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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Question Reality Check: Nutritionist Advice

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    So I saw a nutritionist today (actually an RD) at the recommendation of my new primary care. I've been trying to lose weight and have been stuck despite eating a pretty healthy diet and having a regular exercise habit. I'm wondering if I found the wrong person (or if I've just had a lot of misconceptions over the years). Here are the changes she wants me to make that have be scratching my head (there are others I agree with like playing with my meal timing):

    1) Halve my veggies. I'm not eating crap - but I'm now pretty severely limited. We're taking about less salad, broccoli, cabbage, etc. Not the starchy stuff.
    2) Reduce my protein to a total of 5 ounces a DAY. So - with my 2 egg lunch, I get 3 ounces for dinner (with no cheese, tofu, beans, etc.). Assuming I didn't have any for breakfast.
    3) Increase my grains - she doesn't care what kind. So - more bread (her recommendation is English muffins or bagels), more oats (I can live with that), more pasta, more rice.
    4) Never, ever replace any calories burned in exercise. No matter what. I'm not talking about supplementing after an hour on the trainer (I don't - but I do try to eat part of the next meal so I'm not starving). I get 1800 calories a day even if I'm on my bike the entire day. Yes, I double checked. I told her that (if the stars align and my hamstring starts behaving - a big if), I want to train for a 200 mile ride. 1800 calories a day.

    This sounds completely nuts to me - and contrary to what my research has uncovered. On the other hand, I haven't managed to lose weight on my own - so maybe I'm not in a position to be questioning it. Thoughts? Am I crazy or is she?
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  2. #2
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    Nov 2009
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    This sounds like pretty much the opposite of what I'm doing and I've lost 12#s since 1/1 (have been in a water weight stall for a couple of weeks, thanks to TOM/AF). Is she super old-school, or what? FEWER veggies, MORE nutritional-desert refined carbs...seriously? Potentially eating WAY under 1200 net calories/day (which is the realm of the female athlete triad of eating disorders). Lemme guess...all fat is evil, better make that 5oz of protein in the form of egg whites and skinless chicken breast.

    I would be firing this "nutritionist" STAT and finding someone who actually is versed in the dietary needs of endurance athletes. Check out the Feed Zone books.
    Kirsten
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Hey friend -

    Ok yeah that sounds completely insane. Completely.

    WTF about not eating veggies????? And starchy "grains" like bagels and muffins - those are completely empty calories! I wouldn't even consider them grains! FWIW, I'm not eating much bread at all anymore EXCEPT during long rides (long for me = 200k and above right now). Which brings me to the subject of not replacing calories burned. That's crazy too!! You shouldn't go out and eat a whole pizza because you rode 2 days ago (I used to have that mind set), but if you don't replace some of what you are bringing there is no way you are going to be properly fuelled to do ANYTHING.

    And lower protein? Weird.

    Honestly that whole eating "plan" is completely the opposite of what I have been doing since about August of last year. And during that time, I've lost 20 pounds (gained while being moderately depressed/in pain/inactive before my hip surgery) and my athletic performance is about the best it has ever been.

    I don't get that at all. Could you ask her for studies or theories substantiating these particular recommendations?

    Sarah
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


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  4. #4
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    West MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by maillotpois View Post
    I don't get that at all. Could you ask her for studies or theories substantiating these particular recommendations?
    Seriously, call her to the table. Pretty much ALL of her recommendations go against modern sports nutrition and actually sound pretty dangerous. No woman should dip below 1200 net calories/day.
    Kirsten
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  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    Seriously, call her to the table. Pretty much ALL of her recommendations go against modern sports nutrition and actually sound pretty dangerous. No woman should dip below 1200 net calories/day.
    +1

    If she's got research to back it up, she should be happy to share. Otherwise ... it just sounds really, really wrong to me.

