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Any runners on a Keto diet?

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  • 26-06-2019 1:54pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,059 ✭✭✭


    Bit of a long one folks. My best friend passed away almost 6 months ago. We did everything together, including running. We generally stuck to 50 miles per week. I have got into an unhealthy rut since her passing. Too much beer and a carb heavy diet. I am now 5 kilos overweight. I'm interested in embracing a keto diet but want to get back to my running too. Carbs just don't agree with me. I'm tired and sluggish. Also, I'm 46 so keeping the weight off is a lot harder. Can I run on a keto diet? Any of ye do it? Thanks folks


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,207 ✭✭✭partyguinness


    A bit late in the day but I have been toying around with Keto over the past few months and running to HR. I run 50-70km per week.

    Now, I have broken it down as Keto looks a bit hardcore and I think jumping in at the deep end is not the way to go.

    - April 1 stopped eating bread, pasta and potatoes. Started taking 10ml Omega 3 every morning and Vitamin D3. I do not add sugar too anything,

    I lost 5-6 lbs the first few weeks as I realised there was too much carbs in my diet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭KSU


    A bit late in the day but I have been toying around with Keto over the past few months and running to HR. I run 50-70km per week.

    Now, I have broken it down as Keto looks a bit hardcore and I think jumping in at the deep end is not the way to go.

    - April 1 stopped eating bread, pasta and potatoes. Started taking 10ml Omega 3 every morning and Vitamin D3. I do not add sugar too anything,

    I lost 5-6 lbs the first few weeks as I realised there was too much carbs in my diet.

    Be careful about making this assumption. It is important to note that carbs bond with water molecules so when you initially cut out carbs you see significant weight loss due to less water retention. This usually levels off after about 2-3 weeks.

    Depending on your goals carbs can be a pretty crucial component to your exercise. If you are targetting anything below Half marathons at any stage (even just 10k pace work in training) I would not advise cutting out carbs completely. If you are an ultra runner or simply looking to tackle weight loss however this style of diet may have some merit but there are some major draw backs from a health perspective to long term carb restriction.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,207 ✭✭✭partyguinness


    KSU wrote: »
    Be careful about making this assumption. It is important to note that carbs bond with water molecules so when you initially cut out carbs you see significant weight loss due to less water retention. This usually levels off after about 2-3 weeks.

    Depending on your goals carbs can be a pretty crucial component to your exercise. If you are targetting anything below Half marathons at any stage (even just 10k pace work in training) I would not advise cutting out carbs completely. If you are an ultra runner or simply looking to tackle weight loss however this style of diet may have some merit but there are some major draw backs from a health perspective to long term carb restriction.

    Indeed.

    For the last month the weight has remained off. Although I should have mentioned that at the same time I upped my running to 5 days a week 60-85km for a 3 week period. I have scaled it back a bit since.

    I am focusing on full marathons and ultra with low HR aerobic base training.

    I upped my running volume as mentioned but weight was not budging and then reading up on Keto (by accident just browsing online and stumbled across an article) and looked at my own diet and realised way too much carbs: (everyday) porridge for breakfast, toast and marmite, 2-3 bananas every day, a big cous cous based salad for lunch, evening meals had rice, pasta bread etc and all the other bits and pieces.

    Once I ditched the cous cous and bread the weight fell off.

    I would not cut out carbs completely. Never mind that it is almost impossible- life is just too short. I have spent the last 3 months reading up and researching Keto but don't think I would ever go the whole hog. Lower carbs for sure and better carbs. Interesting to see the take on avoiding wheat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,584 ✭✭✭✭Alf Veedersane


    For a lot of people, low carb/keto works because it restricts the amount of pizza/chips/cake/bread etc that was causing the weight gain. Not because carbs cause weight gain, per se.

    Keto is probably a step too far. If reducing carbs is sustainable and helps reduce calorie consumption, then so be it, but it's important to make sure that they're not being reduced so far that it doesn't support your training.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,207 ✭✭✭partyguinness


    For a lot of people, low carb/keto works because it restricts the amount of pizza/chips/cake/bread etc that was causing the weight gain. Not because carbs cause weight gain, per se.

    Keto is probably a step too far. If reducing carbs is sustainable and helps reduce calorie consumption, then so be it, but it's important to make sure that they're not being reduced so far that it doesn't support your training.

    Indeed which then makes it like any other diet in that respect. Cut down on the crap/excess calories and you will lose weight just attach a gimmick.

