.  Will have a bigger lunch and then going back for my evening training session.  Hopefully it will go well!  Thanks!

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The window within which you get the most benefit from eating a post-workout meal is small. It is best to eat at the gym immediately after you finish working out. 

 

I used to eat canned sardines as my post-workout food, but my gym banned me to the parking lot with them. They said I was smelling up the gym. :)

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The window within which you get the most benefit from eating a post-workout meal is small. It is best to eat at the gym immediately after you finish working out. 

 

I used to eat canned sardines as my post-workout food, but my gym banned me to the parking lot with them. They said I was smelling up the gym. :)

LOL!  There are worse things for a gym to smell like.  But I suppose sardines + sweaty people and clothes = not an olfactory delight.

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