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iamthewallress


Mar 6, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb?
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I'm taking a trip in a couple of weeks and thinking of cutting weight for about 10 days before.

I'm thinking of dropping 5-7 lbs.

I'm not interested in lowering my normal weight, but just tightly restricting my calories before the trip so that I can climb at 'fighting weight'.

Have any of you ever done this?

Specifically, if you at normally on your trip but were super active, did your weight stay down?

And did you find that a very restricted diet had a negative effect on the bonus that you got for being lighter?


lhwang


Mar 6, 2008, 11:40 AM
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Re: [iamthewallress] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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So... safe weight loss is really no more than 1-2 pounds per week. More than that and you're probably breaking down muscle.


zenelky


Mar 6, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Re: [lhwang] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Well, in my opinion, it really depends. If you don't have 5-6 pounds of fat to loose, than you're going to be doing more harm than good.

I know, personally, if I were to drop 5-6 pounds in a matter of days, it would be because I was violently ill and would have no energy to do anything. I could stand to loose 5-6 pounds, but they take weeks and lots of dilligence to get off (and then are usually replaced by muscle so I feel different, but weigh the same).

I actually gained weight over the past few months, I can run much much futher and climb harder than before. I always thought I needed to loose weight to be a good climber, but there's a difference between loosing weight and loosing muscle and it's easy to blur that difference.

Also, I think it depends on what and how you climb. Are you going to be red-pointing a 50 ft 5.14 or are you going for a 4-5 day trip up a big wall? Me, if I were going for the red-point I would probably drop the weight, but if I were big-walling it, HELL NO I wouldn't drop it, it may come in handy! I think most harder climbers can tell you that the extra pounds will make a difference once you hit a hard climbing level or your plateau but before that, it's really about other things like tendon strength, core strength and technique.

As for how to maintaine a weight while you're out climbing for multiple days? It should be natural, I eat more carbs and protein and even let my sugar and fat intake increase, but usually end up loosing a bit and keeping it off. I think it's water weight though since I'm moving and sweating rather than sitting and typing.

Have fun!
~Mic


iamthewallress


Mar 6, 2008, 2:51 PM
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Re: [zenelky] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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I'm really looking for personal experiences.

My goal is to climb the hardest <200 ft. pitches that I can.

I'm well educated in the subect from a scientific point of view, so I know that my question isn't appropriate for maintaining long term fitness.

In practice, some climbers have gone underweight to send hard projects, and I reckon how successful of a strategy it proves to be has everything to do w/ where their strenght:weight comes out in time for their project.

Slow weight loss into the realm of underweight is still going to result in muscle being lost...but not all muscle is good baggage on a climb. Cutting weight as wrestlers or boxers do is really the only option for me if I am going to drop any weight as the trip is just around the corner.

And I can drop 3 pounds just by having a stiff coffee in the morning and a really fiberous dinner the night before...which of course comes back after lunch, so I was considering that by dropping 5-7 I might actually be down 3 when I cast off on my climb.


Partner happiegrrrl


Mar 6, 2008, 3:22 PM
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Re: [iamthewallress] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Sounds like you are going to be working your butt off on those routes!

Maybe you'll get a response with experience with manipulated weight shift(for lack of a better term) with a secondary post in the Training forum. I don't....train....so I have only ventured in their if a headline grabs me from the list, but I've always thought that the level of discourse in there was geared toward techniques for performance improvement by people who had more knowledge than the average person.


granite_grrl


Mar 6, 2008, 4:26 PM
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Re: [iamthewallress] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Its an interesting idea, but I would think it work best with something like a 1 day competition, or 1 day push on a single climb (something hard and steep? I would think it would hamper your endurance at the very least). I couldn't imagine you'd keep the results over a multi-day trip.

I don't know enough about the concept, but I think in terms of boxers and wrestlers trim down not for performance, but to try to get into the lowest weight class catagory they can. I don't know how it effects them when competing.

