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Thread: Atkins Question

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    Senior Member geofitz13's Avatar
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    Atkins Question

    I started the Atkins diet a little over two months ago. It's going pretty well, so far have lost about 20 lbs. I'm really doing a modified version, being strict during the week, and easing up some on the weekends, so it's tolerable.
    About two weeks after starting the diet, I bonked badly about 45 miles into a 50 miler. Any suggestions on a substitue for carbs for "fuel." I want to gradually work back up to doing centuries, but I'm a little concerned about bonking again. It was not a nice experience.

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    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    This is the first time I've heard of an Atkins dieter who actually wants to exercise.
    Eat carbs or go slower. Much slower.
    Your choice.

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    Atkins is for people who want to sit on the couch and lose weight while watching TV. Yes, it works (I've tried it) but it's a temporary fix. The second you go off the "diet", all that weight comes back and then some.

    Plus, I found that I had zero energy while doing it. Carbs are your fuel, after all. If you are exercising a lot, carbs shouldn't be an issue because you are burning them off.

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    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    I don't claim to be on an Atkins diet but I am on a low carb/high fat diet (such diets predated Atkins. He just made them famous in our time) and honestly bonking after 45 mins says to me that something else is going on like maybe you just haven't eaten enough of ANYTHING. My experience is that you can do a moderately paced ride for up to 2 hours before you need food to keep you going.

    On an Atkins theme I find fish oil capsules to be a good form of on the road food for someone trying to avoid carbs. Consume them gradually through the ride and don't wait until you feel lacking in energy.

    Anthony

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    would rather be biking SeanMA's Avatar
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    As stated, atkins can work, but is optimal if you're a couch potato. If you're an active person, this diet is not for you. Much of the weight loss is from the water loss that comes with high protein diets - so not only do you not have the much needed glycogen stores, but you're also dehydrating your body, and putting a lot of stress on your organs, particularly the kidneys.

    Fatty acids are used for energy as well, but during higher intensity exercise, glucose from carbs is the preferred fuel source. You will continue to bonk often putting in that type of mileage while restricting your carb intake - there's no way around it.

    I know you didn't make a thread to discuss Atkin's legitimacy, but as an endurance athlete, you might want to consider a different "diet" or better yet, a well rounded diet that includes all macronutrients in appropriate proportions.
    " [Flexes] Yea... that's what happens when you cycle a while." Vasa is not amused. [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    atkins diet casues your liver to make glucose(energy), This is not how your body is intended to work, since you are taking in lower amount of carbs. I would eat more carbs If i were you.

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    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoop View Post
    atkins diet casues your liver to make glucose(energy), This is not how your body is intended to work, since you are taking in lower amount of carbs. I would eat more carbs If i were you.

    wrong.

    liver will always store and dump energy regardless of diet.

    atkins is a form of ketogenic diet (look it up)

    makes your body turn fat to fatty acids and your body uses this a fuel
    in preference to glucose. the only real risk is staying in an elevated fatty acid burning state is
    unhealthy for the kidneys. you should test for ketones in urine.

    if you ride a bike and bonk, skip the hokey diet and just eat a load of potatos and ride yer arse off

    any form of ketogenic diet, the side effects are tiredness and lethargy (and of course fat loss). Do you really want to stay
    with that atkins diet ????
    Last edited by 127.0.0.1; 08-05-09 at 10:20 AM.
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    When I first started cycling I was eating something like atkins (low carb). I couldn't make much gains in the cycling and endurance. I was pretty tired too. So I bumped up the carbs and reduced the protein and my biking is alot better (more energy and more fun).
    So I would guess you can do atkins if you are only biking lightly. For me, any long distance effort is going to require some carbs for energy.
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    sorry for getting my terminology wrong. But the liver will produce more energy(fatty acids) when on the atkins diet, correct?

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    There are some other diets you might want to check out if the general style of eating suits you alright. Some of them are geared a lot more towards performance eating. I try my best to follow the Paleo diet, and I have never seen such good results. You still eat carbs, but you get them mostly from fruits. It lends itself much better towards endurance sports because you can just load up on fruit. I modify it a bit on days where I ride and incorporate some other forms of carbs, such as steel cut oatmeal or maybe a little bit of pasta or bread.

    If you don't eat many (or any) carbs, you will have a hard time in endurance sports. You will eventually bonk. Even if you compensate with fats, they take longer to digest and typically don't make a good food to rely on for fuel in the middle of longer rides.

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    Senior Member geofitz13's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=AnthonyG;9423492] and honestly bonking after 45 mins says to me that something else is going on like maybe you just haven't eaten enough of ANYTHING.

    You misread. Bonk came at 45 miles. If I can figure out a way to do 45 miles in 45 mins, then I wouldn't need a diet!

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    Senior Member geofitz13's Avatar
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    The atkins thing is most likely going to be a temporary thing. Would like to shed a few more pounds, and this has been working. Except for the biking. Actually, I find I feel much better physically with a reduced carb load. I will admit to being a carb addict, so I probably was overdoing it anyway. My medicine man is watching me fairly closely, with an eye on the blood work, and so far, so good. I'm hoping that getting down to 180 or so will eliminate the need for some bp meds I'm taking. The doc seems to agree.

