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/ Is One Meal a Day best?

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stp - on 11 Jan 2018

Interesting video persuasively extolling the virtues of one meal per day for athletes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEv3n44vPVQ

As with much nutritional advice it directly contradicts much other info out there. So which is better? One meal, three or even six?

GarethSL on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to stp:

Ahh so that's why Ronda was such a miserable bitch. She was permanently hangry! :^) I think like any diet the crunch is commitment, I can't see many getting through the first week to really reap the benefits, which if genuinely true seem to be many (though I am no sports science buff at all).

Personally, I think I would need to reduce exercise whilst my body adjusts, as I simply get distracted when climbing or doing exercise if I'm hungry. It quickly becomes un-enjoyably, tedious, laborious and demotivating. I've never tried a 'diet' before so it is tempting to give it a go. Then again, I also tell myself I should do some yoga... but that hasn't happened yet.

Post edited at 09:19
Phil Anderson on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to stp:

Sounds like a fairly harsh version of intermittent fasting (good phrase if you want to learn more about this stuff). From what I gather, a 16 hour fast will still have favourable benefits and can be much more easily achieved e.g. Don't eat anything after 8pm, then skip breakfast next day and have some lunch at 12.

GarethSL on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Phil Anderson:

> a 16 hour fast will still have favourable benefits

Interesting! In that regard I am somewhat on a 15 hour 'fast'. No breakfast, lunch at 11.30-12, with dinner around 9pm. Though I typically have a light snack before exercise around  5pm. Problem is we're normally back late from climbing so dinner is always a delayed affair.

But it seems a lot easier to manage than only eating an evening meal.

LeeWood - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Phil Anderson:

this idea is a fallacy - if you eat enough at one meal to last 24hrs; you eat 3 meals a day and fast between each one ?!! fasting only begins when your stomach is empty

Jimbo C - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to stp:

Surely it depends what activity you're doing?

If I tried to cycle 70 miles and wasn't allowed to eat until meal time, it would not be my best performance.

Phil Anderson on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to LeeWood:

Perhaps, I wouldn't know.

It's just what I read when I googled around it a couple of months ago. The science seemed reasonable to me at the time, although I can't remember it all now.

Lots of pages out there with good information on it though if you're interested, and they'll explain the theory behind it way better than I could.

stp - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Jimbo C:

I don't for sure but ketogenic diets are meant to be be best for endurance sports, so that is when your body starts burning fat for energy, because there's a practically endless supply. Maybe training in a fasted state would be similar?

planetmarshall on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to stp:

> I don't for sure but ketogenic diets are meant to be be best for endurance sports...

Well, if that were true then all elite endurance athletes would be on such a diet. So little separates athletes at that level they would do anything to gain the slightest edge.

 

stp - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to planetmarshall:

I think using diets in such situations is fairly new, and possibly still uncertain. There will also be a lot of conflicting information and various long held beliefs. It might be that different diets suit some people more than others. It's exactly the same with climbing.

planetmarshall on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to stp:

As endurance athletes already perform most of their activity below the aerobic threshold (even at 5 min/mile for elite marathon runners), they will already be sourcing most of their energy from fats, so I'm not sure what benefit they'd be getting from ketosis.

stp - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to planetmarshall:

I think usually they are running off glycogen stores which are built up from carbohydrates, not fat. There is a technique called carbo-loading where endurance athletes first deplete these stores then eat a lot of carbohydrates the day before a race. The idea is to really maximize these glycogen stores.

You've probably heard of the expression 'hitting the wall'. This is where an athlete literally runs of stored glycogen, feels extremely fatigued and can't continue. Usually this is remedied by eating more carbs.

This won't happen to someone on a ketogenic diet because their body has adapted to run on fat from the outset. However switching over usually takes several days or longer. It's not something you can just do mid race when you run out of glycogen.

Yanis Nayu - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to stp:

When you do endurance training your body adapts to burn higher proportions of fat at lower intensities and spares your glycogen stores. 

Yanis Nayu - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Phil Anderson:

I’ve done that for the past couple of years, except for Friday night / Saturday morning because I do a long bike ride on Saturday morning (although I sometimes ride fasted for fat burning adaptations). 

I don’t think low carb situations are optimal for high performance, especially at higher intensities  

 

I like climbing - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to stp:

I think this is really interesting. I eat a big meal everyday around 10.30/11pm. I eat very little breakfast and hardly any lunch. I have always done a lot of exercise but for the last 10 years I have purposely increased the exercise year on year. I drink alcohol but less year on year but I do drink every day. I keep losing weight (although I don’t need to) but I’ve never felt so fit and for me my climbing and running are going great.

i think I could eat less and not miss it so I might try this. If my performances suffer then I’ll eat more.

Jimbo C - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to stp:

> I don't for sure but ketogenic diets are meant to be be best for endurance sports, so that is when your body starts burning fat for energy, because there's a practically endless supply. Maybe training in a fasted state would be similar?

Perhaps so. I have some experience of training in a fasted state, but only by virtue of going out for a 5 hour ride and forgetting to take food After a few hours you settle into a rhythm and you can taste the ketones, but in this state going above the aerobic threshold, even for a brief time, feels impossible. I'm not sure if this would improve if the body was conditioned to it. It is a fact that fat has more energy per unit weight than carbs, but I don't know if the body can access the energy as quickly to produce brief outputs of high power.

Post edited at 14:02
stp - on 12 Jan 2018
In reply to Jimbo C:

I've not tried a keto diet but everything I've read emphasises a transition period of at least several days eating very minimal carbs. So I'd imagine your body probably hadn't made that full transition on your 5 hour ride, but maybe?

There are various climbers who have tried it though inc. Dave Macleod, so it seems like it's OK for climbing. I have read that it's less suited to high intensity sports. With climbing I wondered if output was limited slighty that maybe performance could still increase by the fact you're not carrying all that glycogen so a bit lighter.


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