Lesley

Fat adaption, starchy carbs

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I'm on day 8 of my first Whole 30. I'm also training for my 2nd marathon in November. For the last few months prior to my W30 I was eating mostly Paleo, but not running much. I've read many posts about athletes needing to make sure to eat plenty of starchy carbs as well as follow the template. I ran a 3 mile run last week after not eating much in the starchy veg category and it felt awful. Two days later I ran a (slow) 10 mile run after eating about 3 sweet potatoes in the course of 2 days and felt much better. My question is, is fat adaption compromised by doing this carb loading? What's the balance? Thanks in advance for the input!

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You need to add enough starchy carbs in to sustain your activity levels, but not enough to have excess in your blood to feed off of. Does that make sense? I found the first 2 weeks of my paleo transition (which was before W30) to be horrible for my runs. I do try and eat starchy veggies with at least one meal a day and feel fine on my runs now. I don't know if that answers your question or not. 

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Thanks! So, I guess it's just key to find the balance. Any tips on how to do that? I'm keeping a food diary, so I will look at what I'm eating and how I feel during workouts/runs.

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Eat sweet potatoes or other starchy carbs at meals, but NOT before your workout. Pre workout, you want to eat a half portion of protein and fat (as laid out in the Meal Template).

 

Post workout, you want to eat protein, and starchy carbs, but no fat.

 

You might try one run a week, a short, easy run would be ideal, where you run in a 'fasted' state. Get up and get out the door for a few miles. That will help your body get used to using fat as your fuel instead of carbs.

 

And don't sweat these first two weeks -- your runs will all probably suffer. I had very little energy.

 

Hope this helps!

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I ate a sweet potato every day for much of my first year of eating Whole30-style and remained fat-adapted. If you are running a lot, you may need to eat a serving of starchy veggies every day. If you are running less, you might do okay with less. I have advised some athletes to eat two sweet potatoes per day when they were doing 2 workouts per day to keep energy levels up.

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Eat sweet potatoes or other starchy carbs at meals, but NOT before your workout. Pre workout, you want to eat a half portion of protein and fat (as laid out in the Meal Template).

 

Post workout, you want to eat protein, and starchy carbs, but no fat.

 

You might try one run a week, a short, easy run would be ideal, where you run in a 'fasted' state. Get up and get out the door for a few miles. That will help your body get used to using fat as your fuel instead of carbs.

 

And don't sweat these first two weeks -- your runs will all probably suffer. I had very little energy.

 

Hope this helps!

Thanks. That's a good idea. Sounds like its timing timing timing.

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I ate a sweet potato every day for much of my first year of eating Whole30-style and remained fat-adapted. If you are running a lot, you may need to eat a serving of starchy veggies every day. If you are running less, you might do okay with less. I have advised some athletes to eat two sweet potatoes per day when they were doing 2 workouts per day to keep energy levels up.

Ok, this might sound like a dumb question, but how do you know when you are fat adapted? Sweet potatoes are my new best friend. :-)

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You also need to train in the zone that your body utilizes fat in... Typically under 70-75% max HR. if you are in your pure aerobic zone and don't cross your anaerobic/ lactate thresholds, your body will use oxygen and stored fat for energy.... Plain and simple... No glycogen. You utilize your fat stores through your own cellular mitochondria..... The longer you train in that lower zone, the more mitochondria you produce / the more energy you have...

Set your HR monitor and don't cross 70%. Time your miles and note the times.... Run strictly at your HR .... You will notice after a few weeks your times will start to come down... And soon you will be running much much faster at 70%.... You have maxed out your mitochondrial production when your times no longer decrease ...... A lot of elite runners/ tri athlete train this way in the off season

http://www.freedomsrun.org/Training/TrainingAerobic.aspx

Here's a great link

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Eating Whole30-style removes a huge amount of carbs from the diet of most people. The lethargy and suckiness that many people feel during the first few weeks of a Whole30 reflects the struggle of their bodies to adjust to living without all those carbs as fuel. You know you are becoming fat adapted when you begin to feel good living on the lower volume of carbs that result naturally from getting the carbs only from vegetable sources like sweet potatoes, beets, plantains, etc.

