Low carb / Maffetone / other regimes
16-07-2017, 04:57 PM, (This post was last modified: 16-07-2017, 05:00 PM by El Gordo.)
#1
Low carb / Maffetone / other regimes
Dear All,

The subject of Phil Maffetone's endurance-building training methods have been aired a good few times here, and particularly the low-carb-based nutrition. I was trying to read some of the earlier contributions but they are dotted about all over the place. (I should have collected the links and posted them here. Maybe I will.)

Anyway, the reason for posting this is that about 10 days ago, I returned from a week and a bit in Northern Blighty, filled with fish & chips and excellent ale, and realised that at 235 pounds, was heavier than I've ever been. I'm writing a blog post about it, but I'll mention that one of the highlights was a visit to the great Glaconman, whose lovely wife, a prodigious runner-turned-cyclist, ordered me to get myself sorted out. I also hit 60 during the trip, which concentrates the mind. Something must be done, I thought. Yes, I've thought this many times before, but this time, especially with the calendar clicking round to that fearful point, there is a sense that, there can be no excuses.

I started a fairly standard low-carb diet a day or two after I got back, and so far, I've shed more than 10 pounds. A good start, but I'm thinking I need to get a bit more methodical about it. I know a few people here have toyed with Maffetone, notably MLCMM, and other related regimes. How are people getting on? Have you stuck with it? Any tips or warnings? I thought it might be useful to have a thread about these regimes as otherwise, some excellent information gets lost in the training diaries. But I'd give Maffetone a go if it's right for me.

How seriously have people followed this sort of regime. I see that Maffetone urges people to eschew "costly, built-up running shoes", and to wear flats instead. Have you done this? 

That said, no need to restrict to Maffetone. For instance, the great Tim Noakes has written a corker of a book called The Real Meal Revolution, which I've recently consumed. He's a noted ultramarathon runner of course, but this book majors on food. The message will be a familiar one to low carbists. There's loads of Noakes stuff on YouTube, and here's one of a lecture he gave to students in Sweden[url=https://urskola.se/Produkter/183316-UR-Samtiden-Naring-for-halsa-och-prestation-Konsten-att-paverka-halsan][/url]. Quite long, but his story's an interesting one, and worth a watch IMO.

I'm feeling motivated, people. I didn't want to post anything until I had at least a few pounds lost, and it's possibly still a little premature, but I've been easing my way back into rowing, and am already feeling the effects of having shed the first few pounds. I'm even allowing myself to wonder about getting my running shoes on again -- though not yet. Perhaps once I've lost another 10 I might try it.

So. That's it. Any thoughts?
El Gordo

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
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17-07-2017, 09:32 AM, (This post was last modified: 17-07-2017, 09:34 AM by glaconman.)
#2
RE: Low carb / Maffetone / other regimes
Good to hear you're on the front-foot Andy. The Strava Gods have spoken! Hehe.

My own experiences with this type of diet have been problematic . Although I understand the science and back-story. Beer, bread, pasta, rice .... they are all major elements of my calorific intake. And I have a deep and meaningful love for them all. Personally I can only approach this as shades of grey. It's a matter of shaving bits off here and there without attempting the all or nothing approach.

For example, not eating carbs before a long run I would find problematic.

But I can explore putting lentil salads and steak dinners on the roster. No problem.

Perhaps chipping away will, over time, help to produce real changes in habits. Rather than the turning-over-a-new-leaf approach.

I suspect you may enjoy the more immersive approach and fully engage with the bigger picture. But which approach has the greatest chance of success?
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17-07-2017, 02:51 PM, (This post was last modified: 17-07-2017, 02:54 PM by Charliecat5.)
#3
RE: Low carb / Maffetone / other regimes
I was told off a little while ago by a none-running-friend for complaining about my weight… I understood this at the time, because I am by no means a fat bastard.  But I use to be.  And that’s why I remain sensitive about it.  Five odd years ago, I weighed over 90 kilos, which for a man of my stature is quite a lot.   It was whilst playing football at the Dripping Pan (Dads vs. Kids knockabout) that I decided to grab my ballooning body (so to speak) and do something about it.  The tipping point was twisting my knee and realising that it probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t had been a couple of stone over weight.

My approach to weight loss was very simple.  To eat less.  I didn’t follow any particular diet, none of the trendy trends, I just cut my intake by between 300 and 500 calories a day.  In fact, I’m guessing about the calories, as I didn’t actually count them.  The one thing I did do, is cut out the things that I like to binge on.  These were a real risk to my diet… so I decided it was better to not to have them at all.  This mainly included bread, peanut butter and crisps.  I also reduced the amount of beer I was drinking and only drank at the weekend.  

It took me about six months, and my weight fluctuated up and down during the period, but the overall trend was downwards.  I didn’t really know what weight I was aiming for, but it kind of just happened on its own.  I reach a point (78-80kg) when I wasn’t losing any more weight.  I felt pretty good, I was biking well (I was a mountain biker in those days), so decided to stop the diet.   Since then I have bounce up and down a little but the aim is to stay under 80kg.  At the moment, I would like to get down to under 78kg as I know my running improves (currently at 80kg).

On another note, I have just been out for an 8.5 mile run in the stinking mid-day sun.  It was horrible and very slow.
There is more to be done
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18-07-2017, 08:15 PM,
#4
RE: Low carb / Maffetone / other regimes
Great to see you posting about diet and fitness (in either order) again, EG.

