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 Post subject: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:06 am 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:50 am
Posts: 1
Hey,

I just signed up for this site to get some help from you guys. I have tried vegan diet so many times but always fail as I get extremely tired. The first week I always feel great (I lose weight, I don't crave anything, I'm not hungry etc) but the second or third week I get so tired that I feel like I took a sleeping pill. I'm an athlete and a runner and the tiredness obviously is distracting my training as well as I don't have any energy. I don't even feel like working out at all.

I don't eat any process foods and I try to go heavy on vegetables, I have some healthy fats in my diet (but I'm not sure if enough), like chia seeds, nuts, flax seeds etc.

I also don't look my best. My skin looks old and I get pimples (all the opposite things that I'm expecting to). I don't have the glow that most of the people get.

I've tried paleo diet couple times and I always look and feel great! But I don't want to eat animals and also eliminating grains and legumes doesn't work when running long distance.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:17 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:21 pm
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
Hi! It's hard to say for sure without the details of your meals, but if you are losing weight and are tired after a couple of weeks, you probably just aren't eating enough. It can be tricky to eat enough calories at first, especially if you are replacing good sources of calories with lots of raw vegetables, salads etc.

Don't skimp on carbs (especially as a runner!) and legumes, and make sure there's fat in your diet - not just nuts and seeds here and there, but also oil for cooking, baking, in dressings...

Threads like this one viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1799 could give you an idea of what people eat over the course of a week.


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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:18 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:58 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: chicago
Have you tried using a nutrition tracker? I think it's useful whenever your diet or your dietary needs change a lot to track what you're eating for at least a week or two to get a general sense.

You may just need more calories, either in the form of more caloric ally dense food, or just more volume, particularly since it sounds like you are burning a lot, since veggieS are not as caloric ally dense as meat, dairy or eggs. A lot of people focus on protein but I find adequate protein not too difficult to get with minimal effort, and definitely think fat makes more of a difference than people give credit for as far as satiety, so it's good you're already thinking about that, but again if you're not sure if it's enough then a nutrition tracker is great.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:19 am 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 8771
Location: Portland
If you're losing weight after a week, you might be not getting enough calories. Are you tracking what you're eating? If not, I would start and make sure you're getting in plenty of calories, especially since you're a runner.

Also, as an endurance athlete, you need to be getting enough carbs. I'm a cyclist, and I don't feel great when I don't get enough carbs. I have also, weirdly enough, not felt great when I've cut way down on sugar.

If it's helpful, here's a sample of what I eat in a day (female cyclist, 35, training ~12 hours per week)

Breakfast:
Large bowl of granola with fruit
Coffee, lots

Snack:
2-3 handfuls of trail mix
soy yogurt & fruit

Lunch:
Tofurky sandwich on good bread (I use Dave's Killer Bread)
(Eddy Mercx ate sandwiches)

Snack:
Smoothie or something like that

Dinner:
Stir fried orange broccoli and tempeh with brown rice

Honestly, I probably have a few other things as well, depending on what I end up doing during the day. I hope that's helpful!

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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:00 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:36 pm
Posts: 796
Location: Boston-ish
Maybe post more details about what you are eating. You mention veggies and fats, but what are you eating as far as carbs and protein go? Especially since you said you felt good on a paleo diet, you might want to be sure you're getting some good high protein foods in (soy, beans, nuts, seitan). I apologize if this seems obvious, but do you change your sleeping pattern at all while eating vegan? (I ask because I once had a friend tell me that going vegan exhausted her, but it turned out she had actually just been sleeping less because of more stress at work.) My favorite website to recommend for nutrition info is vrg.org.

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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:08 pm 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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I definitely didn't get any sort of "glow" from going vegan and I don't know anybody who has so I think if that's your expectation it might be an unrealistic one?

Vegan for Life is a great book on vegan nutrition that might be helpful. But in general for now I agree with everyone else--more calories, more fat, more protein.

