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  1. #11
    Mr. O's Avatar
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    Louisa655,

    Thanks for the insight. During the process of fat adaptation, what was your typical carb level on a daily basis? What did you eat during races?

  2. #12
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    Louisa655 is offline Senior Member
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    I was not primal until 3 weeks ago. So in my racing days, my eating was very clean (no fast foods, no prepared foods), and limited sugar. Typical carbs came from tuber vegetables (sweet potatoes, rice, potatoes)...lots of fish and omega oils.

    When racing, I had a powerful little concoction that my 'support team' prepared for me. In a 100 miler running race, I would have one of these every 20 km:
    1/3 water bottle of juice
    1 cup yogourt
    2 Tbsp's oil
    1/3 water bottle rice beverage
    A very high quality, high protein supplement.

    In this particular race, I did not ingest any whole foods - went strictly with the liquid and did not experience any stomach upset, diarrhea, nor loss of mind (happens in longer races). I also take high quality salt tablets and electrolytes that I mix with water (I like to have control over increasing or decreasing mixture %, depending how my stomach is feeling/ie., if I'm absorbing the calories, or if I'm overloading which results in vomiting or diarrhea/cramping etc.

    For me, the key was training with these sources, and adjust amounts/quantities based on length of race, race effort, heat conditions and how my stomach is feeling.

    When racing long on a bike (Ironman, or 100-200km bike rides), I am able and my body seems to want denser foods, thus I'll eat whole foods, up to a certain point, after which I switch to all liquid nutrition. Again, I trained by eating on my bike, so my stomach became adjusted to digesting while exercising.

    I've also had the extreme pleasure of pacing and crewing a friend in the Badwater Ultra Marathon where heat (50+C) was an issue. We were ingesting 1L of water every 30 minutes to stay hydrated. This is not done without proper heat training, 3 months leading up to the race.

    Anyway, these are some of the strategies that worked for me. Since I have many many friends who are exceptional ultra racers, I have come to accept that we all train differently, prefer different methods of fuel, and everything is always a science project of 1 :-) I always begin with Plan A, but also have a Plan B and Plan C to default to, when/if needed. I've learned to listen carefully to the body, and always record #'s in my training manual -- this has helped me to understand the needs of my body, and how it reacts to different stimuli.

    Good luck!

    /louisa
    ----------------------------------------
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

  3. #13
    elenius's Avatar
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    Mr O,
    I just started reading the same book. Very interesting! I am an aspiring endurance athlete myself, and on the primal blueprint way of eating. I have always been conflicted about all the sugars you "have to" take during long runs. Let us know how your progress goes!

  4. #14
    _Fi's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    I was doing some googling to find out a bit more about fat adaptation and found this thread. I'm really trying to find the last few bits of information to complete my transition, and this place seemed like a good place to ask. I did try to send a PM to the OP but couldn't figure out how (if it's possible) so forgive me for dredging up an old thread.

    I've been following a paleo-style diet for about 4 months. I've eaten low-ish carb (c. 150g a day) for about 9 months, dropping beans about 4 months ago to go pretty much paleo. (I still eat a bit of cheese, cream in coffee etc. so won't claim to be 100%).

    Anyhow, about 2 months ago I started dropping carbs, in the last month aiming to always get under 100g for training days and under 60g on other days.

    I felt like I was pretty fat adapted - I didn't get hunger pains (at least not in the same way - just felt like my stomach was empty but still had energy) and could go hours without food, especially after training which I used to have to eat straight afterwards, but I read that in order to complete the transition it was worth going keto on <25g carbs, <100g protein and the rest fat, in order to really kickstart the body becoming a fat burner.

    I am mainly wondering what you (the OP and anyone else!) thinks of this. How long should it be done for? I've never hit keto before and am finding I have less energy and also cannot sleep. Like massive insomnia - just lie awake feeling wired. It's starting to affect my training (I train bar calisthenics - pull-ups, dips etc. and bodyweight stuff, plus running and burpees for cardio) because I don't seem to recover.

    Really I'm wondering whether to a) stick with it and hope the above gets better, or b) to accept that where I was before - semi-adapted (I guess it's hard to tell really) - was an ok place and to start re-introducing those extra carbs (which took the form of PWO sweet potatoes and more vegetables).

    I'd really appreciate your thoughts.

    Thanks!

    Fi

  5. #15
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    I really don't read anything in your post that indicates you were semi-adapted before. I think VLC is better suited for a lower level of activity. What's your body composition like? Are you trying to lower body fat? Are you trying to lose weight, improve performance for sports or gain weight? If you're lean and looking for better performance, feeling as you've described I'd add back the vegtables, sweet potatoes, (ie, good carbs) and try to improve the recovery and rest between training. It appears to me you could be over reaching some with training and very active to be trying to exist on a VLC diet. If you are lean and not needing fat loss or trying to lose weight to improve times running or cycling, up the carbs. With Primal, dairy is ok in moderation if it doesn't give you digestive problems. It's not exactly the same as paleo.

