Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Paleo Diet and cycling




As the nights draw in and my commuter cycling days start to become affected by the weather I finally acknowledge that my 2011 cycling season is over.
It has been an interesting year.
I expect by its end I will have completed 7,000 miles and there have been new PB's for both 'The flat out in the Fens' and 'The Manchester 100 ride'.
The hotter than Hell was completed with the highest recorded temperature in a respectable time and I completed the tough Big G.
All in all I should be happy.........but I am not.
You see this season I have been at my heaviest weight ever so I constantly think 'What if???'
With all that training, and all those Miles - What if I had been lighter?

What if my power weight ratio had been better?


Being 'rotund' I'm sure I present a figure of fun to other cyclists having the appearance of a fat bloke on a bike - rather than cyclist.
I would dearly love to look like and be mistaken as a cyclist.
As I rarely drink alcohol and don't eat too much bad food, I don't get it, why I don't loose weight? I am literally burning tens of thousands of calories each week.


When I was travelling to do the 'Hotter than Hell' a fellow Mule (Kenny) who is the fittest person I have ever known, told me about The Paleo or Caveman diet.


Personally I don't like the word 'Diet' for me it means putting less things in your mouth and I love putting things in my mouth!!! but don't be put off this is not really a diet more of a lifestyle change.


It basically means that you only eat what the cavemen used to eat.



For millions of years as we evolved we ate certain foods which provided us with the nutrition we needed to compliment our lifestyle. As hunters we were fit, agile and strong which enabled us to chase and kill things.



Its only recent times that we changed the way we eat and and now find ourselves getting sick, fat, depressed and out of shape.


It seems that one of my problems was that I was eating too many carbs.



Because I was exercising most days, I had been brain washed to thinking that I needed fuel in the form of carbohydrates. In reality I was saturated with fuel.

It was being stored in every bit of possible space on my body.

Although I was burning some of it each day there was always plenty left so when I did eat bad stuff it was just making me even heavier.


The paleo diet IS a low carb diet but you can still eat lots of fruit and vegetables. You get to gorge on all the good meat, fish, and good fats you want and the variety is plentiful.

The problem with today’s diet which was nowhere to be seen with our ancestors is WAY too much sugar and carbohydrate… They rarely had sugar, fruit was a luxury.


Today? All our food is carbohydrate/sugar based (toasts, sandwiches, pastas, rice, chips..you get my drift?) All these carbohydrates trigger insulin, and too much insulin over time leads to fat gain, inflammation, diabetes and heart conditions.
Going further, the anti-nutrients and irritants from grains and legumes do not digest properly. Neither us nor any mammal has the digestive system to digest all the grains we eat properly. Over time they irritate the gut leading to leaky gut problems, Crohns disease, nutrient malabsorption, contributing to the excess carbohydrate and sugar.

Dairy products from other animals were never consumed by our ancestors, most people after the age of 2 can no longer digest Lactose, one of milks sugars, properly, leading to all kinds of digestive problems. It irritates the guts lining. A lot of people develop problems with Casein, one of the main proteins in milk.

The basics? You eliminate problematic foods: Added sugar, sweets, chocolate, sweeteners, sugary snacks….
Processed foods: pre-packaged foods with additives…
Trans fats and vegetable oils: corn oil, peanut oil, soy oil,
Grains: wheat, oats, barley, corn…
Dairy: Milk, cheese, cream, yoghurt..
Legumes: chick peas, lentils, navy beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas….
You get to eat without restriction or calorie counting
All lean meats and fish.
Fresh fruits/ vegetables
Good fats: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, flaxseed oil, duck fat, beef fat…
All nuts and seeds.


Ok, doesn’t sound too bad does it? And here’s why it works:
YOU CONTROL YOUR CARB INTAKE AND GET BETTER INSULIN RESPONSE WHICH LEADS TO FAT LOSS WHILE MAINTAINING OR GAINING MUSCLE MASS.
YOU GET PLENTY OF PROTEIN TO BUILD MUSCLES AND NEW CELLS.
YOU GET PLENTY OF GOOD FATS WHICH YOUR BODY LOVES/NEEDS WHEN THE FATS COME FROM GOOD SOURCES.
YOU GET YOUR FULL/BALANCED NUTRIENT REQUIREMENT FROM ALL THE
FOODS.

I have only been doing it for two weeks and have lost 10 lbs and 1" of my waist. Your meant to feel tired for the first few weeks and that is true enough but it seems to be working for me.

I will let you know how its going in the coming months and we will see if there is a cyclist trying to get out.


NEWS

As the Mule movement has increased over the past 18 months we have revamped the website which can now be found by clicking on the box on the right hand column or by the following link www.travelwithmymules.com

Although its not totally finished there is a lot of new features, gallery and information about our cycling team. This blog is also the official blog for the Travels with my Mule Cycling Club.

4 comments:

Steve A said...

What made you pick this over Atkins? Except for the dairy, they are more alike than different, and much dairy is also low carb.

Big Oak said...

Good luck,Philip. I,too, noticed the same about me - it didn't matter how much I rode, I still didn't lose much weight. Until I started a similar diet. It took me about 20 weeks to lose almost 60 lbs. After 1 year, the weight is still gone.

Keep up the new food lifestyle and I've no doubt you will reach your goal.

The Cyclist's Wife said...

Keep us posted. I'm curious to see how this diet continues working for you. I have a friend who is heavy into CrossFit; she does this diet and is a lean machine. I also commend you for giving up cheese and bread. I don't think I could do it!

Philip said...

thank you for your comments I will certainly keep you posted. I appreciate its similar to atkins but I see the logic in mimicing are ancestors