This might be helpful
http://www.theveganrd.com/2012/09/ten-t ... -diet.html

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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:23 pm 
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Taco Scientist
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Location: Austin, TX
Do you have any vegan cookbooks? I think I would have been so lost in the beginning if I didn't have a good book. Isa Does It is fabulous.

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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:46 pm 
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Invented Vegan Meringue
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Location: mt. pleasant
I would probably reccomend a registered dietician or following a vegan meal plan designed for an athlete like vega.


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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:52 am 
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Attended Chelsea Clinton's Wedding
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Location: Central Plains, USA
+1 on fupapack's Vega suggestion.

Brendan Brazier (cofounder of Vega) is a former triathlete, and while i admit i'm a bit of a fanboi it's because his info is solid. it helped my body recover from years of bad habits.

his books and websites are straight-forward, based on whole-food, don't require buying any of his products and are geared toward an audience that is active.

http://smile.amazon.com/Brendan-Brazier/e/B002BOHSCQ
http://thriveforward.com
https://myvega.com/meal-plans

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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:05 pm 
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Dead by dawn
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Location: Seattle
My guess would be that you just aren't getting enough calories*. I think the suggestion to try using a nutrition tracker is a good one. I hesitate to post a typical day for me because a) it depends hugely on where I am in a training cycle and b) because I do not in any way hold myself up as a paragon of good nutrition, but I have trained for two Ironmans, three marathons and dozens of shorter races on a vegan diet. There are times when this means eating a ton of food!

*Along with this, take a look at all your macronutrient intakes, but if you are low on any of them it might just be a matter of eating more calories. I agree with aelle that nuts and seeds are probably not getting you sufficient fat.

Also, if I have a glow, it's because I just had a great run, not because I'm vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:45 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:54 am
Posts: 125
Location: Minnesota
zero33 wrote:
+1 on fupapack's Vega suggestion.

Brendan Brazier (cofounder of Vega) is a former triathlete, and while i admit i'm a bit of a fanboi it's because his info is solid. it helped my body recover from years of bad habits.

his books and websites are straight-forward, based on whole-food, don't require buying any of his products and are geared toward an audience that is active.

http://smile.amazon.com/Brendan-Brazier/e/B002BOHSCQ
http://thriveforward.com
https://myvega.com/meal-plans


I agree with this! The types of foods he advocates are whole plant foods that are also free of allergens like soy and wheat/gluten. He is big on fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, pseudo grains (quinoa, buckwheat groats, wild rice), beans. Definitely worth checking in to!

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 Post subject: Re: Why am I extremely tired on vegan diet???
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:30 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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I feel like crepe if I don't get plenty of protein. I can skimp a little on fat or carbs if I'm in the mood to lose weight (if you do not want to lose weight - don't skimp on these things!) and still feel okay, but if I don't get enough protein I feel it in a day or so. I'm 35 and female and aim for 80g of protein a day. That sounds high to a lot of vegans, but I think it really helps my body recover quickly from things and I don't seem to lose muscle even when I am losing a bunch of weight (but I also have been a heavy weightlifter in the past, so that doesn't hurt the muscle thing!). The other thing that makes me feel crappy is when my electrolyte balance is funky. I drink a lot of water (because I am nursing and get super thirsty, but being athletic may have the same effect) and find I need to start adding a little electrolyte powder after the first quart of the day or so to stay sharp feeling. Adding more salt to food would probably do the same thing for you, I just don't like salty things so I don't go that route.

I have a lot of friends on the "paleo" diet and the big thing on that diet is just eating gobs of fat, moderate protein, moderate carbs. So if you know you feel good doing that, why not try something like a vegan style "paleo" diet? Plenty of fruits/veg, sweet potatoes, lots of fat to cook them in, nuts and seeds, and then add soy and beans for protein and pseudo grains and/or grains if you need more carbs.


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