So after deciding to dip my toe into the world of Banting and the low carb high fat dimension I am happy to say that hopefully, touchwood, I have seen some benefits in the interim.
In the two weeks since I started I have seen myself 11lbs of the post Tenby weight, whilst only very rarely feeling hungry (mid-afternoon) or tired and without the peaks and troughs in moods which I have experienced in the past when attempting to monitor my food intake, especially at the start of the process. The headaches have come and gone (no more than in the past when I have been ‘healthy’) and I am becoming used to the rather odd feeling of being empty inside, without being hungry.
I haven’t exercised a lot, certainly not compared to earlier in the year, mostly running 5 days a week, now its dark till 7am and a couple of shortish bike sessions at the weekend (which felt glorious to avoid hills and not feel guilty) and I haven’t experienced any gut related issues on either. I got caught up in the Chester marathon route on Sunday on my bike and ended up doing 40 miles on a single bottle of water with no food for fuel, which wasn’t idea and after 30 miles I was probably as close as ever at bonking on the bike and getting off and have a kip in the surprisingly glorious October weather. Lesson learnt for future rides – carry food just encase and always two bottles. I think I will always use 9bars for long rides – although they have carbs and natural sugars – I need a balance between when exercising and training vs focusing on my weight, afterall this is to improve performance.
I have lost count of the number of times in the past I have had to cut short a run due to having the feeling of the onset of the ‘runs’ and having more than a couple of alfresco woodland moments thrown in, which although provide an interesting anecdotal story I would be keen to not experience again.
On top of this, it would appear I have found some renewed run speed from my previous levels. I ran 5 days in a row with distances from 5k up to 13k and all were similarly consistent in speed, comfort and heart rate. It’s still a fair way off my PB times and before knee issues pace however considerably consistently quicker than anything so far this year and running a 7:22 mile brought a massive sweaty smile to my face. Although in the back of my mind I am unsure if this can solely be attributed to the new LCHF regime.
After my knee got ‘fixed’ in February till the 13th September I was attempting to train for Tenby and thus was probably fairly constantly knackered for the time I managed to stay awake. I have had the best part of two weeks of not doing a lot post IMWA before starting again at the same time as changing what I hammer down my throat.
Granted the immediate weight loss is welcome, as is fitting in a new suit which I couldn’t before, however I am keen for this to be a long term thing and thus have set a realistic target for the end of the year.
With this in mind and to develop the range of ideas I seem to have a new hobby of finding recipes – much like my old habit of attempting to find new events to enter and injure myself in. Having previously never really known anything about Banting I didn’t know the wealth of recipes available online to print out and add to the impressive arsenal of the book. We now have a complete folder of print outs which cover everything from a healthy Nutella, naan breads and crazy stews to carrot cake, healthy granola and flavoured waters.
Again variety is the spice of life and the more different foods we find the easier it is to plan ahead for the coming week or 10 day period. Not even my first complete disaster of attempting the simple bread recipe has put me off trying again and every other meal has been a complete success – apart from when I used way to much curry powder in a jerk marinade. Even the flapjacks I made were nice, if alittle crumbly and def not suited for a bike bimble.
Couple of points on this; mainly I didn’t know just how many different things you can do with a cauliflower or a coconut or indeed almonds and secondly people should be aware of the start-up costs of such a project to change eating habits.
We seem to have spent enough to sustain food intake for the rest of the year, on vital things like almond butter, flax / chia seeds and various types of flour; which aren’t actual flour. Whilst in the interim its pricey it has to be said that so far we both (as I have subjected Sue to it as well) have enjoyed a breakout of the norm we had fallen into with similar recipes week after week. Also when you consider how much a couple of takeaway’s are its probably not that bigger gap between the two.
Happily gone, so far, are the similar lunches every day and in has come lasagne left overs, Mexican Caesar salads, marinated tuna steaks and hearty tomato soups.
Also having always gone down the route of counting calories before it is massively liberating to eating a ‘proper’ lasagne ( albeit with aubergine ‘pasta’) with a real cheese and cream sauce. Also previously after the evening meal we would both find ourselves tempted to snack before bed – more so when bored or when either one of us is out – but again after eating a decent LCHF meal with plenty of green veg, neither one of us has had hunger pains or reached for a yogurt or biscuit.
Granted we are still new to it all and probably in the rose tinted spectacle phase but we also have a lot more energy in the evenings. This again might be linked to the volume of exercise diminishing but so far I haven’t fallen asleep on the sofa at 8:30 – which I have to say makes a pleasant change. It’s almost gone the other way – with me struggling to turn my brain off in the evening’s come 11 at night.
Similarly I used to wake up in the morning with a rumbling stomach with food often the second thought process for the day ( the first being how ridiculously early it is ) – however I have woken each day with none of this going on, with a renewed clear thought process and focus on exercise – even after just 4 hours kip I went out and ran quicker than previously this year.
Hopefully this new found speed will help me get round the 9x9x9bar event this weekend – where I will maybe attempting the half ultra-distance of 17 miles. I say maybe as my knee is still proving problematic and I am especially keen not to knacker it up any more than I already have this year, especially as it will have to put up with a 4hr drive either side of the actual run. Either way it will be good to catch up with so many of the 9bar folks and witness just how amazing they are at all things endurance.
If I don’t manage to make the run I can be chief cheerleader or 9bar thief.
Shockingly I didn’t get into the London Marathon again next year, my third rejection in a row. I have been offered a club place if I want it, however I am now thinking that potentially it’s a bad idea for 2016 due to the hopeful planning of TTT being in March. I don’t really want to be thinner but injured come May / June of next year.
Eyes on the prize and all that.