    The big spin is that you stop your body using carbs and it will start tapping into your excess fat reserves.

    The main spin is that by eating carbs your body uses those carbs for energy. Eat too many carbs = build up of fat deposit= you get fat.

    Take away the excess carbs and focus on protein and healthy fats to compensate for the lack of carbs.

    What seems to be the difference is that rather than stripping out carbs and leaving it at that (basically a completely unsustainable crash diet) you make up the difference with fats and protein- that is an important distinction.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,584 ✭✭✭✭Alf Veedersane


    Indeed which then makes it like any other diet in that respect. Cut down on the crap/excess calories and you will lose weight just attach a gimmick.

    The big spin is that you stop your body using carbs and it will start tapping into your excess fat reserves.

    The main spin is that by eating carbs your body uses those carbs for energy. Eat too many carbs = build up of fat deposit= you get fat.

    Take away the excess carbs and focus on protein and healthy fats to compensate for the lack of carbs.

    What seems to be the difference is that rather than stripping out carbs and leaving it at that (basically a crash diet) you make up the difference with fats and protein- that is important.

    I think the bit in bold is overplayed, to be honest. You still burn dietary fat and then body fat and you still need to be in a caloric deficit so that you can run out of dietary fat to burn and start tapping into the body fat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,207 ✭✭✭partyguinness


    I think the bit in bold is overplayed, to be honest. You still burn dietary fat and then body fat and you still need to be in a caloric deficit so that you can run out of dietary fat to burn and start tapping into the body fat.

    Do you mean the dietary carbs rather than dietary fat?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,584 ✭✭✭✭Alf Veedersane


    Do you mean the dietary carbs rather than dietary fat?

    Nope.

    And the most important element of a ketogenic diet and fat loss is being in a calorie deficit.

    If you wish to get under the bonnet on it, have a read of this. Takes a bit of perseverance but interesting read.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    It's actually not that complicated once someone points out the obvious:

    DCxVlQ1W0AAEQJU.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,207 ✭✭✭partyguinness


    It's actually not that complicated once someone points out the obvious:

    DCxVlQ1W0AAEQJU.jpg

    I am forever telling my wife this. It is all calorie deficit once you cut through the marketing spin and gimmicks.

    Personally I have no interest in dieting fads etc but it is just the Keto has cropped up in the course my MAF running in recent weeks and there quite a few proponents out there which is why it has caught my eye.

    Keto may be useful if you are starting a slow base aerobic programme in that it helps lose excess fat. One of the upsides is that it does increase your knowledge of foods and nutrition.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,207 ✭✭✭partyguinness


    Nope.

    And the most important element of a ketogenic diet and fat loss is being in a calorie deficit.

    If you wish to get under the bonnet on it, have a read of this. Takes a bit of perseverance but interesting read.

    Sorry I forgot to mention- it seems that restricting carbs is not necessarily restricting calories if you are making it up with fats but apparently fats will make you fuller ergo you will eat less in any event.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,584 ✭✭✭✭Alf Veedersane


    Sorry I forgot to mention- it seems that restricting carbs is not necessarily restricting calories if you are making it up with fats but apparently fats will make you fuller ergo you will eat less in any event.

    A lot of the carbs that people overeat are more palatable and calorie dense so they just end up overeating on them.

    Yes you'd be eating more fat but just not with the same caloric cost for the most part. And fat is more satiating alright.

    Ultimately it is calorie balance and as per the graphic above, the caloric deficit is the important bit. But people find different approaches more sustainable. Low carb works for you, IF works for other, etc etc


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,878 ✭✭✭✭arybvtcw0eolkf


    It's actually not that complicated once someone points out the obvious:

    DCxVlQ1W0AAEQJU.jpg

    Thanks, I've just downloaded that.

    When I was diagnosed with type II diabetes in 2017 I toyed around with a Keto diet and hated life, then cut right back on carbs and upped my protein with moderate fats life was great again.

    My first sport is Judo, I was competing at 130Kg in Feb 2017 and in Oct I had dropped a weight class to 95kgs, I think in old money that's about 6st weight loss and its been pretty easy to hover around the 100kg mark now.

    I don't bother thinking about carbs with my running as most of my runs are between 5-10k, which I can happily do on empty.

    I'm really sorry to hear about your friend, I lost a training partner a few years back and its a real kick in the guts. The only thing I can say is time really does help ease the pain.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,416 ✭✭✭Lazare


    A few years ago a customer of mine walked into our place after my not seeing him for a while. I commented that he looked well, he had lost some weight.

