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Thread: Going low carb

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    Senior Member GravelMN's Avatar
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    Going low carb

    With the health problems I've had over the past two years, I've put on some weight. The best result I ever had dropping weight was when I went low-carb years ago and dropped around 80 pounds in less than a year using a plan somewhere between the Atkins and South Beach. Back then I spent most of my time lifting and doing other anaerobic activities. The only aerobic exercise I got was a couple hours of taekwondo a week, so the low-carb lifestyle worked pretty well.

    Now I'm older and cycling, canoeing, and hiking dominate my physical activities. I've been fueling my rides with sugary sports drinks and high carb granola bars and have progressed quite well in both speed and endurance but the weight has to go. I've followed a few BF threads by low-carbers but I'm still apprehensive as to how the switch is going to affect my cycling performance. Anyone know any good books, websites or articles aimed at low carb runners, cyclists, etc?

    Thanks

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    Do some research it is a very bad idea for a person doing a lot of activity to eat low carb. You want to lose weight, count calories and restrict some fat, but eat some good fat such as, avocado and nut butters. I restricted calories and went from 172 to 145. I now maintain my weight by continuing to count calories keeping around 2000 calories a day. I am 61 5'9

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I am having some success losing weight using MyFitnessPal ... but there are other tracking websites as well ...

    Calorie Tracking Websites

    Give one of them a go for a month, log your food accurately, eat less than you burn, and see where you are at the end of the month.

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    WHat I was told is you want to take your carbs in pre or post-workout, you need them to fuel your activity.

    I weigh 220lbs, what I've gathered from the weight training crowd is I need about 220 grams of protein per day, 450 grams of carbs and 50 grams of fat. Hovering around 3000 Calories a day, a bit less to lose weight.
    Assume nothing; Question everything

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    I'm not a nutritionist; so I can't comment with "expert opinion", but I'll give you mine anyway.

    Carbs are a lot of calories. I mean they metabolize as sugars. That's why low-carb diets work. Getting rid of fried foods, breads, grains, etc., and you'll cut a lot of calories. Why not just cut the middle man and cut your calories. Carbs for an athlete are essential energy. Banana's are ubiquitous with cycling because they provide carbs and sugar and a little potassium. All great stuff for keeping energy up.

    I'm not saying it's impossible to keep your energies up with a low carb or no carb diet; I'm just saying it would be awfully hard and totally unnecessary. Just cut your calories down to a reasonable level and you'll lose weight. If you've got a day where you aren't doing any intense physical activity, then cut the carbs out if it makes you feel any better.

    I suppose it also matters what you're defining as physical activity. Riding 60 minutes at near FTP every day and riding leisurely for 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week are entirely different things!

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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I am having some success losing weight using MyFitnessPal ... but there are other tracking websites as well ...

    Calorie Tracking Websites

    Give one of them a go for a month, log your food accurately, eat less than you burn, and see where you are at the end of the month.
    +1

    I lost 70 pounds a couple years ago using one of those apps (Lose It!). I don't think there is a better or best app. I still use it (Jan - Oct)... and yes I do pack on a few winter-fat pounds that I then have to struggle with.

    This is calorie counting. But not just old fashion calorie counting... I track protein, fat, and carbs and eat a proper, healthy, balanced diet. I am learning or relearning how to eat. Mostly now just eliminating crappy snack foods and recently gave up sodas near completely.

    I was sent to the grocery (I am married) to get some coleslaw the other day. And while looking around it became so obvious as to why nearly the entire nation has weight issues. There is just so much wonderful food out there. I really need sometime like an app or a list (like in the old days) to help me track and control my intake. I can indulge any food I desire. But I have to forever balance the total intake to what it is I want to weigh.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 03-16-15 at 10:07 PM.

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    jsk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
    WHat I was told is you want to take your carbs in pre or post-workout, you need them to fuel your activity.
    Yes, getting a higher ratio of carbs around workouts and lower the rest of the day is probably a good idea if trying to lose weight.

