In my earlier post I had a look at drinking habits and hydration. After a recent spate of documentaries on SBS about certain diets I've become interested in the low carb high fat diet. Previously, I’ve been on a high carb, low fat diet.
There are many different philosophies on what to eat. I’ve been a firm believer that high carbohydrate foods are the way to go, as many high carb foods also contain other nutrients which are good for the body. Some studies have also shown those on high carb diets to have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) than those on regular diets.
However, a high carbohydrate diet causes spikes in blood sugar levels, resulting in sugar highs and lows. Eating carbohydrates will also stimulate your body to produce insulin, a hormone which promotes the storage of fat. Essentially, my understanding suggests that a high carb diet could cause erratic behaviour and perhaps more fat storage. I know a few high carb vegans who’s behaviour could support the first point, but their body shapes appear to contradict the second point about fat storage (they are very lean).
Getting back on track, I’m not trying to discourage a high carb diet. I’m merely interested in the other extreme – a low carb diet. This diet is supposed to improve the body’s efficiency at processing fats, making it less reliant on sugars, and keep my blood sugar levels more even. This is of particular interest to me as I often “bonk” – a sign that I’ve run out of sugars. On my previous diet I’ve avoided this by eating, but sometimes during races you can’t get to your gels when the heat is on. Hopefully as I become more efficient at processing fats I’ll experience this bonking less. I’m going to try this diet out for 6 weeks, where the first week will be a gradual reduction in my carbohydrate intake.
One source of carbohydrates which I will not be cutting out will be my fruits. Generally speaking, fruits (apart from berries) should be avoided. However, fruits are full of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, not to mention they’re my favourite treat. I’ll be eating these in moderation rather than not at all.
For those interested, here are some of my changes:
|Breakfast||Fruit with cereals||Eggs and bacon|
|Lunch||Pasta or sandwich||Egg salad|
|Dinner||Rice with stir-fry vegetables||Meat with stir-fry vegetables|
So that’s my plan. I’ll let you know in a few weeks how I’m faring. If you have tried a similar diet I’d be interested in hearing your opinions in the comments below.