Why do people choose to do LCHF?

1246

Replies

  • BrunetteRunner87
    BrunetteRunner87 Posts: 591 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    My chiropractor was telling me he just started doing it, he explained (and I also saw it in Runner's World magazine) that some runners do it so that their bodies will get used to using fat to fuel instead of carbs. The idea is that by the time you go to run the full marathon your body is used to this and you don't have to eat energy gels/use Gatorade throughout the race, and you avoid hitting the wall. I can't think of any other reason to do it though, doesn't seem like it's worth it for weight loss alone since you can still lose weight without going through all that.

    I don't understand, because just doing long runs or rides at low intensity will also "train" your body to use fat for fuel.

    Maybe, but perhaps they don't want to do the runs at low intensity.

    If you don't include long runs in your training plan, your marathon probably isn't going to be very successful -- even if you are on a ketogenic diet. Getting through 26.2 miles is probably going to require some kind of long run experience -- even if your body is good at using fat for fuel.

    If you don't want to do long runs, marathons probably aren't the best recreational choice.

    I didn't say that the people following this plan for marathon training aren't doing long runs, I said maybe they don't want to do low-intensity runs. To be low enough in intensity to be in the "fat burning" zone, assuming it's not a myth, for me as a 29 year old female, I would have to do a long run with my heart rate at 118 to 138 beats per minute. That's much lower than my usual long-run heart rate, which is about 160 bpm even when I've slowed to a minute and a half over race pace. If I ran slow enough to be between 118 and 138 I wouldn't be hitting any PRs any time soon.

    You don't have to run at the "fat burning" zone in order to get the benefits of a long run. Long runs, even when your heart rate is faster, help adapt how your body fuels the run. A long run, because the pace has to be sustainable for 90+ minutes, is low intensity even if your heart is beating faster than what some chart is showing for an "ideal" range.

    So if all of this is true, and low intensity runs will train your body to use fat for fuel, as the first poster said, and all long runs are low intensity, then why doesn't everyone who trains for a marathon's body adapt to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs? Then everybody who has trained for a marathon could show up on race day and not need any gels or gatorade.

    Because you vary intensities and your body utilizes both sources of fuel throughout the race. It's not just a linear source.

    So then that would be the point of a keto diet while training for a marathon, so that you train your body to use fat for fuel no matter which intensity you are running at.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,386 MFP Moderator
    psuLemon wrote: »
    My chiropractor was telling me he just started doing it, he explained (and I also saw it in Runner's World magazine) that some runners do it so that their bodies will get used to using fat to fuel instead of carbs. The idea is that by the time you go to run the full marathon your body is used to this and you don't have to eat energy gels/use Gatorade throughout the race, and you avoid hitting the wall. I can't think of any other reason to do it though, doesn't seem like it's worth it for weight loss alone since you can still lose weight without going through all that.

    I don't understand, because just doing long runs or rides at low intensity will also "train" your body to use fat for fuel.

    Maybe, but perhaps they don't want to do the runs at low intensity.

    If you don't include long runs in your training plan, your marathon probably isn't going to be very successful -- even if you are on a ketogenic diet. Getting through 26.2 miles is probably going to require some kind of long run experience -- even if your body is good at using fat for fuel.

    If you don't want to do long runs, marathons probably aren't the best recreational choice.

    I didn't say that the people following this plan for marathon training aren't doing long runs, I said maybe they don't want to do low-intensity runs. To be low enough in intensity to be in the "fat burning" zone, assuming it's not a myth, for me as a 29 year old female, I would have to do a long run with my heart rate at 118 to 138 beats per minute. That's much lower than my usual long-run heart rate, which is about 160 bpm even when I've slowed to a minute and a half over race pace. If I ran slow enough to be between 118 and 138 I wouldn't be hitting any PRs any time soon.

