Shonnie asked TriAddict about… diet and nutrition. A mistake?


Shonnie

Good job Martin on the training and losing the weight.

I can’t get my eating and training right to where I can lose weight. I can maintain like crazy, but I can’t lose and train. I am not sure what exactly I am doing wrong. Kinda frustrated with that. I LOVE the way muscle feels opposed to flabby squishy flesh.

Did your coach help you with training and diet?

Dear Shonnie,

the question you raise is a major issue to me too. Your answers upfront:

  1. I am quite well-read on diet as well as on nutrition overall – well-read like also knowing a lot of what most nutrition components do to a body from fat, carbs to vitamins, different kinds of salts and so on. So no, I had no specific advice. I only adjust my diet on advice I understand.
  2. It seems nutrition and training is also something for “believers”. Ask 10 athletes and you hear kinda 12 religion-like confessions on diet.
  3. On what is wrong, the answer is dead simple: loosing weight is only about energy deficit. It is: Lower calory intake than calory usage. The difference is the weight you lose.

Let me start with “rules” – listed again at the bottom of this post.

Rule of thumb

  • NO modified food whatsoever
  • NO short chain carbs (only maybe to start in the morning or directly after sports).
  • LOW carbs overall
  • NO carbs in the evening (no exception there)
  • Calory and carb input overall is deserved by training

My commandments

Upfront: it all assumes a healthy person, since I have no experience on how health interferes. Except for excess water in one’s tissue especially in the lower legs. So including this, here is what I do, the commandments by which I live:

  • Carbs: Drastically reduce carbs, especially low chain carbs like sugar, flour, bread, noodles, but also potatoes, most sweet fruits as well as rice. If one takes carbs it is long chain carbs aka full corn. I took a long time to find full corn food that tastes well. Greatest issue are full corn pasta – most taste like sh… but I found a brand being great.
  • Fat: reduce fat. Not extremely since I use fat to feel sated, yet I reduce it. I try to use unmodified fat like butter, olive oil, but no calory reduced butter or margarine. I am aware of butter calories, but I am not willing to eat modified food. I will write about modified food at the bottom.
  • Proteins: increase protein intake. Most of my food consists of vegetables and proteins aka meat. Close to no pork, but a lot of turkey, beef, calf, fish (preferably salt-water fish) and lamb.Mostly prepared with olive oil.

What do I eat then?

As mentioned above I eat a lot of meat with salad, but also cauliflower, broccoli, paprika, beans (yet also some sorts got huge loads of carbs, be cautious), I also eat normal food by times, even pizza, but I do it normally after heavy workouts and while being aware that I gain in weight what I eat in eg Pizza.

What do I drink?

I drink a lot of coffee (my addiction) with milk on anything else I drink only water and sometimes Coke Zero. I also drink juices but this is mostly after workouts, when I can barely walk anymore. When I am finished off by training. It brings me back on my feet.

Daily schedule

Day times In the morning I am relaxed with carbs, most times, like 4-5 days a week, I have nothing in the morning. If I do, it is on most cases oat flakes in milk with some honey (CARB INVASION). Yet this breakfast keeps me going for the day if need be.

At noon I always think about carbs and avoid those already. Fish or meat with vegetables and/or salad serves well. If extremely hungry I even go for eg. greek food since it offers excess meat compared to the rest. If at all carbs I prefer rice over potatoes, but also try to reduce rice input.

In the evening I heavily rely on meat and salad/vegetables only. Yet again I often run in the evening or almost night, so I can not eat too much anyways.

Type of diet?

It is not a specific diet even though some people would call it “low carb” or DHCF or… whatever. The general idea is to eat more like our ancestors (hey, that is what our body is built for) and especially unmodified food (yes, Coke Zero is my sin in that regard). I have an increased carb intake in the morning, a fair amount at noon and close to no carbs in the evening (ideally zero). The carbs are needed to keep me going for work and training. If I don’t, it can happen that I fall asleep anywhere I am after heavy training.

Modified food

Modified food is something I heavily avoid. I tried to, I started to look at contents and I am scared by now. Modified food gives me the creeps. Examples are: fat-reduced butter, fat-reduced milk, fat reduced yogurt, fat reduced cheese, calory-reduced bacon, calory reduced juice, calory reduced cakes,… – that food gives me the creeps!! Why? It is all about taste. By taste our body decides what it needs. Funnily our body reacts to tastes accordingly, sometimes even if the tasted ingredient is not present. Common example is fire/hot to chili, but similar applies to sweet for sugar (insulin production) and a lot more. Also if fat is reduced almost always sugar is added and a lot of salt. Coupled with substitute components this modified food sounds to me like poison: none knows for sure what it does to your body long-term.

