“I Lost Weight But Feel Weak, Tired, Cold & My Sex Drive is Gone…Help!”
Mar 2013 29
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Joe writes:

Anthony,
 
I just finished your book The Fat Loss Bible, and really enjoyed it. I learned a lot of diet and exercise techniques to help improve my current regimen.
 
Quick background on me. I went through a “transformation” about a year ago. I went from 183 to a ripped 155 at 5’8″. I experienced all the positive comments you talk about in your book, and even had fitness photos taken.   During this time I had a coach whom taught me much of what you write in your book.  Exercise, calories are king, concept of deficit, etc…. My technique was and still is to use weekly calories as a moving average, and shoot for a weekly deficit.   Furthermore, I would use intermittent fasting as a way to “fit” my calories into the week.  I did not pay attention to macros, only calories, no matter what it was (junk, sweets, etc)

So far, this has worked well with a few glitches.  
 
First, I had rebounded twice from last year.  Not completely, but enough to be upset and depressed about it.  Each time I dieted back down, and currently I am on my third come back.   My problem is I don’t know what to do to STAY lean once I get there.  Once I am there, I feel I am starving and it’s tough to maintain energy.  Also, I have trouble getting through to that very last push to ultimate leanness.  Instead I experience the fatigue, lack of motivation, no pump, feeling cold all the time, low sex drive…..   

Your concept of energy flux is interesting, although, I have always been afraid of raising calories in fear of fat gain.
 
1. At my level of leanness, should I be using energy flux too push to that last level leanness and maintain? ( I use a heart rate monitor as way to track calorie expenditure)
 
I usually use intermittent fasting as way to “save” calories for big eating events (dinner with friends, winery, etc). Some weeks I would even eat very low calories plus a fast to save for huge eating weekend, but I noticed that I would feel like a weak, unmotivated, sapling.  I do not use IF as my staple diet like you talk about in your book.  I eat in a deficit, then one day of week

I will fast, but only to “save” the calories for later in week.
 
 2. Is the one day fast (provided that my calories for the other days are higher, but still in deficit) detrimental to obtaining that last level of fat loss?  
 
Some gurus say one needs to be carb depleted to lose fat.  I have found that I probably am eating low carb even though I don’t count due to my diet regimen,  but I feel like crap and can’t train hard.  With that being said…….
 
3. By ensuring I’m in a deficit, aren’t I already carb depleted because my body will not be fully able to replenish glycogen stores?
 
4.  My primary form of “cardio” was walking.  I’m not saying I will give up walking, but I was always concerned with performing HIIT or any other activity (biking, MMA, etc) due to my interpretation, or misinterpretation that I will be burning mostly glycogen and or muscle given I was in a deficit.  I’ve been told that if I want to burn fat then do low intensities like walking.  Thoughts?   
 
Thank you.  Again, I really enjoyed your book and look forward to hearing from you.

Anthony replies:

Hi Joe,

first of all, congratulations on dropping around 30 pounds of chub – that’s a great result! Unfortunately, your celebration party has been gate-crashed by some very unwelcome guests. I reckon it’s time to step up and show them the door.

Reading through your email, it becomes clear that you need to drop both the intermittent fasting gig (even if it is on an irregular basis) and any kind of carb-restriction. Both of these are battering your already struggling adrenal-pituitary-thyroid axis.

“Some gurus say one needs to be carb depleted to lose fat.”

Here’s some free and very valuable advice: Many ‘gurus’ are full of shit, and you need to be very wary of what they claim. The claim that you need to be “carb-depleted” to lose fat is utter nonsense. I could start reciting the science showing as much, but you’ve already read my book in which I discuss this. Instead, I’ll employ here something known as commonsense: If one has to be “carb-depleted” to burn fat, why are so many athletes who eat mountains of carbohydrates so lean? Just look at any high level road cyclist or triathlon competitor – how do these guys get so lean if all the carbs they are eating ‘block’ fat-burning?

And I think it’s also fair to ask: If reducing or eliminating carbs is the key to opening the fat-burning floodgates, why are most of the prominent low-carb advocates such a bunch of flabsters?