But I'm just guess here and talking out of my ass. I'm with Happie, you'd get more knowledgable responses in the technique and training forums.


iamthewallress


Mar 6, 2008, 4:49 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Weight loss issues seem to be pretty gender specific and I sort of wanted to avoid the front page.

I guess I was making an analogy to wrestlers to say, if they do loose strength, they compensate for it by needing to move less weight (namely their opponent's in that case) around the mat. All of the wresters that I knew seemed to take a hit for cutting too much weight, but faired even worse when they tried to wrestle heavy.

On trips I always loose weight the natural way but by the end of a week, I'm pretty fried. It would be nice to show up dialed an make the most of my time. I'm not a very good dieter though, so I'm probably just dreaming...


lhwang


Mar 6, 2008, 9:09 PM
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Re: [iamthewallress] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Well, that's because it helps in wrestling if you're the big guy in your weight class because you just eked by vs being the smallest guy in your weight class because you couldn't make it in the weight class below.

One of my friends in med school just did a study of wrestlers who starve themselves/use diuretics/sit in saunas wearing plastic bags in order to lose weight. They all ended up with some kind of electrolyte abnormality.

That's really just a step away from disordered eating (medical opinion here, not personal experience, obviously).


jakedatc


Mar 6, 2008, 9:20 PM
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Re: [lhwang] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Lwang has it mostly correct.. wrestlers.. UFC fighters drop weight during the week.. last few days before a fight/match to get down to a certain weight class. They basically put the most muscle and size into a smaller weight by dehydration. they also start pounding food and drinks as soon as they get off the scale to get some energy back. It's for the weigh in.. not for the competition part.

It does cause you to become tired.. i don't think it would work out for your trip. I say just go do what you can where you are at now and enjoy yourself. if you don't send the hardest thing you wanted then get in better shape for next time.

btw staring that long in advance will not work well.. especially for an extended period of time.. you'll be very dehydrated

you gotta understand.. also.. since they can't really re-hydrate fast enough they are still in a worse condition than normal. but since the matches are only like 10 mins long they can get through it. Won't work for an extended day-week of climbing


zenelky


Mar 7, 2008, 6:06 AM
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Re: [jakedatc] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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If you can drop 3-4 pounds by only drinking coffee, go for it...I don't know how well that'll fuel you through your climb though. I also think that if you were going for a 1 day climb or a hardest red-point than dropping the weight would work, but not for multi-day climbs. If I were in your shoes I would be concerned that I may climb really well for a few days, but then would waste the rest of the trip trying to recoup. When I'm going for a red-point of a hard route I get it dialed in, work my butt off for 2-3 or more weeks (focusing on the muscle groups or movement required to pull the crux), take 2-3 days rest, get on it and pray.

I've honestly never tried to drop that much weight nor do I seriously train, but I do train on a daily basis. Slightly off topic: I've always wondered how female climbers train vs. male climbers since wieght loss and training are specific to gender.

I know that my partner gets really frustrated at me b/c I can't train the way he does, but for me, doing 500 pull-ups does less than running that extra 10 miles. But I don't have any 'pros' to tell me a better way to do things. So, I try to focus on running or biking (endurance), lots of fingerboard and tendon strengthening (since my intermediate holds are 1/2 the size as everyone elses), and lots of complaining that I can't get weigth off my belly because of birth control or off my chest because of boobs.

This is all personal opinion though, I'm not a trainer, doctor, or even someone that finds dieting or working-out fun, delightful or easy. I'm just another chick with a big butt trying to be a decent climber.


acacongua


Mar 7, 2008, 7:37 AM
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Re: [zenelky] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Losing the pounds does help even if it's only 5lbs (especiall on overhangs), but I rely on the trips to help lose.

Maybe you should focus on cardio beforehand instead of doing weight restriction. It'll help with your overall fitness and endurance (and the weight just might magically drop).


zenelky


Mar 7, 2008, 11:23 AM
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If you drop the weight, you should post about how well it did or didn't work! I know I'd like to hear about it.


aerili


Mar 7, 2008, 5:53 PM
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Re: [zenelky] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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zenelky wrote:
Slightly off topic: I've always wondered how female climbers train vs. male climbers since wieght loss and training are specific to gender.

