Healthy Keto and intermittent fasting for cyclists

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  • Are there any ICC members that follow Healthy Keto and intermittent fasting diet? Anyone usimg Fat for fuel over glycogen?? I’m a new member and i’m
    not selling anything lol! just looking to share ideas with likeminded cyclists….

  • I appreciate your caveat that you're not selling anything, LOL. Very MLM for a moment there. That said, I do neither, so am not helpful. Though I am a couple exams away from completing my Exercise Nutrition coaching certification....happy to chat when I'm certified (also not selling anything).

  • @SteveHunt49 - sorry missed this totally.

    I do what I would call "semi Keto". I'm not convinced on the benefits of Keto for endurance sports, as the body needs carbs at points. What I do is limit my carb intake to the middle of the day on normal days, and about an 1.5 hrs before an intense effort (eg: VO2 max sessions on the turbo).

    For me, there is little point putting complex carbs in after around 2pm. Unless you are doing a massive session, you won't burn through them in everyday life, and overnight your body will turn them into fat. So any work you did that morning to burn the fat is negated. I also don't see the point in a breakfast of complex carbs if you're only doing a aerobic exercise session in the am (commute, light weights etc).

    I've been doing this two years now, and have found it a simple way of fuelling for rides and keeping my weight down.

    Caveat: this works for me, and I'm not a doctor/nutritionist

    For example, my daily routine might be:

    Weights or turbo session
    Breakfast - usually low fat yogurt with berries (black, blue, rasp, straw) and mango, coffee and yakult
    Mid morning snack of fruit or nuts (if I have a banana it will be around now)
    Lunch - lean meats, veg, grains, potatoes, maybe bread or pasta. Usually somewhere around 40g of complex carbs (fist full).
    Post lunch snack - popcorn or pop chips or similar
    afternoon snack - fruit or nuts
    Dinner - lean meat/salad/veg - no complex carbs
    Evening snack - nuts, seeds, maybe a little dark (75%+) chocolate

    This is accompanied by 12-15k steps/day, loads of water and copious green tea

    Zwift race days - if a race is circa 7:30 I will have a bowl of porridge around 5:30 with honey and berries. I will have a banana halfway through the race.

    Club ride fuel: I will work on high fat nuts and seeds - macadamias are little balls of energy and on a club ride you'll burn straight through them.

    Sportive fuel: Start out on slow burning carbs (peanut butter sarnies etc) and migrate to gels/gummies for that last bit of energy. Mixture of snacks like nuts and maybe a bar or two for the lull points.

  • I second Jon as I've been on roughly the same plan. I generally ride before breakfast if on weekday or Saturday laps. Breakfast will generally be unflavoured yoghurt with fruit or scrambled Egg with salmon/veggies. No complex carbs.

    Fuelling on rides (if really long) has been fruit/nuts outside carb window, something with complex carbs inside it and then fruit/nuts on way in. No flavoured drinks or gels outside window and I use water with neutral tabs all the time.

    Gradually built up endurance.

  • For what I have read so far I am not convinced about the keto diet as ketones are produced by the body as an emergency response in case there is little glucose available for the body to function. Not an expert, just interpreting what I have read.

    The Plant Based Cyclist book from GCN provides an easy understanding on how nutrition works. It's targeted to plant based but it give a general insight about how to balance fat, proteins and carbohydrates.

    HIGHLY recommended is The Huberman Lab podcast. The guy running it is a neurobiology professor at Stanford and he gives very detailed information on how to train and fast to improve alertness of the brain and recovery through sleep. Highlights: 14/16 hours of intermittent fasting, carbs in the evening as they promote sleep and recovery, no coffee after 12, absolute no food 3 hours before sleeping. Seems all sensible and easy to follow bit I personally find it difficult.

    As long as the diet works for you, is sensible and aligned with your principle there is not better diets than others as far as I'm concerned.

    Caveat: not a nutritionist nor a doctor, just sharing what I found!

  • As long as the diet works for you, is sensible and aligned with your principle there is not better diets than others as far as I'm concerned.

    This 100% - getting bogged down in minutiae can put people off.

    To me there are a few critical things:

    1. Decide why you are changing your eating habits - are you looking to remove significant fat amounts (10kg), make significant performance gains or simply want to be a bit healthier.
    2. Finding a lifestyle choice that works rather than a 12 week "diet programme". What I like about the programme I adhere to is it's lasted two years now. Sure I'm not as strict as when I first started it, but my goals have changed (see 1)
    3. Don't fixate on a number - 87kg of muscle weighs the same as 87kg of fat. I always liked Racing Weight's principle of your ideal weight is the weight you achieve your goals at. Tie in your goals with key results, not your key results with your goals.

    Caveat: still not a nutritionist nor a doctor

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Healthy Keto and intermittent fasting for cyclists

Posted by Avatar for SteveH49 @SteveH49