I was on a roll and, unfortunately, I’m not talking about the delicious Hawaiian kind.
The past two mornings I have been kicking ass: lifting, hill sprints, chia seeds.
And then yesterday afternoon fatigue hit me unexpectedly, and I would’ve thrown a little tantrum about it, but I was too tired. My HEC and SHMEC were out of checkity-check, you guys. Big time. I went in search of food, and at least I tried to eat things that were higher in protein. A chicken hot dog fixed the problem. (I pretty sure that’s the only time that’s ever been said about a chicken hot dog.)
Then I Googled adrenal fatigue. Reading through the symptoms I was like yes, yes, yes and yes and YES. Does this mean I have to stop running completely? *panic*
I was tired and now I was weepy. Yet my heart rate was up. I had to take my son to soccer practice. And, oh yeah, I’m one of the coaches.
But then I did something I never do, which was calm the eff down and be logical.
Let’s think about this: I’ve been going to sleep late and getting up early. I’ve been drinking 3-4 cups (travel mugs, actually) of coffee in the morning before even eating breakfast. And I have not been prioritizing rest and relaxation. (Real Housewives of New York before bed is not the most soothing practice. OMG, John, you guys.)
And, by the way, am I eating enough? My calories are low and the nutrients chart on MyFitnessPal has only been showing 20-30% of my daily diet as protein. That’s not enough.
Last night, I reread The Metabolic Effect Diet—specifically Chapter 3: The Metabolic Spark. I did really well following the guidelines in this book (and they aren’t that different from Metabolic Prime). But a couple points stood out to me:
- Eat every 2-4 hours and don’t let yourself get hungry
- Don’t skip meals or snacks
Metabolic Prime (and Jade’s other book Lose Weight Here) have changed their advice slightly on these points. ME Prime suggests going longer between meals and letting yourself feel a little hungry before you eat. But this didn’t work for me when I read LWH and it’s not working now.
Some other takeaways:
Jade writes in The Metabolic Effect Diet, “Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day because it establishes the proper hormonal fat-burning rhythms for the day.” AND THIS: “Breakfast should be consumed within the first 2 hours after waking up.”
DUDE! I’ve been waking at 5:45 and not eating till 9:30.
And then there’s this note about coffee and “sugar burners” (the book talks about how different people use more sugar or fat for fuel, or if they are someone who uses a mixed amount—I am a sugar burner). “One cup of strong caffeinated coffee before exercising can actually increase the fat-burning effects of a sugar burner’s workout.” BUT, he continues, if you drink coffee and don’t exercise, it will actually increase stress hormone production and lead to metabolic resistance. Uh oh.
Here are some things I’m going to try:
- Reduce coffee intake: Have a cup before my workout, and possibly one more (cup, not travel mug) on my commute with the hope that I can eventually cut out that second cup over time (maybe green tea instead). I really like having coffee on my commute, though. This morning, before my workout, I had a lungo espresso and some water, and relaxed for 30 minutes. I did my workout at about 6:30.
- Eat breakfast after my morning workout: This morning I had two fried eggs with two slices of deli turkey on a bed of arugula at 7:30 (see photo above). It was delicious! Then I had my naked smoothie two hours later as a snack. I think this will help me get my calories up a bit and, hopefully, set me up for more stable energy throughout the day by getting me off to a good start.
- Eat every 2-3 hours: I know 4 hours is a long time for me. Trying to muscle my way between hour 3 and 4 seems to just lead to binge-eating or lots of snacking later. The snacks don’t have to be big, just high in protein and fiber.
- More sleep: Okay, this is recommended in ME Prime, too, but I have not been doing a good job with this. I need to be more mindful about when I’m going to bed and getting up. I got 7.5 hours last night. Going to try for 8 tonight since it’s a Friday—seems like an easy day to start on.
- More R&R: Yoga, baths, coloring. Going to aim for 15 minutes because I’m terrible at this and need to start small.
Things I will continue doing, that I’ve been doing a pretty good job with:
- Drinking a lot of water (my goal is half my weight in ounces, so about 75)
- 3 HIIT workouts with weights per week (Metabolic Prime)
- 2 sprint/speed/hill running workouts per week (no longer than 30 minutes)
- 1 long slow run per week of 60-90 minutes
- 30-60 minutes of walking per day
Hopefully, I will be kicking ass again in no time.
This is really good Kerrie. I like how you’ve PinPointed exactly what’s working and What isn’t. I need to keep a log of my food and HEC so I can do similar detective work like you’ve been doing. I think That I’ll remeMber but I never do. As much as i hate logging food i think i might need to in order to figure this out. (Posting this from my Phone and it’s aLl in caps).
The only unfortunate thing is that the HEC is constantly changing! (No worries about all caps–I think that’s a mobile thing.)
Love this! Sounds like we have the same situation! Good advice, I’m going in this direction too!