I know that my partner gets really frustrated at me b/c I can't train the way he does, but for me, doing 500 pull-ups does less than running that extra 10 miles. But I don't have any 'pros' to tell me a better way to do things. So, I try to focus on running or biking (endurance), lots of fingerboard and tendon strengthening (since my intermediate holds are 1/2 the size as everyone elses), and lots of complaining that I can't get weigth off my belly because of birth control or off my chest because of boobs.

If men and women are trained by someone who knows what they're doing, they do not need 'different' training programs. I design programs based on individual needs, not gender needs. Deficits and strengths vary between people, and both men and women have bodies that are various combinations of ectomorphic, endomorphic, and mesomorphic qualities.

In your example, certainly men can do more pull ups on average, but that doesn't mean they therefore should train pull ups more or less than a woman should.

As for the OP's question and relating her strategy to those of athletes like wrestlers, boxers, bodybuilders, and long jump skiiers (who all cut weight), I think others answered this very well by pointing out that these people are only cutting for either:
1) weigh-in time -- then they try to go put the pounds back on so they can crush their opponent

2) 1-2 days of competition ONLY

This strategy cannot work for a longer term as it will be much more likely to DECREASE performance. However, trying a very strict but more sensible nutrition program aimed at fat loss a couple months beforehand would probably work much better for the OP. I'm not a fan of restricting carbs, but based on advice I've gotten from qualified trainers who work with female bodybuilders specificially, restricting carbs works best in lowering body fat (esp. from the lower body, where it can be virtually impossible for women to lose significant fat mass if they are already very trim) FOR A SHORT TERM REASON. Please do not take this as advice for fat loss over the long term or for optimal health maintenance for a woman.

P.S. I do not remember what percentage of macronutrients should be derived from carbs in my friend's advice... I will try to find out if I can.


lhwang


Mar 7, 2008, 6:17 PM
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Re: [aerili] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Actually, I did think of one way that cutting weight might help you climb better. My fiance was on the national team for wrestling. He says that cutting weight used to make him very mean. So, I guess feeling mean could be helpful for clibing.


caliclimbergrl


Mar 7, 2008, 8:05 PM
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Re: [lhwang] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Honestly, I don't think it can hurt. On the days you are climbing (and the days before) I would make sure you're getting enough calories for energy. But a week or two before you trip, if you want to really cut back on calories, I think it would probably help. I've never done that on purpose, but I did get the flu once before a climbing trip. I was completely healthy by the time I went climbing, but I lost about 7 lbs while I had the flu and honestly, I do think I was climbing quite a bit better.


jakedatc


Mar 8, 2008, 6:58 AM
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Re: [aerili] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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aerili wrote:
This strategy cannot work for a longer term as it will be much more likely to DECREASE performance. However, trying a very strict but more sensible nutrition program aimed at fat loss a couple months beforehand would probably work much better for the OP.

yea.. but this is actual work and requires self control and commitment. you know as well as i do that people don't like those words

so OP go try.. see for yourself how 2 weeks of dehydration and starving is a) not what wrestlers etc do b) not an effective way to climb harder.


penn


Mar 8, 2008, 9:11 AM
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Re: [jakedatc] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Yes, I have cut weight for a trip. The best success for this comes from two things....focus, and starting weeks before the trip.

As for focus, ask yourself "why?" do I think I need to do this. Is it because your partner is stronger, climbs harder, is a guy? All poor reasons. Is it because you indulged in a few too many Oreos and now you've put on a couple of extra pounds? OK. That leads to the next thing.

Start thinking about calorie input vs. output weeks before a trip, not days. The only thing you'll lose in days is water weight. The most effective solution to the "Oreo dilemma" that I have found is to of course, stop eating those Oreos, and to run. Running will help you burn calories, raise your metabolism, and get you in better aerobic shape...all which will help your performance for your trip! Run outdoors, in all weather, 4 times a week. Depending on where you live (I'm in central NY) running outdoors will toughen you up to the elements before trip as well.