    I weigh 220lbs, what I've gathered from the weight training crowd is I need about 220 grams of protein per day, 450 grams of carbs and 50 grams of fat. Hovering around 3000 Calories a day, a bit less to lose weight.
    IMHO this is bad advice for someone who has weight to lose. The heavier you are, the more ridiculous 1g of protein per lb of body weight gets. I would recommend one of two things:

    1) 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass (you need to be able to reasonably estimate your % body fat).

    or

    2) 1g of protein per lb of your target body weight. (For example someone who weighs 200 and has a goal weight of 170 could eat 170g of protein).

    I also think 450g of carbs is too high for somebody trying to lose weight unless you're doing a lot of endurance training. Cut the carbs down and get more healthy fats, 50g of fat is awfully low.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    One of my pet peeves is "serving size".

    You've really got to watch that because what the package or can or whatever calls a "serving", isn't what I would call a "serving". I even had to correct a user-entered food item on MyFitnessPal the other day. The relatively small packet of rice was not 1 serving, it was 2. Double the calories.

    I had a can of Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup yesterday and today (I've been ill, and it sits well). I eat one can as one serving. But then, I don't eat anything with it ... just the soup. If I were having toast with it or something, I could envision that one can might be two servings. It's not. One 400 gram can is 3.2 servings. 3.2??? Who on earth makes a can of soup and divides it into 3.2 portions?

    Same with the cheesecake I had for my birthday (I cycled lots in advance to burn it off) ... it was quite a small cheesecake, about 6 inches in diameter. And apparently there were 10 servings there. I'm not sure we could have cut it into 10 pieces without having them all fall apart ... we'd have needed an ultra-sharp and maybe hot knife to do it. I could see it being 6 servings ... maybe even 4 servings. But it is highly unlikely someone is going to cut something like that into 10 slices.

    Even the packages of steamed veg I have for lunch ... they're quite a small packet, but somehow they are 2 servings of veggies. It's great that I'm getting 2 servings of veg every lunch, but really? A packet that small is 2 servings?


    I think the powers-that-be who determine servings need to make some adjustments straight across the board. When someone picks up the can of soup and reads that one serving is 60 calories, it is so easy to assume that's the whole can ... or maybe half the can. But how many people will multiply 60 * 3.2 to determine that the whole can is 192 calories?

    Same with the cheesecake, I forget how many calories it had per serving, maybe 200 which doesn't seem that bad. But you look at a cheesecake that small and the idea that "they" think that cheesecake is 10 servings doesn't enter your head until you read the fine print. "They" don't tell you that the whole cheesecake is, let's say, 2000 calories, and that if you're going to divide it into 4, that's 500 calories a piece.

    Even similar products on the shelf at the supermarket will have slightly different serving sizes. Yogurt is one example of that. You've got to look at how many calories is in 100 grams to compare them.

    It takes a bit of time and work to select the lower calorie options. "They" don't make it easy.

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    jsk
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    Seems like for most packaged foods, a serving is 1 ounce (28 grams), though there are some exceptions. I agree it's not very realistic for a lot of foods though. That's why weighing and tracking your food can be so eye opening. When you realize how much of food A you can eat for a given number of calories versus food B, it starts to affect your choices of what to eat (in a good way). At least, it does for me. I still splurge on the occasional treats, but I'm more strategic about it now.

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    RR3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GravelMN View Post

    Anyone know any good books, websites or articles aimed at low carb runners, cyclists, etc?

    Thanks
    Some good ideas contained in these......on weight loss, diabetes management, asthma control, etc. GL to the OP.

    Books:

    The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance

    Grain Brain

    Epi-paleo Rx: The Prescription for Disease Reversal and Optimal Health

    Websites

    http://eatingacademy.com/

    http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/

    http://jackkruse.com/

    http://www.artandscienceoflowcarb.com/

    How to Prevent and Treat Asthma Without Drugs | David Perlmutter M.D.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3912323/

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    Quote Originally Posted by GravelMN View Post
    With the health problems I've had over the past two years, I've put on some weight. The best result I ever had dropping weight was when I went low-carb years ago and dropped around 80 pounds in less than a year using a plan somewhere between the Atkins and South Beach. Back then I spent most of my time lifting and doing other anaerobic activities. The only aerobic exercise I got was a couple hours of taekwondo a week, so the low-carb lifestyle worked pretty well.

