So I started this whole Metabolic Efficiency thing at 243lbs back on July 21st and since then I’m down to 226lbs. I knew the basics to it, burn more fat for fuel instead of carbohydrate. I knew that it didn’t include counting calories. I knew that it included the whole low-carb high fat diet. I had my doubts about it, because it went against everything that you learn from personal training and in terms of fueling the body during long endurance sports. I also know that 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories of energy and 1 gram of carbohydrate gives you 4. So you have more than 2 times the amount of energy in fat then carbohydrate. However, your bodies preferred method of energy is carbohydrate.
So how am I going to get my body to burn more fat and less carbs… well decrease the carbs and increase the fats! Been doing this for 2 weeks now, and surprisingly I’m eating more spinach, squash, zucchini, and kale then I ever have before. I’m eating more fish (I try not to eat beef, pork, or chicken), and I’ve reintroduced actually bacon and butter back into my diet! Little did I know that even though I’m eating tons of greens/carbs I never really knew how low value of carbs they were and filling. Stuffing my face with spinach and kale (about 2-4 ounces) every day is hard work. You can see from my MFP (My Fitness Pal) screenshot that I eat… a lot.
In doing so, I’ve actually started to become accustom to finding that I’m enjoying cooking more, and looking at more veggies, and the side effect is little to no sugar! So you can see that even with 80 grams of carbs I’m still getting most of my energy from “healthy” fat sources. You can see on there avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and butter. Now keep in mind yes I’m under my calorie goal by MFP… I don’t count calories so I couldn’t care less about it.
So what about my performance during my workouts? Let’s just say that I can go 2 hours without needing anything besides maybe water and electrolyte salts on a hot day. How do I know this? Well I got a Metabolic Efficiency Profile test does that tells me what % fat vs carbohydrate I’m burning at various intensities. I now know that if my heart rate is cruising at 151 (Z2) I’m burning roughly 75% of my calories from fat… and with 2000 calories of stored carbohydrate I’m going to go for a while. If my HR is racing at 155 then I’m reaching that 50% cross over area where I’m getting half my energy from fat and from stored carbs. So since I’m a slow runner I can now start increasing my effort while trying to maximize my fat burning engine so I don’t need to worry about all those sugar based drinks and gu’s out there that could cause all those wonderful GI issues. So what do I take on those long training days that are 2+ hours? I hate Generation UCAN, which is a super starch designed not to spike your insulin levels so you can keep burning fat, and not sugar. Yeah it can get a bit goopy but so far, it’s working out great!
So now that the science behind it is out of the way, I’m 2 weeks into it. I haven’t felt any energy crashes. I raced Solana Beach Triathlon on nothing but water and felt great the entire time. Took 4th in my division, I’m ok with that cause once again I’ve been training for an Ironman, not a Sprint. I’m down almost 14lbs, mostly fat. I’m sitting at approximately 18% BF and I’m feeling like things are falling into place. Putting on some muscle to get some power back on the bike and I’ve never really ran at this weight for a long time so I’m going to be curious to see how my body adapts to being not just lighter but leaner.