21 year old overtrained on a low volume plan - Need Advice/Help and Reccomendations

I agree with all of this - its a good approach.

I try not to snack but when I do I try and go for the healthy option rather than the quick sugar fix - I can’t help myself sometimes and just accept it and move on.

A (long time ago now) it used to be grab a chocolate bar or crisps…now its nuts and raisins or my current favourite which is to roast up a big tray of chopped sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli with some salt and pepper to season - so tasty!

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Short version - eat more…a lot more…protein and carbs in particular.

Going vegan makes this (particularly the protein) harder so question exactly WHY you are doing that

Note, not saying you shouldn’t, not saying impossible etc, but saying really think, could you say eat meat/fish 1-2 a week or is that a huge no, even though currently your diet is damaging your health.

But vegan or not … Need a significant rise in calories/protein and carbs even before factor in training.

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I wouldn’t go as far to say your vegan diet is damaging your health, its not

Yes, being vegan might just take a little more care, reading the back of packages and relying on a wide variety of food etc, which is all very good habits which will make you much more aware of what you are putting in your body - arguably, most people need to do this.

You are having loads of nutrient dense foods, so you are eating well - you are just not eating enough. You just need more calories (particularly carbs), can be fixed with some sugar and pasta, both of which are vegan :slight_smile:

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I’m vegan and train HV about 12-14hrs per week, up to 20 in the summer, and I’m 51. I am telling you that you are consuming MUCH too little.

I eat a similar breakfast but with 1/2 cup oats but otherwise exactly the same.

Lunch is a BIG bowl of veg soup that is also always made with a LOT of lentils/beans and I also have a couple of big slices of toast with homemade veg hummus. AND a big bowl of fresh fruit.

Dinner is a proper meal but always made with a protein rich source such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu etc and always a full plate of veg and plenty of carbs such as rice, pasta, quinoa, pearl barley etc etc.

I snack around workouts with fruit and if I’ve done an intensity day or harder long day then I will have a protein shake with berries. I also fuel workouts with bananas, maltex etc.

Thats probably 2-3x the calories you’re eating and my weight is stable and I am not doing half the additional stuff you’re doing as I’m basically retired now. You really need to look at that diet. You dont overreach on a LV plan and you are seriously calorie restricting much too far.

Good luck with it.

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Agreed, I said his current diet (i.e. lack of food) is damaging his health, not meaning the vegan part. Vegan makes it harder but by no means impossible and many good examples show.

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I’ve been vegan for over a decade. ~180cm/88kg. My usual breakfast is 70-100g oats, 40g sunflower seeds, 30-50g TVP, 150-200g frozen mango or berries, with ~300mL of soymilk. Typical lunch is usually two yves veggie burgers, 4 slices of whole wheat bread, and some frozen veggies. Supper tends to be baked potatoes, beans/lentils, more veggies or salad. I tend to eat more of the veggie burgers & frozen veg when I’m working long hours since they require no prep and have a lot of added vitamins/minerals. I’m typically doing 10-15 hours of riding a week, or during work periods anywhere from 50-84 hours of heavy construction labour a week. I do a bit of lifting when I’m not working.

I suggest using cronometer to track your food intake, it also tracks vitamins and minerals in the free version. Eat at least enough to maintain your weight, if not a surplus for a few weeks to gain back some of the weight you lost.

I would also be on the lookout for other signs of disordered eating, it’s not unheard of for cyclists to fall into full blown eating disorders due to the focus on weight in the sport, even though most of us would benefit more from adding watts instead of cutting weight.

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Whilst being Vegan does make it harder to get protein, there are plenty of sources available - you just need to be more creative with how you get them. From a paper I recently read (which was referenced in AACC TR podcast episode 340 which discussed being Vegan and protein intake) the key points were:

  1. There are not as many good quality plant based protein sources as animal based ones
  2. Many plant based proteins are not complete and as such do not contain all essential amino acids required as a vegan
  3. Important that as a vegan you get protein from a variety of sources to ensure you get all the essential amino acids

The Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) is a composite indicator of protein quality used to assess the ability of dietary protein to meet the body’s amino acid requirements

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I don’t think this is the issue here. Moving back to eating meat won’t solve the underlying issue of under fuelling. I would suggest it is the under fuelling that is damaging health.

