Day 17 and Strength is Suffering - Help!


MargaretAM

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Hello Everyone:

I am on day 17 and I am still struggling with my heavy lifts and am actually losing strength, which is upsetting (my endurance seems to be fine at this point).  I definitely don't feel tiger blood yet but I am also not as drained as I was on and off the first 2 weeks.  I am eating big meals with a good amount of protein and fats - enough that I get full and stay full.  Do I just need to hang in longer? Or is there something I can try tweaking? 

Thanks for any thoughts,

Margaret

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It's good that you feel better than you did.  How are you doing with your pre-workout meals?  And actually, a sense of the structure of your day and a listing of what you're eating when would be helpful.  

ThyPeace, and also, are you staying hydrated and how's the sleep?

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Hello:

Thank you for your reply.  Here are some answers to your questions:

I work some shift work which means sometimes I am at work until anytime from 10 pm to midnight. That is why you will see a range in my meal times.

MEAL 1: between 730-900 am

I generally eat a casserole which will contain eggs and another protein and veggies.  I always have a small salad with it with various veggies, a sprinkling of raw almonds and Tessemaes's balsamic.  

I drink 2 cups of coffee with either coconut creamer (compliant) or coconut oil blended in.  

MEAL 2: between 12-2 pm

I generally have some meat entree or a casserole I prepared on Sunday. For example, yesterday I had two leftover chicken thighs in a tomato sauce. I added about a 1/2 cup of riced broccoli with ghee and another salad with veggies and Tessemae's.  

MEAL 3: between 5-7

Same as meal 2

STARCHES

I will always have at least one starch a day but sometimes I will have starches in all three meals depending on my hunger.  Serving is about the equivalent of a 1/2 small/mid size sweet potato. I am rarely having any fruit.

FATS

I always add fats in the form of clarified butter, coconut oil, avocado.

SNACKS

On days I work late I tend to need a snack when I get home. That is usually a small bit of starch and fat.

WATER

I have struggled to get in enough water (about 1 gallon for my weight) but have been better with that recently

PROTEIN

I have a bit of a hard time knowing how much protein I am getting because I often make casseroles that contain protein with veggies.  My goal with my weightlifting is to eat a gram of protein per pound of weight (between 125-130 lbs). This has always been tough but harder now that I am not supplementing with whey or Greek yogurt.

PRE/POST WORKOUT SNACK

Pre-workout: a piece or two of turkey deli meat and some avocado

Post-workout: a couple more pieces of turkey deli meat and 1/2 a sweet potato.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

 

Margaret

 

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Hmmm.  So.... I am not an expert on weight lifting.  Nor on the Whole30.  So take what I say with a grain of salt.  And a large dose of other expertise, if it happens to stop by.  So with that said, I'm going recommend something based on my experience with food and running.  (I know, not the same as weight lifting.  But you should see me run.  It looks a lot like an ugly form of weight lifting.)  

I think you may have reduced your overall food intake too low, and possibly specifically your carbohydrates.  One starchy vegetable per day is probably not enough.  Starches at each meal are probably about right, but may still be low if you're not eating any fruit.  There is a relatively easy way to test to see if this is the case:  Increase your food intake by 50% for a couple of days.  If you get your strength back, or some of it, you have found your culprit.  If you want to play with it further, then I'd try varying the amounts of individual macros, but I would do the overall food levels first because your body will convert foods as needed to get to the stuff it really needs.  

50% may seem like an enormous increase in food, but hey, when was the last time anyone told you to load up like that?  And it's only for two days, not for a year.  

With the variable work schedule you have, I'm not terribly surprised that you have some sleep troubles.  If you're waking up tired, your very best bet would be to go to bed earlier rather than sleeping longer.  However, that probably isn't possible every day for you.  So instead, increase your sleep everywhere you can.  Turn off the electronics by 10pm (yes, I know that means no electronics for the last couple of hours of work, which is probably not always possible) and start getting your eyes adjusted to darkness.  If you can't do that, adjust your electronics to shift to dimmer, redder light (f.lux is a nice app for that).  Newer smart phones have automatic settings to reduce brightness as well -- it's a good idea to try that out.

 

ThyPeace, not a born runner, but runs nonetheless.

 

 

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I think you need more protein.

Starches will provide an easy source of fuel, and will replace muscle glycogen, but protein will feed the muscle itself, and help it repair & grow.

The template is a range, and one palm sized piece of protein is the absolute minimum. If you're particularly actve you'll need to eat to the higher end of that range.

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