One last thing, if you are already fit, don't worry about cutting weight. Depending on where you are going, how long you are going for, and what you are climbing, the weight can come off naturally during the trip. On week -long trips to the desert, climbing 8-15 hours a day of multi-pitch trad routes, I generally lose 1-2 pounds a day.

Good luck, be safe, and have fun


iamthewallress


Mar 8, 2008, 5:34 PM
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Re: [jakedatc] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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jakedatc wrote:
so OP go try.. see for yourself how 2 weeks of dehydration and starving is a) not what wrestlers etc do b) not an effective way to climb harder.

Who said anything about dehydrating and starving? The amount I was talking about loosing wasn't much more than the amt. Dr. Lhwang suggested.

(EDIT...If you got this idea b/c I said I loose weight by just having coffee, I meant "simply having coffee" (in addition to my normal food) vs. "only having coffee".)

The recommended weekly loss that she quoted is also more typical/advisable for dieters over the longer term. In the first week(s) of such a diet, it's typical for people to loose more because well hydrated glycogen stores get depleted, but thereafter (on the same foods) to slow down to 1-2 lbs. per week. Glycogen replenishes pretty quickly (and I would intend to eat the fuel I need while climbing), so any useful weight loss would need to be a bit beyond that.

I'm eating my usual breakfast and about half the calories or less at lunch and skipping seconds at dinner. I'll loose what I loose and let you know how it works out. If I felt awful, of course, I'd stop.

Also, in regards to the start dieting earlier advice...I'll have to do better next time, b/c my trip is in two weeks and I can't roll back the clock now!

My climbing performance is presently improving rather than suffering. (I slacked on dieting, not training). I can let you know whether or not I peak, tank, or stuff my face and nullify my N=1 experiment after my trip.


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Mar 8, 2008, 5:43 PM)


gblauer
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Mar 8, 2008, 6:59 PM
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Re: [iamthewallress] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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Funny that you should ask. For the last month I have been eating a primarily raw diet (raw fruits, vegetables and nuts/seeds) in an effort to get lean for my upcoming trip to Mexico (EPC).

Although it sounds like a difficult diet, it has actually been pretty easy. I essentially eat as much as I want as long as it is raw. I have also added a lot of water to my routine. Prior to this initiative, I was chronically dehydrated. For the last month I have been drinking a minimum of 80 oz a day.

So...how do I feel? Truthfully, I don't know. I have a very rigorous travel schedule for work (I typically fly almost everyday of the week) and I am training in the rock gym ~12-14 hours per week. I am sore, pretty tired, and it takes me a long time to recover. That said, I am 50 years old and I think that my work schedule, combined with my rock training schedule would probably be hard on just about anyone.

Anyways, I will let you know what the impact of my weight loss is on my climbing in Mexico. I leave the 13th and come back on the 25th. I am hoping to climb 10 days, with one rest day. Additionally, i am hoping to climb time wave zero, a 23 pitch climb in a single day. Other goals include Black Cat Bone (12 pitches), Yankee Clipper (15 pitches), Satori (7 pitches) and I would like to push my limit on some of the tougher single pitch climbs.


Partner happiegrrrl


Mar 9, 2008, 6:06 AM
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Gail's going to El Potreo, I'm going to California, and Kate's going to....? All at the similar time period! No doubt....there are others..... Wohoo - RC women on the road!


iamthewallress


Mar 9, 2008, 8:08 AM
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happiegrrrl wrote:
Gail's going to El Potreo, I'm going to California, and Kate's going to....? All at the similar time period! No doubt....there are others..... Wohoo - RC women on the road!

Melissa is going to Indian Creek. Wink

Where are you going in Cali, Happi?

Gail, your trip sounds burly...at any weight or # of calories per day! You should write a TR!

Have you been veg for a while? I have been for 18 years, but still remember how hard it was for me (in terms of gastric discomfort) to to switch to eating so much more veggies and have learned that raw can be the bloatiest. In the long run though it was absolutely the best call! It's hard to get fat on a vegetarian diet (although if I really wanted to be bad, I could!)

