T Nation

Diet Questions


I didn't see a thread for general diet questions which is why I am making this thread.

Coach Thibs,

I notice that when I eat a lot of food (healthy of unhealthy), I get very sluggish (a good amount of times where I can/need to fall asleep). This happens with carbs especially, but I notice it can happen with fat too. When I eat smaller meals, I never feel satisfied and/or can't get enough food in.

Can you tell me why this happens? Can you comment on how I should go about dieting?

I also want to look into the new protocol when it comes out, but all of those carbs might make me tired. I do know (I have experimented) that I need carbs to lift heavy weight and push through workouts.

Here is what I tried: This may sound weird (or dumb), but what I tried doing is eating a lot of fast-digesting carbs (sugary junk) at night which seems to make me go to sleep and then I get up feeling energized, but then I am not really hungry during the day so I can't get good protein meals in. I stopped doing this because even though my workouts were good (I was getting stronger), I didn't feel too great other than during the workout.

My logic was to try to use a negative (feeling tired from eating a lot) as a positive by eating a lot at a time that I wanted to go to sleep.

PS: I asked a question about feeling "off" and I realized that the allergy medicine was probably responsible for lowering my testosterone which is why I felt "off." I was taking it every day for about a week. It was the kind that makes you drowsy too. I feel better, but still a bit sluggish. How long does it take for medication like that to fully leave the body and for the person to function normally again?

Thank you for your time.


Can excess enzymes from raw food be used as a source of protein in the form of aminos?


Very unlikely. And if that happens it is a real bad thing as it means that your body is lacking when it comes to its protein needs.


Eating too much carbs, especially of the high glycemic kind (sugar, pasta, rice, bread, pastries, potatoes, etc.) can indeed make you sleepy because they can cause a crash in blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

What happens is that you are flooding your body with tons of carbs, which elevate your blood glucose through the roof. As a reaction, your body produces a lot of insulin to send all that sugar into the muscles, liver and (sadly) fat cells. However, individuals who are insulin resistant (generally do not respond well to carbs) will overproduce insulin so that even when blood sugar has reached normal levels, it continues to do its job and as a result there too little sugar left in the blood and you become tired and lethargic.

This will rarely happen with the protocol since:

  1. There is a constant influx of nutrients during the workout (which helps stabilize blood sugar)
  2. Catecholamines released during training reduce the impact of insulin

As for anti-histamines decreasing testosterone, I've never heard to that. It will make you drowsy, sleepy and lack focus but it will not lower testosterone to the best of my knowledge.


Thank you for the reply.

I found a few Web sites that mentioned allergy medicine lowering testosterone. Here is one: http://www.mens-hormonal-health.com/low-testosterone-causes.html.


Interesting stuff! Thanks for sharing!


You're welcome.

To prove it, I will tell you that after I am off of it (it took about 10-14 days), my testosterone is back to normal. When I was on it, I was feeling horrible!!!


Louis, what medications were you taking and which ones have you heard to be a problem?


I started taking Actifed and it didn't do much of anything for me. I then began taking Benadryl. That was the one I was taking more consistently. I can tell you that my libido was pretty much non-existent. I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. I felt terrible. I had to lower the volume of training I was doing and some days I skipped workouts and made them up the next day. It threw off the weekly schedule, but in that case, I think it was necessary to skip and/or modify workouts.


Coach Thibs -- I posted this question elsewhere and was told to ask you.

I've come down with a systemic candida infection (though I'm male) from living in mold (in Bali) and eating like a pig -- ice cream, beer, pizza every night, etc. I work out very heavily and kept my fat % steady despite my diet, but the constant sugar spikes got me in a different way.

I've tried the regular approaches -- pharma antifungals, both topical and oral, for over a month now, along with a very low carb (<50g) diet consisting mainly of sardines, raw veggies, and pork ribs with no sauce. And drinking coconut oil by the jigger-full because it's antifungal. The combination was working until I drank 8 martinis one night figuring they were low carb and got a bad relapse. Now the candida is resistant to the antifungals.

It turns out many large men here in Bali get this. People here that I've talked to recommend a total two week fast to starve the yeasty buggers. I never imagined that I'd go on a fast (Being married, I'm not that worried about my abs showing, but I do care about strength.)

My question is how do I minimize muscle loss while going on a total fast? I know I have to lift with full intensity (weight) but lower volume. And I'd normally take protein shakes, but since I'm not supposed to eat ANYTHING that (1) raises my blood sugar, or (2) is difficult to digest, I'm wondering which way to go nutrition wise.

Too much of the information on the web about fasting is from vegans. I'd be extremely grateful for any I could get from a source I trust (you).

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!


Hey Thib,
How important are carbs for recovery and strength gains?
I can't eat many carbs because my stomach doesn't respond well to them. I can eat a lot of protein and fat, but once I eat carbs I become full very quickly. (I don't count veggies and fruits, I eat them well)
But should I try to include more carbs if I want better recovery and strength?
On the side note, is it even possible to gain muscle primarily on protein and fat?


Benadryl is terrible for the drowsiness and sluggishess. I've found Claritin and Reactine much better for OTC with no side effects but very effective (reactine made me drowsy initially but that went away). Good luck!


