Atkins Diet and Cycling endurance



Labarum

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Apr 24, 2005
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I am trying to keep an open mind.

But my own Physician directed me to try Atkins and remains supportive.

I have posted the story here:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?p=1121216#post1121216

so after so much sucess, I will not abandon a plan that has worked for me extremely well.

However, having lost 50 lb, I seem unable to lose more, so have determined to increace the excercise rate. Saturday I cycled 20 miles and again on Sunday - today is a Bank Holiday in England - I cycled 18 miles early this morning on an apple and the had a bacon and egg breakfast. After a very good lunch went down I cyled another 12 miles - it has been a very nice day here.

It may be that Atkins has done all it can for me, and now I must change policy, and establish a more normal western diet with increased excercise, which I can do having lost so much weight already.

But I look at the advice you have offered and set it against folk on the independent

http://www.atkinsdietbulletinboard.com/

who tell me the received wisdom you quote has been disproved in their own experience - so where does that leave me?

As a secondary point let me add that the most experienced on the independent Atkins Board are highy critical of Atkins Corps, saying, as you do that they are in it for the money. They point to significant departures from Dr Atkins book in their current advice. The aceptability of sugar alcohols (polyols) is the best example. Dr Atkins forbade them - Atkins Corps say they are OK - because they sell them in their diet products. Only natural unprocessed foods are recommended by Dr Atkins - but there is no money in that.
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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Congratulations on losing the weight, but as a long time fitness consultant I would never recommend the Atkin's diet to anyone.

I have witnessed many people over the past 6 or 7 years go on the Atkin's diet and lose a lot of weight, but they could not cope with the long term program. Each and everyone that I have seen lose the weight put all the weight back on plus some.

Best wishes on your endeavors
 

fiscem4

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Sep 15, 2004
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I am sorry if anyone has discouraged you. That was not anyone's intentions. We all just, I think, wanted to throw ideas about nutrition around.

congrats on losing the weight and congrats on getting fit. And a very warm welcome to the sport.
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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fiscem4 said:
I am sorry if anyone has discouraged you. That was not anyone's intentions. We all just, I think, wanted to throw ideas about nutrition around.

congrats on losing the weight and congrats on getting fit. And a very warm welcome to the sport.
My sentiment as well.
 

Bullseye_blam

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Sep 18, 2005
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Felt_Rider said:
Congratulations on losing the weight, but as a long time fitness consultant I would never recommend the Atkin's diet to anyone.

I have witnessed many people over the past 6 or 7 years go on the Atkin's diet and lose a lot of weight, but they could not cope with the long term program. Each and everyone that I have seen lose the weight put all the weight back on plus some.

Best wishes on your endeavors
I'm going to throw in my two cents here as well. I am not coming from any kind of medical/fitness background, but I do believe that an Atkins/low-carb diet is very good for losing weight, and is something I am dabbling with at the moment.

Here is my profile: I have been biking for a solid three months or so [4-5 times a week, 45 minutes a day], and in the time I have actually gained weight [mostly muscle], but my body fat percentage has stayed approximately the same [about 17-18%]. I have desperately tried to lose some of this extra fat, but have not been able to successfully accomplish my goal. At any rate, I am interested in doing a cyclic low-carb diet in order to make a dent in the amount of fat on my body [basically, maintaining an Atkins-like diet for the period of five days to two weeks].

The theory is that without the intake of carbohydrates, your body will be more apt to burn fat, and hopefully cause weight loss. However, this says nothing of the diet's effectiveness as a performance tool, and I agree with previous posts in that such a diet would be highly unsuccessful in any sort of competitive sense. However, I am hoping it will be a good fat burning tool.

As was also mentioned earlier, a diet such as this one has the noticeable side-affect of burning muscle proteins as well, which can decrease general muscle mass; unfortunately, the only way to combat this effect is to lift weights/bulk up in some manner as to minimize such losses.

So if all goes well, in a month or so with this temporary diet, I'll have decreased my body fat % by several points, and at that point resume a normal, carbohydrate-full diet in which is ideal for cycling.

