In Ketosis

Well, I have never been much of a diet person. I eat what I eat and that is that. My diet is generally high carb to fuel an active lifestyle.

Of course, fat is also a fuel but only accessible once glycogen stores are all used up. Once you are burning fat instead of glycogen for fuel you are in a state of Ketosis. Consume less calories than you use in a day and your body starts burning excess fat and thus you lose weight.

Now, I’m not known for being overweight so don’t focus too much on losing weight. But as a tool to improve my racing performance I want to be leaner. So this diet is my first attempt to lose weight.

I have set fairly low expectations for losing weight, but it appears this diet is working rather quickly. For the last week or so I have been reducing my carb content and have not consumed a high-carb food since Thursday.

My typical weight is about 188 lbs, though has been as high as 192 lbs in the last 6 weeks. My goal was to lose about 2 lbs/week to prepare for a race in late August.

As of this morning I am at about 184 lbs, probably my lowest weight in many years. I can, in fact, watch my weight reduce on a daily basis. It is actually quite intriguing.

Here are the 5 things I am doing:

  1. Eliminating carbs and replacing with fat and protein (mostly fat)- Carb consumption is less than 50 g per day
  2. Using software to get estimates on daily carb requirements and carb/fat/protein intake
  3. Using a Body Fat Scale daily to measure:
    1. Weight
    2. Body Fat %
    3. Body Muscle %
    4. Body Water %
  4. Actively burning more carbs each day than I am consuming by continuing to exercise as usual – I actually induces Ketosis, I believe, on the Grouse Grind after 2 days without carbs (and let’s be clear, I typically eat a lot of carbs!)
  5. Tolerating hunger: Interestingly, my hunger has changed. I can be very hungry but still have energy and a clear mind. Not something that happens on a carb-based diet. I think knowing that I have sufficient fat reserves (~16%) and am actively utilizing it for energy helps.

So since about Thursday my weight was steadily declined, which makes for an interesting graph!

My original goal was to get down to 182 as I thought this was about as much weight as I could lose. This is also a weight I was at for many years and felt it was a healthy weight for me. But I think I will take my weight down to 175 and hold it there for a while to see how it feels. Form what I have read about racing weights of other athletes I can healthily get down to 165, but I’m not sure that’s the weight I want! But in the future I may look at reducing my weight periodically for races (racing weight) – especially when trying to beat a road race PB.

What I am being mindful of is becoming obsessed with my weight. I can see it being an interesting biological experiment to see how much weight I can lose that could turn into an unhealthy obsession! Though my desire to feel a little more bulky and somewhat masculine shoud keep that at bay!

When I get to my target weight I will pull up the graphs to take a look and compare them over time.

In the meantime I am still workingon how to manage my diet. Eliminating bread and pasta (and rice, and quinoa, etc…), which have been my staples since the beginning of time could be challenging. So far I’m eating lots of eggs, nuts, cheese, chicken, tofu, avocados, and sunflower shoots. I can actually eat as much veg as I like so will be using pre-cut veg. for snacks throughout the day.

I still have some fitness adapting to do as well. I find I don’t quite have as much energy as I want when running, but may still have some adapting to do. I have 3 weeks til my next race so I have a bit of time still. This is the Whistler 5 Peaks race, which I ran last year (my first trail race actually) and is the first trail course I will have run twice. So I have a time to beat and remember the course from last year, which really helps strategizing. I should be able to take several minutes off my last year’s time as my pre-race prep wasn’t so good on my first attempt! I do have some IT Band issues still (last year it was my left leg, now it’s my right!) but hope to be strong enough for this race (which ends with a long intense downhill which is hard on the IT.

Umm, I should get back to work…

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