    Now I'm older and cycling, canoeing, and hiking dominate my physical activities. I've been fueling my rides with sugary sports drinks and high carb granola bars and have progressed quite well in both speed and endurance but the weight has to go. I've followed a few BF threads by low-carbers but I'm still apprehensive as to how the switch is going to affect my cycling performance. Anyone know any good books, websites or articles aimed at low carb runners, cyclists, etc?

    Thanks
    Aerobic is what IS compatible with low-carb.
    Only high intensity activity requires sugar for fuel, low intensity exercise runs great on fat.
    Only high intensity combined with long duration creates a demand for carbs that can't be met on a low carb diet for most people.
    A 2 hour easy ride is no problem.
    20 minutes hard a couple times a week is no problem.
    2 hours as hard as you can every day will definitely require dietary carbs.

    The first week of low-carb you'd probably want to go very easy on the exercise or you'll be one of many who does it wrong then says it doesn't work..

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    For carbs my advice is whole grain rolled oats (not processed.) Dirt cheap$$$

    The oats I buy have: 120 calories / 2 g fat / 4 g protein / 20 g carbohydrate of which 0 gs is sugar per serving

    The important part is not to add anything to them, especially sugar. Eat just the oats. They tasted bland in my diet when I ate processed sugars, now Gatorade during rides is the only processed sugar I consume and the oats alone taste fantastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Grimes View Post
    For carbs my advice is whole grain rolled oats (not processed.) Dirt cheap$$$

    The oats I buy have: 120 calories / 2 g fat / 4 g protein / 20 g carbohydrate of which 0 gs is sugar per serving

    The important part is not to add anything to them, especially sugar. Eat just the oats. They tasted bland in my diet when I ate processed sugars, now Gatorade during rides is the only processed sugar I consume and the oats alone taste fantastic.
    Isn't that amazing? When I drank sweet tea and sodas and consumed tons of sugar; tea tasted bland, rice tasted bland, etc. It was all bland. Coffee, you name it. Now, unsweet tea has this bitter awesome complex flavor, coffee as well. Steamed rice is sweet and tasty as an occasional treat; and so much better than fried rice. It's amazing how your palette opens up when you cut out all that junk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
    Isn't that amazing? When I drank sweet tea and sodas and consumed tons of sugar; tea tasted bland, rice tasted bland, etc. It was all bland. Coffee, you name it. Now, unsweet tea has this bitter awesome complex flavor, coffee as well. Steamed rice is sweet and tasty as an occasional treat; and so much better than fried rice. It's amazing how your palette opens up when you cut out all that junk.
    Definitely! and since cutting out sugar, adding salt ruins food, the food taste too good without it.

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I watch my carbs but I like raisins and bananas instead of other processed sugary products. they burn right up on my rides & gym sessions

    I like the expression "go heavy or go home" for weight training and I feel the same applies to other sports. if one is not riding hard why bother riding, especially if it's being used for "exercise"? if one is not gonna work up a sweat, one might as well stay on the couch. I'd rather have an easy nap than take an easy ride.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    http://www.amazon.com/The-Paleo-Diet...VD3M0PJHXX98WD

    This is a good place to start. It is not a strict take on Paleo because, as every athlete knows, you have to have carbs for energy. But many people way overdo carbs in their diet. You need them for fuel for your workout (pre, during, and directly after). Obviously, it matters how much you are riding. I fit in 250 km a week with lots of climbing and I don't down pasta, bread, and rice off the bike.

    You have to read your body, but you do need carbs to fuel longer and high intensity rides. Be careful and listen to your body. Everyone is different.

    Read the above book; it helps.

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    You have to find what works for you. Over the last 15 years I'm down about 70 lbs to 205, I lost the first 40 going low carb (never as extreme as Atkins). My normal weekday breakfast is a protein shake with a banana and some fiber cereal mixed in, carries me to lunch. However this morning I rode 17 miles and 1100 feet of climbing before breakfast, then had my protein shake after. I was getting pretty hungry by lunch time and ate a bit earlier than normal.

    However I found that the protein shake doesn't work for me if I'm going for a long ride, so my normal pre-ride weekend breakfast is oatmeal and a banana.