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Lesley, first of all, your profile picture is beautiful! Your kids (I'm presuming) are so cute, and you are absolutely glowing. Just wanted to put that out there :)

 

Second, I think you got some great advice about meal timing and heart rate monitoring. But try not to get overwhelmed with being so precise with all of this. The main objective here is to eat healthy food that makes you feel good, which in your case involves getting you through marathon training. You will probably have to tinker with your food until you know what works, so just think of this as a science experiment where you're the trial subject. And have fun with it!

 

Like another responder, my running suffered during the first couple of weeks as I transitioned to fat adaptation, but eventually eating this way (with or without sweet potatoes) made me a much stronger runner. Good luck with your marathon!

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Lesley, first of all, your profile picture is beautiful! Your kids (I'm presuming) are so cute, and you are absolutely glowing. Just wanted to put that out there :)

 

Second, I think you got some great advice about meal timing and heart rate monitoring. But try not to get overwhelmed with being so precise with all of this. The main objective here is to eat healthy food that makes you feel good, which in your case involves getting you through marathon training. You will probably have to tinker with your food until you know what works, so just think of this as a science experiment where you're the trial subject. And have fun with it!

 

Like another responder, my running suffered during the first couple of weeks as I transitioned to fat adaptation, but eventually eating this way (with or without sweet potatoes) made me a much stronger runner. Good luck with your marathon!

Wow, thanks for the compliments.  That photo was from Mother's Day, and yes, they are my children.  Thanks also for the advice.  I tend to get overwhelmed with the details.  The running seems to be getting better (I seem a little slower, but I feel good) and hopefully will continue to improve.

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You're welcome :) I also get overwhelmed if there are too many rules to follow. It starts to feel like the old calorie-crunching way that a lot of us used to lose weight in the past. Embracing the fun of all of this, really enjoying healthy food and how it makes you feel, is what makes this program stand apart. I love that there are basic guidelines to follow, but filling in the blanks is up to each of us.

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You're welcome :) I also get overwhelmed if there are too many rules to follow. It starts to feel like the old calorie-crunching way that a lot of us used to lose weight in the past. Embracing the fun of all of this, really enjoying healthy food and how it makes you feel, is what makes this program stand apart. I love that there are basic guidelines to follow, but filling in the blanks is up to each of us.

I really like that about it too. I think things are getting better running-wise, as I ran 5 miles in 90 degree heat and actually felt good. :)

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Beachchica makes a great point...... It is to easy to get bogged down and focused on details.... Relax and enjoy that you are doing the right thing for your body... Your running will come into line.

From my experience, and I'm not a distance athlete but a converted crazy cross fitter, eating the template and only one sweet potato and occasionally one fruit a day, puts me a the zone where at 50 yrs old I'm smoking most of the 20-30 year olds in strength and conditioning... I'm at the top 10% of the white board most days . We have a big strong box with fierce competitors so that's a big accomplishment .... I've also been steadily cutting weight

Eating w30 reaps many many rewards, I can't fathom living any other way!!!

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Beachchica makes a great point...... It is to easy to get bogged down and focused on details.... Relax and enjoy that you are doing the right thing for your body... Your running will come into line.

From my experience, and I'm not a distance athlete but a converted crazy cross fitter, eating the template and only one sweet potato and occasionally one fruit a day, puts me a the zone where at 50 yrs old I'm smoking most of the 20-30 year olds in strength and conditioning... I'm at the top 10% of the white board most days . We have a big strong box with fierce competitors so that's a big accomplishment .... I've also been steadily cutting weight

Eating w30 reaps many many rewards, I can't fathom living any other way!!!

 

Fenderbender (great screen name btw)- that's awesome! And I couldn't agree more about not being able to envision another way to live. I have started to think about life after my Whole30, and I really don't ever want to eat [email protected] again. It didn't make me feel very good, and honestly looking back on it, I don't think it tasted nearly as good as fresh produce and healthy fats. My only wishy-washy part is about animal protein- I'm a recovering vegetarian trying to come to terms with eating meat. I've committed to it for the Whole30, but not sure what will happen long-term. I know I don't want to reintroduce soy and all its various processed forms. Wondering if lentils are an ok necessary evil, plus seafood and eggs...

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Eating Whole30-style removes a huge amount of carbs from the diet of most people. The lethargy and suckiness that many people feel during the first few weeks of a Whole30 reflects the struggle of their bodies to adjust to living without all those carbs as fuel. You know you are becoming fat adapted when you begin to feel good living on the lower volume of carbs that result naturally from getting the carbs only from vegetable sources like sweet potatoes, beets, plantains, etc.

