Fat Adaptation Diet ideas

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  • #8269

    Been using TFTNA for over a year and it has been great, but I’m just now starting to seriously work on my diet to become more fat adapted. I really struggle staying on track. Seems like there is always a carb source in my hand and I obviously need to work on this as after about 2 hours of working out I start getting exhausted.

    What do you guys eat as part of your normal daily diet and also post workout meals? Looking for ideas. I do eggs for breakfast, but after dinner late at night I always get hungry and struggle getting enough calories that aren’t carb based.

    I’ve googled this stuff of course but more interested in hearing from folks who spend time in the mountains.


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    Anonymous on #8283


    Shifting dietary make up can be a challenge and the tougher it is to change the more you need to make these adjustments. If you are running out of steam in 2 hours that’s a good sign that you are not very well fat adapted.

    The first days and even weeks can be particularly tough if you are used to a high carb diet. Expect lots of hunger and cravings.

    If you are prone to snack then have snacks available like nuts, plain yogurt, cheese and jerky.

    I did a 7 hour ski tour yesterday with over 5000 vertical breaking trail. Had 2 eggs/cheese and 2 strips of bacon for breakfast. Ate a 200cal bar midway and salmon/and salad for dinner. Energy levels good all day. When you stop being carb reliant and are fat adapted you will be amazed at how little food it takes you to function.


    cnikirk on #8286

    Trying to get there. Thanks for the advice Scott.

    aset.danialov on #8306

    This is a big grey area for me as well.
    Lots of experimenting and trying.

    Scott’s recommends splitting diet by 1/3 for protein, fats and carbs.
    However, the easy way for me was to cut all carbs at all, keeping carbs only for days with Strength workout. The trick helping me to sustain the diet is meal prep for a week, i.e. all meals prepared on weekend, to battle the snacks – best is to keep some nuts handy. And do not keep any carb snacks at home.

    The main challenge for me was to calculate and measure if I eat enough fat. I.e. how to ensure that enough amount is there with eggs, avocados, some butter,olive oil, meat, etc.
    For me, it seems to impossible to calculate this.

    cnikirk on #8315

    Yeah this has been tougher than I imagined. I finally decided to fix it one meal at a time and do this over a few weeks/months even though that will delay fat adaptation. It’s just too big of a change all at once for me and plus I really like beer!

    Mariner_9 on #8325

    “What do you guys eat as part of your normal daily diet and also post workout meals?”

    I typically consume around 50% fat, 30% carbs and 20% protein. I tolerate dairy well and have no nut allergies which helps a lot.

    I used to go out in the hills and feel like I never had enough food with me. I now go out and come back with food leftover.

    Normal daily diet:
    – Breakfast: muesli, full fat milk, Balkans-style yogurt (11% fat), some seasonal fruit,
    coffee with cream
    – Lunch: scrambled eggs or cheese and crackers or homemade soup (no bread) or leftovers
    – Dinner: protein (meat or fish) and vegetables. Very rarely eat pasta/rice/bread/potatoes
    – Post-workout: I do almost all my Z1/Z2 training pre-breakfast for fat adaptation
    – Snacks: nuts; protein bars; cocoa (full fat milk, cocoa powder, very little sugar)

    cnikirk on #8327

    This is a great reply. Exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for. Thank you!

    Land on #8328

    Check out the Feed Zone Cookbook. I believe it’s even recommended in TFTNA. It’s my go to cookbook, with lots of good ideas for training or racing athletes. It’s organized around workouts, with breakfast, apres (recovery/post-workout), dinners, desserts and even portables. There is a whole other Feed Zone portables book. Lots of great ideas in there.

    My experience with almost eliminating carbs has been more harm than good IMO. I was tired and couldn’t train very well. Now, I’m not afraid of carbs if I think I need them and pay attention to timing more than anything. I generally won’t eat carbs before a long aerobic workout (just coffee), but I certainly will after. If I’ve had a big weekend or a big day, I’ll eat with recovery in mind, which often means replenishing glycogen via some carbs. That said, I pay attention to proportion and still try not to go carb wild.

    As with any other aspect of training, be gradual and mindful. Anything blind or drastic is unlikely to be sustainable.

    cnikirk on #8363

    More good info. Thanks.

    george.peridas on #8550

    What’s the verdict on whole milk, guys? It’s about 50%-30%-20% in terms of calories from fat-carbs-protein respectively. Seems to be in the right ratio, but are there concerns about its carb content? To me it seems like the right balance.

    cnikirk on #8555

    That is an interesting question. Would also like to know the answer to this.

    Colin Simon on #8559

    I did my own 18-month study on fat adaptation.

    I did a lab test after coming off a couple of years of alpine climbing frequently. My lab test showed that I was pretty bad at burning fat despite feeling fairly strong(on one AK trip we did summit Denali three times from 14k, and in Kyrgyzstan it wasn’t hard to get up my first 7000m peak).

    Coming off the alpine climbing binge, I got my first real office job, 50-60 hours a week when you consider the commute. My activity level went way down, but I decided to eat mostly fat with minimal carbs. After 18 months, on a trip to Chamonix my fitness felt like garbage. On a powder day at Mont Blanc, my lack of fitness is what ultimately shut us down. Other mistakes happened, but during a different year I would have happily broken trail to the summit. Instead I was struggling hard just to keep up in my friend’s skin track. I got another lab test anyway, and the verdict: I had completely ruined my fat burning capacity.

    That office job sucked, but at the time I had to take it, and at least it also allowed me to collect my own personal data that definitively says that physical activity level is dramatically more important than nutrition for the sake of fat adaptation. You cannot just eat fats and expect something amazing to happen. This doesn’t mean “eat garbage,” but hopefully it may help someone focus on what’s important, which is actually getting out.

    That being said, yes, whole milk is great. I’m also struck by the fact that 90% of high protein yogurts at grocery stores are fat-free. This seems sad, like they are stuck on the false pretense that fat is bad for you.

    george.peridas on #8631

    Thanks for sharing the story, Colin. Hope you’ve broken free of the job…

    What was your training like during the 50-60h work days? Did you basically hit the slopes in Chamonix after an 18mo break, or were you able to maintain some level of activity?

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