Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
February 9, 2017
Let me tell you about the life of dietary discipline. No, I will not force my beliefs onto you or anything, for this is not really the forum to do such things. However, I will give you a little glimpse into the life of a non-meat and dairy eater, and especially one of our favorite little stereotypes that is kind of true to an extent. We are always hungry. Now I am not talking the old Chinese food stereotype where you eat MSG and then are hungry a couple hours later (which was a main affliction of mine back I'm the day when I ate Asian cuisine), but I am talking the legitimately “hungry” to the point where you are toeing the line between angry and hungry (or hangry!). I occasionally fall into those traps from time to time, especially at work when I often times have hit the snooze button way too many times and realize that it is five a.m. and I have to get to work in less than an hour. Yeah, I run into those days when I just feel like losing it on someone during the workday. Fortunately for me, there is a reward system at work that allows me to use points to help me get some snacks in case I ever run into that situation where I need said sustenance. Unfortunately, the only real choices that will benefit me is the occasional packs of pistachios. Literally everything else is some kind of flavored, dairy riddled snack that is neither healthy nor long lasting in regards to quelling the hunger pangs. I still don’t understand how in the world the Cheetos are so popular and the warm Rock Star Energy drinks are always gone. I guess people need their sugar fix to keep themselves going through the day, regardless of the s0-called consequences. Either way, back to the original train of thought.
The joke of the matter is the main put down against any vegan is they are the way they are due to constant starvation. The so-called nutritionists of America (which has a vast 200 million membership) will spout off typical reminders that protein is best found in meat and dairy, and even if you are eating that massive cake that is 1,000 calories a slice that as long as you eat it only occasionally, moderation is not bad for you. Of course, I have debunked a lot of these ideas, for protein is most efficiently found in plants and grains and while you can certainly get more in meat and dairy, the amount of saturated fats and other ingredients are also being heavily ingested. Not to mention cheat meals should be healthy, not full of fat and other things your body is not really used to. You are basically swallowing a double-edged sword living by that method. Either way, I have been pretty fine in regards to my health. I maintain respectable iron and protein levels despite living a low protein life, and I am pretty energized for the most part with the exception of the days where I work…mainly attributed to the fact that sitting on my rump pretty much all day will mess with your energy. I have to often times forced myself—and I literally mean this— to eat healthy everyday and eat enough to help me operate at whatever exercise regimen I do. There has been some days where I do not eat any food in the morning, eat a little spinach during the day and go into Parsons Training to train. Now I know this is not healthy, and some days due to the unavoidable laziness in my heart, it happens. There are days where I often times just drink a whole lot of coffee and sit around the house all day. I call those days Sundays. Fortunately, my running has forced me to start eating more food recently, which is a good way to tell my body that “Hey! Stop worrying about the weight dammit! You got Ragnar in a few weeks!” Right now, I am falling back into some old habits I had when I used to work at Target, where even though I had to deal with incredibly long days and horrible work conditions that forced m to work my butt off most of the time, I typically ate light and horribly during the day. Often times I would just eat snacks or some bananas, mainly because I just didn’t want my body to feel slowed down and such when I ate a large lunch. Needless to say, I crashed near the end of the day, but the pain in my legs prohibited me from worrying about my stomach. I didn’t feel any changes until I got home. It was a strange yo-yo act with that job. I would often times lose three to five pounds during the three day weekend work week that I pushed through, and then properly gain it back during the week because I so tired and hungry from the weekend that I would often times binge eat.
I run into these bouts from time to time, and it is a strange conniption for someone like myself. I have had these eating problems my whole life, and there has been no rhyme or reason to them either. Some times I feel like I am eating too much, and it reflects in the way I feel and it effects my sleep patterns. So I cut it back, but then that brings about the issue of wanting to binge eat again…and my waistline will suffer for the yo-yoing as well as a couple of choice pair of pants that require me to stay in tip-top condition. But recently I have another issue to look at, one that is making life difficult for me again…my heavy workouts are making me not want to eat. It has been a weird occurrence over the past couple weeks, and it has been starting mostly when I decided to start putting in some longer distances on my running. When I jumped from doing no miles a week to suddenly doing 21, I thought my appetite would adjust properly and I would have the opportunity to eat some carbohydrate rich foods, especially pasta and rice. But since the change in my regimen, I have been wanting to actually eat less. When I did my eight mile run this past Sunday, it was the third day in a row where I felt so gross and yucky that I did not want to eat. In each of those moments, I had to force myself to do so. It was painful so to speak, primarily because I often times had to go to sleep in a couple hours or the fluids in my stomach felt like they were boiling.