As I read your post, you lost 10lbs in about 8 days? Sounds dramatic.

As ever, the battle with food will be a psychological one. In modern society we have access to essentially limitless calories. We can also literally starve ourselves, if we so choose. Every single pathway from morbid obesity to skeletal malnourishment is open to us. So I think the mechanism isn't that important. It seems that low carb works. It seems that low cal works. Both with good logical reasons. The question is, what method can you put your faith in, and stick with for years?

Personally, as one a little over a decade younger than you, I'm still riding my luck. Trying to maintain a decent balanced diet overall, but then supplementing it with crap in the name of stress / fatigue relief. Not even exotic crap either: bread and butter are my, erm, bread and butter. I reckon I have about 5 years left. No! Not that! (I hope.) I just mean until I have to start taking diet seriously. Of course now would be better. But for now, butter and batter are better.
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19-07-2017, 11:57 AM, (This post was last modified: 19-07-2017, 11:59 AM by Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man.)
#5
RE: Low carb / Maffetone / other regimes
I started Maffetone last October and dropped from 84kg to 71kg, where I remain. I run now far more so on fat rather than carbs (it takes a few months to get to that stage, but it works), and I eat no pasta at all, and only about 10% of the bread that I used to eat (if that). Otherwise, I eat and drink with impunity (after two weeks of <30gms carb per day, I slowly ramped it up. Now it's probably close to 200gms/day, but I still largely burn fat when I run).

What do I eat? Lots more vegetables, eggs, rice, plenty of fat (esp butter and olive oil) and protein. Pretty simple really. As I say, the only things I consciously restrict now is anything wheat-based.

For me, it's brilliant.
Run slow, run far.
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Yesterday, 10:31 PM,
#6
RE: Low carb / Maffetone / other regimes
Thanks All.

I'm still going strong, and finding it not just easy, but actually enjoyable and liberating. I've not signed up to any strain of low carb, and have no carb targets. The notorious Atkins 'induction' phase of max 20 grams of carbs a day seems just too extremem to me, though there have been a few days when I happen to have been under that. I suppose <50 is a rough guideline.

I'm down around 13 pounds so far, and it should have been more. I had two slips, and on two successive days, so it took a few days to work that through the system. Last Thursday, I indulged my dirty little secret, that I really should write about sometime, namely being a regular at FC Vaduz, the main town of Liechtenstein. They play in the Swiss League, but were relegated last season. Somehow, they still managed to get a Europa League place, and I had to get along to see the struggle against Odd. Yes, Odd, from Norway. We lost 0-1, though the lads put up a good fight. (Lost again, by the same score, tonight, in the second leg, so our Europa League dream is over for another season.)

Er, but anyway, at half time I realised I was starving, and went in search of appropriate nutrition. After rejecting the usual hamburgers and Bratworst und Brot (I couldn't countenance asking for just the meat), I started surveying the snacks. For some reason I got it into my head that popcorn was low carb. In fact, there is a variety that is, that I'd read about, but this most definitely wasn't it. After I bought the thing, I saw that it contained about 70g of carbs, but I was so hungry, I couldn't stop myself. Would actually have been better to have got a hamburger after all, but there we are.

Next night, I had to fulfill a long-standing social engagement, meeting a couple of friends in that big bar at Zurich HB. You know the one. I'd gone there with the intention of having a couple of glasses of wine, which are mercifully lowish carb, but Swiss wine prices in the on-trade are shocking, so I caved in and had a few beers, then some wine I got home. It took about 4 days for my body to forgive me, despite immediately getting back on track. The steady weight loss finally kicked in again a couple of days ago.

Like others have said, I also don't like complicated instructions for these things. Essentially, I'm not eating bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and other starchy stuff -- all things I used to love, but seem not to miss at all now. The ability to consume butter-fried meat and have cheese omelettes for breakfast, is more than adequate compensation. I also had a serious low-calorie fizzy drink habit, and have had to swap that for water. Fortunately, our tap water here is purer than the stuff you buy in supermarkets, so I can't complain.

Net result is that I'm feeling a lot better and, while I'm very reluctant to get too ambitious (seeing that I've made something of a career of announcing intentions which crumble shortly after), it does seem that this one could work. I'm 222 pounds today -- down from 235 when I got back from Blighty. I've never been lower than about 201, even when I was marathon-plodding, and even 201 is way more than my 'healthy weight' which is apparently between about 165 and 180. If I could get anywhere below 200 I'd be delighted, but let's see.

We're off to Verona tomorrow for a couple of days -- seeing Placido Domingo in the Roman Arena -- but have no qualms about missing on the pasta and gelato.

As for exercise, I've managed a few 30 minute rowing sessions and they seem to be getting easier. At this rate, I might end up actually going for a run.

Will post updates.
El Gordo

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
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4 hours ago,
#7
RE: Low carb / Maffetone / other regimes
(Yesterday, 10:31 PM)El Gordo Wrote:  Last Thursday, I indulged my dirty little secret, that I really should write about sometime, namely being a regular at FC Vaduz, the main town of Liechtenstein. They play in the Swiss League, but were relegated last season. Somehow, they still managed to get a Europa League place, and I had to get along to see the struggle against Odd. Yes, Odd, from Norway. We lost 0-1, though the lads put up a good fight. (Lost again, by the same score, tonight, in the second leg, so our Europa League dream is over for another season.)

FC Vaduz ...I'll be looking out for their results from now on!   Smile
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