Nutrition & Dieting/Fatigue, overtraining

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Question
Mr. Sanchez,

I have a question I was hoping you could answer for me or give me some advice about concerning my diet/exercise routine.

First, let me give you a few specifics that might help you. I'm 30 years old, 185 lbs, 18% body fat (roughly). I was 260 lbs at one point, but over the past 8 to 9 years I've yo-yoed my way, at a healthy pace through diet and exercise, down to this weight. I'm looking to lose a little more fat.

As of the past few months I've found that my body just can't tolerate the kind of exercise/diet combination it used to. First, I've got a lot of increased stress with my new job and living situation which, I'm sure, takes away from my recovery ability. My job is very active (I teach sports) and I stand and move around during my job all day. If there's one thing that's different now vs.6 yrs ago it would be more stress - mental and physical - from my job and living situation.

For my diet I eat around 2300 calories per day - all very healthy whole foods (protein, fat, carbs, fruit, vegetables, etc. - lots of variety) - 5 small meals per day and plenty of water - plus a vitamin supplement and cod liver oil. I take no other supplements or anything for recovery. I drink two cups of coffee in the morning and 1 small bottle of diet soda every night. It's a very healthy diet.

My exercise routine is as follows: Upper-Lower Body split, 1 exercise per body part, 3 sets per exercise (nothing too extreme). Monday (upper), Wed. (lower), Fri (upper), etc. 20 minutes of low intensity cardio after weight training workouts. On Tues. and Thurs. I do 40 mins of cardio - 15 mins high intensity (80% max heart rate), 20 mins low intensity (60% max heart rate). I take Sat. and Sun. off - long days at work.

I guess none of this matters unless you know my particular body, but here are my symptoms.

First, I can't sleep as well. I have more trouble getting to sleep and wake up earlier. Second, I feel depressed and more emotional during the day (sad, angry, unmotivated, nervous, etc.). Third, if I do my diet and exercise long enough (in terms of weeks), I see a considerable drop in my sex drive. Fourth, I'm lethargic, stressed out by little things, and low energy all day - just tired. For a while I used caffeine to prop myself up but it doesn't work anymore.

Now, this is interesting. I took a break for a week or two. I ate quite a bit more. I stopped exercising. I increased my carbs. Low and behold, my mood improved considerably, my sex drive came back, I was much more motivated and happy all day, I could sleep better - everything improved - life was a better experience. I'm really thinking it's not worth it to lose any more fat if my body is going to react this way - I'd almost rather be overweight because this takes a toll on my quality of life - maybe I'm just meant to be heavy and I should be happy.

My question, based on this little info. you have about me, is how can I keep losing fat and not have my body do this? Should I eat a little more and exercise a little less and see what happens? It's always been a huge struggle to keep fat off and takes so much work. Is this a common problem?

Lastly, what do you think is causing my problem? Overtraining? A hormonal problem from too much exercise and not nutrition from not eating enough? Should I see a doctor? What could a doctor do?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Chris

Answer
Hi Chris, let me start by addressing some of the issues you are having. The lack of sleep would contribute to the mood swings, lethargic feeling, and sex drive. The lack of sleep could be caused by the exercise if it's completed close to the time you go to bed , two / three hours prior to sleeping. The lack of sleep can also be caused by stress,and or lack of nutrition. The 2300 calorie diet may not be enough ,you need to check you calorie intake and compare it to your calories lost. As for the diet soda stay away it's just as bad as regular soda. Another reason could be because you lost a lot of weight and if you lost it rapidly and did not  give yourself time for your body to adjust every 20 to 30 pounds then you could be nutritionally lacking.To keep up the current workout routine  your body might need a chance to catch up. If this is the culprit then I would suggest that you have a physical with blood work to check if you are lacking any nutrients.

Good luck and feel better

Larry

Nutrition & Dieting

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Lawrence Sanchez CSN, CPFC, RI, PT, TBMI

Expertise

I am able to answer questions in regards to losing weight, proper nutrition and exercise while losing weight,diet modification, and preparing healthy nutritious food while dieting. I can also help people by explaining the importance of BMI, BMR,and body fat. I can help people with no meat types of diets and special diets. I can help those who need information about beginning a running regimen. One of my favorite subjects to answer questions about is organic life style and whole foods.

Experience

I own Healthy Life Consultants, which is a company that helps people lose weight through diet modification and exercise. I also am the Founder and owner of the Tenchi Budo Martial Arts System and The Natural Healing Center.At the Natural Healing Center I help people through the use of Alternative Therapies and Medicines. For fun I compete regulary in running races mainly 5K'S and 10K'S. I spend much of my free time studying about anything when it comes to nutrition,alternative medicine,and exercise.

Organizations
F&AM /////////////////// F.O.P.(Fraternal Order of Police) ///////////// US Coast Guard Aux. //////////// International High Iq Society

Publications
http://www.Helium.com/ http://www.healthylifeconsultants.webs.com/ http://www.healingnaturally.webs.com/ http://www.tenchibudo.webs.com/

Education/Credentials
Certified Sports Nutritionist through (International Fitness Association) CI# 175491 /////// Certified Personal Fitness Chef ( National Endurance & Sports Trainers Association) ////////// Certified Master and Founder of the Tenchi Budo Martial Arts System /////////// EMT-B Certified //////////// Trinity College & University B.S.B.A. ///////// Certificate awarded in: Harvard Medical School- (Prescribing Exercise) Texas A&M University System (AgriLife Extension)- (Diet Quality & The School Aged Child), (Osteoporosis),(Developing Healthy Eating Habits in Pre Schoolers),(Controling Asthma Triggers in the Indoor Environment) and ( Little Tummies and Big Appetites-Nutrition and the Pre School Child). ////////// School of Public Health University of Albany - (Strong Bones For Life),(Microbiology),(Prison and Jail Health),and (Public Policy and Public Health) ///////// National Center For Complementary and Alternative Medicine- (Acupuncture:An Evidence Based Assessment),(Mind-Body Medicine),Herbs & Other Dietary Supplements),(Health and Spirituality),(Complementary & Alternative Medicine and Aging),(Intergrative Medicine),(Neurobiological Correlates of Acupuncture),(Studying the effects of Natural products)(Manipulative and Body-Based Therapies: Chiropractic and Spinal Manipulation) //////// Health and Nutirition ( United States Department of Justice BOP ) ////////// Basic Food Preparation (United States Department of Justice BOP ) ////////// Dietary Guidlines For Americans (United States Department of Agriculture) ////////// Effective Communication (Emergency Management Institute) /////////// Leadership & Influence(Emergency Management Institute) /////////// Nutritional Oncology ( National Training Institute) ////////// Sports Goes The Distance ( National Training Institute) ///////// LJ100 supplements ( National Training Institute) //////// Super Foods to the rescue (Natural Products Market Place) /////// O for Obesity (Natural Products Market Place)

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