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Not to pile on, but hopefully another voice can drive the point home. You are not eating nearly enough. You’re basically on a starvation diet and trying to train on the bike. You are not overtrained, you are vastly underfed.

Vegan of 5 years here. It’s not quite as easy to get calories without animal products, but it’s still possible and you have to do it or you’ll wither away.

Example of a day of eating for me…
Breakfast: Shake that includes 1-2 bananas, rice milk, protein powder, peanut butter powder, berries, spinach, flax seed, chia seeds. It’s like 30oz of shake. Huge. Usually will have something else as well like a few pieces of toast and jam/vegan butter or a bagel or some sort of carb source.

Morning snack: Fig bars or similar.

Lunch: 1 cup (uncooked) rice (which is a lot of volume of cooked rice), an entire can of black beans, 3-5 medium tortillas.

Afternoon snack: A bagel or a couple bowls of cereal, or a quick frozen noodle bowl thing. Depends on the day. Usually have another protein shake with soy milk somewhere in the day too.

On the bike: Maltodextrin/fructose mix. 120g+ carbs/hr. That means for a 3hr ride it’s well over 1000 calories just in on the bike fuel. Immediately off the bike I’ll have another protein shake with peanut butter powder and rice milk.

Dinner: 3/4 lb of dry pasta, veggie sauce that might have 2 whole squash in it and a whole jar of tomato sauce.

That might not even tell the whole story too, as I’m always grazing on other stuff throughout the day and in/out of the pantry. You probably look at that and think it’s nut, but I’m at 7% bodyfat. Cycling burns immense amounts of calories that need to be replaced and used by your body to get stronger. If they’re not there to burn, you’re gonna feel like shit all the time.

I don’t think you need weeks or months off to get out of some deep training fatigue state. I think you need to track your calories and eat 3-4k a day for a week and you’ll feel amazing. It will feel like you’re eating constantly, all the time and you’ll probably feel stuffed a lot too. That’s fine. You need to start choosing calorie heavy and carb heavy foods too. There’s 113 calories in 1lb of arugula. So to get 3000 calories you’d need to eat 26.5 pounds of it. That amount of arugula would take up an entire fridge and if you spent the whole day chewing it wouldn’t be possible to get through. To contrast that, 1lb of peanut butter there’s 2600 calories. Pretty doable to eat an entire jar of peanut butter in a day if you ask me.

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:smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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I am far from a nutrition expert, but had similar thoughts (notable under-fueling) to all above as soon as I read that section. Plenty of good stuff above, but the lack of a reply from the OP has me on pins and needles sitting here impatiently :stuck_out_tongue:

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Feature request: trainerroad with small nutritionist/dietician services subscription for $xx per month…
Oh wait, that might be a bit beyond the scope of a small feature update :thinking:

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  • There are several requests with a range of scope already submitted (top 4 in particular, may be more).

https://www.trainerroad.com/forum/search?q=%23trainerroad-software%20tags:feature-request%20nutrition

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Yeah, I’m not actually suggesting it, as it would require a complete overhaul of the entire company.
Think of it more as wistful dreaming :wink:

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Just figured I’d reassure you that your thoughts have been touched on in at least some ways with similar interest. :smiley:

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Totally! It’s a legitimately good idea, I just think Nate has about 40,000 other ideas that are already on the docket. I think his head would quite literally explode on the next podcast if they also introduced a whole nutrition side to things

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Registered dieticians in the healthcare “network” can be expensive. The links ivy shared are a great start, if I was OP I would focus on more food, complete proteins and healthy fats.
Even using some thing like MyFitnessPal could potentially help or not depending how they answer how active they are.
If I was him or her I’d start by eating 700-900 cal meals 3 times a day with snacks on hand if you still feel hungry and fuel workouts 60g per hour on top of all that.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, we are here for each other.

me at work all day thinking about the ungodly amount of carbs i eat and how good my workouts feel

