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  • The whole "fat burning machine" thing

    Ok, I'm intrigued. I like the idea of training in a ketogenic state, but I understand little about it. I don't know if it is just as simple as eating less than 50 (or 70?) grams of carbs a day and then training in this state with post-workout fuel being just protein, or if this is a lot more complicated than that. Like everything else sports nutrition related, there are plenty of ways to make things really freaking complicated.

    At this point in time, I am not watching my carb intake. I eat fruit and I eat sweet potatoes. I don't abuse them, but I know I'm not super low carb. So, I'm wondering if those out there who do train in a fat-burning state can give me some pointers on this. Are you maintaining your carbs at 50-70g every day, or do you need to vary this for any reason? And I'm interested in what you do leading up to an event and on the actual race day. I'm training for a Tough Mudder, btw (and yes, I did read the great article about fueling for the WTM). I'm just looking for people's experiences/tips. Thanks!

  • #2
    haha notice there are no replies to this month-old topic and draw your own conclusions

    (keep eating carbs)
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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    • #3
      I'm on Day 10 of less than 50g of carbs a day. I'm doing this to become a fat adpated endurance athlete. I want to give myself a couple of weeks before I do much exercise, but my plan it to go long and slow. I want to train in an aerobic zone and train my body to burn fat as long as possible. Mark says that it may take 3-4 months to get your body really accustomed to this. That's my plan. I'll keep you updated as I go. I am, by the way, in ketosis right now and feel great. I'm eating a lot of fat. In fact, all I had for breakfast this morning were a couple of shots of coconut oil.

      I know the opinions on exercise and carbs vary greatly. The conventional wisdom folks state that you need GU and Gartorade and pizza and all kinds of carbs before, during and after an event. I simply don't agree. I may be wrong, but it's my life and my body and I'm going to test the "fat adapted" theory. Whatever the outcome, it does feel good to do the research, make the decision and start living what you believe.

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      • #4
        Thanks for your response, Mr. O.

        It was also helpful that there have been some posts about this on the blog, but after the success story from the two triathletes that do their events in full keto, I was curious if this would be something that would be better suited for me.
        I tried the conventional wisdom for years on carb loading (and I never took that to me wheat loading like so many do), but I would do my distance rides and bonk out so often no matter who's advice I was taking. I'm at a point where I wonder if the carb loading idea just isn't what works for me.
        I would be interested in hearing your experience along the way. Thanks!

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        • #5
          First of all, check out the book "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance". It seems to be the main "bible" on this topic.

          I am trying this for a 50k in a couple of weeks. I am about a week in on <50g. Haven't tested my ketone level yet, but I feel good, and ran for an hour yesterday with no extra carbs, and felt fine during and after. I am intrigued by the possibilities, and treat this as a fun experiment. I also find that I like the food better than before (more fat!) and I feel better generally.

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          • #6
            @Kitmao ,

            Have you cut out or cut down the sweet potatoes & fruit consumption to get into ketosis yet?
            "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
            "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
            "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

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            • #7
              It depends on exercise intensity. I can run forever in ketosis when keeping heart rate 70-75%, but efforts higher than that suffer. Explosive power and lifting also sucks.
              In my opinion best approach is train low, race high. Keto carb levels most days and carb ups day before hard effort workouts. Something like anabolic diet set up - 5 days sub 30carbs and light/moderate efforts and then saturday and/or sunday carb up meals followed by hard efforts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AceRimmer View Post
                It depends on exercise intensity. I can run forever in ketosis when keeping heart rate 70-75%, but efforts higher than that suffer. Explosive power and lifting also sucks.
                In my opinion best approach is train low, race high. Keto carb levels most days and carb ups day before hard effort workouts. Something like anabolic diet set up - 5 days sub 30carbs and light/moderate efforts and then saturday and/or sunday carb up meals followed by hard efforts.
                Are you actually following this protocol? It's supposed to take several days for most people to get back into ketosis and it's not always a nice experience... Also, during the adaptation period, you are losing muscle for gluconeogenesis to get enough glucose, until the ketone levels are back up. (This is from Volek and Phinney's book). Constantly switching back and forth between ketosis and non-ketosis just doesn't seem feasible.

