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Old 01-25-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
Ana Paladino
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Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

Just to give some background, I'm a 20 year old female, 5'6 and 131 lbs. I've been a vegetarian for about 8 years now. I have always been active, but started Crossfit six months ago. I have been going to Crossfit every day of the work week and I typically run on the weekends.

Energy has never been an issue for me until I started Crossfit. I started Crossfit while I was full-time working and a full-time student though, so I am having trouble pinpointing if my lack of energy is dietary. I sleep about 8 hours a night, but I am exhausted from the moment I wake up. My diet on a typical day would be:


*Pre-workout - two hard-boiled eggs, some blueberries and one scoop of freshly ground peanut butter
*Post-workout - one scoop of whey protein mixed with unsweetened soy milk and water
*Breakfast - plain, non-fat greek yogurt and a banana with a little bit of flax seeds and whole grain oats
*Snack - apple and some mixed nuts
*Lunch - salad made of kale, quinoa, tofu, avocado and a bunch of raw veggies (no dressing)
*Dinner - black beans, sweet potato, raw or steamed veggies, meat substitutes (tempeh, soy products and such)


It would be greatly appreciated if anyone has suggestions regarding my diet, lack of energy, etc. I want to double check with those who are accustomed to Crossfit and the diet/nutrition it requires before self-diagnosing and adding calories!

Thank you in advance
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:06 PM   #2
Greg Pack
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Re: Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

I'm not a nutritionist but eyeballing says you are at 2K calories or less so energy deficit would be my bet.

I have been dealing with fatigue with my regimen. More calories and a mid week rest day boosted my energy levels substantially.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:15 PM   #3
Chris Mason
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Re: Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

Eat some meat!

Ok, ok...

On a serious note, your cals are likely too low (you don't list amounts). In addition, your protein, at least quality protein, intake looks quite low.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:21 PM   #4
Chris Jones
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Re: Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

i would think you may need more calories as well, especially since you are running during the weekends. And like Chris, im pretty sure you need more protein to be fueling all the lifting youre doing with Crossfit. Im not sure how much Protein tofu has in it but im willing to bet its not a lot. Basically all your Pro is coming from a scoop of powder and 2 eggs, and i would think that you would also need more carbs on the weekends depending on how long your runs are.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:36 PM   #5
Bill M. Hesse
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Re: Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

Down rice and lentils. You need more fuel. Your protein intake is inadequate. Total intake is inadequate.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:14 AM   #6
Tricia Magrini
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Re: Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

I think your total calories are probably a little low but what I see most is that menu looks low in fat to me. I would add EVOO to the salad, buy full fat greek yogurt if you can find it (Fage)

Is the idea of adding meat/fowl/fish to your diet and reducing your soy intake something you may be open to?
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:17 AM   #7
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

You also sound like you could be over trained. Not being able to get rested is a classic symptom. Google it and read up. See if you have any of the other systems.

A meat free diet using substitutes is a weak diet. Tends to be full of bad carbs and lack protein and fat. It is simply not the correct food for the animal species homo sapien.

I suggest reading "It starts with food" by the Whole9 folks.

One of my trainers use to be vegetarian and describes the same symptoms you are describing. She started eating meat and felt better. She got involved in CrossFit and switched to a full Paleo diet and now feels great. She says the difference is night and day.

It is your body and your beliefs so you can do what you want.

Just understand being vegetarian and high level training is almost impossible to pull off.

Yes I'm fully aware of some famous vegetarian body builders and athletes, that is why I say almost imposable. Be wary of anyone saying their diet works and selling nutritional supplements. They have a finical motive to support their way of doing things.

The dirty secret in the vegetarian & vegan blog world is many of the bloggers are under doctors orders to eat some animal protein every week because they got sick. They tend not to write about it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
Tonya Martin
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Re: Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ana Paladino View Post
Just to give some background, I'm a 20 year old female, 5'6 and 131 lbs. I've been a vegetarian for about 8 years now. I have always been active, but started Crossfit six months ago. I have been going to Crossfit every day of the work week and I typically run on the weekends.

Energy has never been an issue for me until I started Crossfit. I started Crossfit while I was full-time working and a full-time student though, so I am having trouble pinpointing if my lack of energy is dietary. I sleep about 8 hours a night, but I am exhausted from the moment I wake up. My diet on a typical day would be:


*Pre-workout - two hard-boiled eggs, some blueberries and one scoop of freshly ground peanut butter
*Post-workout - one scoop of whey protein mixed with unsweetened soy milk and water
*Breakfast - plain, non-fat greek yogurt and a banana with a little bit of flax seeds and whole grain oats
*Snack - apple and some mixed nuts
*Lunch - salad made of kale, quinoa, tofu, avocado and a bunch of raw veggies (no dressing)
*Dinner - black beans, sweet potato, raw or steamed veggies, meat substitutes (tempeh, soy products and such)


It would be greatly appreciated if anyone has suggestions regarding my diet, lack of energy, etc. I want to double check with those who are accustomed to Crossfit and the diet/nutrition it requires before self-diagnosing and adding calories!

Thank you in advance
I had the same problem. I started taking a vitamin from GNC called Womens Ultra Mega Vitamin for Energy and Metabolism. I've been taking it for well over a month and I have noticed a BIG difference in my energy levels. I get up by 5am every morning, go to a 8am WOD mon-fri and by 4pm I was sooo tired. This REALLY helped a lot. Sams club sells GNC products too.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:45 AM   #9
Neal Fischer
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Re: Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

Have you considered the possibility of an iron deficiency? If you are a student, your university may offer free/low cost nutrition analysis/counseling; if so, take advantage of it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
Ana Paladino
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Re: Fatigue - Not Enough Calories?

Thank you everyone for your quick and helpful responses! As I mentioned, I am fairly new to this and want to learn. I want my diet to compliment my training and lead to increased strength, energy and performance.

On the other hand, I am admittedly concerned about fat gain (I couldn't care less about my weight). With the way I'm training, in addition to a clean and healthy diet, should I stop worrying about this as much?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricia Magrini View Post
Is the idea of adding meat/fowl/fish to your diet and reducing your soy intake something you may be open to?
I have been considering adding fish to my diet for a while now, but it is just such a foreign idea after being vegetarian for so long. At this time, I honestly don't think I'll be adding meat or fowl to my diet (one thing at a time ). Fish is a definite possibility though, and soon. My only concern is having fish as a main protein source and the mercury debate.

Any suggestions regarding a pescetarian diet with quality protein intake? Is it possible to add, let's say, 6 ounces of canned salmon a day without having to be concerned about mercury?


Also, Neal, I recently got blood work done and everything came out fine. I was at first concerned that it may be a deficiency or thyroid problem, but that was ruled out.

Thank you again!
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