Wednesday, June 25, 2008

PDA4A continuing thoughts

I've had a long lasting stomach bug the past few weeks. It seems to have finally left my system just in the last few days. It sort of threw off my evaluation of the Paleo Diet 4 Athletes. You can read my past comments here, here and here.

During that stomach bug, my appetite for anything was shot, then transitioned to being hungry but with a rumbly stomach afterwards no matter what I ate. One a two weeks ago I saw the lowest weight I'd ever been but was probably dehydrated.

So what's my take now? The last few days I noticed a significant change compared to the first few weeks on it. I used to be totally famished in the middle of the day. With a sharp hunger that seemed exacerbated by the fruit and vegetable regimen of this eating plan.

This very hungry feeling seems to have disappated significantly. In fact I'd go so far as to say that I'm just not very hungry much at all these days. Don't get me wrong, I still eat. Quite a bit, especially when preparing for a ride. But oftentimes when I'm not hungry like during the first few weeks.

I have been adding back in some carbs during lunches, not too much though. Dinners is where I try to stick to the plan unless a big ride or race is coming up in the next few days. While on vacation recently, I pretty much went off it and scarfed down major desserts almost every day. Once back home and in familar environs I got back on pretty quick.

Blood sugar levels have stabilized very nicely. I can tell when I've eaten some carbs though, especially when I'm at my desk or sitting around at home. I feel it in my arms of all places. The muscles in my arms seem to feel bonked. It's interesting.

What about the affect on riding? If I just go on a ride w/o having eating significant carbs 3 hours before it usually doesn't go too well. Not too bad but not as good as if I'd prepared properly. I'll intake some carbs as soon as I start pedaling or sometimes within the first few minutes prior to starting. Within a few minutes the legs seem to come around ok.

If I've prepared well 3hrs prior the ride goes real well. Also during the ride I intake a constant stream of energy drink and sometimes high carb food. Blood sugar spikes while eating on the bike have gotten much better. But I really need to test it out with some gels or cliff blocks to truly verify. I seem to be able to last as long or longer than I used to last on just go-juice.

After riding I'll slam some serious carbs. Ensure, Coke, chips, candy, fruit cup.. you name it it is fair game. Then later at night typically a meat dish with vegetables.

Recovery seems to be pretty good. As the propaganda points out the higher protein content is supposed to help with that.

Lunches are still the hardest. I tried making some stews but often get stewed out by Weds or Thursday. On the Fast food front, Chili and salad at wendy's or the taco salad at The border work well. Or a turkey sandwich. I'm not too strict at lunches. For snacks I stick to fruit, dried fruit/nuts trail mix, beef jerky, and yogurt (technically not on the plan). Too much fruit and vegetables leads to you know what so sometimes I slack off those.

Breakfast is usually scrambled eggs (with several eggs being just egg whites), and fruit. I'm thinking some lean bacon or sausage in order too. Sometimes left over meat from the night before.

I was Xlbs nothing before I started this and have lost a few pounds. I'd say I'm still losing a little per week. Definitely noticeable on the bike. And all my clothes are loose. This was not the aim mind you, but a side benefit from a cycling point of view. The main thing is I just don't think you carry as much water weight on this plan.

So what now? It can be a pain in the ass. If it's not convenient, I deal with it and eat what is there. If we're out and they're serving pizza, I'll take two. If we're at cold stone give me a Peanut Butter Delight. 'Nuff said' about it being too restrictive. It's not if you don't let it. But most of the time, I try to stick to the basic principles of
-3hrs before
-1hr after
All other times, lean meats, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts
I throw in some addition like yogurt too.

I do have low energy on non riding days if I haven't had enough fruit vegetables. It's a low level feeling and not a spiky feeling.

The nice thing is that the plan is an enabler to riding. Sometimes even us cycling nuts need incentive to ride. Want to eat some good shit, then ride.

So for know I'll stick with the general plan as a compass and go from there.


At 11:02 AM, Blogger Keith said...

Interesting that you lost weight. Over the past year or so that I've been on the Paleo diet, I've gained a few pounds. I think it's mostly muscle... I do know I'm much stronger on the bike this year than I was last year.

Glad to hear it's working out for you in general.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Paul C Smith said...

Thanks for the update. I've been following your experiences with this diet and it has made some interesing reading. Something I may perhaps consider myself in the future.


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