Thanks for the information. I will try those next time over the Benadryl.


CT, does the AD diet not work for very thin people or just for some people in general? I prefer not eating carbs for simplicity, but every time I try to go low carb my immune system gets bad (I get sick) and I get tired but not hungry. But then if I eat carbs I'm ravenous on the same # of cals and can't stop thinking about food, especially sweets. What compromise is best if this is the case?


The appetite blunting effects of a low-carb diet are well known. However there are some drawbacks to it (immune suppression being one... reduced muscle growth being another).

And it is true that carbs, well mostly blood sugar swings, can get you ravenous.

There are two solutions:

  1. Only consume carbs PRE and DURING workout (will help mostly for the lack of growth thing) and a small portion of low-glycemic carbs in the morning.

  2. Consume carbs at every meal, but keep low glytcemic and at 20g or under as insulin begins to be spiked at around 20g. This shouldn't lead to blood sugar fluctuations.


i have been following the AD for a month now, but am starting to change my mind. i would start out by asking what diet to use but after reading numerous replies of, "i dont know any information about u," or such, i know better. im 158 lb with 13-15% body fat striving to reach 180 lb 7% body fat the fastest way and the best way(most muscle, most definition, as ripped as possible, etc), whether that be to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time or to bulk first then to cut. i would usually only ask for the diet as i used to think exercise and diet dont affect each other long as you are doing both, but i might be wrong so im looking to u for complete advice.


I'm using your RPT program and am about 2 months in. I've noticed good results, decrease in fat (mirror not measured) and a weekly increase in strength. I'm 6'1", 196 lbs and am now probably somewhere in the 13-14% bf range. (the dreaded skinny fat) I wasnt as consistent w/ the diet as I should have been in May, but have buckled down and had a very strong June. (just being honest)

My weight however is slowly creeping upwards. (I began the RPT in the high 180â??s) Despite being on a reduced carb diet I maintain a strong level of intensity in the gym, so I'm hoping that my steady gain is muscle and not a part of my diet that I've screwed up. I've been reading through a lot of your forums and have had to make tweaks to my original diet structure to fall in line with your program.

I would like to follow thru for this last month with the diet and hopefully wrap up around the time youâ??re releasing the new training program you have been working on. Could you take a glance at my diet and supplementation and provide any suggestions if you see anything off w/ the nutrition or supplement timing?

One last thing, I am putting in an order for some supplements I havenâ??t tried to date from Biotest. I am trying to maximize my last month on RPT and am ordering Surge Workout Fuel, Low Carb Metabolic Drive for my bedtime meal, Flameout and BCAA. From what Iâ??ve been reading with your Pre/Post Supplement forums, you are recommending L-Leucine over the BCAA. My BCAA intake is below. Could you make a suggestion on servings & frequency for L-Leucine so I can replace my BCAA?

Wakeup (208 cal, 44 pro, 2 carb, 2 fat)
2 scoops of whey protein

Breakfast â?? 20 min after wakeup (350, 16, 7, 30)
2 large eggs (hard boiled)
1/4 cup mixed nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts)

Mid Morning Snack (104, 22, 1, 1)
1 scoop of whey protein

Lunch (11am) (408, 48, 1, 23)
5 oz turkey (I bring measuring cups to my cafeteria salad bar to be precise)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 tbsp olive oil
broccoli, cucumber, lettuce

30 Min Pre Workout (1:30pm)
1 scoop of Surge Workout Fuel

10 Min Pre Workout (170, 13, 23, 1)
1/2 serving of Surge Recovery

Workout (2pm)

Immediate Post Workout (170, 13, 23, 1)
1/2 serving of Surge Recovery
5g creatine

1 Hour Post Workout (398, 48, 7, 22)
2 scoops of whey protein
1/4 cup mixed nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts)

Dinner (325, 41, 0, 24)
5 oz red meat
Steamed broccoli, cucumbers
Flameout (planning on taking 4 caps)

Bedtime(290, 24, 9, 22)
1 scoop Low Carb Metabolic Drive (previously taking 1 scoop whey)
1/4 cup mixed nuts (cashews, pecans, walnuts)

Target intake per RPT is: 285g protein, 67 carbs, 127g fat
Actual intake: 287g protein, 69 carbs, 126g fat
Total calories: 2,427

My Saturday high carb day, carb target is 190g. I am right there at 197.

I apologize for the length. Training program (much shorter post) will follow later. Thank you.


Coach how would you ease someone in from a CKD used to get lean into a carb cycling plan like you and Shelby Starnes have written about?

I am guessing you would not just jump straight into the higher calories/carbs so I am very interested in how you would go about it most effectively to minimize any fat gain.



Hey CT I have a question about my breakfast for you. Right now I eat 10 whole eggs and 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal that is mixed with ~1 cup of skim milk.

Now, all of my other meals are split into P+F and P+C, this is the only meal of the day where I am mixing all three. My goal right now is to continue adding weight with no increase in body fat.

So I'm wondering if I should do something like 10 egg whites and 2 whole eggs? Should I am to make this a purely P+C meal or is this not even a big deal?



Hi coach ,

What is your opinion about consuming mustard on a fat loss diet ?