How do YOU know when...


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How do YOU know when you're not eating enough...either eating enough starchy carbs or just plain not eating enough food (portions)?

My workouts have been suffering! They have gradually gotten more difficult and I've been struggling to get through them. Sunday was day 18 of my whole30 and it was by far the worst workout I've had in a long time (it was my leg day and it's usually my favorite). I felt like I was wading through mud and I was unable to get my heart rate elevated (just wanted to sleep). I'm feeling like it may be a starchy carb issue OR it may just be that I'm not eating enough.

So, I'm just wondering how you all gauge if you've are eating enough or if you are not eating enough carbs...I'm hoping you guys will share some examples of physical symptoms...like, not sleeping well, energy levels or fatigue (whether through the day or through your workouts), heart rate, cravings, body temperature (feeling cold), motivation...

Thanks everyone!

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I don't think it's really a carb issue, but it could be that you're not eating enough in general. I've noticed similar symptoms when I don't eat enough, and the closer I follow the suggested template, which include pre-workout & post-workout meals, the better I perform. If you're feeling very hungry or weak in between meals, or during your workouts, you should increase your portions to the higher end of the template portions. It could also be that you just had an "off" day; that happens to me sometimes too. But if you're eating enough to fuel your workouts (especially getting in those 2 extra meals on days you workout), it should all even out for you very soon, and you should start seeing your workouts improve. HTH!

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From days 4-11 I felt horrible at the gym during my Whole30. So it is possible that you are still in the stage where your body is adjusting where it pulls energy from (of course I think a lot of that depends on not just you food intake but also your body composition) and that it why you aren't feeling great. Some people take longer than others to get out of this period.

Here is my advice-- eat more food at meals if you find yourself hungry between meals and don't before afraid to utilize the pre- and post-workout meals like the book and nmp1338 suggest. I know I wasn't eating enough during my first Whole30 (I actually made backward progress in some things at the gym-- heavy lifts) because I don't like the starchy carbs, which are a great source of calories and energy for your body. It's hard to get use to eating the volume of food you need to sustain you when you have been eating the SAD for years and years because so many components are so calorie-dense and nutritionally lacking. So starchy carbs serve 2 purposes-- increasing caloric intake to support activity and being a readily available source of energy.

I don't think there is a right answer here-- I would try eating more and see how that works for you and then try adding more starchy carbs and see how that works. And don't be afraid to rest-- your body is making a lot of adjustments and it might need more rest than "usual" until you get though this stage. Don't worry, once your body does adjust, you will feel like this was totally worth it-- I promise!

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Hi physibeth, I could post what I'm eating, but I'm not necessarily trying to troubleshoot exactly what I've done wrong (and from what I'm reading, what may be too many starchy carbs for one person, may not be enough for another).. So I was hoping to find out what other people/athletes have experienced while transitioning. I've dieted and exercised for so long that I don't trust my body's signals quite yet, and any examples of how other people know when to increase food or starches would be super appreciated.

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I know I haven't eaten enough when I'm hungry sooner than 4-5 hours since my last meal. Usually, not enough fat is the culprit.

I've taken a break from lifting and running during my Whole30 and focused on walking and yoga to help reduce cortisol levels, so I can't really speak to the diminished workouts aspect. I have pretty much quit fruit and rely on squashes and sweet potatoes for starchy carbs, usually no more than once a day. When I return to the gym, I'll make sure to get my starchy carb post-lifting.

I have also read that when people feel seriously low energy in general or right before their periods to reduce pms they should increase the starchy carbs.

Good luck figuring it out!

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I do long distance cycling and somewhat long distance running(recovering from injury) and don't know if I have much to add. Day 33 here and it took me a good 3 weeks to be able to feel like training like I want to. Back up to par now, two a day workouts, by throwing in a sweet potato or a banana. I haven't really figured out the pre/post WO meal as I need calories during as well(3-4 hour bike rides). Don't have much to add food wise, maybe just give it more time.

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I second cayenne, maybe just give it more time. it took me well more than a month to reach any type of consistency with how I felt with working out. My body was all over the place- adjusting hormonally, battling being sick (probably as part of my body cleansing itself of toxins). Some days I'd dragged... even now, sometimes when going up the stairs at work my legs feel like lead! Not that you have to go beyond 30 days, I chose to (i am in 4th month because i like it), and I am still tweaking what I eat- for not only working out, but being regular...and will have to continue to play with it as we move into change of season and level of activity.

...time... i think 30 days is referred to in the book as the time it takes to establish/get grounded a new habit, whereas our bodies adjust to the changes differently. Just stick to it, and maybe eat more as others have suggested.

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I know I'm not eating enough when my cheeks start to look hollow and my eyes look too big for my face. Means I'm losing weight (I don't have much to lose...) and need to step up my "add more fat to everything" game. Also, when I'm consistently sore for longer than usual after a workout, or feel like I'm just not recovered even after a rest day, it's a sign that I need to eat and/or sleep more.

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Hi physibeth, I could post what I'm eating, but I'm not necessarily trying to troubleshoot exactly what I've done wrong (and from what I'm reading, what may be too many starchy carbs for one person, may not be enough for another).. So I was hoping to find out what other people/athletes have experienced while transitioning. I've dieted and exercised for so long that I don't trust my body's signals quite yet, and any examples of how other people know when to increase food or starches would be super appreciated.

The first 2-3 weeks my workouts suffered as my body changed its primary fuel source. Now I know that if I have a bad workout it is probably that I didn't eat enough or that I didn't eat correctly. I run 20-25 miles a week and I eat sweet potato/yam or squash or other starchy vegetable at least once a day. I also know I have not eaten enough if I can't get 4-5 hours between meals or if I start feeling hangry. When I look at what I ate on those days it is usually that I didn't have enough fat in the previous meal.

Is that more of what you are looking for?

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Yes! This is all perfect. It sounds like a lot of people just needed more time to adjust. I'm now on day 23 and my energy levels are starting to feel more consistent. I've already had a couple of decent workouts this week.

I'm hypothyroid, gluten sensitive and healing from adrenal fatigue, so that is why I think my starchy carb intake requirement might differ slightly from others. Since I am committed to this as a lifestyle (and I plan on taking this quite a bit longer than the 30 days), I think it's important for me to "learn" the signals my body is trying to tell me, and hearing your stories of how you have adjusted to the whole30 really helps me. Thank you!

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