100 miles of trail on fat tires, 16,000 feet of climbing, 14 hours in the saddle – all on 700 calories of carbs? Figuring at least 500 calories burned per hour, that’s 10%, at most, of the energy expended, which means the other 90% came from FAT. That, for me, was the ultimate validation of a low carbohydrate lifestyle. I completed the Butte 100 mountain bike endurance race in late July. It was less about wanting to actually spend that much time training and then pedaling the course as it was wanting to see for myself whether the data presented by Dr. Stephen Phinney in his book “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance” and documentary “Run On Fat” could apply to a weekend warrior athlete like myself. It was, in a way, the completion of a personal experiment to discover whether a low carbohydrate lifestyle is enjoyable, sustainable, healthy, and supportive of athletic endeavors. The answer for me is a resounding YES!
Enjoyable – eating delicious whole foods such as salads (rich with avocadoes, nuts, and olive oil), eggs, coconut, meats (as long as it is free of hormones), and full-fat dairy products (organic)
Sustainable – it has been almost 3 years eating this way for me and carbohydrate-rich foods, in particular the simple grains, devoid of nutrients, are not hard to avoid
Healthy – my blood testing shows low risk factors for heart disease, low inflammation, and optimal blood sugar regulation
Add to that list the benefits such as lack of cravings, sustained energy, mental acuity, weight management (or loss if not careful), and freedom from bonking when exercising, and it is not hard to keep me convinced.
Please keep in mind this is more of a lifestyle concept and not a “diet”. The idea is to get your body comfortable with burning fat as a fuel – something it is designed to do but in most cases is just not used to. Glucose, from carbs, is burned preferentially because it is “easy” and cannot not be allowed to accumulate in the bloodstream as it can become harmful, i.e. diabetes. Fat adaptation is the ability to switch over to burning fat, which our bodies can do very efficiently and cleanly, if given the opportunity. We have been conditioned to take in carbohydrates at regular time intervals, so our bodies rarely have the opportunity to delve into fat stores. Three distinct benefits of fat adaptation are body weight management, glycemic (involving blood sugar and insulin levels) control, and enhanced exercise endurance ability.
Because I am convinced of the benefits of fat adaptation for long-term health, I’d like to start sharing what I’ve learned over the past 3 years. To that end Alpine Apothecary is offering an informational presentation:
Facts About Fat Adaptation
…an explanation of how it benefits weight management and blood sugar control, and how to begin moving in the direction of a fat-adapted lifestyle
Tuesday, October 18th
6:30 – 7:30 pm
1675 W Redstone Center Dr., Suite 125
Park City, UT
Space will be limited to 12 people in order to allow us to address questions and concerns completely – please RSVP to ensure a spot!