Exercise! - Lower calories affecting exercise

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02-03-2014, 12:32 PM
For several months I ate healthily without watching my calories. I ate more healthy stuff and was able to exercise very hard, typically running 6 miles a day and weight training some days too.

But then I noticed the scale stall and even start to budge up so I started tracking my calories. This resulted in a modest cut in my daily food intake.

But cutting my calories has adversely affected my workouts. I can't do the six milers as often any more and I sometimes feel less energetic going into some of my lifting sessions.

Is it normal to feel like this?

02-03-2014, 01:08 PM
Yes, you need more fuel. It's the crappy part of wanting to keep improving fitness but also suffering from former fat person syndrome.

Leangains suggests eating above TDEE on lifting days and under on rest days, switching up macronutrient ratios to high protein every day with higher carbs on workout days and low carb/high fat on rest days.

I am struggling with this balance - my workouts are great but I feel (A) fat and (B) like I am becoming top-heavy and unfeminine.

Mrs Snark
02-05-2014, 06:16 PM
Ian - Yes, it's normal. Trying to improve performance while in a calorie deficit is hard.

As you can imagine, this is why sports nutrition can become so very complicated.

If you google "Balance weight loss with running performance" you will find this is a common topic amongst runners. :)

02-05-2014, 06:22 PM
Hi Ian. I struggle with my "perfect" balance of calories vs. exercise. On weeks I'm trying to balance calories in/calories out, I struggle with eating more when I am running more. I try so hard to get a bigger deficit to lose more but then it backfires (and I know this!). It's been a struggle for a good year now and you'd think I have perfected it already. Nope. I have a feeling it's going to be a lifelong battle and I know this isn't something I want to think about (nor do you, I'm sure!).

02-06-2014, 05:00 AM
You know what's really weird with me, the days I eat more I tend to say "Screw it I've messed up" and then I forgo exercising too. It's awful!! But I def see what you mean, on my good, low cal days, I can't imagine working out as I usually feel tired anyway. I do think I need to find foods that give me more bang for my buck!!

02-06-2014, 04:23 PM
You might find it useful to read the book below.

I'm only halfway through the book and have not read that many diet/fitness books so cannot compare this one with others but it has some really useful content on diet for endurance athletes as well as background info geared for peak performance through diet.

Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance
by Matt Fitzgerald (Author)

Racing Weight is a proven weight-management program designed specifically for endurance athletes.

Revealing new research and drawing from the best practices of elite athletes, coach and nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald lays out six easy steps to help cyclists, triathletes, and runners lose weight without harming their training.

This comprehensive and science-based program shows athletes the best ways to lose weight and avoid the common lifestyle and training hang-ups that keep new PRs out of reach.

02-06-2014, 05:05 PM
Thanks everyone. I have settled on a new solution....do less cardio.

Six miles a day was just burning me out and with weight training and/or boxing too I just could not keep it up. So I am limiting myself to a 30 minute run each day and only before lunch, not in the morning.

In the morning, I am saving all my energy for weight lifting. So far, so good. I do feel more energized. We'll see what the scale does...

I don't (intentionally) eat back my calories, so I should be good to go.