    I never drink soft drinks, even diet. Like Romans said, my tastes change and these things are just too sicky-sweet. I still try to limit refined carbs and other highly processed foods, but there exceptions - like burritos and Thin Mints! And I try to limit gratuitous fat - grilled instead of fried, that sort of thing. Almost never drink, maybe a beer or two a month on average.

    Try some different things and see how you feel and how your body responds. I'd suggest you lose the high sugar energy drinks first (I use Nuun tablets for electrolytes, no sugar), replace those calories with a mix of complex carbs and some protein, don't change much else and see what happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
    Isn't that amazing? When I drank sweet tea and sodas and consumed tons of sugar; tea tasted bland, rice tasted bland, etc. It was all bland. Coffee, you name it. Now, unsweet tea has this bitter awesome complex flavor, coffee as well. Steamed rice is sweet and tasty as an occasional treat; and so much better than fried rice. It's amazing how your palette opens up when you cut out all that junk.
    +1
    Now GOOD food tastes GOOD!

    I grew up where vege's had to be smothered in some type of fat to be palatable. Now, I just love the taste of fresh vege's with, at most, a little lemon or lime juice and some salt (maybe)...

    I experienced that taste transformation twice: first when I stopped smoking and then, suddenly I could taste my food without it being hot sausage or something. And, like most people who quit smoking, I gained weight -- but mostly because food started tasting so darn good I couldn't resist.

    Then, when I cut out all animal products, added fat and added sugar, it happened all over again.
    ... And, like you, really enjoy those food I used to consider "bland"
    --------------------------------------
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    If your mind and body are adaptable to LCHFMP you will begin to feel better as the weight drops, and inflammation is reduced. You should see better performance during the type of activities that you mentioned.

    It gets near impossible to measure cause and effect if you're losing substantial weight, exercising considerably more and eating that way all at the same time like I did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GravelMN View Post
    Now I'm older and cycling, canoeing, and hiking dominate my physical activities. I've been fueling my rides with sugary sports drinks and high carb granola bars and have progressed quite well in both speed and endurance but the weight has to go. I've followed a few BF threads by low-carbers but I'm still apprehensive as to how the switch is going to affect my cycling performance. Anyone know any good books, websites or articles aimed at low carb runners, cyclists, etc?
    Joe Friel - Aging: My Race Weight

    where Joe Friel reports

    "After initially reading both sides of the issues, I decided to give it a try. The bottom line is that last fall I lost 8 pounds in 9 weeks by eating more fat and less carbohydrate. That was 5% of my body weight (160 pounds – at the time I was well on my way to my normal winter weight). I was never hungry. In fact, it seemed like the more fat I ate, the more weight I lost."

    getting back to his 154 pound racing weight, which is what he weighed at age 18 not 60 something.

    High-fat, low-carb diets: how to try one for yourself | CyclingTips

    has data on fat adaptation where low carb high fat gets more of your energy coming from fats and less from glycogen.

    Since glycogen depletion is a big factor in hunger and it must be replenished to maintain performance that means you can eat less, not feel hungry, and not impact your riding.

    I shrunk from 205 to 139 pounds without ever being hungry.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    Joe Friel - Aging: My Race Weight

    where Joe Friel reports

    "After initially reading both sides of the issues, I decided to give it a try. The bottom line is that last fall I lost 8 pounds in 9 weeks by eating more fat and less carbohydrate. That was 5% of my body weight (160 pounds – at the time I was well on my way to my normal winter weight). I was never hungry. In fact, it seemed like the more fat I ate, the more weight I lost."

    getting back to his 154 pound racing weight, which is what he weighed at age 18 not 60 something.

    High-fat, low-carb diets: how to try one for yourself | CyclingTips

    has data on fat adaptation where low carb high fat gets more of your energy coming from fats and less from glycogen.

    Since glycogen depletion is a big factor in hunger and it must be replenished to maintain performance that means you can eat less, not feel hungry, and not impact your riding.

