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  1. #1
    Registered User Kilama's Avatar
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    Signs of gylcogen depletion and how to maintain BF %

    Okay so I lift/cardio every day. I'm also on a low carb diet. Yes, I know some people are going to start saying "you NEED carbs if you lift." I'm aware of this, however my goal here is not to get super ripped. I just want to maintain my current BF % and stay at my current leaness, which seems to work in compliance with my current carb intake of 60-80 day. I am 5'1 female and 102 lbs at 13% BF.

    Anyways I noticed that maybe one or twice a week I start getting really crappy workouts, which I heard can be caused when one's glycogen stores are emptied and the body starts burning muscle for fuel. I will admit, I did get a little flat in some areas, but otherwise I am managing this by drinking plenty of BCAA's and upping my protein throughout the day. Some signs I noticed are:

    -weak, easily tired legs
    -can't lift as heavy anymore like when I ate 150-200 carbs/day
    -weird, heavy feeling & more soreness than usual on heavier training days
    -cardio gets WAY more difficult towards the end of the week
    -I have crazy energy once again a couple days following my cheat meal

    Am I safe to assume that these symptoms, like the tired legs and overly sore muscles, are from lowering my carbs to 65-80 a day? if so, would I gain any fat back if I were to increase it again slowly?
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  2. #2
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    Originally Posted by Kilama View Post
    Okay so I lift/cardio every day. I'm also on a low carb diet. Yes, I know some people are going to start saying "you NEED carbs if you lift." I'm aware of this, however my goal here is not to get super ripped. I just want to maintain my current BF % and stay at my current leaness, which seems to work in compliance with my current carb intake of 60-80 day. I am 5'1 female and 102 lbs at 13% BF.

    Anyways I noticed that maybe one or twice a week I start getting really crappy workouts, which I heard can be caused when one's glycogen stores are emptied and the body starts burning muscle for fuel. I will admit, I did get a little flat in some areas, but otherwise I am managing this by drinking plenty of BCAA's and upping my protein throughout the day. Some signs I noticed are:

    -weak, easily tired legs
    -can't lift as heavy anymore like when I ate 150-200 carbs/day
    -weird, heavy feeling & more soreness than usual on heavier training days
    -cardio gets WAY more difficult towards the end of the week
    -I have crazy energy once again a couple days following my cheat meal

    Am I safe to assume that these symptoms, like the tired legs and overly sore muscles, are from lowering my carbs to 65-80 a day? if so, would I gain any fat back if I were to increase it again slowly?
    If you notice strength drop-off make sure you're not always training to failure, limit your lifting to 4 days weekly, 3 when cutting. Get out of the gym in 1 hour. Don't do more cardio than 3x weekly 30 mins. Take one day completely off from all exercise weekly. Up the carbs a bit more often. Like higher carb days Wed, Sat, Sun. Carbs around training! Electrolyte mix helps when low carbing. You should not gain fat if you slightly bump up carbs, it's if you bump up total calories then you can have an issue. So to prevent it you should take down fat and protein a bit when carbing up, so cals stay same or close.
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    It does sound like you have low glycogen contributing based on the timing of your symptoms with the cheat meal. You can try bumping up the carbs 25 grams a day to see if this helps. Even 50 grams. An extra 200 kcal/day will not cause weight gain, at least not rapidly, and if it lets you train better it will probably be better off for your physique in the long run.
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    Registered User Pur3p3r50n's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kilama View Post
    Okay so I lift/cardio every day. I'm also on a low carb diet. Yes, I know some people are going to start saying "you NEED carbs if you lift." I'm aware of this, however my goal here is not to get super ripped. I just want to maintain my current BF % and stay at my current leaness, which seems to work in compliance with my current carb intake of 60-80 day. I am 5'1 female and 102 lbs at 13% BF.

    Anyways I noticed that maybe one or twice a week I start getting really crappy workouts, which I heard can be caused when one's glycogen stores are emptied and the body starts burning muscle for fuel. I will admit, I did get a little flat in some areas, but otherwise I am managing this by drinking plenty of BCAA's and upping my protein throughout the day. Some signs I noticed are:

    -weak, easily tired legs
    -can't lift as heavy anymore like when I ate 150-200 carbs/day
    -weird, heavy feeling & more soreness than usual on heavier training days
    -cardio gets WAY more difficult towards the end of the week
    -I have crazy energy once again a couple days following my cheat meal

    Am I safe to assume that these symptoms, like the tired legs and overly sore muscles, are from lowering my carbs to 65-80 a day? if so, would I gain any fat back if I were to increase it again slowly?
    - Don't lift/cardio every day. You should lift 3-4 days per week depending on your level. Are you following a specific program? If you're a novice and it's not Fierce 5, you're probably following a suboptimal program. How much do you squat?
    - Unless you're following a ketogenic diet and actively trying to lose weight, you're doing yourself a disservice by following a low-carb diet. At 102 lbs, you probably shouldn't be losing weight. You're probably not 13% bf. Not that this matters, but you seem to be numbers-oriented. Can you post a pic to your bodyspace?
    - You're probably not depleting your glycogen stores unless you're running partial marathons every day.
    - BCAAs are a waste of money, so don't buy more when you run out.
    - Ditch the cheat days, as we've all recommended in your other thread.
    - No, increasing your carb intake while not increasing your caloric intake will not cause a noticeable change in body composition.
    - You should be eating ~80+ g protein and ~40+ g fat / day. How many calories are you eating every day?
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  5. #5
    Registered User Kilama's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Pur3p3r50n View Post
    - Don't lift/cardio every day. You should lift 3-4 days per week depending on your level. Are you following a specific program? If you're a novice and it's not Fierce 5, you're probably following a suboptimal program. How much do you squat?
    - Unless you're following a ketogenic diet and actively trying to lose weight, you're doing yourself a disservice by following a low-carb diet. At 102 lbs, you probably shouldn't be losing weight. You're probably not 13% bf. Not that this matters, but you seem to be numbers-oriented. Can you post a pic to your bodyspace?
    - You're probably not depleting your glycogen stores unless you're running partial marathons every day.
    - BCAAs are a waste of money, so don't buy more when you run out.
    - Ditch the cheat days, as we've all recommended in your other thread.
    - No, increasing your carb intake while not increasing your caloric intake will not cause a noticeable change in body composition.
    - You should be eating ~80+ g protein and ~40+ g fat / day. How many calories are you eating every day?
    Thank you for your reply. To answer your Q's:

    - I lift every day because part of it is actually my second job (I teach group fitness part time, weight training and cardio dance classes... so some days I get in an extra workouts because of my hours coaching) I'm not on any specific program, but I do teach a LES MILLS formatted class which focus on high rep/lower weight style lifting. I used too be able to squat high reps of 75 LBS max, now I can barely do 40-50... and that's on a good day :/
    - I attempted keto and almost passed out (50 carbs a day) so I bumped it up and decided keto was not a good idea for someone as active as I am. I wanted to lose weight, which I did lowering carbs, I dropped from 110 to 102 LBS, but now I'm just trying to lose the last bit of body fat on my abs area. I got the 13% BF measurement from a InBody measurement machine at a Max Muscle Nutrition store, it was 13% last time I checked about a month ago, not sure about now. Doesn't look like 13% to be honest though. I'll post a pic sometime soon
    - BCAA's seemed to help me feel less tired/sore during my workouts?
    - I eat approximately 150-200 grams of protein daily (whey isolate, and lean meat & dairy) and have been keeping fats at 23% or less in my macros daily, carbs measure out from 20-27% (I record using FitBit dashboard to measure macros) and I try to keep my cals per day ranging between 1200-1300
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by Kilama View Post
    Thank you for your reply. To answer your Q's:

    - I lift every day because part of it is actually my second job (I teach group fitness part time, weight training and cardio dance classes... so some days I get in an extra workouts because of my hours coaching) I'm not on any specific program, but I do teach a LES MILLS formatted class which focus on high rep/lower weight style lifting. I used too be able to squat high reps of 75 LBS max, now I can barely do 40-50... and that's on a good day :/
    - I attempted keto and almost passed out (50 carbs a day) so I bumped it up and decided keto was not a good idea for someone as active as I am. I wanted to lose weight, which I did lowering carbs, I dropped from 110 to 102 LBS, but now I'm just trying to lose the last bit of body fat on my abs area. I got the 13% BF measurement from a InBody measurement machine at a Max Muscle Nutrition store, it was 13% last time I checked about a month ago, not sure about now. Doesn't look like 13% to be honest though. I'll post a pic sometime soon
    - BCAA's seemed to help me feel less tired/sore during my workouts?
    - I eat approximately 150-200 grams of protein daily (whey isolate, and lean meat & dairy) and have been keeping fats at 23% or less in my macros daily, carbs measure out from 20-27% (I record using FitBit dashboard to measure macros) and I try to keep my cals per day ranging between 1200-1300
    - If it's part of your job, then I guess do it. But it's suboptimal for muscle development. That's not very much weight at all. You need to eat more carbs and calories so that you can perform better. You should follow Fierce 5 or another real progressive program.
    - Keto is <25 g carbs per day. Yes, more carbs is better for physical performance, typically. You didn't lose weight because you lowered carbs. You lost weight because you lowered calories. If you're really at 13%, then you have nothing left to lose. Those devices are wildly inaccurate. Look up a woman body fat percentage picture on Google. World class female athletes are 10% bf or so. You'll probably be happier with your physique if you gain some muscle rather than losing fat.
    - Your mind's playing tricks on you and that's why everyone buys into the BCAA fad. First off, BCAAs are just isolated protein. You still won't digest them fast enough to realize any energy increase during the workout, especially if you do it intraworkout since your body will definitely deprioritize digestion. Also, almost nothing you do will actually affect soreness.
    - That's an unnecessary amount of protein and inadequate fat consumption. This is why you feel like you need to cheat: protein is typically bland and fat is typically good-tasting. If you reduce your protein intake and increase your fat intake you'll both enjoy your diet more and have better body composition. You only need ~80 g protein. More is fine if you prefer those types of food, but you ARE NOT gaining any extra advantage with those last 70-120 g of protein, especially if you're not pushing your lifts. You NEED 40+ g of fat per day, and more has been scientifically shown to be better. Ditch the percentages. Just make sure you get 80 p / 40 f and eat WHATEVER you want beyond that.
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    Originally Posted by Kilama View Post
    Thank you for your reply. To answer your Q's:
    - I eat approximately 150-200 grams of protein daily (whey isolate, and lean meat & dairy) and have been keeping fats at 23% or less in my macros daily, carbs measure out from 20-27% (I record using FitBit dashboard to measure macros) and I try to keep my cals per day ranging between 1200-1300
    -Don't use %s.
    -1200-1300 is not enough cals
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    Originally Posted by Kilama View Post
    if so, would I gain any fat back if I were to increase it again slowly?
    Thus is going to depend on your CALORIES, not necessarily your carbohydrates.
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