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Thank you all for your comments! To add more information, I follow a nutritarian diet: a diet that limits processed foods and focused on nutrient-dense foods. I base my diet around G-BOMBS: Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds. The five food groups that are very high in nutrients and consuming them synergistically will drastically reduce the risk of cancers and it would be almost impossible to have any heart disease. It also helps your immunity as one would rarely get sick by eating such a nutritious diet. I follow this diet protocol: Eat for Life: The Breakthrough Nutrient-Rich Program for Longevity, Disease Reversal, and Sustained Weight Loss: Fuhrman M.D., Joel: 9780062249302: Books - Amazon.ca
and it really helps me by making me feel “satisfied” on less calories. However, I realized that this book is primarily targeted towards those who have cancer, heart disease, and are overweight as it is them who need to reduce their calorie consumption. I found a reputable resource by Dr Joel Fuhrman (the same doctor who wrote that ear for life) where he talks about vegan athletes. His point is very similar to what many of you have been saying: athletes in general require more calories in general and he has given a sample meal plan for vegan athletes. You can read his position paper on “Fuelling the vegan athlete” over here Position Papers | DrFuhrman.com (purchase or membership required). Since I am not allowed to share that article, I will paraphrase some key points in my own words: vegan athletes need to supplement with omega 3s and Vitamin B12 (which I do). They also need more calories than the average person and he has given a sample meal plan for vegan athletes on that position paper. I made some slight modifications to that according my taste preferences, and wow! I feel so energetic now! I just realized how much I have been starving.

So, the question you might be asking is why am I following a nutritional diet? Well, I do not want to be increasing my risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart diseases and want to continue training without catching any sickness. I am happy to say that this diet has really helped me prevent the occasional cold, flu, and even COVID! He wrote a seperate book on how to naturally strengthen immunity Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free: Fuhrman M.D., Joel: 9780062080646: Books - Amazon.ca. When it comes to animal products, they are not really good for one’s immunity and increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. Animal products according to him contain excessive amounts of IGF 1 (insulin like growth factor 1), which is responsible for the cancer growth in our body. Animal products also contain too much cholesterol and it can increase the risk of heart disease. Plants such as broccoli have more protein per calorie than a steak! I do not plan to take any soy protein isolates as they have the same effect as animal products. As a result, I prefer to supplement with omega 3s and Vitamin b12 instead of consuming animal products regularly.

So, the modifications I have made to my diet is to include more carbohydrates. Here is a sample day of eating:

Breakfast: 1.5 cups of steel cut oats with some blueberries, strawberries, grapes, nuts and seeds with 1-2 medjool dates. Vitamin B12 and Omega 3 supplents.
Snack: Sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel) with almond butter with some pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Lunch: Tofu pizza - 1 slice (thin sliced tofu topped low salt ketchup and chilli flakes and baked for 15 minutes) and a salad mixed with 3 homemade chickpea burger patties (or other bean-based burger) and a bit of Quinoa (if needed) as the source of carbs
Dinner: Quinoa or butternut squash or some other source of whole grains with some raw veggies.

I definitely understand where you are coming from with your goals and purpose in mind. However, you really need to decide whether your primary goal is to be an athlete, or have a specialty lifestyle, that aims to minimize your chances of disease or issues as much as possible. While there is some overlap, they are certainly very different. You need to realize that athletic nutrition advice is very different from weight loss, disease prevention, or other specialty diet restrictions. And keep in mind I’m not saying athletic diets are unhealthy, quite the opposite. But I’m saying you wouldn’t look to a Toyota Corolla owners manual if you are trying to extract the last little bit of performance out of your Ferrari formula 1 car. Make sure you’re getting your information for your Athletics from athletic focused sources.
Simply put, is that author trying to help you become a better athlete? If not, then they are not the best source to base your diet on if you are trying to become a better athlete, even if the underlying information and principles are good for health in general.

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+100 from above
Proper fueling during exercise will have a great impact on your training for you on top of daily foods you’re eating. The body while exercising digests carbs in a different manner than when at rest or just sitting around doing daily activities. That’s why you will always hear people talk about “do not diet on the bike.” If you upped your calories and had some proper carbohydrates during exercise you’d probably feel 100 times better. I understand being scared of Chronic diseases but you have to understand most users on TrainerRoad are much more active than the regular population. Over consumption and minimal activity leads to more chronic diseases then someone eating sugar on a bike and exercising 6 to 8 hours a week.

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