Lifting on low protein low fat?

I upped my protein from what I would natural chose to eat (~35g per day) to a more calculated and deliberate 85-90g per day when I started lifting. All was well for a while then I started up with this good awful acid reflux issue and constant hunger. Cue lots of medical investigations later and it would seem that I don't produce the enzymes to digest proteins and fats at all!

I am determined to keep lifting so they have tried me on several types of digestive enzyme cocktails, nothing makes it better. So I agreed to do a low protein, low fat diet to just see whether we could at least get the acid under control before my stomach is destroyed. Low and behold, 10 days later all symptoms gone, IBD is much better too. I've tried adding in all sorts of protein sources, organic, grass reared, fish, eggs, hell I even tried rhea meat because it's low fat, I am still sadly very allergic to dairy so that's still out of the question. Anything over 35g of protein, no matter what the source (artificial or 'whole') dips me back into excruciating reflux pain.

I've carried on with my normal lifting, I've dropped a shed load of weight in the last 10 days, like 5.5lb and I was only 115lb to start with and my hunger has gone. Is anyone else lifting weights on a high carb/low fat/low protein diet? Any tips or things I need to look out for? My doctor was completely useless and looked at me when I was utterly crazy when I explained that by lifting weights I meant squatting 100lb and not prancing about with 1lb pink dumbbells. I don't really know where to turn now with this!

Replies

  • FromHereOnOut
    FromHereOnOut Posts: 3,237 Member
    I've tried adding in all sorts of protein sources, organic, grass reared, fish, eggs, hell I even tried rhea meat because it's low fat, I am still sadly very allergic to dairy so that's still out of the question.

    Sounds like you have experimented with meats, etc, but did you try beans (such as lentils or white beans), yogurt, cheeses, or whey protein powder or casein, or BCAA supplement, to see if the reaction is the same?


    eta: what's the nature of your dairy allergy? do you mean milk allergy or lactose intolerance? have you tried dairy sourced from different animals (such as goat)?
  • Beans and lentils set me off if I get that protein threshold up over about the 35g mark because I just can't digest it. I have an IgE reaction to all dairy, milk, cheese, yogurt, butter etc and that is cow, sheep, buffalo and goat :( They have tested them all and I've had all sorts of skin tests and ELISA testing.

    I've tried all the different protein shakes, I just get the same thing, an agonising hit of reflux with them which lasts days. I think I have no choice at least in the short term but to stick with the low protein and try and increase it slowly once my symptoms have all gone. I just don't know what that means for my lifting or how my body will manage.
  • SideSteel
    SideSteel Posts: 11,068 Member
    Beans and lentils set me off if I get that protein threshold up over about the 35g mark because I just can't digest it. I have an IgE reaction to all dairy, milk, cheese, yogurt, butter etc and that is cow, sheep, buffalo and goat :( They have tested them all and I've had all sorts of skin tests and ELISA testing.

    I've tried all the different protein shakes, I just get the same thing, an agonising hit of reflux with them which lasts days. I think I have no choice at least in the short term but to stick with the low protein and try and increase it slowly once my symptoms have all gone. I just don't know what that means for my lifting or how my body will manage.


    I can't comment on the specific digestive issue. It sounds to me like your solution is to manage your diet to the best of your ability and keep lifting.

    You can either keep experimenting to try and raise protein levels or you can decide that it's not worth the suffering and you're better off just eating a low protein diet and continuing with your training.

    What it means for you is that you'll not optimize protein accretion. In a deficit you might not retain maximal lean mass. In a surplus, you might not maximize muscular gains.

    But if you can't do anything about it, then you can't do anything about it. You can still make progress, you can still increase strength, you can still improve your physique.
  • FromHereOnOut
    FromHereOnOut Posts: 3,237 Member
    Do you think that spreading your intake could allow you more daily protein intake? (Such as small intakes of 5-10g every 2-3 hours, instead of having a 30g steak for dinner.)

    Good luck. Allergies suck.
  • Thank you both! I am eating fairly spread out, there is no way I could manage a lump of steak, not if I wanted to moved afterwards anyway!

    I think I just needed some common sense input, which I got. I have to wonder how much of the extra protein I was eating was actually being digested/absorbed anyway, it could be that I don't notice that much difference long term.

    SS - I am eating at TDEE plus 300 calories, I can only think the 5.5lb loss was water (I was really bloated), so I'm going to aim to hold my body weight for now in that hope that I can minimise the potential for lean mass loss at this stage. I'm finally getting there with body fat, I think I'm somewhere between 20 and 22% looking at charts, so I'm going to plug on as is just with lower protein and hope!
  • Martucha123
    Martucha123 Posts: 1,093 Member
    I just want to add, that if you can't do anything about the protein amount, make sure that you get enough carbs. Carbs have protein sparing effect. Im sure you are getting a lot of carbs on your low fat low protein diet, so just make sure timing is right. Fe I would avoid working out fasted to make sure your body is burning carbs not protein. I would also get post workout meal. It does not have to be a lot, just make sure before and after workout you have some carbs, fe banana before and a juice after...