I’m new to this condition called “congestive heart failure” or just heart failure or CHF for short.  Since receiving my diagnosis four weeks ago, I’ve undergone a radical change in diet and exercise.  No longer do I push myself to the brink of failure with as much weight as I can lift. No longer do I superset or push with everything I’ve go to do just one more rep. My workouts are now much shorter with lighter weight followed by 30 minutes of cardio. My workouts are now pretty boring!

Since adopting a heart healthy (and kidney friendly) diet, I’ve noticed that my energy level is nowhere near where it used to be.  This may be a side effect of the ace inhibitor and beta blocker but it just seems like my 2200 calorie diet just isn’t enough to sustain any real attempt at maintaining and building muscle mass.  I’m currently 6’0 and 225 lbs, down from 244 lbs just a month ago.  Any advice or words of encouragement?

Questions I have for a nutritionist may be the same questions many of you have had while dealing with CHF or other diseases and deficiencies.  Here is my list:

  • With stage 3 kidney disease, I’m advised to keep my protein intake to less than 60 grams a day.  Since protein is used for muscle growth, would it be harmful for me to consume 100+ grams of protein on workout days?  If the protein is being used in the muscles, it’s not reaching the kidney and thus won’t cause any damage, right?
  • My diet allows for 275 grams of carbohydrates a day.  Some guidelines recommend I consume upwards of 500 grams a day. What’s safe when dealing with CHF? Are more carbs on training days recommended to sustain a level of energy needed to complete a successful workout?  If carbs are being used for energy (and everything else that carbs are good for) then they shouldn’t affect the heart right?
  • I’m on a 2200 calorie a day diet. Should this be increased?  If so, what is a good ratio of protein to fat to carbs?

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