LCHF pre- and post-WO questions


Alisonlcarver

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I have completed a few Whole 30's and now want to try LCHF for better blood sugar/insulin management and flexibility with workout fueling.  I'm wondering about the workout meals here.

 

I am training for a marathon, do 5 days of cardio and currently no strength.  Two rest days scheduled in.

 

I plan to continue to eat only Whole 30 foods, not eating anything off-plan.  But in addition, I am going to try LCHF for 30 days.

 

First, is a pre-WO meal during LCHF necessary?

 

Second, what are options for post-WO meals when LCHF?  Just the lean protein, since I am avoiding starchy carbs?

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Hi Alison,

 

The Whole30 recommendations are for protein and fat before the workout and lean protein and starchy veggies after the workout.  On the Whole30 public forum boards you will not get any recommendations that don't fit this template.

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This is the Whole30 Forum. It is hard enough to maintain clear communication about the Whole30 without discussions of other approaches going on here. The Whole30 offers a great deal of flexibility so that a person can eat a low carb diet while doing a Whole30, but we do not want to allow anyone to get the impression that going low carb is the ideal approach. Many people on the forum need to eat more starchy veggies in order to feel good and perform well. They can experiment with low carb on their own someday, but we don't want those experiments to be part of their Whole30s. If discussions move to other topics like low carb, etc., they need to leave this location and go somewhere without a specific mandate to discuss the Whole30. 

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The mods can delete my post if it's inappropriate, especially as it comes after Tom's post! I'm OK with that. But did want to chime in on the OP's plans.

 

I did 31 days of LCHF in December when I was running only 25 miles a week. Note that I've been a runner for 13 years, been eating Whole30-esque since 2012, and can go 8-10 hours without eating if needed, so I consider myself to be fairly fat adapted already. I thought I was in a good place to test the diet model for the exact same reasons you mentioned. I didn't experience a detox or carb flu, but I found that my training, mood, sleep, work, life all suffered. I craved sweets more, had bigger mood swings, and just felt like s***. I feel SO much better adding more starches in. 

 

OP: Were I in your place, I wouldn't try this while preparing for a race. You could possibly lose those 30 days and not progress in your running. If you want to experiment, do it without a goal race on the horizon. If you're eating Whole30ish, you're already relatively low carb compared to most other athletes out there with gels and sport powders. 

 

Good luck with your training!

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This is Melissa's take on the subject, taken directly from an interview given by her in August 2014 with the Examiner:
 

 
...Low carb diets are "a well-proven strategy to manage the symptoms of—and in some cases, reverse—diabetes. However, it’s important to distinguish between an intervention used to manage chronic illness and a sustainable strategy to support optimal health," says Melissa.
 
She points out that it's essential to consider quality over quantity. "It’s also a real mistake to talk about food just in terms of macronutrients. Eating a diet rich in sugar and refined grains is very different than a diet that includes lots of nutrient-dense starchy vegetables and in-season fruit, even though carbohydrate might contribute 50% of calories in both situations."
 
Paleo diets often are viewed as low carb. But the percentages and totals of protein, fat and carbohydrates vary, and Melissa does not agree with those who advocate combining ketogenic diets (which typically restrict carbohydrates to 20 grams or less) with the Whole30 diet.
 
"Including minimally-processed, nutrient-dense, and ideally seasonal foods on your everyday plate will naturally organically reduce your total carbohydrate intake, but for healthy people, it’s not necessary to deliberately restrict carbohydrate intake beyond that. In fact, for people who regularly participate in intense exercise, severely restricting carbohydrate intake can actually harm your health," she said.
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The mods can delete my post if it's inappropriate

 

 

Hey Lucie ~ I don't think your post is inappropriate, at all.  I can see no reason why it would be deleted.

 

In fact, I think it's quite appropriate.  I worry that Alison is going to get herself into the same boat.