-Bullseye
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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Bullseye_blam said:
I'm going to throw in my two cents here as well. I am not coming from any kind of medical/fitness background, but I do believe that an Atkins/low-carb diet is very good for losing weight, and is something I am dabbling with at the moment.

So if all goes well, in a month or so with this temporary diet, I'll have decreased my body fat % by several points, and at that point resume a normal, carbohydrate-full diet in which is ideal for cycling.

-Bullseye
That's cool

I believe in people formulating a game plan and experimenting.

There are a number of ways to approach fat reduction and restricting carbohydrates is one of them. Atkin's is just not one of my personal approaches. I do use carbohydrate restriction in some cases and as you say in a cycled form for no more than 3 days at a time, but not as an extended way of life. Just long enough to dip slightly into ketosis for a day or so, but then carb up again for a couple of days. Never to stay in ketosis.

The leanest that I have ever achieved for bodybuilding competition was on a higher carbohydrate diet while maintaining greatest amount of muscle mass than compared to previous years of competition.

One of the reason I do not endorse Atkin's (this may not be the fault of Dr. Atkin's) is that I see many of those people eating sausage, bacon, hot dogs and other fatty meats that are also a very poor quality protein source and a higher source of bad cholesterol. That is my main complaint or concern as I have had a number of Atkin's dieters approach me with their daily protein consumption food item list.

If a person were to eat lean beef, skinless chicken, turkey (white meat) or fish I would have less of a problem, but I still believe a person can achieve the same fat loss with a higher carbohydrate intake. It's like discussing religion as I have found out. There are web pages and forums dedicated to the keto diet so I know the diehards will argue that an extended stay in ketosis is just fine, but I don't share the same opinion.

Best wishes on your game plan
 

Trekker2017

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Apr 23, 2004
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Labarum said:
Has anyone experience of cycling on the Atkins diet? I am told "the bonk" is not an issues as those on Atkins are already in fat burning mode - carb load would only impait their performance.

In my youth, I lost close to 50 pounds and played lacrosse while on the Atkins Diet. At the time, I was one of Dr. Atkins' patients.

Now, what you have to remember is that the ultimate goal of the Atkins is for you to find your own personal Critical Carbohydrate Level. You do that by testing for the presence of Keytones in your urine. The more you exercise, the higher your CCL rises and the more carbs you can assimilate. When you get to the level of exerecise that Carmichael talks about, the two eating programs over lap because of the massive need for carbs. When I played lacrosse in high school and then rowed in college (especially at the college level) I could eat anything I wanted.

People who bonk on Atkins generally don't understand the diet or are only following the initial stages which were never meant to be followed for any length of time. Dr. Atkins always spoke about his diet in terms of a pendulum. What he saw was that most people were eating to one extreme. The initial stages of his diet were designed to get the pendulum swinging in the other direction with the desired end result getting your body to an equilibrium.

In terms of the equilibrium... the more you exercise, the more carbs you need.
 

MichaelB

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Feb 10, 2004
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If you aren't that great at cycling and you cant actually get your body to produce that much power and hence require high amounts of glycogen then I suppose you might not notice that much difference in performance. Its usually fat arses who use this diet so I am not surprised that you dont notice a big difference because you're probably a big fatty anyway who doesn't produce massive amounts of power.

Any good powerful cyclist will notice a big difference when running out of energy.

It reminds me of motorists talking about how their cars handle when I know from my motorsport experience that they dont know how to handle a car anyway. So their opinions on the matter are irrelevant as they have never been able to see how their cars really handle because they dont have the skills to 'really' test the handling at the limit. Just like someone of moderate fitness wont really be able to see how their body reacts to a diet as they cant really push it to the extremes anyway.
 

Don Shipp

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May 20, 2005
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Trekker2017 said:
In my youth, I lost close to 50 pounds and played lacrosse while on the Atkins Diet. At the time, I was one of Dr. Atkins' patients.

When I played lacrosse in high school and then rowed in college (especially at the college level) I could eat anything I wanted.



In terms of the equilibrium... the more you exercise, the more carbs you need.
If this is the Atkins diet, then it is not what most people trying to follow it understand.
 

