Friday, August 31, 2007

The Feeding

Low-carbing. Ketogenic diets. Cyclical Ketogenic Diets (CKD). Targeted Ketogenic Diets (TKD).

I have a lot of riding to do this weekend, all of it very strenuous, and I figure I'd better put some glycogen reserves in my system today or I'm gonna be screwed tomorrow. That means today is going to be a "free day" for eating. Anything I want in any quantity I want. Here is the rationale:

Saturday's ride is going to be 103 miles with about 8,000 vertical feet gain.

Figure an easy 5,000 calories. That first 30 miles is gonna hurt.

Add to that Sunday's ride which climbs Mt. Evans to over 14, 000 ft. ASL. I'm figuring another 3,000 calories for this one, probably more.

That's 8,000 calories in activity alone - not to mention Basal Metabolic Rate (about 2,500 calories per day).

Logic tells me I could eat lard by the spoonful today and it would all be burned off this weekend.

So why do I feel so guilty about going off-plan? I guess I need a new definition of the plan.

That's where we come to those terms at the start. Everyone reading this is probably at least passingly familiar with Low-Carb nutrition. I won't take the time here to correct any misconceptions people may have - let's instead talk about something more interesting.

Ketogenic Diet: A diet (e.g. a low carbohydrate diet) resulting in the production of high levels of ketone bodies. Ketones are energy-containing organic chemicals formed as a result of the incomplete breakdown of fat. This condition is known as "ketosis" and is the goal of low-carb diets.

Lyle McDonald gives the most user-friendly but still scientific treatment of ketogenic, ketosis, CKD and TKD in Cyclical Ketogenic Diets Part 1.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet:
The "cycling" on and off of a ketogenic way of eating. Typically Monday through Friday are ketogenic days while Saturday and Sunday are off days. The basic idea is to build up glycogen stores on the weekend and use it up during the week. This is a very popular diet with bodybuilders trying to save muscle mass while cutting weight/fat.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet: A TKD is the same as a regular ketogenic diet, but you take in 25-50 grams of carbs about 30-60 minutes before weightlifting workouts to supply energy for the muscles (Note: These carbs will be burned during the workout, and should not be counted towards the 30g/day limit). For some people this can help maintain strength while on the ketodiet.

In the past I was mainly following the TKD. However I realized that I simply can't take in enough carbs prior to long-distance cycling to fulfill my requirements. Thus I am switching more towards the CKD. Friday (or day before) carb-up then total depletion on the rides.

I understand the science. So why do I feel so guilty doing it?


BlueEyedBikinBabe said...

Guilt comes from the feeling of doing something wrong, something bad. You have clearly pointed out scientific facts. Use your wise mind to stick to the facts. Keep your emotional mind out of this. As it has been said to me, "you want to live don't you?" Free yourself from the force. :)

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