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    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geofitz13 View Post

    You misread. Bonk came at 45 miles. If I can figure out a way to do 45 miles in 45 mins, then I wouldn't need a diet!
    OK, sorry I did misread it. Try some fish oil as I suggested. Its not a miracle but it will help to keep you fueled through a long ride. If you need carbohydrates potato's are good as they're rich in glucose. High fructose items are a mixed blessing if your looking at weight reduction and improving your blood numbers and I'm not just picking on HFCS. All sources of fructose including fresh fruit can cause issues.

    Anthony

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    Specific Carbohydrate Diet

    Hello

    Have you heard of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet it is close to the paleolithic diet we evolved on but explained in much more detail. Some general guidelines are, no grains (i.e. rice, wheat, corn, oats, etc.), no processed foods, no starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes, yams, etc.), no canned vegetables of any kind, no flour, no sugar, no sweeteners other than honey and saccharin, and no milk products except for homemade yogurt fermented for 24 hours, prepared according to the instructions in the book.

    http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/index.htm

    cheers
    Johnny

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    Senior Member geofitz13's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments/suggestions. Gives me a lot to think about. The main goal right now is to lose a bunch of weight. A byproduct of the Atkins thing is that I'm developing some good habits as far as portion control and snacking are concerned. I've eliminated the late-night snacking habit and this is helping things even more. Once I get to where I want to be, then I forsee switching to a more balanced diet, and hopefully, keeping some of the better habits I seem to be developing now. In the meantime, I guess it will have to be shorter and slower rides for me. But once I hit the weight target (it'll mean dropping 50 lbs), watch out!!

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    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geofitz13 View Post
    Thanks for all the comments/suggestions. Gives me a lot to think about. The main goal right now is to lose a bunch of weight. A byproduct of the Atkins thing is that I'm developing some good habits as far as portion control and snacking are concerned. I've eliminated the late-night snacking habit and this is helping things even more. Once I get to where I want to be, then I forsee switching to a more balanced diet, and hopefully, keeping some of the better habits I seem to be developing now. In the meantime, I guess it will have to be shorter and slower rides for me. But once I hit the weight target (it'll mean dropping 50 lbs), watch out!!
    if you want to drop a BUNCH of weight.

    1) stop cycling
    2) stop eating. I mean really, stop it. drink water or diet soda.
    3) get a huge container of whey protein, have some for breakfast along
    with vitamins (b complex and a flintstones)
    4) lunch is huge salad with greens, maybe 1 egg, piece of bacon, tons of veggies
    5) skip dinner
    6) evening, have a bag of popcorn (here are your carbs) and another whey protein shake

    repeat this for 2 months, you can drop 20lbs or 30lbs. you MUST fight the hunger and after 2 weeks
    you won't be hungry anymore.

    cut the BS, eat less, don't cave in like a wimp, and you will drop weight fast
    I like fat bikes
    and I cannot lie.

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    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    This thread went rotten fast.
    My earlier go slower comment was a warning, not a recommendation. It was also a bit snarky.
    Part of a healthy lifestyle involves not being dead.
    The good habits you've been developing: keep them.
    Ditch the Atkins.
    Ride more.
    Ride farther.
    Grow muscles.
    Eat carbohydrates.
    Enjoy a long and healthy life.

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    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
    This thread went rotten fast.
    My earlier go slower comment was a warning, not a recommendation. It was also a bit snarky.
    Part of a healthy lifestyle involves not being dead.
    The good habits you've been developing: keep them.
    Ditch the Atkins.
    Ride more.
    Ride farther.
    Grow muscles.
    Eat carbohydrates.
    Enjoy a long and healthy life.
    my advice is full of holes, but it works and when sustained for only a short time it is harmless. does the job
    I like fat bikes
    and I cannot lie.

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    Low Carb Lifestyle

    It seems that the very mention of the word Atkins brings all of the nay sayers out of the woodwork. I would wager that most of these people have either not tried a low carb lifestyle or couldn't stick with a low carb regimen.

    The Atkins diet can be very bad for your system if done over a long period of time. When your body goes into the keytosis mode, it can be very bad for your liver. The idea behind this fad diet, the south beach diet and various modifications of these diets is to reduce the unnecessary carbohydrates in your body. People need to understand how their body metabolizes food and why it stores or burns fat.

    I did a modified version of the Atkins diet about 8 years ago and lost 30 lbs very quickly. I educated myself on how the body processes sugars, produces insulin, regulates metabolism, and so on. Now most men's health magazines talk about GI (glycemic index) in foods. This is very important if you want to stay lean.

    I've adopted a low carb lifestyle and I have kept the fat off and I now flucuate between 158 and 165 - mostly depending on my carb intake. (btw - I'm 6' and 33y/o) I drink (a lot) of low carb beer - I don't each much bread - I eat a lot of veggies and protien - limit my fruit consumption to workout days or cycling days - I eat a lot of fish and a lot of eggs. I never eat pasta and rarely eat potatoes (sometimes I will treat myself to sweet potatoes). Snacks are nuts, alot of almonds, pretzles, cheese, frozen grapes, south beach bars, etc. I also eat all day - that's one of the most important tricks to staying lean (2nd to what you put in your body)

    I think if most people consider what they put into their body and limit the carbs to fruits and veggies (and occasional bread) their body will return to it's natural weight.

    It cracks me up when I see overweight people sweating to death while cycling and they keep pounding gatorades.

    Good luck to all the fat people. Regulate your carb intake, get some exercise and learn to regulate your metabolism and the fat will melt off.

  20. #20
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    No, you need carbs for intense strenuous workout sessions. Keep doing your research on training nutrition. For example I use bananas and raisins which I burn right up.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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