Fasted Training Nutrition

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    Topic
  • #53455
    kamal753
    Participant

    Greetings team UA,
    I must say that I have understood the basics of fasted training, especially when you are looking to climb big mountains. However, I have a strong feeling that I am not giving the right kind of fuel to my body to further increase fat adaptation. A few pointers regarding my journey so far:
    – Fat adaptation has been decent. I can go 6-7 hrs in tropical climate (training temp avg at 30C/86F) and more than 12 hrs in an alpine climate (around or below 0c/32F), without bonking.
    – Most recent being a 16 hr climb where I was guiding a few clients and I had gone 16 hrs on a cup of water and a bar of snickers. Altitude range: 5000m-6000m.
    – After more than a year of consistent training, just ebbed over the 10% test, fairing at 9%.

    In the past month I’ve steadily ramped up my training (more Z-1/Z-2 to improve my aerobic base) and now I’m averaging about 16 hrs/week (previous 4 months average was about 12 hrs/week). I’ve been training on point, recovery has been super excellent! However, I assumed that I’d drop a couple of kilos and for my surprise I put on more weight. During 12hrs/week my weight was 79 kgs/175 lbs @ 28% BF and in the current day it’s 83 kgs/ 183 lbs @ 25% BF; with a height of 5’11”.

    My typical meals are like:
    Breakfast: Bread, eggs, cheese veggies & a fruit smoothie
    Snack: a bowl of seasonal fruit with nuts
    Lunch: 1-2 cups of cooked brown rice with lentils, veggies & curd/yoghurt
    evening snack: veg/egg-sandwich or fruit bowl
    Dinner: Rice/bread with lentils & veggies.
    Meat has been low on consumption in the last couple of years and it has been working well. I stick to the above plan about 85-90% of the time. The rest being a pint of beer or two once a week, the weak link being sugar: chocolates & ice creams.

    Note: currently the training temps are soaring 35c-40c (95F-105F). So I get burnt out quickly and recently bonked at a mere 4 hrs (due to previous day’s improper fuelling. I was fine the next week). So currently having 2 bananas and a few dates after 4 hrs to top up and avoid bonking in the heat.

    My questions are:
    1) What are my nutrition mistakes? I sense that I may be overloading on carbs, which will eventually hamper my fat adaptation.

    2) Carbs are the source of energy, especially for an endurance athlete. How much should I be reducing in my daily intake, considering I will be building up to 20 hrs per week?

    3) I personally opine that for my height, I am ‘Heavy’ for my alpine/mountaineering objectives (light & fast is the name of the game, right?). Hence the reason to lose excess weight. What will be the solution for me? Lose weight (mass as well as BF%) or simply get stronger (reducing the BF% and the same weight) ?

    4) What will be the ideal BF% for someone like me who has big mountain plans lined up?

    Apart from the seasoned advice of the coaches, I’d also like to hear the experiences of the fellow UA athletes. I’d be happy to provide more specific info as this topic progresses.

    Thank you.

Posted In: Nutrition

  • Participant
    TerryLui on #53535

    Hey Kamal753,
    You’ve got some great questions that are quite personally specific and high level (“16 hrs on a cup of water and a bar of snickers. Altitude range: 5000m-6000m”…dang!)

    I’d recommend you reach out to coach@uphillathlete.com as I imagine there’s a whole can of worms that may be opened, esp with your current capacities πŸ™‚

    You may consider speaking directly w/ Rebecca Dent as well (under Nutrition) in the below link:

    Coaching OLD

    Good luck!

    Participant
    kamal753 on #53591

    Hi Terry,
    Thank you for your response.

    A little bit of more background information here. I’ve been constantly utilising UA’s 24 week expeditionary program. The first cycle I didn’t understand much about it. But the more hours I put into training, UA’s knowledge well (Book, articles, podcasts and the forum and the critical advice from Scott J; things are becoming more exciting and I’d like to learn more.

    Keymaster
    Shashi on #53655

    Kamal – Congratulations on your training progress.

    As Terry suggested, I would recommend reaching out to Rebecca for specific advice on nutrition. Here are two articles that might provide some insight into BF% and weight changes –

    Appropriate Body Fat Range – https://uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/appropriate-body-fat-range-for-the-uphill-athlete/

    Gaining Weight – https://uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/getting-weight-despite-training-12hrs-week/

    I train using the 24-week mountaineering plan and average about 10 hours/week. I consulted with Rebecca around the end of last year. I logged my food intake in MyFitnessPal for a couple of weeks before I talked to Rebecca and it was helpful.

    The key change for me is the shift in macronutrients – an increase in Protein and Fat, and a drop in Carb. I am seeing a slight increase in body weight and a drop in body fat % over the last few months.

    I have no experience at high altitudes and the majority of my weekend trips start at an elevation of 200 m. Compared to last year I am seeing an improvement in pace on the trip and recovery time after the trip. For e.g. Last month had a 13-hour day with a 2000 m elevation gain/drop carrying 20% of body weight and was able to resume training after 3 days of rest. Last year it would have taken 4-5 days for me to recover from a similar effort. I am still experimenting with nutrition on long days, but Rebecca provided some guidance for monitoring how I feel and it was helpful.

    Wish you the best with your training and climbing goals.

