Fat Adaptation and Distant Running

Interesting article published this week including some clinical data on the possible benefits of using a Carb restricted (Fat Diet) to fuel long distance running. It's an emerging science and I am sure we will hear more about it over the next few years, might be of interest to some of you.

ultrarunning.com/features/h...

Merry Christmas.

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  • Some interesting data here. If I'm reading it correctly then high fat/low carbs is a better diet for long distance running. I wonder does it work for shorter distances too? Some food for thought (sorry").

    How are you doing Olsbean? Hope you're still running. Thanks for posting and a very Happy Christmas to you too.

  • I think it's still to early to tell for sure and it should be treated subjectively but never the less the data is interesting. There is new movie coming out next year, a follow up to Cereal Killers "The Movie", called Cereal Killers 2 "Run on Fat" which will challenge the "Carb Loading" ideology for sport which may be interesting, especially as we are now seeing a number of professional athletes/sportspeople developing Type II Diabetes.

    Thanks for asking, I'm still running religiously, though I've restricted myself to running every "other" day now :) I mix things up between a Elevated Sprint Routine (High Impact) and 5/10K runs.

  • I did a diet a few years ago that restricted white carbs, they have nothing but energy after all, and the weight just melted away. I was swimming long distances too, and had buckets of energy. I've seen some interesting changes regarding saturated fats too, avocados and duck have been found to be good for you, and aid weight loss. All counter intuitive.

  • I've been following quite a strict LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) lifestyle for most of this year which is how I came across that article. I eat lots of Saturated Fat daily which includes most days at least one Avocados, butter, cream, cheese and nuts, often I'll eat a whole fresh coconut for lunch.

    I had issues at first getting the right balance of Fat, Protein and Carbs just right but since doing so I have had no issues at all with energy, especially whilst running (which I do regularly) , most days my carbs are less than 20g.

    I'm not trying to lose weight, just maintain and I have found this way of life epic for that purpose as for the first time in my life my weight is completely steady, without me feeling I have made any effort to keep it so, the added bonus being I never seem to feel hungry, unlike before.

    It is viewed in the main, as being quite a controversial way to eat and for that reason I would never push anyone else to do it, I think people need to take do their own homework and take ownership of their own health. Personally I am satisfied that information about High Fat Diets (when you dig deep) is that they are not detrimental to health but on the contrary can be beneficial but I guess only time will tell.

  • I wonder if carb loading as it was done in the days of Coe/Ovett/Cram et al was less likely to cause ill effects because anything involving wheat then is so far removed from what we are sold now. So much junk (preservatives, corn syrup, etc) is added to e.g. wholemeal bread and the wheat used then and now seems to be a very different grain.

    Michael Mosely did a couple of interesting 'quick and dirty' studies of fat and sugar and links to obesity and diabetes which are worth watching if still available on iPlayer. Article on fat good/bad at: bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-296...

    Someone posted a really great maxim on here - apologies think it might have been Ancientmum but can't remember - if her granny wouldn't have recognised it as food she doesn't eat it. Works for me too.

  • Same here, we're real foodies, I can't remember the last time I ate something processed unless you class cheese as processed.

  • Well firstly you have to remember that eating this way, if you get the balance right brings enormous satiety levels, which in turn means you tend to eat less and eat less often. And for me this personally has to be the biggest benefit of all because if you know my history, you'll know I've experienced what I now know to be a whole range of diet/lifestyle metabolic issues, one of the symptoms for me being constant hunger.

    Anyway the point I am making is that it's now not unusual for me to skip the odd meal as I now only eat when properly hungry. Also food has become more clinical, kind of logical, I eat some combinations that some might be aghast at but your relationship with food really starts to change when you eat like this, it's like your brain subconsciously orders you eat certain foods more for the nutritional content rather than their aesthetic appeal. For example I have just had 3 Eggs Fried in Butter, half an Avocado and a handful of Walnuts for brunch.

    As for foods, I try to get butter into my diet whenever I can, so I cook in it a lot, I'll eat Eggs and Bacon for breakfast, or an omelet with spinach, cheese, bacon, mushrooms and a small tomato, if I am in a rush then I'll often eat and Avocado and/or nuts. My Step-Daughter and her Husband switched to this way of eating after staying with us, they both work and are out of the house early in the morning (at the rush) so they oftens have Smoothies made with Spinach and Frozen Berries for convenience. Lunch often depends once again on how hungry I am and what I ate or did not eat for breakfast but often I'll eat an Oily Fish something like Smoked Mackerel, often with eggs if I can, sometime I'll eat a whole fresh coconut when I can get them. Dinner is often chicken with the skin on, steak, high meat content sausages or burgers etc served with a mixed green salad, olives, spinach, avocado again. I make my own Coleslaw with homemade Full Fat Mayo. Or something like liver and bacon with Cauliflower or Sweet Potato Mash. Or a Roast Dinner, I rarely eat roast potatoes though instead I'll have 2 roast Parsnips and some sweet potato/carrot mash. Or something like a curry or chilli with Cauliflower rice instead of conventional rice, or a Pasta Dish, with either Carrot or Courgette spaghetti/tagliatelle (we have a machine that makes the shapes but you can do it by hand). Sometimes I'll have some dark chocolate (High cocoa content 85% plus). I drink coffee until midday with double cream in it or Tea after midday with Full Fat Milk in it. Weekends I'll have the occasional whisky, straight and if I am throwing all caution to the wind a couple of pints of Guinness :)

    There are lots of things you can eat, lots of resource and recipes online but It's basically about eating well, unprocessed, real food and keeping an eye on the sugar content, including natural sugar and starches from grains, potatoes, fruit etc in your eye :)

  • Some years ago when the Atkins diet was all the rage, I bought the book and while I don't really rate it as a diet, I was very interested in some of the points that were made there. For instance most people don't realise that a lot of processed food will actually make you more hungry, the blood sugar spike and drop is very real. I gave up certain foods, breakfast cereals for instance, and found it really good to be in control of my appetite instead of the other way round. Like Olsbean I too sometimes skip meals entirely, I just forget, so you can see I'm not really hungry.

    I can't remember much about it now, but Atkins had a method to work out how much carb you actually need in a day, mine came to about 20g - about 2 slices of wholemeal bread i think. A lot of accepted advice from doctors etc, is based on post war thinking!

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