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Old 04-08-2013, 04:12 PM   #1
Junior LCF Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 13
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Terrible stamina and endurance when running?

I've been running for over a year and run 35-45 miles a week, everyday. I just want to explain my background, maybe someone can help me or relate

Before I started running and adapting a healthier lifestyle, I was 220 lbs, an out of control, emotional wreck recovering anorexic. I now fluctuate between 130-140. Throughout my journey I've maintained a low fat, high carb diet but I think the months of restriction, hunger and regular exercise aided my weight loss more than what I ate. I developed binge eating disorder and was going back to my anorexic ways all along. My stamina and endurance sucked but I jogged every night. My energy levels were depleted and destroyed and all I thought about was food. I felt deprived. I'd turn to carbs in the hope of some satisfaction and I'd want MORE. Like a heroin addict. My appetite was a monster that controlled me. I stuck to my stubborn thought process that meat, eggs, diary etc were all high in saturated fats and very unhealthy so I gave them up, eating chicken occasionally. I'm sure I was lacking some serious protein. I tried everything to curb my appetite, appetite suppressants, green tea, fasting, supplements but my energy and concentration levels were unstable, without a huge bowl of pasta I couldn't function. Reaching my long time goal weight was my only priority, and it couldn't happen without restricting and fasting. The mainstream, recommended diet I was following. Loads of fruits and vegetables, grains, some sugar, ultimately just a high carb feast.

I never educated myself. In the past month, I've been reading more about low carb diets and how an increase in protein intake helps burn fat and some other benefits of protein. I increased my protein intake and reduced my refined carb intake, gradually. During this period I was eating crackers, break sticks, cereal, a lot of fruit etc. and with the protein increase my mileage, stamina, energy levels and endurance have all significantly improved. I was seeing results but the more I read about low carb, the more carbs I cut out.

I'm not interested in the keto process because I know I'll eat carbs in the future during social situations, special occasions etc. and that doesn't bother me but I've been reading through posts of people who complain of low energy levels and being encouraged to eat more FAT. I'm really uncomfortable with this idea, especially since it's so alien to me to eat high fat foods like butter and I'm not sure about this when consuming carbs.

My problem is that the last few days I've drastically cut out carbs and my stamina has gone completely, I can run for only a few meters and I need to cut my distances short. Should I just stick to medium/moderate to low carb intake and high protein to fuel my runs? I would never give up running and I'm not sure that the keto process is as efficient when doing cardio as regular metabolic function. Any suggestions?

I'm male, 24, 140 lbs, 5'9.

Today I ate (which contributed to a disastrous running session):

Oatmeal with low fat yoghurt.
Three bananas
Two apples
Four scrambled eggs
Cream cheese muffin
A cucumber.
Chicken soup.

Sorry if this is long.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:02 PM   #2
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Any one?
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:18 PM   #3
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WOE: Primal-ish
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That's WAY too many carbs in my opinion. My macros are 65%fat/25-30%Protein/5-10% carbs. I still watch my calories, since no matter WHAT you eat, if you over eat you will gain. I don't eat any grains, and even thought Atkins will have you add them back in, that's something that I find makes me feel sluggish. Also, it doesn't seem like you are eating enough calories, certainly not enough protein. Find out what your TDEE is and eat at a deficit, try the macros I suggested and you will find you are less hungry, and you WILL lose weight. Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #4
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Start Date: February 2013
It sounds like you got most of your exercise energy from carbs. When you started cutting carbs, your body would run out and had to turn to fat. A difficult transition that your body doesn't want to do. This is where the term "hitting the wall" comes from.

But, since you're still eating alot of carbs your body hasn't made the transition to utilizing fat for its main source of energy... This is the reason for induction and fully cutting carbs to 20g or less per day. Yes it's hard and can make you feel not well because you're changing the way your body gets it's fuel.

I can tell you from my experience that I switched from low-cal to low-carb and never missed a workout. After my body made the "conversion" I have plenty of energy and stamina during my workouts... and throughout the day.

You can't do it halfway. You can't be afraid of eating fat.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:30 PM   #5
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Hi Mike,

I also have struggled with disordered eating.
It took a really long time to start seeing fat as just a source of energy and not "bad"... just like carbs are a fuel source.

I think right now you are kinda half doing lowfat and half doing low carb, and it just ends up being an odd mix.

You might do better following a set diet program that isnt super high in fat, but has some good fats, such as South Beach, which allows for beans/lentils and fruits. Or possible something like the Primal diet, which is used by many of the CrossFit athletes.

When I look at your menu... the day starts off with carbs (oatmeal and yogurt) and not much fat to slow absorption. So your body is going to quickly absorb the carbs, blood sugar goes up, and then use or store them. Then your blood sugar starts to fall, and you are off to eat some sort of fruit to get it up again. If you could make eat meal or snack include some protein and a little bit of fat (doesnt have to be gobs of it), it would keep your blood sugar stable and provide constant energy to fuel you through the day.

You might want to head to the "Muscle Matters" forum... they talk there more about fueling a workout (eating some healthy carbs a little before working out), but doing lower carb the rest of the day.
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