Does this mean to maybe add more fat in lieu of the missing carbs?  I'm still trying to figure out why I could never kick the lethargy I felt through my whole W30 and I wonder now if I needed to add even more fat.  I ate at least 1/2 yam every day, and really feel like I ate an almost perfect template the whole time...but maybe the answer was MORE FAT!  Thoughts?

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Fenderbender (great screen name btw)- that's awesome! And I couldn't agree more about not being able to envision another way to live. I have started to think about life after my Whole30, and I really don't ever want to eat [email protected] again. It didn't make me feel very good, and honestly looking back on it, I don't think it tasted nearly as good as fresh produce and healthy fats. My only wishy-washy part is about animal protein- I'm a recovering vegetarian trying to come to terms with eating meat. I've committed to it for the Whole30, but not sure what will happen long-term. I know I don't want to reintroduce soy and all its various processed forms. Wondering if lentils are an ok necessary evil, plus seafood and eggs...

Your sobriquet is cool also. :)

My first w30 was actually a w120 and I slowly reintroed.... I was " ok" with full fat dairy, and grained like oats,rice,quinoa... Then a did a few more rounds of w30 and I really felt better.... Took a break and ate rice,potatoes,etc and what I found was that stuff really keeps me from eating the proper amount of veggies because its so easy to just plug in the rice cooker and grill a piece of salmon.... It slowed me down

I haven't even been counting the days and I don't go crazy about giving waiters the 3rd degree when I go out so I'm sure a few thing here and there have snuck in in small amounts, but I just preform 100% better when sticking to the meal templates and really plan to stick to it about 95% of the time.

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Does this mean to maybe add more fat in lieu of the missing carbs?  I'm still trying to figure out why I could never kick the lethargy I felt through my whole W30 and I wonder now if I needed to add even more fat.  I ate at least 1/2 yam every day, and really feel like I ate an almost perfect template the whole time...but maybe the answer was MORE FAT!  Thoughts?

How active are you? I'm really experimenting with my carbs and noticing how it makes me feel. Sometimes I will feel sluggish in the morning and have a huge burst of energy towards the end of the day. It's still fairly early in my W30, so I'm trying to pay attention to these things. I'm not sure what more fat would do. Are you eating enough food overall?

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Does this mean to maybe add more fat in lieu of the missing carbs?  I'm still trying to figure out why I could never kick the lethargy I felt through my whole W30 and I wonder now if I needed to add even more fat.  I ate at least 1/2 yam every day, and really feel like I ate an almost perfect template the whole time...but maybe the answer was MORE FAT!  Thoughts?

 

When I felt lethargic during my Whole30 (after the first 10 days, I mean) it was either a result of not enough fat or not enough high carb veggies. Depending on how much running/working out you are doing, you may need a half a yam/sweet potato at each meal -- it's constant experimentation and adjusting for me.

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On 7/22/2013 at 4:41 PM, ultrarunnergirl said:

Eat sweet potatoes or other starchy carbs at meals, but NOT before your workout. Pre workout, you want to eat a half portion of protein and fat (as laid out in the Meal Template).

Curious here - I've often read that topping up on carbs is good before a workout (especially first thing in the morning after the natural overnight fast) and that fat is best to be avoided pre-WO, but I see that the Meal Template has the opposite. Any thoughts on why?

Will likely just try it out myself and see how it goes, but also hard to isolate my workout performance that day from the mental "no-cebo" effect of skipping carbs, so will have to see...

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On 7/26/2013 at 2:19 PM, ultrarunnergirl said:

When I felt lethargic during my Whole30 (after the first 10 days, I mean) it was either a result of not enough fat or not enough high carb veggies. Depending on how much running/working out you are doing, you may need a half a yam/sweet potato at each meal -- it's constant experimentation and adjusting for me.

Thanks for the advice - I'm on my 3rd Whole30 try now, really want to complete this one as I quit my first two due to the terrible workouts, I wasn't recovering well and likely didn't ramp up my eating enough to compensate, it's just SO much real food compared to the rice / oats days. 

Did you try a more "targeted" approach of getting in extra carbs post-WO, or did you just stick to the "consistent carbs" method you discuss above?

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