Get in Shape with a Low-Carb Diet?
Published on: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 16:03:00.
Losing weight wasn't our biggest motivator (although I was several kilos overweight); above all, the low-carb lifestyle had been promoted to us as a way to get in shape. As a physicist, I wanted to know how best to increase my efficiency, and from the beginning I tried - as much as possible - to measure my performance and fitness and to pay attention to my body.
The result really surprised me. I had expected the drop in performance that happens about 45 minutes into endurance training, when the liver's sugar reserves are depleted. I found it amazing that this began to adjust after only a week on the diet.
To measure my physical performance, I chose the Stepper in my gym, which I've been training on regularly for years. In addition to the level of resistance, I chose 10,000 steps and the energy requirement specified by the machine as reference values. In two months I was able to reduce my time for 10,000 steps by 20%, and I could easily do a complete workout with 30% higher resistance. According to the machine, my energy output had increased by 50%. Now, ten months after going on my diet, I recently took a test run on which I managed to double my performance compared to a year ago. You could argue that this was due to the 20 kilograms I'd lost. So far, I haven't found any studies that explore the effects of decreased carb intake on endurance. All the riders in the Tour de France - at least, the ones who do well - eat huge quantities of pasta on a daily basis.
I don't want to make broad generalizations, but I am convinced that in my case, going low-carb has significantly improved my physical fitness.
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