January 25, 2018
Eating fewer carbs and more fat can help your health and performance. Here’s why.
I ended my racing career at the end of 2007 as a carbo-loaded athlete.
Over many years, the dietitians I worked with had all advocated a high carb, low fat diet and I happily obliged eating lots of bread, pasta and other sugary things.
When I moved to Singapore at the beginning of 2008 to begin my journey into coaching, I had little interest in nutrition and no intention of making any changes to my diet.
A diet I had eaten for the previous 25 years or so.
It soon became apparent that I was not in an optimal metabolic state.
While I could burn fat reasonably well (a result of the aerobic training I had done), I was also heavily reliant on sugar, even at rest and low intensity.
As I continued my transition from professional athlete to “working stiff”, I also started to put on some weight.
As the owner of a new fitness company, this is obviously not ideal, but it was just the catalyst I needed to begin making some changes.
Based on the reading I had been doing, I began to experiment by lowering the carbohydrate in my diet and used our lab to monitor progress.
One of the first changes I made was to swap toast for breakfast to bacon and eggs. Within 2 weeks, I had halved the fat on my stomach and my fat burning improved. Interesting!
I didn’t know it at the time but what you eat is so important because of the way it affects hormones. Specifically, insulin.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas. It helps in the regulation of nutrients and energy around the body and is best known for helping move glucose (carbs) into cells so it can be used for energy.
Too much insulin in your system and your fat burning will switch off. Elevated insulin also promotes nutrients (both carbs and fat) to be stored away in fat cells and as a result, weight often increases.
Before I wrap this up, there are a few interesting observations that I would like to draw your attention to.