Monday, December 14, 2009

BAITER and Nutritional Paradigm Shift

My brother has a pet peeve. BAITING. People who attempt to lure others into a conversation by using leading comments or statements. I apologize for my baiting....=). I did not intend to do that. Here is my book review. I must start by saying the following is MY OPINION. I am not a nutritionist so I should not give anyone else any advice, I am simply sharing my paradigm shift with regard to my fitness. Oh and its gonna be a long post.

Another bonus to starting this blog is getting to read the experiences of other endurance athletes. I am well schooled in anatomy and physiology, especially exercise physiology but not as experienced with fitness as some of the bloggers I read about. This may not be new information to someone who naturally does this but from a former OVER eater and over eating horrible foods this is new. I am hoping this spawns questions and conversation we can all learn and grow from. So please do not hesitate to comment even if think this is baloney.

The book is called "METABOLIC EFFICIENCY TRAINING: Teaching the body to burn fat" by Bob Seebohar. He is an exercise physiologist/nutritionist/triathlete/coach/lecturer. He works with the Olympic triathlon team and is quite the endurance athlete himself. He has a lecture series (I have attended) and this brand new book. Here is his website: www.fuel4mance.com . He is a very personable guy and has answered my emails with questions.

OK...here it goes. Basically we use 2 types of macro nutrients for energy. FAT and Carbohydrates (CHo) or sugar. The energy derived from fat is better than the energy derived from CHo. However, the body will use CHo energy because it is easier to break down. We are always using both nutrients at the same time but the percentage of each nutrient depends on the intensity of exercise. The lower the intensity of exercise the more fat you use compared to CHo. The harder the intensity the more CHo you use. The stage (heavy training=more CHo used) in your competition year depends on the intensity of training. He refers to this as "periodization of nutrition." Basically its the same as exercise periodization but with how you eat. I am in the "preparatory cycle." The others are in order: competition cycle, taper, and transition cycle.

Here is the nutrition aspect. If your goal is to lose weight or burn more fat then training at a high intensity is not the system of energy of choice. He says "train to eat not eat to train." No cheap sources of energy. No pasta, no rice even if its healthy CHo as whole grains. Its too readily available and your body will choose that first. If there is none available then your body will have to choose fat for energy. THIS IS NOT A LOW CARB DIET. This is utilizing the nutrients in fruits and vegetable as your source of CHo. It is enough to be just fine, its smarter carbs. Basically if you think of your dinner plate it should be 60% lean protein with healthy fat. The other 40% fruits or vegetables.

The name of the game is controlling blood sugar. If there is no sugar or CHo placed into the system and you train at a low intensity then your body will choose more fat then CHo. NO GELS, GUs etc. your body needs to utilize fat and you will have better performance if you do use fat. If you train at high intensities then you need more CHo to sustain that activity. If you are metabolically INefficient then you will require more CHo. So you can nourish yourself into the corner by using too much sugar while you train. This time of year is perfect for building a cardiovascular base. Long low intensity training while eating accordingly. No carbs before or during and utilize the cleaner more energy rich FAT. TIMING and consistency will result in your body letting go of fat. Nutrient timing is a very new concept to me. You ever get done with a long ride or run and have the shakes? Not enough CHo, if you replenish with CHo your brain will trigger you to over eat. Instead if you have a protein to control blood sugar you will curb the jitters and you wont overeat. Small protein shake, nuts, or yogurt will do the job. Snacking the same way will keep your blood sugar low and in control. WHY THE PARADIGM SHIFT FOR ME?

Because I didn't necessarily correlate them together. I thought I ate so healthy. I must be eating healthy if I don't eat anything "bad." I did not eat any fast food and If I did it was the healthiest (subway) you can find. But almost every meal contained too much CHo and not enough protein. When I sought out nutritionist help I was finally instructed to lessen the CHo and up the protein. Then I experienced major cramping issues. My intensity of training was too high to support not enough CHo. Then I went back to eating more CHo even though they were very healthy. The result was good performance (for me) and NO WEIGHT LOST. DUH...I wasn't using the right system for energy!!! When I made the decision to get faster and perform better is the last time I lost any weight. When I dropped the 50 or so pounds I lost I was working at much lower intensities....hmmm wish I would have seen that earlier.

Your next question is how high or how low is your training supposed to be? Well you need to get a metabolic efficiency test to be 100% sure. The test will generate a heart rate that will correspond to the most efficient fat burning intensity and you should work at that intensity for a long time. As your season progresses you change your eating style ever so slightly to match the intensity you need to train at. If I had to name flaws I see in this book is that it is mostly anecdotal information. He is working on studying this using double blind, good studies but it does not see to be available at this time. He does list references that I will pull and see what else I can gather. I highly recommend this book to the frustrated endurance athlete who is not getting the results he or she is looking for. There is obviously a lot more in the book and he is the EXPERT so order his book from his site! I hope this is easy to read and helpful. If it isn't let me know and lets learn together!!! QUOTE:

“Sometimes I’m confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn’t obvious…”

Micheal Stipe



9 comments:

Missy said...

I know, my coach went on a ride with me some months ago with NO nutrition and that was the idea. It turned out to be a 4 1/2 hour ride with nothing but water. Another method to use rather than store fat. I don't know how he made it.

Jon Gilchrist said...

great write up...I definitely enjoyed the info you shared. I am currently tryin to employ a hybrid of this approach during my base training. It's a challenge..but the good thing is your body is smarter than you..and won't let you ork at intensity levels that can't be fueled...it shuts you down.

I checked out his site and his books...and i am gonna employ some of his practices...

thanks again..

Amanda said...

thanks for this. i'm struggling with nutritional issues right now. i'll def check out his site.

Julia said...

Interesting post. I've been reexamining my nutrition... yet again (sigh...), and this was useful. I've been making an effort to up my protein intake. I notice a HUGE difference in how my body/muscles look and feel when I eat more protein, but I am still consuming wayyyyyy too much carbs, mostly in simple form. Oops. New year's resolution number one!

Mike Russell said...

I am going to research this a little more. It seems to me that whenever I ride I usually will take some form of liquid nutrition. I am going to try this strategy out...

Marni said...

wow-that sounds like a great book! I love reading about the science of the human body, especially when it involves nutrition :)
Great post!!! And congrats on your recent finish!!!! :)
-marn

Thomas Bussiere said...

Good info. Enjoyed your post.

San said...

First, thanks for your comment on my blog, I hadn't read this post of yours.

Second, these informations aren't new to me. I read Dr. Strunz "forever young" (german books, no english editions) and he teaches for 3 or 4 that you need to get the fast carbohydrates out of your diet. In fact he has a training schedule to get your body back on fat usage. Since most of us (including endurance athletes) have used carbs too long to have the necessary amount of fat enzymes. You probably know the "man with the hammer", this is when your body runs out of carbs during the race and needs to use fat instead. And since you don't have enough enzymes, it feels like somebody has clocked you.

third - Get Dr. Loren Cordains and Joe Friels "Paleo Diet for Athletes" they have exact eating plans for us crazy endurance athletes. And since paleo say no unnaturally fast carbs...

Nice post and I find it surprisingly easier to eat less carbs when I train a lot more, at the right intesities that is.

San said...

3 or 4 years I meant. oops