    FWIW, I've read recently that endurance athletes shouldn't go full low-carb, because our bodies will learn not to burn carbs during competitions when we need quick energy. But grains are the most acidifying component of most people's diets, and I can't imagine increasing grains. I feel *so* much better since I reduced my grain intake. My weight's reasonably stable and has been for a while, but since I reduced grains, my mostly sedentary DH has followed along to a lesser extent and spontaneously lost like 15# without making any other changes.


    Also FWIW, you might search for a nutritionist who's a member of Dietitians for Professional Integrity. I certainly would make sure I'm taking advice from someone who's more interested in health than corporate sponsorship ...
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 02-19-2015 at 05:03 PM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    4,556
    Thanks, ladies. I thought my gut was correct on this one, and you're definitely confirming that. I suspect I need to balance my meals better (move more calories earlier in the day), but that *what* I'm eating isn't fundamentally incorrect (when I eat carbs, it's things like sweet potato for the most part). I should have known I was in trouble when she asked what "subclinical hypothyroidism" meant.

    *If* I go to the second appointment, I'll definitely ask her for sources. When I pushed a little today, and responded in a "if you want to lose weight, you will do what I say" manner. She also said (when I pushed on compensating some for exercise) that we could talk about that when I stopped wanting to lose weight. Not before.

    I *think* her theory is that my calories have been running below my base metabolic rate (from tables, which she believes to be accurate). Basically, I've been trying to lose weight for so long my body is quite used to starving. I don't see how giving it more grains and less "good stuff" helps that, though - and she didn't have a great response other than "it thinks it's starving."

    Zoom - she's not absolutely against fat - but only 5 tsp a day total. Heavy on dairy (which, ironically, can be full fat). Basically, it's the freaking food pyramid that researchers have now fairly conclusively doesn't work. Will definitely check out the Feed Zone books. Assuming my hamstring calms down (and my PT approves), I might also consider a coach/personal trainer to help me safely ramp my activity back up. I expect that will help much more than following this plan.
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  7. #7
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    Feb 2005
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    This sounds really ***-backwards. That's the way I used to eat when I was in my thirties, teaching 7 aerobics classes a week. I weighed 92 and everyone thought I had a severe eating disorder. I would run, run, run away and find an RD who has a specialty in sports nutrition.
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  8. #8
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    Oh sure - so if your body is in starvation mode then let's not compensate it for when it exercises. Makes SO much sense. NOT.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by maillotpois View Post
    Oh sure - so if your body is in starvation mode then let's not compensate it for when it exercises. Makes SO much sense. NOT.
    RIGHT!!! I'd love to see this woman's license and where she received her training. I think any of us have a better handle on what is a healthy way to eat.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    I agree with almost none of her recommendations. And failing to eat recovery food doesn't work with high intensity exercise.

    Go see someone else.

    It is about calories in, calories out, But with 1800 per day, that should be a decrease. Makes me think something else is going on.

    Also, have they explored any reasons medically why you are not losing? Thyroid? Something?
    Last edited by Muirenn; 02-19-2015 at 06:23 PM.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    RIGHT!!! I'd love to see this woman's license and where she received her training. I think any of us have a better handle on what is a healthy way to eat.
    Have a bagel!!
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ohio
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    105
    More of the same. I did my own research when the doctor told me I was headed toward becoming diabetic. I spoke to several diabetics about their diets. I used my fitness pal for calorie counting and for helping me keep my carbs, proteins, and fats balanced. I replaced my simple carbs with complex carbs. Reduced my alcohol intake. I began exercising for 2 hours a day mostly spinning but also trying to increase muscle. I ended up losing 35lbs from Jan 1- June. It was pretty easy to keep it off for the summer but fall and the holidays tripped me up and I put 10 back on so I'm trying to get back to it.
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  13. #13
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    Good luck in dealing with your dietician.
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  14. #14
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    She sounds disgraceful! I'd be running in the opposite direction.

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  15. #15
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    Nov 2009
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    Sounds like the advice I received - and took because I didn't know better - and wound up crossing over the line into Type 2 Diabetes. Not saying this would happen to you, but run for the hills. I wouldn't even give her a second chance. At the very least she has no idea how to address sports nutrition.

 

 

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