  6. #16
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    The thing to ask yourself is, while you were super low carb, were any negative symptoms improved for you? If not, then you probably don't have any carbohydrate intolerance or budding metabolic syndrome so probably don't need to go so low on carbs. Slower exercise may help you adjust to the reduced carbs, even the moderately reduced carbs.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Highest squat: 167.5 x 2. Current Deadlift: 195 x 3

  7. #17
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    I suppose it's difficult to know when you're truly "fat adapted" or not. Honestly, I wouldn't have a clue. I seem to eat pretty low carb most days (some I'll be under 50g others probably 50-100g but I don't rigorously track). I haven't had any low carb flu... and I seem to do just fine low carb. On a day when I end up having too many carbs, I get through that okay and go back to low carb again without too many issues. I'm not sure what this means . Maybe it just means I'm metabolically flexible?! (When I do have a lot of carbs though, I seem to just want to eat and eat, however when I go back to lower carb and higher fat, I don't feel the desire to eat so much).

    I suppose the point is... do you need to lose weight? Is there something you think you can get out of being better fat adapted? I really don't have the answers. I'm in the process of losing weight, and low carb seems to work better for that (although the occasional high carb day doesn't seem to affect me too unduly as I can always get back on track again).

    I suppose I'm still trying to see the benefit of always being VLC... how will it ultimately help you? Unless you're struggling with something like being overweight despite eating quite low carbs... and wonder if going lower will help... I'm not sure I really, REALLY see a benefit to eating under 25g of carbs a day. Mark talks about being fat adapted, and yet he's not eating under 50g of carbs a day... so I don't think it's necessary.

    This all said, I'm totally not an expert . I'm still finding my way myself.

  8. #18
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    The benefit of being fat adapted or metabolically flexible is that if you are doing an activity that your body can use body fat for energy, it will use it and you'll have limitless energy available to you. If you aren't fat adapted, you'll have to fuel up with shot blocks or energy gels or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or whatever. Believe me, it sucks to not be fat adapted. I've been there. It was so bad I had to eat constantly. So long as I could eat and breathe at the same time, I'd be eating and I'd be hungry. When I wasn't eating, my stomach would be growling. That's probably worse than the normal athlete ever gets. The first time I ever experienced being fat adapted I was like, wow, I can just keep going and going and going! My buddy was the one who said Hey, let's stop and eat something, not me. What a difference!
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Highest squat: 167.5 x 2. Current Deadlift: 195 x 3

  9. #19
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    I agree sbhikes, it's nice to be able to think "ho hum, this looks like a lovely spot for a lunch break" and then sit and enjoy my apple and my jerky looking out at the view than to desperately fire down gels and sport drinks all the way up the mountain.

    I like being fat adapted, and it doesn't take living in ketosis all the time, but it does require not eating carbs beyond your glycogen requirements and making sure you use the fat-based and glucose-based metabolic pathways so they can both activate easily as needed.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  10. #20
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    Hi everyone,

    Thank you very much for your replies. I guess I should've included some more information when I posted! I'm not looking to lose weight (attached a photo below - no idea what my body fat is, but I'm 5 foot 5 inches and weighed 61.8kg this morning - if I go much lower I'd be worried about breaking my periods).

    The last two posts (Owly and sbhikes) basically sum up why I want to be fat adapted - to have energy and not be hindered by blood sugar crashes and the resulting grumpiness (there have been occasions when I've had to eat banana or face the fact I might stab people in the office ). I wanted to go keto for a time period (I thought a week would do it, but actually I think I might increase that to two) just to ensure that my body made the transition.

    I did 5 days last week but did a recarb on Saturday because I felt I needed it (I do high-intensty exercise but was also having some insomnia) which seems to have done the trick.

    Also I bought some Ketostix today. It showed a trace. I will test again tomorrow. I honestly don't expect it to show much more than that though as I think I am quite well adapted and I'm not sure my body would be excreting that many ketones - it's been a very long time since I ate what could be considered a high carb diet.

    I guess this whole area is quite complicated and very personal to the individual. I think after the end of this week I will move back to my normal diet (which is basically the same but with probably 50g less fat, 50g more tasty vegetables and 50g more protein) and consider the job done. In the last few weeks I have really noticed my tolerance for not eating all the time has gone way up. I used to be starving after training and have to eat straight away, but now I'm happy enough to leave it till a convenient time, or to actually spend the timing cooking something more complicated than tuna salad!

    It's been my first time in ketosis (never done Atkins or anything like that before - always thought it would be too hard - I can see now that was silly of me as eating all this fat is fantastic ) and it's been an interesting experience. I can see myself dipping back into it at time, especially as I do seem to have unintentionally leaned up a bit, which is cool for the end of summer!

    Anyhow, I am rambling so will stop now! Thanks again for your opinions and sorry to hijack this thread!


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