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CrossFit and carbs?

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Hello all, I’m 3 1/2 months post RNY. I’ve been doing CrossFit for 15 months now. Now that I’m well past surgery and back into normal exercise I am having trouble finding any consistent advice on carb intake. My program focuses on Proteins and fluids and does recommend around 100g of carbs or more once on maintenance. I’m not there yet but wondering what kind of carb intake do you all get doing fairly intense exercise like running, HIIT, CrossFit etc? I don’t want to stall because of too little or take in too much and stall as well. I’m still building muscle or at least think so and I know I can get too little and make my body just eat away muscle tissue too.

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I had the sleeve and my surgeon only told me to make sure i am taking in a minimum of 800-1000 calories before i start moderate to strong exercise. as for carbs yours suggested a lot more than mine. For me its a max of 40 grams of carbs per day. all these surgeons are so different lol

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This is probably best answered by your dietician because yes, plans are so different. Your dietician should advise what’s best for you taking into account your physical & caloric needs, your dietary requirements & restrictions, etc. without compromising your weight loss.

I was never given carb limits only told low carb & only low processed whole & multi grains (traditional rolled oats for Breakfast 3 or 4 days a week was my only source beside the carbs in vegetables). But then I’m not an exerciser. 🙂

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I was not given a carb limit, and in fact, when I asked about it, they were estimating between 125-150 g of carbs. But, my program doesn't do the whole low carb thing. They are very much into balanced diets once you start eating real food post surgery.

Guidance and approaches to this are all over the map.

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I would say you should talk to your Dietician/Nutritionist about your exercise routine. I would think they would help you adjust your diet accordingly.

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I would look up advice for bariatric athletes online. There's a few dietitians out there who are working with post-surgery athletes and some of them write articles and blogs, but the field is very, very new. Most bariatric dietitians are not going to have the knowledge to guide you if you are exercising seriously and most sport dietitians don't have the knowledge to work around your restrictions and different macro needs during the active weight loss phase and beyond. (And even at the intersection, most of the writing I've seen focuses on athletes after the initial weight loss period.)

And I don't fault them for that entirely. Bariatric dietitians are focused on patient populations assumed to be only begrudgingly if at all active and sport dietitians are focused on patients who have no history of morbid obesity so... what can you do.

Don't worry about not getting enough carbs and losing muscle though. It's Protein that you need to build muscle and it a lack of protein will cause your body to break down muscle. Carbs are for immediately accessible energy during workouts and Crossfit workouts are not long enough to require any additional carbs like a marathoner might need. You will be able to work from what your body has available, which it can convert from fat (from diet or from your excess weight).

I would go relatively low-carb per your program's recommendation and notice how you feel during workouts. If you're hitting the wall much earlier than you have in the past (accounting for the fact that you've just gone through major surgery and probably taken significant time off), then maybe try adding a small amount of complex carbohydrate before your workout (something like berries or oatmeal, not something high in sugar natural or otherwise) or switch around the timing of when you eat your carbs and see whether that improves your workouts. Crossfit folks generally recommend a low-carb diet anyway.

Disclaimer: I'm not a dietitian, I'm just a Crossfitter who was very concerned about this at the beginning of my surgery process and did a lot of research. I haven't had surgery yet, so I can't give my personal experience.

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I was going to reply, but @Nepenthe44 hit all the points I intended to mention.

For the record, I'm not carb averse, it's just that carbs do nothing to help avoid excess muscle catabolism. Sufficient Protein is what you need to help keep you from losing too much muscle mass. That's one of the primary reasons all post bariatric surgery diets emphasize a protein forward approach.

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