Workout(s)

Like most of my readers know, I workout quite a lot. Right now I am at 14-25 hours training a week. Where training is intensive endurance and interval training. Most training is riding on my bike, running and swimming. Normally in GA1 or GA2 (base endurance 1 and 2). In my case it translates to a pulse of 130 – 145 during training steadily. With 134-138 being the average.

Workouts adjust my diet by increasing carb input. Yet not excessively and only directly after workout if at all.

Remark

I did not list sport bars, which I rarely but sometimes use eg on long bike tours. 3-5 hours on one bike tour at 20 mph + you really, really need calories. But that is reserved for heavy and excessive sports. Even on 10 mile runs I don’t use sport bars and no gel packs either.

TriAddict special case

As mentioned above water in my leg tissue was an issue. By now I know it is due to lack of movement, body fat and excessive salt usage. Move a lot, reduce salt input, drink a lot of water, control weight and it is all good. Really was that easy! Seriously I had no ankles when I started. Two pieces of wood nailed together resembled more an ankle than mine.

This time is gone – I can see my ankles again. Excess water in my leg tissue is almost gone.

Conclusion

This way of diet might sound difficult since a lot of food someone knows is reduced or taken away. Take my word: it is your lack of imagination in the beginning.

Rule of thumb – again:

  • NO modified food whatsoever
  • NO short chain carbs (only maybe to start in the morning or directly after sports).
  • LOW carbs overall
  • NO carbs in the evening (no exception there)
  • Calory and therefore carb input overall is deserved by training
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Posted on September 22, 2011, in Eating, General, Medical/Special. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I totally agree with your assessment of modified (diet) foods… gross! I’d rather eat just a little bit of the real stuff than a lot of the fake stuff. The real stuff tastes better and satisfies whatever craving I’m experiencing. The fake stuff leaves a horrible aftertaste more often than not and doesn’t satisfy the craving. And yes, feeling sated is important! Even when you’re losing weight. Or rather, it’s even *more* important when you’re losing weight!

  2. Martin,

    Thank you for such a thoughtful response. I feel blessed and deeply honored. 🙂

    I totally agree with you about fake foods. I am not into fake or modified foods — they scare me as well. I pretty much eat the way you are talking about and that is the way I preferr to live.

    My body and the math gets funky, more times than not it doesn’t add up as per normal. Take this week for instance, me down sick with a neck injury, my home scales have gone down almost a pound a day with me eating maybe 200 calories less without exercising hardly at all–maybe 3 hours in 8 days. Then look at the past few months that I have been building back up to a training work out I ate between 1,400 to 1,600, and I was working out between 5 to 8 hours a week–NO loss in three months, but several rolls around the same weight.

    It is making me nuts. I have lost from 193.8 to 185.6 in 7 days. The only real change is I am not working out. This leads me to wonder — am I eating enough? I have got to find someone here that understand the training addiction and nutrition–my docs are used to working with sedentary folks and I just don’t think they know how to help me get to the next level.

    I love working out. You understand the addiction. I am miserable that I cannot get on my bike and ride for hours, or go to the gym, or row a boat, or anything related to out door activity. It makes me happy.

    Thanks Martin for taking so much time to share with me what you are doing. Your diet only confirms my own leanings in what to eat. Now, I just have to figure out what is the correct amount of food to eat so that I can make my body work with me. 🙂

    I really appreciate you!
    Shonnie

    • Dear Shonnie,

      I needed my fair share of time to answer. When I saw your comment, I was about to answer within 1 hour after you posted. But it is not that easy. Instead I took the time to think about it. So I created a new post on my blog in answer to the questions you raised.

      This time I did not address you by name since I am aware you might disagree (I still am sure once was ok 🙂 ).

      Yours truly

      Martin

  3. I have had the same experience with industrial food.Since I started reading about nutrition and the food industry, I try to eat as “clean” as possibl. But I will also occasionally indulge in something “sinful”. Lately I’ve also been trying to cut carbs, mainly to balance my energy levels throughout the day, but also to lose some weight. My weak spot are sweets, I just can’t skip dessert…so I try to at least chose healthy treats, such as real dark chocolate…
    I cannot stand the taste of diet coke or coke zero, I don’t know, something about the artificional sweetener in those drinks make me kinda nauseous…

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