When a diet is going well, it’s exhilarating. The feeling of accomplishment is invigorating, the fewer pounds you are carrying around make you feel more energetic. Until one day you don’t. Joe had successfully cut his intake, curbed his consumption and faced his overeating obsession. But at a certain stage he stopped feeling like superman. He found himself lacking energy and feeling less mentally acute. Was it due to his dieting? This is important information for those that are committed to losing more then just a “few pounds.”
When you are on a serious diet and transforming your body, the change in your typical eating patterns while helping you to lose weight, can also cause you to miss key nutrients and vitamins. When you are not eating the same volume of food that you were before, how can you make sure that you are getting the right balance of nutrients to keep you feeling good physically as well as mentally?
Taking vitamins and supplements seems to be the obvious answer, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. Experts agree that taking random supplements is not the answer to incorporate these key components into a balanced diet. Do due diligence on any supplements you are thinking about taking. Synthetic supplements are a $20 billion business in this country and there is a lot of conflicting and contradictory information out there.
Where did we start?
The first thing we did was get Joe a complete physical, so we could identify what areas he was deficient in and would need to improve for overall health and wellness. Besides the checking of his vitals, he was given a complete blood test to determine what nutrients are low or missing in his diet. The doctor also gave him a shot of B-12 to help boost his energy level.
He identified that Joe’s muscle tone has deteriorated along with fat, which was part of the cause of his weakness. This was depressing and disheartening news for Joe.
He is a Chef —he has a love affair with food, its flavors, textures, aroma. For months he had been avoiding many of his favorite foods in order to be able to gain health and strength, now he was facing the opposite result.
Vitamins (fat and water-soluble) are organic compounds that are vital nutrients, needed in small amounts, to help your body function properly. When you are limiting your food by both amount and variety of food for a long period of time during your weight loss process, there are sure to be essential vitamins and minerals missing.
Joe has eliminated carbohydrates and dairy, which has attributed to his lack of energy, muscle deterioration and lethargic mind frame. His limited amounts of food, has robbed him of these necessary nutrients causing him to feel worse then he should instead of amazing due to his weight reduction.
How we solved the problems:
PROBLEM: The weakness Joe was experiencing was because his body was adapting to being poorly nourished. The lack of carbohydrates, dairy products and overall calories led to missing vitamins and minerals necessary for optimum body function.
SOLUTION: The reintroduction of carbs, but only good ones. Just ½ cup per day, in the form of brown rice, grains, oatmeal and legumes, with the addition of vegetables, stock and fresh herbs.
PROBLEM: Joe’s doctor felt that anything under 1200 calories per day for a person with his build is technically under nourished — it was too difficult to get the nutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle within those limited calories.
SOLUTION: Vitamin supplements: Joe started to take whole food supplements which are concentrated real food. He avoided synthetic vitamins and minerals which actually have issues breaking down in your body. Whole foods supplements contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients in the exact ratios found in the foods themselves.
PROBLEM: Joe’s creatine level is very high. Creatine is converted to creatinine, which is transported through the bloodstream to the kidneys then flushed out of the body. Elevated levels indicate poor kidney functioning.
SOLUTION: Hydration: Joe doesn’t drink enough water, which I have preached to him. You must drink at least 2 quarts water to keep yourself hydrated and flush out your system, which is the primary reason his creatine levels are so high.
PROBLEM: When you experience severe weight loss, your muscle mass tends to diminish —anything over 1-1/2 # per week of weight loss is considered severe weight loss (Joe is averaging 3-5 pounds per week, sometimes more) This is the primary reason for lack of energy and feeling so tired.
SOLUTION: Exercise: Joe needs to introduce more exercise into his daily life style. Whether walking, stretching, light weights, stretch bands to help strengthen his muscles, he needs to do something to promote muscle growth and rebuild body tissue that has been lost.
Joe's Progress, Week 5:
STARTING WEIGHT: 276.4 LBS
WEEK 4 WEIGHT: 256 LBS
WEIGHT LOST WEEK 5: 3 LBS
TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 20.4