Advice for Someone with No Fat Burn

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My husband and I are following Whole30 and are on Day 15. I am having no problems but he is experiencing a significant crash (pure exhaustive sleep) between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. He was crashing for 1.5 - 3 hours over the last two weeks. I tweaked his food intake over the weekend (see below) and he has improved but still has a drop (1/2-hour or so) in the afternoon. I am hoping for some advice on how we can further tweak his diet so that we can eliminate this crash.

Some important things to note:

1) He was a sugar addict prior to this, and

2) He literally has no fat on his body to burn for energy.

3) He had heat stroke and a parasite called giardia back in July 2012. This caused severe gut damage and systemic inflammation that we have been working to repair via diet since early August. The parasite was "killed" with strong antibiotics that required him to go dairy free but he cheated. He lost 25 lbs, that he could not afford, before his weight stabilized.

4) He has been gluten free since July and completely Dairy Free for 15 days.

5) Cross Panel allergy tests show he is allergic to gluten, dairy and coffee (poor guy!) He just eliminated coffee this week.

He definitely was not eating enough food so I did up his protein, fat and veggie intake over the weekend. He is doing a bit better now. I also have force fed him sweet potatoes to up his carbs a bit more. He now actually likes them!!

He works construction so is burning energy all day long climbing ladders and working with his hands over his head. He drinks several bottles of water throughout the day with a pinch of added sea salt for the mineral content.

5:30 am: He is eating a full breakfast of Eggs (2-3), bacon, and fruit. I upped him from 1 egg.

9:30 am: He has a full lunch at morning break of protein, and veggies with added fat. I upped him from 1 palm to 2 palms of protein and replaced fruit with veggies.

Noon: He was skipping this meal. He is now eating two hard boiled eggs, apple or applesauce, and carrots.

3:00 pm: He is taking a nutritional shake every day as part of his gut repair program. This does have some sugar in it but is medicinal grade, gluten, soy, and dairy free. He mixes this with water and about a cup of mixed berries and 1/2 a banana to make it taste good.

6-7:00 pm A full dinner of protein, veggies and added fat. Again, I upped his protein from 1 palm to 2 palms.

After dinner he claims to be incredibly hungry and always eats at least a handful of mixed nuts and an apple. He also drinks a lot of herbal tea (clean, organic, plain.)

Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide. I know that he is not exactly Whole30 compliant because of the 3 pm shake that contains sugar but I am not sure that we can eliminate that at this point in the healing process.


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There's a lot going on here, (and giardia is a BITCH), but I see a bunch of things going on. 1 or more of them could contribute to the crash in the afternoon.

a.) HE WAS ONLY EATING ONE EGG FOR BREAKFAST?! Ask him to hold a bunch of eggs in one hand and see how many he can get. THAT is how many he should be starting his day off with.

b.) If he doesn't want more eggs at noon, give him chicken thighs/steak tips instead.

These two are the most likely culprits for why he's starving after dinner.

c.) The amt of sugar in the shake, plus the berries and the bananas could TOTALLY be causing the crash, all by itself. Does he have to drink it at three? can he take it with a meal or on his way home from work, so he'll get real food in his system sooner?

If he eats more food at 5:30am, he probably won't need his lunch until noon, and then he may be able to push all his food down a slot. He'll probably feel more full, longer...but it depends on his breaks and stuff.

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Thanks for your reply. Not eating enough was definitely where I went first. He is one of those people that does not "live to eat"; he "eats to live". His portions have always been ridiculously small BUT I have to say that he is eating literally everything that I have been feeding him the last few days so maybe the tides are turning.

I have been wanting to do the egg test with him to see how many he should be eating. I will do that with him tonight :)

I am making more chicken tonight so maybe we can pack some chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves for his NOON meal. It's better than eating a dozen eggs in a day.

He does not "have to" drink the shake at 3:00 but that is when he gets home from work and it has been the most convenient time to do it since it is between meals. Maybe he can have it with dinner instead. At least if he crashes after dinner he would get to bed earlier. We will give that a try.

I am loving this Whole30 program and other than the crashes, he seems to be doing a lot better now that all the "crap" is completely out of his diet.

Thanks so much!


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