Sunday, 18 November 2012

Eating 150g fat a day

150g fat.  That's the average amount I've eaten, per day, for the last 11 days.  33g carbs (though it's getting to stabilise around the 25g or less mark now) and 130g protein.  So, less than 7% of my daily kcals from carbohydrate and over 2/3 from fat.

As I mentioned 9 days ago; after an interesting tweet from @SportieDoc and reading the book she recommended (Taubes - Why We Get Fat and what to do about it), and another (The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living), I've been trying very low carb nutrition.  It's been interesting and weird and it feels like hacking my metabolism, which it pretty much is; I'm trying to flip a switch to get my body to use primarily fat as a fuel for most of what I do.

Sunday morning breakfast
I've been eating bacon and eggs, smoked salmon and eggs, coffee with butter blended into it for breakfast and sometimes nothing at all because I'm not hungry at all! I've been making spinach/kale/courgette soup with and without cream, chorizo or stilton added in, or a caesar salad (no crutons), or chicken bacon and avocado salad for lunch, or sometimes nothing at all because I'm not hungry.  And for dinner... steak, salmon, pork belly and all with creamed spinach, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower etc. on the side.  And it's been -delicious-.  And I've not been hungry between meals. And I've not had "intrusive thoughts of food".

The first day of this experiment felt like a normal day but with mind-bendingly tasty foods.  Day two, was pretty similar and I felt no different.  Days three and four I started to notice a change... I was feeling more alert and then increasingly full of pep to the point of almost irrepressible.  Most interestingly I was eating three times a day and not feeling hungry at all in between, not feeling hungry when I woke up, not thinking about food aside from working out what to make at mealtimes as I'm not routinised into a set of recipes yet.   I wasn't missing or craving breads, potato, rice, couscous, pasta etc. and didn't feel like I wanted anything sweet; moreover I was drinking much less tea and a cup or two of filter coffee a day.

Day 8, we went out for dinner at our local favourite restaurant and had a starter of scallops, wrapped in pancetta and creamed spinach, followed by slow roasted pork belly with crackling, wild mushrooms and greens and half a bottle of dry white wine.  The wine hit me like a truck.  I was giggly half way through the first glass and wrecked by the third.  I ate too much and though I didn't finish my pork, I ate all of the crackling (*heavenly*) and really should have stopped earlier than I did.  When we got home, I crashed out to sleep, leaving my tea to go cold.  The next morning, I felt terrible until I got up and was fine in minutes; then didn't eat until 2pm when I was out for lunch with a friend.  I didn't really feel hungry at lunch time either, but had lunch to be sociable and to see what's possible in a pub (Caesar salad with the crutons left out).  Still feeling perky and sharp on that day (day 9) and not having any trouble with energy or stamina during my training sessions, no afternoon slump in attention or perkiness at all.

Day 11, Saturday this week, I started feeling a bit sluggish and very very cranky in the morning and the same this morning (day 12), though a little less so.  Friday's and Saturday's first run felt awful; I felt like I was dragging my legs through treacle, but the second run on Saturday (hill sprints) felt lots better.  I get the impression I'm going through yet another stage in the adaptation process.  I'm starting to get some good ideas for meals beyond the obvious ones, thanks to Abel & Cole for some of the green leafy veg ideas.

I'm still reading lots of articles (like Joe Friel's one on becoming a better fat burner, and Dr Runyan - a diabetic Ironman finisher) and books and looking forward to cracking through The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance to get a bit more understanding about what I need to be doing and how I get to being a proper fat-fuelled athlete.  What is still very clear is that the details an fine tuning are not well-known or understood, and in fact not known much at all, and that there is an appreciable amount of thinking that low-carbohydrate fuelling probably has a detrimental effect at the top-end exertion level; but then I'm not a 100m runner, or even a professional athlete at any sport and I'd rather be able to get through the bike leg of a 70.3 without needing to stuff my face with bars and gels than gain an extra 3-4 minutes off my time through top-end power (as I'll gain those 3-4 minutes back through not faffing about eating on the bike).

Oh, and I've incidentally lost 1.9kg since I started (OK, yes most of that will be glycogen and water, but still...)

The experiment continues!

1 comment:

  1. oh this sooooo sends a shiver down my spine I'll be honest! One of the diets that I did when I was much younger was the Rosemary Conley which, at that time, stipulated that you ate nothing that contained more than 4% fat. And although I don't follow that principle now (not no way, not no how!) I still tend to the lower fat and try to keep my overall intake down. Old habits die hard.

    I take my hat off to you Kate and will watch with interest how it progresses :)