Some call it a diet, but when it comes to Paleo, I call it a lifestyle.
When I decided to begin training and racing for a Triathlon, I didn’t give much thought into my diet. Hey, there is too many things to worry about; navigating the swim, finding a bike to ride, and can I actually run after T2.
After my first race season, I realized that diet Is just as important as my training schedule. So I began experimenting with several different lifestyles. My goal was to reduce my body fat percentage while increasing my lean muscle mass. I find it odd that guys will spend thousands of dollars on gear to reduce weight on their bike only to gain 1kg in training.
I now have been ‘Paleo’ for while, and have been performing better than I have before. Here is my progression to a Paleo lifestyle.
High Carb Lifetsyle – I started with the typical 60% carb diet with no restrictions. I was burning anywhere from 800-1200 extra calories a day, I could eat anything I wanted right? Wrong. I continued to feel less than optimal and hovered around 81kg. I continued to January until my wife said she wanted to lose some weight, and I agreed to join her as it is much easier to cook for 2, than 2 different meals.
Slow Carb Diet – I have been a huge fan of Tim Ferriss’ “Four Hour Body” since I purchased it. I never gave thought to the SCD as I felt it was too low on carbs (rice, bread, etc) to sustain a full training schedule. When my wife wanted to try something, this is what I suggested, and it paid off. I dropped to 74kg and felt lean and mean for the first time as a triathlete. I found out Tim was bang on, the SCD “is meant to be effective, not enjoyable”.
Paleo Diet – Eating like a caveman, good thing I don’t have to live like a caveman. After moving to the Paleo lifestyle my performance has been better than ever. I weight in at 76kg on a pretty regular basis, except when I have a giant ice cream or half a strawberry/rhubarb pie. I no longer feel blah after meals. As a fringe benefit, we have found that our daughter sleeps better if she follows along with the Paleo lifestyle. Run faster, sleep better I guess.
I will dedicate a future post to what I eat and how to modify the Paleo diet with high intensity training.
Question: Any other triathletes out there who have successfully transitioned to a Paleo lifestyle?