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Nutrition Diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity

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Old 03-25-2007, 02:34 PM   #1
Eric Lester
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My father has been trying to clean up his diet for the past three weeks. It sounds like a very good start to me and he's been consistent with it, but he says he feels tired a lot. I'm not quite sure why.

Background: He is 47 years old, 5'7", and pretty overweight. I'm not sure what he is at currently, around 200 I would guess. He works 10 hours a day at a machine shop standing on his feet all day. Afterwards he usually hits golf balls for an hour or so. He hits at a driving range where you walk back and forth picking up your own balls. Sleeps 6-7 hours a night.

Breakfast: Bowl of oatmeal with half a cup strawberries mixed in, two eggs.
Lunch: Salad with chicken (he gets this off the lunch truck at work, I am not sure about the specifics)
Dinner: Rotisserie chicken and vegetables (cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, green beans, and others).
Liquids: Diet cola with caffeine during the day, caffeine free diet cola in the evenings.

When he needs an extra snack in the evenings he has broccoli with cheese.

With this diet why might he be getting tired? He has been eating this way for about three weeks so I would have thought the initial carb withdrawals would have passed. Perhaps not enough calories for all the work he is doing? His diet also seems light on fat, but I'm not sure if that is an issue being as overweight as he is.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My Dad used the Atkins off and on for years and lost a lot of weight but eventually gained it all back; this is the first time he's consistently stuck with a healthy diet for more than a week. I'm proud of him and would like to help him feel more energized so he sticks with it.

Thanks all in advance!
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:42 PM   #2
Jesse Woody
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Seems like a relatively low-calorie total for somebody that size, and I agree with the lack of fat, he should try adding a small serving of nuts to each of the meals as well as some olive oil. Also seems low in protein...with just a guess it looks like 9-12 blocks of protein for the day, where he could easily use between 16 and 18 just as a guess (based on limited info) Take the time to find out his body fat % and accurately figure out his Zone prescription. This will be a good start to make sure he's getting all of the nutrition that he needs. Then make sure he's splitting this over 3 meals and two snacks for a constant energy level throughout the day. There's nothing worse than jumping head-first into an overly-restrictive diet, as it usually ends in a huge slide in the opposite direction.

Is he taking fish oil? I would say this is another thing I would make sure to address, as it can have a large effect on brain healthy and mental acuity.
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:07 PM   #3
Jeff Dale
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I 2nd Jesse's findings and would add that eliminating the diet soda will help too. With that little fat in the diet to combat the absorbtion of sugars/sweetners, he may be getting insulin spikes from the drinks and then crashing. Have him try water for a week, or slowly take out the sodas.
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Old 03-25-2007, 07:48 PM   #4
George Brothers
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eric
most likely the lunch salad is iceberg lettuce. can he pack his own in a cooler?
your dad needs to do the following:
add some snacks in between his meals, nuts and some protein.
he also needs to see his dr and get his blood sugar, his lipids and his thyroid checked along with his blood pressure. may have an answer for his tiredness there.
last he needs to drink some water and get rid of soda. if he wants caffeine drink some green tea, easy to boil up a thermos full and ice it down during the day.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:52 AM   #5
Eric Lester
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Thanks for all the tips.

George, he might be able to bring his own salad. Is there something wrong with iceberg lettuce?
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:54 PM   #6
George Brothers
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the nutrition value of iceberg is dismal compared to spinach, romaine or kale. have him use those in his salad.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:19 AM   #7
Elliot Royce
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Your dad is not much older than I am. A few observations: changing diet or nutritional habits can be wearing so it might just be a fatigue brought on by that. The diet also looks pretty extreme -- snacks, as suggested, and maybe some concession to carbs mid-afternoon (a healthy protein/oatmeal bar). Also, if your dad is new to all this, don't push it too much. He has to see the benefit. Finally, see if you can get him to exercise more intensively -- not crazy but a little bit more. That should energize him in the evening and help him to sleep well.

If he's still fatigued in the morning (who wouldn't be fatigued standing at a machine all day), then I'd get the medical stuff checked out.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:42 AM   #8
Eric Lester
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Thanks, all. I've relayed your input. He is going to start a workout program in a couple of weeks (probably the Crossfit Beginner's workout), but doesn't want to start immediately because he has a yearly golf tournament on Good Friday. Doesn't want to be too sore and stiff hehe.
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