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bwassul
July 24th, 2002, 02:02 PM
I was just looking for people's experiences with different diets (high protein, high carb, Zone, etc.). I've spent at least a couple years researching and fooling around but feel I still haven't nailed in down. I eat very "cleanly" with around 15-20% fat, 50-60% carbs (low sugar), and 30-40% protein but find energy stores unstable. Daily calories range from 2000-2400.

I find that my energy is lacking, both in and out of practice, but too many carbs make me feel either fat and bloated or unstable energy-wise. With too much protein I don't have any energy at all and I become hypoglycemic in practice. I also have to worry about body fat due to certain medical problems.

Your experiences would be appreciated. Thanks.

PS: If it makes a difference to anybody advice-wise, I'm 23 years old.

dcarson
July 24th, 2002, 07:42 PM
Justin,

I've struggled always with diet. A year ago several people on this discussion forum suggested the principles of the Zone diet. I adopted the basics. A basic balance of protein/fat/carbs in equal proportion and spreading out consumption. For example, I have a midafternoon snack (usually fruit), I eat part of my evening meal prior to workout and the rest afer workout. By spreading my consumption out instead of 3 meals per day I no longer have hunger periods (even after workouts).

I've done some research and continue to do so continually. For example, I'm in the middle of reading the textbook Swimming Even Faster which is fascinating discussing the science of the human body and it's relation to swimming. One thing is if you are in a period of daily workouts and rather intense training, the depletion of energy is rather normal. One of the major energy sources, glycogen from your muscles, gets depleted and if you are doing intense daily (or multiple daily) workouts, it can make your energy levels deplete. Once you get in a rest period, the energy can replenish itself. I.e., the reason why swimmers do taper periods prior to a race. This is only what I understand based on my reading as a non-scientific person.

Anyway, I have found that most people experiment with types of foods (especially before workouts) and stumble upon what works for them. I hope something I said might be helpful. The spreading of consumption for me has been the most significant thing that has helped me with maintaining energy and losing the pounds.

Dan

aquageek
July 25th, 2002, 09:41 AM
I have a whole different take on this whole diet thing. While I do understand, and understand quite well, that nutrition is a very important component of a work out routine, I chose to take a different tact.

I love to eat and I love to eat all the things I shouldn't. If it's fried, cooked in fat back/bacon or just plain greasy, I love it. I figure I can eat a little more of the above items than I should if I just work out obsessively. I still try to limit fat intake but a weekly splurge is my treat for hours and hours and laps and laps in the pool.

My favorite diet is high in Eastern NC style BBQ and hushpuppies.

greekboy
July 29th, 2002, 03:44 PM
I lost 65 lbs in 8 months with the Atkins diet. It was extremely hard diet because it pretty much only allows someone to eat meat and vegetables. Pretty much thats all I was eating for all these months. When i started the diet I got VERY depressed and became very sad and antisocial. It is a VERY tough diet to follow. After about a month of BOOT camp though I got used to it and did not bother me that much.

I have second thoughts about how healthy such a restricted diet can be though, and I do not think I would try it again myself either. I had serious side effects including bad mood, and I was also pretty much incepable of going to the bathroom... It also created difficulties with my social relations (could not really go out to dinner, etc.)

By the way, its been four years since I did this diet and a couple of times I started eating a lot again and eventually regained up to 12 pounds.

LdyofShadows
July 29th, 2002, 05:37 PM
Strangely enough, the Slim-Fast plan is working REALLY well for me thus far. I started it a few months, along with exercise, which of course is what you're supposed to do. Granted, it's still not coming off fast enough to suit me, but that's only because I want the weight gone. Yes, I know I didn't pick it up overnight and therefore I shouldn't expect it to come off over night, but...I can wish, can't I?

I've been warned though about a potential potassium deficiency when using ANY liquid diet. So..tread carefully if you try something like Slim-Fast.

valhallan
July 29th, 2002, 09:30 PM
The low blood sugar problem is something I've dealt with over many years of trial and tribulation. My discovery for the "cure" involves not only what type of food I eat, but also when I eat.

For example, carbos for breakfast are a no no. They may get you rolling with a morning burst of energy, but come eleven o'clock there's usually a crash and ultimately more hunger pangs. Stick with a more protein based breakfast for prolonged energy and suprisingly less hunger before the noon hour.

I found that lunch with more of a protein base is also better for maintaining higher blood sugar until a mid afternoon snack. Any carbs at the noon hour gave me afternoon sleepiness. And no matter how hard that coffee monkey pounded on my back, I discovered that caffeine is not the answer. (More food will do the trick. Small snacks between meals can help maintain an energy level throughout the day,...and actually keep that metabolism revving.)

So when to eat the carbs?...Usually around the dinner hour. Not only are they an essential part of the diet but they can assist in sending you off for a good nights sleep. Be mindful though that too many potatoes, pasta, or bread can leave you feeling drained the next day. I call it the carbo hangover.

So far it's been working very nicely. And despite my love of food, at 6'-3" I weigh in at slightly under 200 pounds with a very low body fat percentage.

unfit
July 30th, 2002, 08:55 AM
i've been doing weightwatchers for the past 14 weeks and have lost 13.5 pounds. i've not been sticking to it religiously i might add but it does seem to work! it basically just teaches you to know how much fat and how many calories are in the food that you're eating and to get a balance. they actively encouraging filling up on veg & fruit etc also. the one thing i like about it is that although it is a 'diet' because you're losing weight it's actually more a re-education of your eating habits and showing you that what you eat is a choice (eg, you can have the chips with dinner instead of boiled potatoes but that means you ahve to make an informed choice at another part of the day, eg a ham sandwich instead of a cheese sandwich at lunchtime) in this way i hope that when i'm done taking off the weight i'll be able to keep it off really easily.

dcarson
July 30th, 2002, 10:11 AM
I can concur with the success of Slimfast. I use at a component of my diet and it works fine. My evenings are time crunched with working in my swim so on weekdays Slimfast works just fine for my dinner along with a good helping of freshly steamed veggies. I'm too tired after my swim to bother with making a dinner. This, along with spreading out my consumption through the day instead of just 3 big meals works for me.

However, I do go off my regimine 1 day a week and treat myself. Afterall, as some said, part of swimming so much is to allow indulgence of some food for a reward!

Gil
August 2nd, 2002, 08:45 PM
The best advice I ever got about maintaining a healthy weight was to eat in moderation breakfast, lunch and dinner. PERIOD! I have maintened a healthy weight and experienced good health for a long long time .

effi
August 3rd, 2002, 09:40 PM
Do you really think it is wise to diet when you are already on the low side for calories for your age and gender for someone who is seriously working out? You need food for energy. I suppose that is the Mom hat I am wearing as I say that, but really, why not just eat to swim and swim to eat?

bwassul
August 5th, 2002, 08:40 PM
In response to effi's message, It IS unwise to diet given my present intake, age, and activity level. It was even more unwise to do it far more seriously 8 years ago, when I was fifteen years old and diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. That was before I started swimming. Note that I am now very healthy medically and have been for three years as of this past July 1 (my doctors are quite impressed).

I am NOT looking at diet for weight reduction purposes (maybe really in the other direction). Rather, I'm looking for the diet that helps me feel, perform, and look my best (in that order). This has somewhat elevated importance for me given my sensitivity to food and shape, but I'm not looking for perfection. I'm happy where I am but would be open to suggestions for improvement, that's all.

By the way, don't worry about your motherly instinct, effi. My mother has you covered. :-)