The “walking/low-intensity cardio is best for fat loss” tenet is another long-disproved myth. This myth started because, yes, a higher proportion of the meager calorie burn you achieve will come from fat. Upping the intensity will cause your body to tap into proportionately higher amounts of glycogen. But what this theory overlooks is the fact that, compared to walking, your overall calorie burn will be so much higher doing things like fast cycling, boxing, skipping, etc, that regardless of the exact fat:glucose ratio being employed, the total amount of fat you burn will be much higher.

lokelani-mcmichael
Female triathlete Lokelani McMichael. Tell me again how high carbs and vigorous exercise impede fat-burning?

070728-N-1722M-178
More triathletes whose bodies stubbornly refuse to support the “carbs impede fat-burning” and “low intensity cardio is best for fat loss” nonsense.

Your problem in a nutshell is that your caloric and carbohydrate intakes are too low. And your body is now in an emergency, semi-starvation state as a result. That’s why you are experiencing low sex drive, perpetual low body temp, lack of motivation, low energy, etc. Your body isn’t stupid; it reacts to the insufficient food intake by slowing down all non-essential functions, so that essential stuff – like keeping your heart beating and your brain functioning – gets priority access to the meager pool of available energy.

Doing things like intermittent fasting and eating insufficient carbs – where you go for long intervals in a glucose-depleted state – only make matters worse. You would do well to read the following article:

Is a Low Carb Diet Bad For Your Thyroid?

I suggest you also have another read through The Fat Loss Bible, taking special note of the sections debunking the “carbs/insulin make you fat” sham, and the Appendix dealing with Intermittent fasting.

The solution to your problem lies with the Energy Flux approach, a scientifically documented option I present and explain in The Fat Loss Bible. You need to start eating more to lift your body out of its present semi-starvation state. You also need to start exercising more intensely. In other words, you need to stop eating like a bird and exercising like a baby boomer, and start eating and training like an ass-kicking athlete. I understand you have lingering fears that this will somehow make you fat – it won’t. Just raise your caloric and carbohydrate intake and exercise volume/intensity in an incremental fashion. As you begin to see and experience marked improvements, you’ll know you’re on the right track.

And for now, put your goal of becoming super-shredded aside and focus instead on nursing yourself back to optimal health. When your body temperature, energy levels and sex drive have fully returned to normal, then you can set about knocking off a few more percent body fat. Your immediate goal is to get back your mojo, without putting on any extra chub in the process. You describe yourself as “ripped”, so I highly doubt people are going to look, point and make fat jokes as you walk past simply because you’re in the midst of modifying your fat loss/maintenance strategy.

fatigued-lion
If you’ve been dieting and now feel tired and weak, it might be time to stop skimping on the carbs, bump up your calories, and start training like you mean it.

Also, I’m not sure what your supplementation routine is like at the moment, or if you even have one, but in addition to the recommendations in The Fat Loss Bible I’d suggest a good sublingual B complex formula (Source Naturals Coenzymate B
is a great product), an ionic mineral concentrate such as Trace Minerals Research ConcenTrace, and an iodine supplement (given your ‘adrenal fatigue’ symptoms, I’d avoid potassium iodide and go for a non-potassium-containing form of iodine, like TPCS Iosol Formula II. Make sure you are supplementing with selenium as recommended in The Fat Loss Bible.

In short, you’ve only just finished reading my book, which means you haven’t had a chance to test drive any of the recommendations I make in it. You’ve tried a partial intermittent fasting approach, and that left you feeling royally buggered, so I can only imagine what a full-time IF regimen would do to you. You’ve also listened to the carb-phobes and the low-intensity cardio crowd, and their advice has failed you. Now it’s time to try my approach, which definitely does not involve intermittent fasting, carbohydrate restriction, eating like a mouse, nor exercising like a senior citizen.

I know full well which approach will prove superior – now it’s your turn to find out.

I hope this helps push you in the right direction,

Kind regards,

Anthony.

Anthony Colpo is an independent researcher, physical conditioning specialist, and author of The Fat Loss Bible and The Great Cholesterol Con. For more information, visit TheFatLossBible.net or TheGreatCholesterolCon.com

Copyright © Anthony Colpo.

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