 

I think a LCHF/ketogenic diet is great for a lot of people, for a lot of purposes.  Anyone who has done their research has heard the various success stories.  I do consider mine a success story, and will continue to do so as long as I am doing so well with it.  But that does not mean that it is right for all people, or in all situations.

 

I hope Alison won't mind me sharing things here, as they are not personal conversations we've had, but rather -- what I have gathered from various conversations on the forum.

 

Alison ~ I think you have some goals that are at odds with each other.  

 

I know that you've just read Taubes' book ~ and that is what convinced you to follow a LCHF lifestyle ~ and I get it.  You know, if anyone gets it, I do.  We've also been having some great, thought-provoking, keto discussions -- and I know you are excited about all that you are learning.

 

When I shared the information about Ben Greenfield, Peter Attia, and keto for endurance athletes -- I'll be honest, I had no idea you were going to jump into announcing a "Keto Whole 30" while also trying to keep up your current training for a marathon you are looking forward to in March.  

 

This makes me nervous.  I feel somewhat responsible, even though you are a grown woman, making your own decisions.  Even though ~ I encouraged you to seek out other runners and see what their experiences were, becoming keto-adapted.  Even though ~ I have not even read Taubes' book, and I am not the one who told you to read it in the first place.  Even though ~ I have tried to warn you multiple times that this process may take weeks, and it may be ugly with carb-flu.

 

Have you found any other women -- online, or elsewhere -- who have successfully become keto-adapted, WHILE training for an upcoming marathon?  Because, as you know, I am NOT one.  And I do not know any.  And I will not be able to be much help if you start to have trouble.   (And, as you can see, no one else here will be, either.)  My answer, if you feel awful, will be:  Either stop running so much -- or stop trying to become keto-adapted.

 

I think the goal to keep your blood sugar & insulin levels steady is a healthy one.  As you know, it is my goal, as well.  

 

But I've also picked up on the fact that you think this is the key to fat loss ~ since the name of Taubes' book is "Why We Get Fat".  And yesterday, I just saw you say that the goal of your running is fat loss.  I will be quite honest here, and tell you that I do not think the combination of marathon training and a keto diet is going to get you the body you are envisioning.  If your primary goal is sustainable fat loss ~ I think you are going to be disappointed, at best ... and having Lucie's experience, at worst.

 

Lauren has already tried to caution you ~ asking if this is really what you want to do, while training for a marathon?  I have tried to caution you about the process in my own ways, also... but now, with this discussion coming up, I feel the need to quite publicly say:  I am not endorsing this move.  I have never trained for a marathon in my life, and I have no desire to.  If you decide to proceed with a Keto Whole 30, I wish you all the best, and I hope you are able to achieve ALL of your goals ...  But my experience has been that sometimes one goal has to go on the back burner, in order to achieve another.  I think when we try to do this, and this, and this, and this, all at the same time -- we are expecting too much of ourselves.  

 

Just think on it, okay?  And know that there is nothing wrong with changing your mind about things as new information comes to you.  We've ALL had to re-think things in life that we felt pretty strongly about.  I mean, that's why we're all here, right?  We are always learning, always trying to do better, always trying to feel and perform our best.  I've been wrong about things before, and I'm sure I will be wrong again.  It's all part of the process.

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I am currently training for my 9th marathon. My first on a whole 30 & there is NO WAY that I feel I could do this on low carbs. My first whole 30 I dragged the whole time. I was not marathon training but I am an avid runner. I never experienced tiger blood. I believe that I was not eating enough & not consuming enough starchy veggies. I am definitely making a point of trying to include a starchy veg in pretty much every meal I eat this go round. I feel more energized but long runs are still hard.

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Check my blog post collection if you are interested in my experiences with ultra running and Whole30. Everyone is different and I've included links to another whole30 ultra runner friend who did whole30 at the same time I did. We both have accounts of what we ate, how we fueled, what worked and did not.

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