Don Shipp

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May 20, 2005
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Trekker2017 said:
In my youth, I lost close to 50 pounds and played lacrosse while on the Atkins Diet. At the time, I was one of Dr. Atkins' patients.

Now, what you have to remember is that the ultimate goal of the Atkins is for you to find your own personal Critical Carbohydrate Level. You do that by testing for the presence of Keytones in your urine. The more you exercise, the higher your CCL rises and the more carbs you can assimilate. When you get to the level of exerecise that Carmichael talks about, the two eating programs over lap because of the massive need for carbs. When I played lacrosse in high school and then rowed in college (especially at the college level) I could eat anything I wanted.

People who bonk on Atkins generally don't understand the diet or are only following the initial stages which were never meant to be followed for any length of time. Dr. Atkins always spoke about his diet in terms of a pendulum. What he saw was that most people were eating to one extreme. The initial stages of his diet were designed to get the pendulum swinging in the other direction with the desired end result getting your body to an equilibrium.

In terms of the equilibrium... the more you exercise, the more carbs you need.
If The Atkins Diet consists of eating what you want whilest engaging in strenuous competative sports at a College level the I have no problem with it.
Now please make yourself rich by writing a book explaining this to those deluded fools who think that they can get thin by eating lard and watching TV.
 

Trekker2017

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Apr 23, 2004
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Don Shipp said:
If this is the Atkins diet, then it is not what most people trying to follow it understand.

When I listen to virtually all critics of the Atkins diet they usually refer only to the "Induction" portion of it. That portion of the diet was never meant to be the "complete" diet. You were only supposed to spend one or two weeks on induction and then move on to discovering/establishing your Critical Carbohydrate Level. And you were supposed to monitor yourself by checking for ketones in your urine. In my case, if I increased my exercising and my ketones went down, I had to compensate by adding more carbs not by taking them away. If I took them away, my ketone level would drop to zero.

What makes the Atkins program difficult is that it is a fine balancing act. When I was one of his patients, I would go to his office every week for blood and urine tests.

After Atkins died, the vultures that manned the Atkins Corp. raped the program for all it was worth, made foolish and very un-Atkins compromises in order to make money and totally destroyed what Dr. Atkins was trying to accomplish in the first place. I'm 56 years old now and see many of my contemporaries on blood pressure medicine and all kinds of **** for their "conditions" and I firmly attribute my current good health to my early experience to the Atkins program.
 

Geoff2010

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Apr 17, 2004
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Trekker2017 said:
When I listen to virtually all critics of the Atkins diet they usually refer only to the "Induction" portion of it. That portion of the diet was never meant to be the "complete" diet. You were only supposed to spend one or two weeks on induction and then move on to discovering/establishing your Critical Carbohydrate Level. And you were supposed to monitor yourself by checking for ketones in your urine. In my case, if I increased my exercising and my ketones went down, I had to compensate by adding more carbs not by taking them away. If I took them away, my ketone level would drop to zero.

I think one of the problems is that not only the critics, but also the participants only ever make it to the induction stage... mostly because they are too lazy to read past page 10 of the book.... thats just in America though... not sure about the rest of the world :)
 

Don Shipp

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Geoff2010 said:
I think one of the problems is that not only the critics, but also the participants only ever make it to the induction stage... mostly because they are too lazy to read past page 10 of the book.... thats just in America though... not sure about the rest of the world :)
I reckon people in England don't read past the first page.
 

jrstevens

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Dec 22, 2004
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Labarum said:
I am trying to keep an open mind.

But my own Physician directed me to try Atkins and remains supportive.

Labarum,

don't know how things are in the UK but most docs here in the US are pretty misinformed on nutritional matters and probably only took 1 undergrad nutrition course. they see Atkins as one of the "good guys" since he's a fellow MD so figure he must know what he's talking about.

Now it's true most Americans eat too many processed carbs which results in too many calories. As an RD I advise they cut out the processed carbs and switch to high fiber whole grains exclusively. During and immediately following exercise is an acceptable time to consume more rapidly absorbed carbs but even this must be done with care.

I see you haven't posted in some time. what has your weight been doing as of late?

JS