    I shrunk from 205 to 139 pounds without ever being hungry.
    After reading the CyclingTips link, the most relevant part to me was this:
    The test was stopped at this point, so we don’t have data to show what happened to fat and carbohydrate use at higher intensities, such as during sprints or all-out hill climbing. But being a long course triathlete, such intensities are not so relevant to him anyway.
    Maybe so, but the absence full 0 to FTP power curves was quite noticeable. Our tandem team is pretty well fat adapted. We can easily go for a moderate 2.5 hr. ride without eating. We frequently have only protein after a no-food ride, no carbs, and don't feel hungry. We've been following that protocol to drain our glycogen stores all week. We had a low carb breakfast and a hi-fat lunch today and then went for a glycogen depleted ride. Guess what? We couldn't go on the hills. We did set 3 PRs on the flat, because we went good at moderate power, but we couldn't climb at more than about 2/3 of our usual carb-fueled power.

    Now, I understand that this is, in a way, a good thing and was part of our plan. A very smart way of training is to train glycogen depleted and then carb up for your events, and in fact that is what we have been doing the last few weeks. We've done quite well with it, setting a number of PRs on our fueled rides.

    I just thought I'd point that out. Many supposed low-carb athletes compete in exactly this way because it's not possible to ride at full watts without burning carbs.

    I've toured with long time fat-adapted riders who were eating carbs the second day because they felt so awful and couldn't begin to hold the pace. And, for that matter, with a confirmed vegan who was eating ribs by the 3rd day, similar problem. It's tough to be a vegan on cafe food. Pragmatism FTW.

    It's been confirmed by many studies that LC is the fastest way to lose weight. There's no question. However there are still unknowns over the long haul and the performance issue.

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    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    ... You want to lose weight, count calories...

    That's the ticket... You can go nuts trying to calculate carbs, and lets not even mention the different kinds of cards and what happens to them when you go catabolic. Eventually you need to keep things simple. Track your Grams of Protein and your Calories. For example an older fat guy will lose weight if he goes for about 90 grams of protein and less than 1600 calories per day. Also at 90 grams of protein he won't get too hungry and he won't break down muscle when he exercises.

    The point being that when you are trying to squeeze in 90 grams of protein into less than 1600 calories you really can't eat many things that are high in carbs...

    Another point to be determined... Are you training to ride faster and stronger or are you training to lose weight... There is a big difference between the two and how you attain them...
    Last edited by zandoval; 03-26-15 at 10:39 PM.

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    The interest in the ketogenic way of eating is growing in leaps and bounds in the scientific community.

    It's becoming more difficult to find fault with the theory. I sense a little softening towards keto around here even. I think that builds some trust with competitors who will in turn determine scientifically if it will improve performance in their sport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
    That's the ticket... You can go nuts trying to calculate carbs, and lets not even mention the different kinds of cards and what happens to them when you go catabolic. Eventually you need to keep things simple. Track your Grams of Protein and your Calories. For example an older fat guy will lose weight if he goes for about 90 grams of protein and less than 1600 calories per day. Also at 90 grams of protein he won't get too hungry and he won't break down muscle when he exercises.

    The point being that when you are trying to squeeze in 90 grams of protein into less than 1600 calories you really can't eat many things that are high in carbs...

    Another point to be determined... Are you training to ride faster and stronger or are you training to lose weight... There is a big difference between the two and how you attain them...
    My wife and I are trying to both ride faster and stronger and lose weight. We're succeeding. I can't think why these goals would be thought to be in opposition. Looking at my weight curve, by event season in July I should be 13 lbs. or about 9% of my bodyweight below what I previously thought of as my best event weight. Plus I'm squatting more than I squatted at 21 when I weighed about the same.

    Um, 90g protein is only 360 calories. Plenty of room for carbs. I don't count calories. Works for some people, but seems a waste of time to me. I get enough protein so that my legs don't stay sore, eat enough fat that I'm not hungry all the time, and eat enough carbs to fuel my hard workouts. And then I weigh myself every day and eat so that I lose at the rate I want to lose. Seems really simple to me. One does have to learn how to eat, but then any sort of training is a learning process. It's just lifestyle. I'm not going to count calories the rest of my life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    ...One does have to learn how to eat, but then any sort of training is a learning process. It's just lifestyle. I'm not going to count calories the rest of my life.
    Yep... No doubt... But sometimes it's really hard to be selective when you're out with the family, at the local pizza place, having a beer and trying to look normal, even though you are secretly counting everything you put in your mouth. What a chore...

    Ya gotta have a life...

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