A Carbo-Loading week ending in an endurance run….

§ January 23rd, 2011 § Filed under News Comments Off on A Carbo-Loading week ending in an endurance run….

Please forgive me if this account of my experiences appears a little self-obsessed!  I genuinely believe that after going through this process for the first time two weeks ago and again this week just ending, I have something to offer, not only to people training for an endurance event, but also to those interested in nutrition for weight management.

What is carbo-loading?…It doesn’t just involve eating a normal diet and then over-eating on carbohydrates a couple of days.  It needs to start at least 7 days before an event.  Put simply, by removing carbs 7 days before the event and putting them back in 3 days before, the body will absorb and store more energy than normal.  This leads to being able to go for longer when required.

Carbo-loading may not work for everyone and it wouldn’t be wise to try it for the first time the week before your most important event.  Practising at least twice beforehand will allow you to learn how your body responds.  It is possible that you may miss out on some nutrients during the first four days.  Therefore, using a multivitamin and a vitamin C supplement may help.  Eating some carbs such as small tomatoes, non-sugary fruits and salads for example may also help to get the vitamins in, but the amounts should be kept low.  The main objective in cutting out the carbohydrates is so that stored energy is really depleted, leading to your body to overcompensate by storing more than normal when it gets the chance.

Monday 17/01/11 – Weight 1st thing = 83.5kg.  Breakfast, 6.45am: 3 Scrambled eggs. Snack, 11am: Small salad (boiled egg, feta cheese, cucumber slices, chick peas, cherry tomatoes, smoked salmon).  Lunch, 2.30pm:  Pack of smoked mackerel, small serving blueberries.  Dinner, 8pm: Grilled Pork steak.  No exercise.  Energy levels low.

Tuesday 18/01/11 – Weight 1st thing = 82.7kg.  Breakfast, 8.30am: 4 rashers bacon, 2 fried eggs, 4 medium sized mushrooms. Lunch, 1pm: Small tin tuna & small salad bowl (boiled egg, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, chick peas).  Snack, 4pm: Protein shake (90% whey protein).  Dinner, 9pm: Sliced Ham & 2 fried eggs.  No exercise.  Energy levels very low.

Wednesday 19/01/11 – Weight 1st thing = 81.5kg. Breakfast, 6am: Protein Shake (90% whey protein). Snack,10.30am: 120g smoked salmon, small pack blueberries. Lunch, 12.30pm: Cooked chicken & salad (kidney beans, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes). Snack, 4pm: Protein shake (90% whey protein). Dinner, 9pm: Tin of mackerel. Slow 5 mile run at 7.30am. Energy levels ok.

Thursday 20/01/11 – Weight 1st thing = 80.5kg.  Breakfast, 8am: 3 scrambled eggs.  Snack, 10.45am: Protein shake (90% whey protein).  Lunch, 2pm:  Packet of smoked mackerel, small pack blueberries.  Dinner, 8pm: Grilled chicken breast & 2 fried eggs.  No exercise.  Energy levels ok.

Friday 21/01/11 – Weight 1st thing = 80.2kg.  Breakfast, 6.45am: Large bowl porridge with dried fruit.  Lunch, 13.00pm: Baked potato with tuna mayo & sweetcorn.  Snack, 3.00pm: Flapjack (oats, cranberries & raisins).  Dinner, 8.20pm: Pasta parcels with spinach & ricotta filling.  Fast 7 mile run @ 5pm, spinning class @ 6.30pm.  Energy levels AMAZING!

Saturday 22/01/11 – Weight 1st thing = 81.3kg.  Breakfast, 7.45am: Medium size bowl porridge with dried fruit.  Lunch, 12.00pm: 3 sausages, 4 rashers bacon, tin baked beans, 2 fried eggs, 2 potato waffles.  Dinner, 7.30pm:  Steak, fusilli pasta, spinach leaves.  No exercise.  Energy levels great.

Sunday 23/01/11 – Weight 1st thing = 82.8kg.  Breakfast, 7.30am: medium size bowl porridge with dried fruit.  Lunch, 12.30pm: Protein Shake (90% whey protein).  Dinner, 5.00pm: Roast chicken with stuffing, roast potatoes, brussel sprouts, red cabbage, carrots, sweet potato, pigs in blankets!…and apple crumble & custard.  23.5 mile run starting at 8.45am.  Energy levels stable throughout.  Legs tired a little, but overall felt brilliant! :0)

LEARNINGS:  Keeping physical activity to a minimum when removing the carbs seems sensible.  Pushing oneself when energy levels are low and getting used to a new diet is risky.  However, by day 4 my energy levels were improving.  My weight dropped quickly during the first 4 days.  I am confident that most of this was fat as my waist got a lot slimmer.  I was still able to perform well when running towards the end of the week and my speed was very good, which leads me to believe that I didn’t lose muscle.  By adding oats for breakfast and other slow acting carbohydrates to the diet used in the first 4 days, you may have a great eating plan for weight loss that still provides the energy to exercise regularly.  However, before making any big changes in an eating plan I would definitely recommend consulting with an expert.  Will I use this again? DEFINITELY!

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