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  1. #1
    Registered User agnosticnomad's Avatar
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    Unhappy Cutting on Carbs for Weight Loss but No Energy for Running/Working Out

    Hey everyone.

    I am 17 years old, 5'6 (167 cm), and I weigh 146 pounds. I'm enlisted in the US Army (shipping after I graduate from high school). Fitness is something I have been invested in for the past months, but I have some things I need to be answered to achieve the best shape I can get.

    From experience, I know that going on a low-carb diet works, but it makes it hard for me to improve on muscle-building and running.
    First, I need to cut. But at the same time, I need to build muscle. And at the same time, I'm trying to increase my running speed & endurance.
    So to cut, I understand that I should lower my carbohydrate intake (possibly go on a keto diet). However, cutting on carbs makes me have less energy, so I'm more tired in runs and workouts.
    I'm trying to get rid of love handles & belly fat, and I'm trying to build muscle, and run faster. With very little carbohydrates (or none at all), I seem to have progressed in physique, but I feel super ineffective in my runs. I get exhausted and out-of-breath more easily.


    What do you guys suggest I should do for nutrition and exercise?

    Please, any recommendations will help.
    This is my first post, so I apologize in advance if I made anything unclear and I will gladly answer any questions. Thank you very much.
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  2. #2
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    17 and 146lbs - you should build muscle first, not cut.

    Post a pic for a more accurate opinion - but if it's not "build muscle first", I'll eat my hat.

    And yes, low carbs can make your performance tank. There is no reason to go low carb even when cutting.
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  3. #3
    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    Your weight is appropriate for your height (i.e., you're not overweight.) It's not a problem as far as your enlistment goes so I see no reason to cut. Focus on building muscle.

    And yes, eat some more carbs. Even if you were going to cut, there's no reason why you should be eating in such a large deficit that you'd be suffering from lack of energy due to too few carbs.
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  4. #4
    Registered User BigPapi215's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by agnosticnomad View Post
    Hey everyone.

    I am 17 years old, 5'6 (167 cm), and I weigh 146 pounds. I'm enlisted in the US Army (shipping after I graduate from high school). Fitness is something I have been invested in for the past months, but I have some things I need to be answered to achieve the best shape I can get.

    From experience, I know that going on a low-carb diet works, but it makes it hard for me to improve on muscle-building and running.
    First, I need to cut. But at the same time, I need to build muscle. And at the same time, I'm trying to increase my running speed & endurance.
    So to cut, I understand that I should lower my carbohydrate intake (possibly go on a keto diet). However, cutting on carbs makes me have less energy, so I'm more tired in runs and workouts.
    I'm trying to get rid of love handles & belly fat, and I'm trying to build muscle, and run faster. With very little carbohydrates (or none at all), I seem to have progressed in physique, but I feel super ineffective in my runs. I get exhausted and out-of-breath more easily.


    What do you guys suggest I should do for nutrition and exercise?

    Please, any recommendations will help.
    This is my first post, so I apologize in advance if I made anything unclear and I will gladly answer any questions. Thank you very much.

    The human body is made up of 4 main elements known as CHON: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen (along with trace elements, which are chemicals your body needs in small amounts, such as calcium, potassium, iron, chlorine, etc.).

    Carbs, or Carbohydrates provide a lot of your body's intake of carbon and hydrogen (Look at the root words CARBoHYDRates), and that's what the body uses to create more muscle tissue (along with oxygen and the nitrogen found in protein). In order to bulk, you need a good amount of carbs. This is also it's fuel for workouts. Carbs provide energy for bodily functions such as running.

    I'd focus on cutting first, and then once you reach your goal, then bulk. I don't necessarily think it's impossible to do both at the same time, but it's definitely going to be hard.

    Sources: Chemistry and biology textbooks
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  5. #5
    Registered User jdesey's Avatar
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    Me too

    After years of being a carb-nazi. I have changed it up and allow some carbs. Mostly from fruit. An ultra low carb diet dies work, but your energy level is low and mood is bad.
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