    'Thanks, I cut out butter'

    'Really?' I enquired, laughing a bit to myself.

    'Yeah, it's really difficult though as I can't eat bread or potatos, can't be eating them without butter'

    Died of a heart attack a few months later.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,611 ✭✭✭tony1980


    Look into Intermittent Fasting along with Keto or at least start with it before fully jumping to Keto. Done properly together will change your life. I’m a runner myself but decided a long time ago to forget about times. I do it cause it makes me happy. No afternoon slumps on keto and IF is one of the best things, never feel tired anymore!
    If you’re looking to use fat as fuel then look at some YouTube videos about ketosis and the sticks to test but from what I’ve seen, it seems best for events like Ultras.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    One thing to keep in mind about the Keto diet, it was originally developed to help children with epilepsy. It's only a realtively recent development that some have "discovered" it as a miracle cure for lots of other things, virtually all of them unproven.

    A low carb diet is not ketogenic. A real ketogenic diet should only be undertaken under careful supervision by someone with the proper medical background.

    It very much reminds me of the minimal shoes fad. It seemed to attract a certain kind of disciples that attach an almost religious zealotry to it, and some of the comments I occasionally saw on Facebook were just hair raising. Having said that, just like minimal running it seems to have mostly faded away by now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭KSU


    It's actually not that complicated once someone points out the obvious:

    DCxVlQ1W0AAEQJU.jpg

    The one thing which often gets ignored here is that nutrient requirement and calorie requirement are not the same sometimes calorie expenditure needs to be increased to ensure you are still getting enough nutrients while being in a calorie deficit

    This is part of the reason we are seeing so many health and injury issues around performance athletes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,624 ✭✭✭ThebitterLemon


    I lost over 3 stone and kept it off with low carb.

    I cut out all bread, potatoes, pastas rice etc
    I cut out all sugars (everything)
    I cut out milk
    I cut out certain vegetables that were higher in carbs.

    I’ve never felt better and I get my energy from fats, eat lots of dark leaf veg and only eat certain fruits (berries), eat plenty of nuts and meat, eggs, cheese and fish.

    You’d probably need to be of a certain mindset to manage it but for me it’s been great.

    Ps. It helps if you like cauliflower rice :)

    TbL


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭OOnegative


    I lost over 3 stone and kept it off with low carb.

    I cut out all bread, potatoes, pastas rice etc
    I cut out all sugars (everything)
    I cut out milk
    I cut out certain vegetables that were higher in carbs.

    I’ve never felt better and I get my energy from fats, eat lots of dark leaf veg and only eat certain fruits (berries), eat plenty of nuts and meat, eggs, cheese and fish.

    You’d probably need to be of a certain mindset to manage it but for me it’s been great.

    Ps. It helps if you like cauliflower rice :)

    TbL

    Jaysis, say the jacks in some state after you!!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,446 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    I lost over 3 stone and kept it off with low carb.

    I cut out all bread, potatoes, pastas rice etc
    I cut out all sugars (everything)
    I cut out milk
    I cut out certain vegetables that were higher in carbs.

    I’ve never felt better and I get my energy from fats, eat lots of dark leaf veg and only eat certain fruits (berries), eat plenty of nuts and meat, eggs, cheese and fish.

    You’d probably need to be of a certain mindset to manage it but for me it’s been great.

    Ps. It helps if you like cauliflower rice :)

    TbL

    What, no Skittles? :eek:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,624 ✭✭✭ThebitterLemon


    Murph_D wrote: »
    What, no Skittles? :eek:

    Don’t mind the skittles Murph, I haven’t even had a carrot (too many carbs) since last July!

    TbL


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,207 ✭✭✭partyguinness


    KSU wrote: »
    The one thing which often gets ignored here is that nutrient requirement and calorie requirement are not the same sometimes calorie expenditure needs to be increased to ensure you are still getting enough nutrients while being in a calorie deficit

    This is part of the reason we are seeing so many health and injury issues around performance athletes.

    I think it is referred to as 'fit but unhealthy'.

    I read somewhere recently that the rate of heart disease among former Olympic runners is no different from the general public because quite a lot do not eat healthily.

    I suppose a lot of runners assume they can outrun a bad diet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,231 ✭✭✭Wottle


    I lost over 3 stone and kept it off with low carb.