    You don't have to run at the "fat burning" zone in order to get the benefits of a long run. Long runs, even when your heart rate is faster, help adapt how your body fuels the run. A long run, because the pace has to be sustainable for 90+ minutes, is low intensity even if your heart is beating faster than what some chart is showing for an "ideal" range.

    So if all of this is true, and low intensity runs will train your body to use fat for fuel, as the first poster said, and all long runs are low intensity, then why doesn't everyone who trains for a marathon's body adapt to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs? Then everybody who has trained for a marathon could show up on race day and not need any gels or gatorade.

    Because you vary intensities and your body utilizes both sources of fuel throughout the race. It's not just a linear source.

    So then that would be the point of a keto diet while training for a marathon, so that you train your body to use fat for fuel no matter which intensity you are running at.

    I don't think the body works like that, especially when you are discussing aerobic vs anaerobic thresholds. The handful of keto cyclist that I have heard of, still consume a good amount of carbs on their runs and maybe consume a fairly high total of carbs in a given day (for more than your typical LCHF).
  • BlueSkyShoal
    BlueSkyShoal Posts: 325 Member
    IMO a lot of people don't really believe that calorie counting works / is effective. (Not people on here, but people out in the world.) So they hear things like: "I went on a low-carb diet and lost weight" or "I cut out all sugars except fruit and lost weight". And they think to themselves: "Oh! Carbs (or sugar, or whatever) cause weight gain!"

    The truth is that people lose weight on those diets because they are cutting out calories when they cut out pancakes, cake, sugar, whatever. Which is a subtle but important difference compared to "Carbs are bad and make people fat."

    It's is true that it's harder to overeat if you're just eating eggs, meat, and other high protein foods. But personally I will never give up pancakes. That's just crazy talk. ;)
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,386 MFP Moderator
    IMO a lot of people don't really believe that calorie counting works / is effective. (Not people on here, but people out in the world.) So they hear things like: "I went on a low-carb diet and lost weight" or "I cut out all sugars except fruit and lost weight". And they think to themselves: "Oh! Carbs (or sugar, or whatever) cause weight gain!"

    The truth is that people lose weight on those diets because they are cutting out calories when they cut out pancakes, cake, sugar, whatever. Which is a subtle but important difference compared to "Carbs are bad and make people fat."

    It's is true that it's harder to overeat if you're just eating eggs, meat, and other high protein foods. But personally I will never give up pancakes. That's just crazy talk. ;)

    I challenge that assumption.. haha... That is pretty much how I got fat... I just love meats.
  • T1DCarnivoreRunner
    T1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 11,502 Member
    My chiropractor was telling me he just started doing it, he explained (and I also saw it in Runner's World magazine) that some runners do it so that their bodies will get used to using fat to fuel instead of carbs. The idea is that by the time you go to run the full marathon your body is used to this and you don't have to eat energy gels/use Gatorade throughout the race, and you avoid hitting the wall. I can't think of any other reason to do it though, doesn't seem like it's worth it for weight loss alone since you can still lose weight without going through all that.

    It's usually referred to as being "fat adapted." The old belief was that nobody could possibly ever oxidize fat for fuel faster than 1g / min... and even then, only the best of the best elite athletes while typical recreational athletes are oxidizing fat for fuel at half that rate. Because of this belief, a practice was developed to constantly feed carbs during endurance events so that the athlete wouldn't run out of fuel.

    New research has found that athletes who have become "fat adapted" (this takes weeks of eating low carb) are able to oxidize fat at much faster rates than previously believed. The error in previous studies was that it tested those who were not eating low carb or those who just switched to low carb at the beginning of the research and then testing ensued without providing time to become fat adapted. One study of note found that fat adapted athletes oxidized fat at around 1.4-1.6 g/min. (lowest was 1.2 g/min. and highest subject was 1.8 g/min.).

