Fat adaption is critical for athletes and non-athletes looking for sustained health including physical, intellectual and social vitality. Carbs are not bad, just misunderstood. Here are a few hints to get you started.
Read the previous post Fat Adaption – Low Carb, 5 myths, benefits and hacks
- Consume carbs where they fit
Carbs are prioritised to be used for energy ahead of fat. If you constantly snack on carbs through the day you will not burn fat. This applies during exercise and at rest. To burn fat there must be phases in your day where carbs are not available. Plan your carbohydrate consumption after your exercise or immediately before a high intensity session.
- Limit processed carbs (Grains & Sugar)
Processed grains and sugar have low nutrient value and are best avoided. These should be limited with a preference towards whole food carbs like real whole fruit and starchy vegetables. The health impacts of sugar are well documented and scientifically proven, including sweeteners. Grain has been scientifically linked to auto immune conditions, is a known irritant to 80% of the population and has low nutrient value.
- Consume appropriate level of whole food carbs in a balanced macronutrient profile (keep the calories up!)
- Protein: 1 – 1.8 grams per lean body weight in kg)
- 50 grams per day for weight loss
- 100 grams per day for standard exercise regime (30 min / day average)
- 150 grams per day for heavy exercise regime
- +extended exercise fuelling!
- Healthy Fat & non starchy veg – To satisfaction!
- Lots of coloured Veg
- No calorie counting! Eat to satiety.
- Get fat adapted
Ensure you are getting periods where your system will burn fat and carbs are not readily available. This should be daily and periodically extended periods of at least a day. Stress causes adaptation. Include Periodised Nutrition in your training plan by introducing ketogenic phases
- Race with dual source carbs – 60 grams / hour @ 6% to water
I have had success with U-CAN Generation, a super starch which has an even burn, then top up with dried figs or gels for surges or it my intuition suggests I need a boost.
- Reducing Calories
Reducing calories will slow your metabolism to protect your systems rather than burn fat. When reducing carbs ensure you are getting enough calories by replacing the deficit with healthy fats like seeds, nuts, avos, eggs, bacon, butter, olive oil, oily fish…
- Ignoring intuition (Poor quality carbs cloud intuition)
Poor quality carbs cloud intuitive eating. Once you remove the processed carbs (sugar and grains), your intuition will kick in if you focus on whole foods, allowing you to control your intake more instinctively with little will power required.
- Using Substitutes (Sweeteners)
Artificial sweeteners have the same insulin response as sugar, stopping the burn of fat. Within 90 minutes of a sweetener the hunger for carbs will be more significant and more carbs are usually consumed. The net effect is likely worst that having the real thing! If you are really thirsty, have the coke, not the zero!
- Racing long No Carb / Low Carb
Training low is about getting fat adapted so you are not totally dependent on carbs. For high performance we need carbs. A complete training program should include low, medium and high carbs phased and sessions! And we always race with Carbs!