Thursday, April 02, 2009

Higher-protein diet: FAIL

I've been trying this higher-protein diet for two months now, and it's not working for me. At first, for a couple or three weeks, it was fine, but then gradually, I started feeling more and more tired, very much like the personal experiences I've read. Really tired. Like, laying down on my office floor for 15 minutes twice a day tired. Like being too tired to exercise. And, my thyroid is not so off as to lay the blame on that. This latest feeling tired is really, really dramatic, and it's gotten really bad in the past month or so.

Whenever I have a client who comes in with complaints I always ask how long they've felt this way. Then I ask them about "exceptions".
  • When do you not feel this way?
  • What have you tried before that works?
  • What do you do that makes you feel good?
Unfortunately it is a truth universal that I don't often take my own advice. It's easy to blame everything on a thyroid, but in truth, when I look back over my weight loss saga for the past 5 years, Baboo has helped me see that only one thing has worked consistently for me: the Weight Watcher's Point system. Thyroid or not, it works for me.

It's easy, I get to "earn" extra points by doing exercise, and every single time that I've been diligent about keeping those points (early 2005, and then again in early 2008), I've dropped about 2 dress sizes pretty quickly, hypothyroid or no, and had plenty of energy for workouts. Whenever I quit keeping the points, I'd gain a dress size or two.

Everything else I've done since then has not worked. So, I'm going back to the points system.

I looked at my diet for the past couple months, and I'm getting about nearly twice as many points a day as what has worked for me in the past. I've been retricting my carbs to make up for the extra protein that I'm supposed to get on it. Runners need more energy and carbs, not less. I was doing well on less protein in the past. I'm going back to my tried-and-true.

Of course, I am too cheap to re-join WW them and pay the dues. I have a copy of their points calculation formula in a spreadsheet, so I'm going to track all my food in SparkPeople, which is free (the formula for Excel is: =(B1/50)+(C1/12)-(D1/5) where you would input in cell B1 your calories, c1 your fat, and d1 your fiber.) See, boys and girls? There is a use for Algebra after high school.

Sounds like a lot of work. But I am so terrible at just "guessing" how much I've eaten. I have to track it. Everyone has their own thing that works for them, and clearly, this is mine. I have to take responsibility for myself instead of looking for ways out. Do I think the Synthroid will work for me? yes. But more importantly, I've had my own personal experience with a lower carb, higher-protein diet, and it's not for me.



  1. I'd wait a month and see how the thyroid works before you totally attribute the tired to diet...

  2. Don't get me started on "Low Carb/High Protein" diets.

    Your going to do IM next year, Carbs are your friend.

    "Runners need more energy and carbs, not less. I was doing well on less protein in the past. I'm going back to my tried-and-true." Me likey this!

  3. My Daily Plate at is another good palce for tracking what you are eating and exercise. I like it better than SP.

  4. I think I may have to start doing this again myself. I believe I used FitDay in the past but once you fall off the wagon.........sigh........

  5. I've been using sparkpeople for a few years and really like it. I'm getting back into tracking everything because, like you, that keeps me going. I always thought that Weight Watchers points were about 1 point per 50 calories, nice to see your formula for more information. Good luck.

  6. we're all a little different about our diet needs. Good on ya for figuring it out and getting to feel better.
    I find I need more protein than the average athlete or I'll waste away.


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