JeriS

Balancing exercise and macronutrient intake

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Hi! Two weeks post op and all is mostly going really well.

I've been doing my 40 min of walking a day, but am trying to re-introduce some actual low-key cardio - 20-30 min on exercise bike. (With my doctor's support.) I'm hitting a wall with that, as my calorie intake is so darn low I'm running into headaches and tiredness the rest of the day.

Pre-surgically I'd call it low blood sugar (non clinically speaking), but that's my life now. 1f642.png:)

I'm getting plenty of protein - 75-100g a day - and 80-100 oz of water. I'm also slowly phasing in multivitamin supplements.

How do you balance exercise with super low calorie/carb intake, and still remain functional?

Edited by JeriS

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1 hour ago, JeriS said:

Hi! Two weeks post op and all is mostly going really well.

I've been doing my 40 min of walking a day, but am trying to re-introduce some actual low-key cardio - 20-30 min on exercise bike. I'm hitting a wall with that, as my calorie intake is so darn low I'm running into headaches and tiredness the rest of the day.

Pre-surgically I'd call it low blood sugar (non clinically speaking), but that's my life now. 1f642.png:)

I'm getting plenty of protein - 75-100g a day - and 80-100 oz of water. I'm also slowly phasing in multivitamin supplements.

How do you balance exercise with super low calorie/carb intake, and still remain functional?

Probably not what you want to hear, but I didn’t that early out after surgery. For me, I would have had to eat almost the equivalent of the calories I burned exercising and, with that, increase my carb intake, so the trade off wasn’t worth it. That said, your body is still likely adjusting to being low carb and, frankly, healing from surgery. At two weeks post op, I was still wiped out after any mildly strenuous activity, so part of your tiredness might simply be from post-op healing. Plus, if you’re not even getting in all your vitamins, that could also be a factor. And, fwiw, there are still days (at 2.5 years post op) where I need a nap after a good workout. I’d usually suggest trying glutamine (to help with the carb flu) and tyrosine (to help with the tiredness), but since you’re so early out post op, I’d hesitate to suggest adding any more supplements at this point. Honestly, I’d really recommend focusing on your diet, getting your vitamins in, and healing more than anything else right now, but that’s just me. 

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My doc did say I was ok to do low intensity cardio this soon - and higher intensity plus weight training at 4-6 wks on. 
That probably wasn't a *recommendation* though as much as permission. 

I have been on very low carb since the first of the year, so wasn't thinking of carb flu at all - it was my medically supervised diet of choice, and I stayed on it through my liver shrinking period and surgery. I will look into glutamine - and I should also consider adding magnesium and potassium as my old standbys for the carb flu.

Thank you!

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I was really low on energy that soon out. Just walking was plenty of exercise for me! I basically just did walking for the first several months. I found that anything more strenuous required a few bites of food beforehand! :D Honestly, if I was doing anything like hiking at 4 or 5 months out, I carried protein (bars, nuts, cheese) with me to take a few bites every half hour or so. I was climbing around on Mayan pyramids at about that time and I truly needed to have a few bites to make it up to the top. It made the difference between being able to and not being able to. When you're in keto, your body doesn't have carbs to rely on for fuel, so you need refueling frequently, especially when your calories are so low! 

Everything is all good now, although I do snack a lot more frequently than most people, especially while exercising. That's OK - I love snacks.

 

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11 minutes ago, JeriS said:

My doc did say I was ok to do low intensity cardio this soon - and higher intensity plus weight training at 4-6 wks on. 
That probably wasn't a *recommendation* though as much as permission. 

I have been on very low carb since the first of the year, so wasn't thinking of carb flu at all - it was my medically supervised diet of choice, and I stayed on it through my liver shrinking period and surgery. I will look into glutamine - and I should also consider adding magnesium and potassium as my old standbys for the carb flu.

Thank you!

If you’ve been low carb that long, then it’s probably not carb flu. More likely, it’s just healing from surgery. I guess my feeling is the same about exercise as it is about going through the post-op diet stages- just because you technically are allowed to do something doesn’t mean that your body is ready for it. Know what I mean? And if you’re tired, magnesium may just make that worse. Also, one thing to keep in mind in regard to high intensity exercise (for when that time comes) is that it can raise your cortisol levels which inhibits weight loss. I personally don’t know anyone who does high intensity exercise on a regular basis and I’m surrounded by personal trainers, gym rats, amateur athletes, etc. Don’t get me wrong, exercise is great and has all sorts of benefits, but in regards to weight loss, it’s really overrated. Diet is solidly 80-90% of weight & fat loss. Like one of my friends (who is a competitive bodybuilder) said, if you’re doing it right, you really don’t need to be in the gym more than three days a week. Just my thoughts. Take it or leave it as you see fit. :)

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@JeriS Listening, listening to one's body... ^_^ I too think you are still healing, and that is why your energy level is low. Early after surgery still. If you have been in ketosis for a while then would not expect low energy levels 

At your stage, I walked about an hour a day, or swam starting at an half hour and then worked my way up to an hour. Before surgery I'd been swimming and walking and some cycling too. As @athenarose and @Jen581791 suggest doing, I have kept a protein bar with me for recovery after exercising - more important if your caloric intake is (on a daily basis) low or if you are doing high intensity workouts. 

You might think about having some calories an half hour before your exercise, and then some within ~ 15 minutes of ending your exercise. You may need to up your calories a bit before/after right now, your body is seriously in repair mode! You'll still lose weight. 

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