    Participant
    kamal753 on #53670

    Shashi,
    A big thank you for sharing similar articles on the issue. I have gone through them and the thread has definitely lighted a few bulbs in the head, the most critical being:
    – Overcompensation for the increased training volume/load

    I believe that though I monitor everything I eat, I have been chomping down some excess food in the name of recovery (thank’s to the data recorded). Guess, I will have to trim down a lil’ bit of calories (mainly from the carbs) and see where I will arrive at.

    At this point, I do not think there is nothing else happening with me other than excess energy building up inside. But would be glad to know if there is something else. So I do not expect the coaches to have a say on this. Let’s see.

    What I will do is that tweak my nutrition a little bit to be on the deficit and come back to this thread to post the results in about 6-8 week’s of time.

    Thank’s a lot for your wishes, Shashi. I wish you the same! Keep healthy!

    Cheers!!

    Participant
    GuillaumeM on #53815

    Hi Kamal,
    well at least your body fat went 3% down, which shows that it’s working, and it’s not weird that you take bodyweight if you train more and thus making your muscles grow.
    Still, I have been seeing a registered dietitian for a while, and I just throw in in that thread for that reason : if you have a chance to go and see one, this will be of a great help.
    I wanted to do my own diet, but in the end, I was stuck. It seems easy at first look, but, at least on my side, the fact that she (the doctor) gave me a diet did really make it. Not only will the dietitian give you a diet according to your needs, but he/she will find out what exactly will be your needs to lose weight without compromising your training.
    On my side, I’d say that the process is slow, but body fat is dropping, while muscle are growing. I am happy with that. I eat less, of course, obviously on the carb side, which I was unable to handle. I think I eat more protein too.
    Well that’s it !
    Cheers
    Guillaume

    Keymaster
    Shashi on #53853

    Rebecca responded to this post, but I don’t see it here. Here is what Rebecca shared earlier –

    Hey Kamal,

    I’m the uphill athlete dietitian. Sounds like you’ve been making some fantastic progress with your training and great to read about your interest in nutrition and you are trying to optimise your intake to support training gains and maximise fat oxidation.

    In answer to your questions:

    1) What are my nutrition mistakes? I sense that I may be overloading on carbs, which will eventually hamper my fat adaptation. If you are choosing a low meat consumption in your diet then you will have a natural rise in carbohydrate intake that are within plant based proteins. Carbohydrate intake won’t hamper your adaptations to body increasing fat oxidation (the ability to use fat). From your description if you are going for hours in the mountains without feeling the need to fuel then I would imagine you are already pretty good at using fat as fuel source and with continued endurance training (regardless of dietary intake) fat oxidation levels will be preserved/continue to increase (depending on training state and also what current fat oxidation rates are within the body). The only thing I would advise you to be really careful with is your long days out fasted and the within day energy deficit that creates and impact this may have on increase stress, physiological processes (testosterone levels, bone health, recovery, immune status, fatigue, illness/injury) all things you can monitor over time to just check in with. You are recovering well so this is a good signs all is ok at present.

    From your body comp stats it appears you are making some great gains in muscle mass and losing body fat – 79 kgs/175 lbs @ 28% BF and in the current day it’s 83 kgs/ 183 lbs @ 25% BF; with a height of 5’11”. Perhaps a few tweaks can be made as to optimising protein intakes as Shashi has highlighted. I would wonder if the extended periods of fasting are leading to your desire to snack on ice cream etc.

    2) Carbs are the source of energy, especially for an endurance athlete. How much should I be reducing in my daily intake, considering I will be building up to 20 hrs per week? I wouldn’t suggest you need to decrease I always provide a range of 2g-4g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight for training. And periodise carbohydrate around the sessions ie. strength/intervals/speed (any Z3) work outs fuel with carbohydrates, if low intensity sessions are fasted then make sure carbohydrates are in your recovery. I wouldn’t suggest you need to drop below 150g carbohydrate per day.

    3) I personally opine that for my height, I am β€˜Heavy’ for my alpine/mountaineering objectives (light & fast is the name of the game, right?). Hence the reason to lose excess weight. What will be the solution for me? Lose weight (mass as well as BF%) or simply get stronger (reducing the BF% and the same weight) ? Here you would need to create a slight energy deficit, moderate protein intakes and manage fat intake (to support body fat loss). I am surprised with the amount of fasted sessions you do in the mountains your weight isn’t lower so I would imagine excess calories are coming in from else where such as you highlighted re ice creams and sugar.

    4) What will be the ideal BF% for someone like me who has big mountain plans lined up?
    It varies for individuals. With a reduction in body weight will come body fat reduction and I would imagine you would get to a point where you will feel ‘comfortable’. Be really careful with creating a further energy deficit with addition to your long fasted days.

    Hope that helps, happy to have a chat over a phone consult as Shashi mentioned. Good luck for your continued training.

    Rebecca

    Thanks to Rebecca for a detailed response.

    Participant
    kamal753 on #53914

    Greetings,
    I was MIA for a few days with the new COVID lockdown imposed in our city. Anyway,

    @Guillaume:
    I really understand what you have mentioned through your experience. Yes, I believe it’s best to reach out the Dietician for a more scientific based fuelling plan. Thank you for sharing.

    @Shashi:
    There seems to be a technical glitch in the responses via email/forum. I’ve already seen this response of hers and reached out to Ms.Rebecca via email. Hoping to hear from her soon. Thank you!

    Participant
    GuillaumeM on #54035

    Hi!
    yeah, thanks shashi to share rebecca’s answer.
    I could see that she replied, but never found it though πŸ™‚
    thank you Rebecca for this πŸ™‚

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