    I'm not a professional athlete, but I am a runner. As I extend to longer and longer runs, I have been eating lower and lower carbs. I'm fat adapted and I know for certain that I'm primarily using fat for fuel because I wear a CGM (I'm a type 1 diabetic, so this CGM is mostly for monitoring BG's). For example, I went out on a run recently that lasted about 1:22 and was 8.34 miles. If I had tried that before becoming fat adapted, I would have had to decrease basal insulin (again, type 1 diabetic here, so I manage insulin manually) and/or consume carbohydrates at some point during the run in order to prevent and/or treat hypoglycemia and provide glucose as fuel. I can tell I'm fat adapted from my prior experience, my detailed tracking of glucose from food sources and glucose drop (use) from exercise. I always carry glucose tablets on run just in case, but almost never use them. In the past, I would have definitely been using them unless I wanted to wake up in an ambulance because I was using glucose faster than I could release glycogen and faster than GNG produced it.

    As to OP's question... I originally started eating low carb to better manage BG's. This was after already trying to lose weight for more than 2 years and struggling to lose as quickly as CICO would suggest. What I did not expect was that I would lose faster. I only wanted the BG benefit, but it worked out that I started losing much more quickly at the same calorie intake. In fact, the first 8 months of low carb gave me weight loss almost 5 times faster at the same calorie deficit than simple CICO. I started eating low carb for better BG's, but I kept eating it because it worked for weight loss much better than just counting calories.
  • nvmomketo
    nvmomketo Posts: 12,019 Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    My chiropractor was telling me he just started doing it, he explained (and I also saw it in Runner's World magazine) that some runners do it so that their bodies will get used to using fat to fuel instead of carbs. The idea is that by the time you go to run the full marathon your body is used to this and you don't have to eat energy gels/use Gatorade throughout the race, and you avoid hitting the wall. I can't think of any other reason to do it though, doesn't seem like it's worth it for weight loss alone since you can still lose weight without going through all that.

    I don't understand, because just doing long runs or rides at low intensity will also "train" your body to use fat for fuel.

    Maybe, but perhaps they don't want to do the runs at low intensity.

    If you don't include long runs in your training plan, your marathon probably isn't going to be very successful -- even if you are on a ketogenic diet. Getting through 26.2 miles is probably going to require some kind of long run experience -- even if your body is good at using fat for fuel.

    If you don't want to do long runs, marathons probably aren't the best recreational choice.

    I didn't say that the people following this plan for marathon training aren't doing long runs, I said maybe they don't want to do low-intensity runs. To be low enough in intensity to be in the "fat burning" zone, assuming it's not a myth, for me as a 29 year old female, I would have to do a long run with my heart rate at 118 to 138 beats per minute. That's much lower than my usual long-run heart rate, which is about 160 bpm even when I've slowed to a minute and a half over race pace. If I ran slow enough to be between 118 and 138 I wouldn't be hitting any PRs any time soon.

    You don't have to run at the "fat burning" zone in order to get the benefits of a long run. Long runs, even when your heart rate is faster, help adapt how your body fuels the run. A long run, because the pace has to be sustainable for 90+ minutes, is low intensity even if your heart is beating faster than what some chart is showing for an "ideal" range.

    So if all of this is true, and low intensity runs will train your body to use fat for fuel, as the first poster said, and all long runs are low intensity, then why doesn't everyone who trains for a marathon's body adapt to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs? Then everybody who has trained for a marathon could show up on race day and not need any gels or gatorade.

    Because you vary intensities and your body utilizes both sources of fuel throughout the race. It's not just a linear source.

    So then that would be the point of a keto diet while training for a marathon, so that you train your body to use fat for fuel no matter which intensity you are running at.

    I don't think the body works like that, especially when you are discussing aerobic vs anaerobic thresholds. The handful of keto cyclist that I have heard of, still consume a good amount of carbs on their runs and maybe consume a fairly high total of carbs in a given day (for more than your typical LCHF).

    I think that is true of low carbers who frequent the main forums. They like higher carb, or we like to argue. ;)

    In the LCD group, many exercise without any extra carbs, or exercise fasted.
  • pcsutton8768
    pcsutton8768 Posts: 3 Member
    I've lost 14 lbs in the past 10 days eating 80% fat/15% protein/5% carbs...and drinking a metric butt-load of water.