    I cut out all bread, potatoes, pastas rice etc
    I cut out all sugars (everything)
    I cut out milk
    I cut out certain vegetables that were higher in carbs.

    I’ve never felt better and I get my energy from fats, eat lots of dark leaf veg and only eat certain fruits (berries), eat plenty of nuts and meat, eggs, cheese and fish.

    You’d probably need to be of a certain mindset to manage it but for me it’s been great.

    Ps. It helps if you like cauliflower rice :)

    TbL

    Congrats. I've only done it for the last 5 weeks and have shifted 5.5kg, half of that is probably water, ksu eluded to it earlier but for every 1g of carb the body needs 3/4g of water to break it down for energy, so the weight loss in the first couple of weeks can happen quickly but mainly water.
    What the low carb diet is actually trying to achieve is lower insulin levels and thus avoiding the glucose roller-coaster.

    When insulin levels are kept low, this is when the body can start to use the fat reserves, when insulin levels are high that just won't happen.

    Every run for the last 5 weeks has felt sluggish and really not that enjoyable. I'm also not about trying to prime my body for fat utilisation, I'm just trying to use it to shift excess weight. I've another few weeks to go and then I'll gradually increase my carb intake and try to be as careful as possible to get the balance right in order to fuel runs and keep weight at a stable level, looking forward to further experimentation.
    A big advantage has been consistent energy levels throughout the day, there had been a lot of crashes on the higher carb diet.
    The negative has been the sluggish runs, the research from memory seems to be fat utilisation is good up to 65% vo2 max which is quite slow really and as ksu said, especially if targeting shorter distances.
    Just my experience, a great read is Charlie Spedding's book "stop feeding us lies", just offers another opinion, up to you to reach your own conclusion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,624 ✭✭✭ThebitterLemon


    Wottle wrote: »
    Congrats. I've only done it for the last 5 weeks and have shifted 5.5kg, half of that is probably water, ksu eluded to it earlier but for every 1g of carb the body needs 3/4g of water to break it down for energy, so the weight loss in the first couple of weeks can happen quickly but mainly water.
    What the low carb diet is actually trying to achieve is lower insulin levels and thus avoiding the glucose roller-coaster.

    When insulin levels are kept low, this is when the body can start to use the fat reserves, when insulin levels are high that just won't happen.

    Every run for the last 5 weeks has felt sluggish and really not that enjoyable. I'm also not about trying to prime my body for fat utilisation, I'm just trying to use it to shift excess weight. I've another few weeks to go and then I'll gradually increase my carb intake and try to be as careful as possible to get the balance right in order to fuel runs and keep weight at a stable level, looking forward to further experimentation.
    A big advantage has been consistent energy levels throughout the day, there had been a lot of crashes on the higher carb diet.
    The negative has been the sluggish runs, the research from memory seems to be fat utilisation is good up to 65% vo2 max which is quite slow really and as ksu said, especially if targeting shorter distances.
    Just my experience, a great read is Charlie Spedding's book "stop feeding us lies", just offers another opinion, up to you to reach your own conclusion.

    Thanks

    Low carb was the only “diet” (I now look on it as a lifestyle change) that ever worked for me.

    I firmly believe that I was addicted to sugar and chasing the sugar dragon.

    Foods that are generally considered healthy can be full of sugars and this can cause blood sugars to spike and set off a vicious circle of binging on sugar

    Getting your energy from fats rather than carbs/sugars worked for me


    TbL


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 229 ✭✭Bigbooty


    The most important thing is cutting out ultra and highly processed foods and reducing sugar intake. Whatever dietary choice you make it is only another tool in the arsenal. I eat a WFPB diet with no/little oil and I've found that it really helps me.

    I would eat a fairly high carb(unprocessed/minimally processed) low fat diet. Carbs and fat use similar pathways when entering our cells. Fats slow the uptake of glucose which leads to insulin resistance. It's quite interesting that the same goal of preventing insulin resistance is achieved with what is on the surface completely different dietary approaches.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,207 ✭✭✭partyguinness


    Dusted off Matt Fitzgerald's "Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance" and reread over the weekend.

    I have been running on extremely low carbs for the last 2-3 weeks and my performance has been atrocious. A regular 10 mile route I ran Sunday night was 20 seconds per/km down and my times have got progressively worse- running to HR at the moment. Granted it was 23 degrees and over 50% humidity.

    Good to get some sensible advice and knock this Keto/low carb thing on the head.


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