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Smiall

Fat adaptation length of time

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I'm on Day 17 of my first Whole30. Endurance athlete coming off a fairly hard core sugar addiction. Had the flu like feeling for the first bit of time, feel good now outside of workouts. I'm just about to start training season again but my energy reserves have not returned. At first I was a bit panicky about have no power, speed, fast twitch action so i may have eaten too much starchy carb in my first few days but think I'm learning I should keep those mainly for post workout with the protein hit. I've been sticking with the 1 boiled egg and 1/2 handful of nuts 1 hour before workout for the past 10 days or so. Do I need to be more patient and keep going with what I'm doing? Can I refine my routine to help the process get where it needs to be so I can start training again? 

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Glad you're taking the journey towards increased fat adaptation - I think that's a great path for athletes, even if they don't want to live the "low carb" lifestyle at all (post-workout carbs + fat adaptation can work really well together). For me my goals determined how fast to push it - if you're fine with lower intensity training for ~6 weeks or so, then moving away from pre-workout carb fueling (and personally, for me it was moving to completely fasted training) will be sufficient to up your fat adaptation massively and then reintroduce higher intensity training. I started with fasted training for just 30 minutes a day, and now can hit endurance rides in the ~3 hour range completely fasted in the morning and not be ravenous after.

If however you want to focus on getting back that intensity faster, that's TOTALLY doable on Whole30, I would just keep those healthy carbs in pre-workout, but taper them off over time (especially on easy endurance / recovery days). The main goal of Whole30 for me has always been to clean up your diet to have a real understanding of how food impacts your health, rather than fad adaptation being the primary goal - so if you want to keep fueling your higher intensity work with quality carbs while going more moderate in your lower intensity work, I think that's great!

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Ok I completed the w30 including 10 days of fast track. No sign of any tiger blood, felt good while sitting around but workouts suffered in that there was no intensity available which you said was normal. Then I went on vacation and completely off the rails.  My workouts felt magnificent again. Now I'm back home and in the midst of training for my "B race", I have 7 weeks until race day. After that I'll be training for my "A race". I've been living concepts that I learned during w30 like how to eat pre and post workout, not buying food that has sugar or grains but at the same time not being strict with asking what ingredients are in meat/salad dressings at restaurants. Am I still working toward fat adaptation? Am I slowing down the process even more by possibly sometimes eating things that contain sugar? Is being fat adapted a spectrum or is it more like either you are or you're not? I can still do fasted workouts but can't produce performance during this transitioning period so can you tell me how much time it should take and whether I should just keep fueling with carbs then work on this concept again during off season, maybe by doing a whole30-60 or so? Thanks for any advice :D

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