                I think train low/race high works, but the low has to be 150g carbs per day or so, to stay out of ketosis, and to stay high enough to get sufficient glucose for the brain, restoring muscle glycogen, etc.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by elenius View Post
                  Are you actually following this protocol? It's supposed to take several days for most people to get back into ketosis and it's not always a nice experience... Also, during the adaptation period, you are losing muscle for gluconeogenesis to get enough glucose, until the ketone levels are back up. (This is from Volek and Phinney's book). Constantly switching back and forth between ketosis and non-ketosis just doesn't seem feasible.
                  Most people will take 10-14 days to get into true ketosis. Some lean athletes can do in days or a week, not most people....Actually going back & forth replicates something that Grok & his family might have gone through, periods of feast & famine or mono diets composed of offal, marrow & meat ie lean protein & (p)reserved fat (early pemmican?)in preparation for such topsy turvey times. If he was lucky, he might have some tubers in storage too. I go into ketosis for 1-2 weeks 2-3 times a year formally, & do mini ketosis or approaching ketosis mini periods just to switch things up metabolically. I like to reset my clock, as I do tend to eat a lot of calories, fat, protein & (at times) dark chocolate or cacao which is likely my biggest indulgence/treat (in a 1-2x a week morning smoothie, or after-dinner dessert, Or sometimes, like today BOTH, lol)

                  Originally posted by elenius View Post
                  I think train low/race high works, but the low has to be 150g carbs per day or so, to stay out of ketosis, and to stay high enough to get sufficient glucose for the brain, restoring muscle glycogen, etc.
                  I'm going to start train low/ race hard soon. Still researching it but in the end, my best research is my own experience. I think 150 carbs/day is too much, for me & likely for many others too. I don't like to say ___ amount of this &/or that, coz it's different for everyone & even so, it changes over time for everyone as their gut health & hormonal systems improve
                  Last edited by Betorq; 08-07-2012, 05:51 PM.
                  "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                  "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                  "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

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                  • #10
                    I usually just listen to my body. For example, right now the thought of just about anything which would qualify as a source of carbs (fruit, most vegetables) makes me feel ill, so I've basically been eating meat, eggs and expensive cheese (20%) with almonds on the side.
                    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by elenius View Post
                      Are you actually following this protocol? It's supposed to take several days for most people to get back into ketosis and it's not always a nice experience... Also, during the adaptation period, you are losing muscle for gluconeogenesis to get enough glucose, until the ketone levels are back up. (This is from Volek and Phinney's book). Constantly switching back and forth between ketosis and non-ketosis just doesn't seem feasible.

                      I think train low/race high works, but the low has to be 150g carbs per day or so, to stay out of ketosis, and to stay high enough to get sufficient glucose for the brain, restoring muscle glycogen, etc.
                      I'm following this and it works great. First you need 2-3 weeks strictly below 30 carbs to switch to fat metabolism. Then you start with carb meals sat/sun.
                      Important thing is to take carb meals only before heavy glycolitic workout. After that, you go with regular high fat keto meals and moderate workouts. I'm in ketosis 2 days after heavy workout but I'm working out 7 days a week .

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                      • #12
                        It seems that the people on Barefoot Ted's huaraches google group are really into low carbohydrate running. They're really into the whole Maffetone training thing. You might go check over there.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #13
                          I would recommend some of the work of Dr. Greg Ellis. He has spent the last 20 years of his life promoting and studying the low-carb diet. I personally have always trained in a fat burning state. Check out some of these links, they will help you understand using fat as fuel for muscular contractions.

                          Fuel for Muscle Contrations gone over by Dr. Gregory Ellis - YouTube
                          Glycogen Loading is a Major Dietary Blunder - YouTube
                          Paleo since November 2011 - Carnivore since June 2012
                          Before and after pics
                          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread65846.html
                          Primal Sucess Story
                          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread65400.html
                          Primal Journal
                          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...tml#post955444

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