Now this is not a typical thing for me. I’ve had all sort of eating problems before, but it never centered around the idea of not wanting to eat. Heck for as long as I could remember, there has literally never been a time in my life where I did not want to eat something. Holidays were feasts, birthdays were an excuse to eat a lot of junk food and weekend football watching was a great way to make sure I got my meat and cheese fix. But feeling sick and bothered about wanting to eat? Never run into that situation before. You can ask just about everyone I know, for they will tell you how heavy of an easter I used to be.
Now there are some legitimate reasons why I may be losing some of my hidden desire to partake in the joys of food, but the trouble with doing this research is always running into the biggest obstacle of all. Eating disorders. No disrespect to Google, but they seem to have an issue with looking up the symptoms of “loss of appetite,” and they seem highly centered around the idea that clinical eating disorders are at work or you have some sort of serious cancer problem or even a thyroid issue. I’m pretty sure that I have none of those problems in my life right now…for it always leads to those hilarious memes where someone is looking at WebMD and believes they either have a cold or are in the middle of a massive hanta virus outbreak that is strictly relegated to them and and them only. If only that was the issue with me. Like I said, the loss of appetite is more or less a physical problem for me, or the increase in running distance in my life and the addition of more cardio intense workouts is causing my body to get pulled into multiple directions. When you are doing things you have not done in a while, the result could be problematic for you. One thing that really hurt on Tuesday during my session with Jenny is the fact my arms were killing me. This was something had bothered me since Sunday when I did that eight mile run. It’s weird how just running can really put a spike not just in your shoulders but also in your biceps. In fact, I was feeling so tired and sore that I had to really be careful on Monday, for I was feeling so weak and out of it that when I did some bench pressing, I didn’t go any higher than 135. That was how out of energy I was, and I had eaten a pretty decent breakfast that day. I guess the fact I did not eat a very hearty dinner the night before really go to me. Seriously, I was feeling so funky that night that I didn’t even want to eat anything. My lack of appetite definitely hurt me the next day, when my protein was way too low and I had to be deferred for a week at the plasma donation center. If this problem continues, I might have to actually partake in the awful, time honored tradition that I really don’t want to become a part of…protein shakes. Yikes!
Now besides the fact that I am shocking my body with massive changes in my workout routine, there are some legitimate reasons why you could be running into issues with your eating. Besides the usual point of not using enough energy during your day to actually compel you to eat, there are plenty of other reasons. Ketosis can certainly be the issue for you, eve though it could be considered rare. Ketosis is basically when your body is using a lot of fat to primarily burn your energy. People that typically engage in these low carb diets can certainly lose some weight in the process, eating primarily fats to keep their body going. Loss of appetite is one of the downside of this style of eating, but of course a bigger problem could materialize. You might not have enough energy to maintain a athletic based lifestyle that requires cardio and other physically demanding activities. Of course, the other problem with a high-fat, low-carb is the exposure to a lot of saturated fat. This alone used to be enough for me to deny the idea of trying The Atkins Diet way back in the day. Trust me, I seriously had a desire to try this, for I seriously felt that carbs were the enemy and plus I was eating a pretty pro-meat diet anyway. Boy, was I really surprised when years later I found out the problem was mostly to do with my addiction to dairy. Of course, another reason why you might have no appetite is a result of fatigue. Trust me, when you work the kind of hours I work, you tend to have this problem on a regular basis. Over the past few weeks I can truly understand why so many people at my work are sugar monsters. I mean, there are two girls that work next to me that are not only guzzling Starbucks like it is water and there is a guy that blows through two Monster energy drinks a day. I can’t even do one! The lack of energy and lack of appetite lead to this strange mock up of health symptoms.
Honestly, I doubt this strange bout of being “not hungry” will pass. Once my body gets used to the idea of constantly working out and constantly needing fuel to function, I think the issue will quickly resolve itself in the long run. But it is strange that I would have had this problem in the first place. Literally, this has never been something I have run into, which is why I felt the need to actually write a little about it. I mean, all of these years I have had problems with eating too much and binge eating…and then this hits me in the face! Perhaps this is a natural part of my life’s evolution. Of course, as I say all of this, I am feeling a little hungry…and I need to go for a run. Yes…so many conflicts in my own body, and you have to wonder why my blogs can be so scatterbrained at times.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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