Raw sounds like it might be hard to do on a road trip. Are you going to have good refrigeration nearby or are you going to skip it while you're there.

If you're ever in CA, you should come to our totally ridiculous (but tastey as can be) raw resteraunt called "Cafe Gratitude".


Partner happiegrrrl


Mar 9, 2008, 8:13 AM
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I did it AGAIN! Melissa - this is the SECOND time that I spaced on on you and Kate's usernames.... Oy veh. Sorry about that.

I am going to JTree. Also will visit someone in Apple Valley and climb some of his local spots.


gblauer
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Mar 9, 2008, 10:01 AM
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iamthewallress wrote:

Melissa is going to Indian Creek. Wink


Gail, your trip sounds burly...at any weight or # of calories per day! You should write a TR!

Have you been veg for a while? I have been for 18 years, but still remember how hard it was for me (in terms of gastric discomfort) to to switch to eating so much more veggies and have learned that raw can be the bloatiest. In the long run though it was absolutely the best call! It's hard to get fat on a vegetarian diet (although if I really wanted to be bad, I could!)

Raw sounds like it might be hard to do on a road trip. Are you going to have good refrigeration nearby or are you going to skip it while you're there.

If you're ever in CA, you should come to our totally ridiculous (but tastey as can be) raw resteraunt called "Cafe Gratitude".

I have been a vegetarian for 37 years, pushed to mostly vegan within the last 6 years. That said, I do like my sugar, so that's what motivated me to go "raw". I needed to see if I could kick the sugar habit. Since we are renting a casita in Mexico, I could stay raw. I think I will try and eat raw for breakfast and lunch (raw oat groats soaked overnight, fruit, Agave syrup and a raw bar for lunch). I will likely eat cooked dinners, although I am going to be flexible.

I have eaten at a few raw places (Philadelphia and Chicago) and it]s great to have someone else do all the prep. Raw "cooking" invlves a ton of time consuming prep. I usally have great meals on the weekends, eat fruit, salads, seeds/nuts, and raw bars during the week.

I usually write a TR, but, I usually distribute to friends and family. Maybe I will publish online.


grampacharlie


Mar 9, 2008, 4:56 PM
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Re: [happiegrrrl] Anyone ever "cut weight" for a trip/climb? [In reply to]
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I must admit that I skimmed a lot of the responses, but will give you my take on losing 5-7 lbs. for a climbing trip.

I was a wrestler, and those guys who did drop weight did so strictly for the weigh in. After that, it was a mad eating frenzy to try to replace electrolytes and bring their blood sugar levels bakc to normal so they could actually wrestle. They would typically face things like cramping, dizzyness, weakness, nausea ect. during the loss process depending on the intensity of the process.

Losing that much weight so shortly before a trip I think would only serve to make you feel weak or lightheaded and kill your stamina, which you will need for longer routes.

Shave gear, buy lighter carabeaners, use the rope to make anchors instead of carrying a cordelett, or buy a thinner rope, but I do know from experience that sudden weight loss like you're talking about won't help you like you think it might, in most cases.

My $.02.


aerili


Mar 9, 2008, 8:26 PM
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gblauer wrote:
For the last month I have been eating a primarily raw diet (raw fruits, vegetables and nuts/seeds) in an effort to get lean for my upcoming trip to Mexico (EPC).

So...how do I feel? Truthfully, I don't know. I have a very rigorous travel schedule for work (I typically fly almost everyday of the week) and I am training in the rock gym ~12-14 hours per week. I am sore, pretty tired, and it takes me a long time to recover.

Where does your essential amino acid intake come from? It sounds like you have none. I had one client and one friend (both vegetarian, although not vegan) who were not really taking care of this and they had immune function problems as well as recovery issues and general tiredness all the time. Anyway, there is no way you can rebuild your muscle tissue if you are not consuming any essentials; it sounds like you are partially defeating your goal.

I admit, I think raw diets are BS. Some of the so-called "science" they purport behind "why everyone should do it" is totally false.

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