    Once I hit ketosis the hunger pretty much stopped, my energy level jumped, my mental acuity seems to have increased...and I started dropping pounds. So far I'm not seeing a downside.

  • tjones0411
    tjones0411 Posts: 179 Member
    edited March 2017
    rawroy wrote: »
    Putting your body into Ketosis is not healthy or sustainable long term and bacon and cheeseburgers are not a health food. I think this is a big reason why people choose low carb diets because they rather eat more meat and dairy.

    Like it or not, low fat plant based whole foods is the only diet proven to reverse heart disease so why on Earth are people still promoting and going in the extreme opposite direction unless they have specific health requirements? I know most of us don't...

    No. I eat LC and can't tell you the last time I ate bacon...or a cheeseburger, for that matter. I get a lot of vegetables in my diet and yes, a lot of meat and some dairy. But it's certainly not a pass for an all out grease laden free-for-all. And please, define "long term" because it's been 16 months for me and I'm still doing just fine with it. No, I don't have a specific health requirement that demands this WOE, I just prefer it. For me. And thankfully, me is all that matters here.
  • CindyA2268
    CindyA2268 Posts: 19 Member
    Not sure if it was mentioned before to explain LCHF but my understanding is the carbs they want cuts include a lot of the highly refined kinds while the gates are heart healthy kind. Have been Vegan for around 4yrs now an have tried the HCLF & LCHF diets with little success sadly. Now I kind of so my own thing while sticking to a WFPB (sticking to the low end of carbs) and listening to anything T. Colin Campbell puts out there (he doesn't come across as so peachy). I also like the author of "How Not To Die" but sadly cannot think of his name right now. Have an issue with high cholesterol that meds don't seem to be doing as much as I'd like so it so try to watch my fats (but love my Avocado
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,386 MFP Moderator
    CindyA2268 wrote: »
    Not sure if it was mentioned before to explain LCHF but my understanding is the carbs they want cuts include a lot of the highly refined kinds while the gates are heart healthy kind. Have been Vegan for around 4yrs now an have tried the HCLF & LCHF diets with little success sadly. Now I kind of so my own thing while sticking to a WFPB (sticking to the low end of carbs) and listening to anything T. Colin Campbell puts out there (he doesn't come across as so peachy). I also like the author of "How Not To Die" but sadly cannot think of his name right now. Have an issue with high cholesterol that meds don't seem to be doing as much as I'd like so it so try to watch my fats (but love my Avocado

    OP hasn't been around in months.

    Whats your point? Doesn't mean the discussions can't continue.
  • Archaeologicals
    Archaeologicals Posts: 21 Member
    edited December 2017
    I tried Keto on three separate occasions (which is the first sign a diet isn’t working for you...)

    I did initially lose a bit faster, but it was just water weight, which I don’t care about anyway. After that, my weight loss happened at the same rate as a carb-rich diet. I didn’t get the mental clarity or buckets of energy other talk about, but I did get insomnia, restlessness, and digestive issues. It simply wasn’t sustainable for me in the long-term because telling myself I must abstain from certain foods makes me want ALL of those certain foods. I would do well for a few weeks to a couple months, fall off the wagon, and gain all of the weight back.

    I switched to straight and simple calorie counting and I couldn’t be happier. I’m losing at the same rate of Keto and I’ve learned that I actually *can* moderate myself. Knowing that no food is a “no-no” does wonders for my ability to sustain my calorie deficit. I no longer feel deprived or like I need to binge because I can fit whatever I want into my daily or weekly calorie goal.

    That said, I don’t think LcHf/Keto is inherently unhealthy. It depends on the foods being eaten. But it isn’t some magic fat burner like I see touted (especially on the Keto subreddit). It works for people who feel satiated on fat. It won’t work for people who feel satiated with carbs.