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Old 03-31-2013, 08:39 AM   #1
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NK - LCHF and Marathon Training

Hi, I'm new to these forums (truthfully, I've been lurking for about 2 weeks) and haven't transitioned to this eating lifestyle yet. I'm currently on the MediFast program and I have approximately 3 weeks before I will transition to this lifestyle. I stumbled across "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance" while looking for a fueling plan for the long runs on my marathon training plan. I'm about half way through the book. I've also bought "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living". I'll start it next.

I was going to try to stay on MF (or a modified version of it) as long as possible in order to lose more weight thus allowing me to shave time off of my finish time. If I lose 60 lbs, I can shave approximately 52 minutes off of my marathon finish time. And yes, I need to lose that 60 lbs (well, actually 45 lbs now). However, I'm already experiencing energy issues because of the lack of calories?? So, I've decided to transition off of MF.

I read through Endurance training and LCHF and noted that several people indicated it takes about 8-10 weeks to transition. Although one person mentioned 3 weeks. I'm missing a couple of data points such as what their eating habits were like prior to transitioning and are there different stages of transition (i.e. 3 weeks expect blah, 6 weeks expect blah, etc.) understanding that everyone is different.

Currently, my nutritional intake looks like Cal/920, Carbs/89, Fat/21, Protein/108. This was from yesterday and is pretty average for most days. I may get up to 1,000 calories. But most days I stay under 1,000. Carbs stay at around 90.

From my calculations, my base BMR is 1572(Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight (lbs.)) + (4.7 x height (ins.)) – (4.7 x age (yrs.))). And since I'm moderately active (truthfully, I lean more toward very active. But I'll stay on the conservative side), my adjusted BMR to maintain my current weight is 2437 (BMR *1.55). Subtract 1000 from that to lose 2 lbs per week and that gives me WL BMR of 1437.

From what I've read, I want my carbs to be 50 g or less. A lot of posters have recommended starting on the low side to start off with. Arbitrarily, I decided to start with 30 g (120 cal) of carbs. Using Dr. Phinney's protein formula ((goal_weight/2.2)*1.5 = daily protein grams), my protein should be around 95 g (382 cal). This leaves me with 104 g (935 cal) of Fat per day.
Quote:
Current: Cal/920, Carbs/89, Fat/21, Protein/108
To be: Cal/1437, Carbs/120, Fat/935, Protein/382
Does this look right? Should I make any adjustments?
Coming from a carb restricted plan to NK/LCHF, should I expect:

- a weeks worth of headaches/energy loss/grumpiness, etc? I did go through this during Week 1 of MF.
- 8-10 weeks for transition
- what else?

From what I've read (https://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/n...h-version.html), I need to start taking potassium supplements, magnesum supplements and what else?

I ran my first and only Half Marathon last November using the traditional carbohydrate rich diet and fueling plan. My goal was to to finish and I did. But, it wasn't pretty. My goal for 2013 is to run a full Marathon. I'm registered for Chicago, Oct 2013. What kind of fueling plan (week before? 2-3 days before? night before? during?) am I looking at? This is the one thing I can't seem to find much info on. There is a lot of theorizing. But I haven't found anything that says start with X and adjust from there.

NK/LCHF goals:
I understand that I may not lose as much weight while I'm training for Chicago. So, through Oct 13, my goals are:
1. Finish Chicago in 5 hours or less
2. Lose 45 more lbs.

After Chicago, my main goal will be to lose the rest of the extra weight.

I haven't started on the planning out my daily menus. But I hope to start that next week or the week after. I saw the recipe section. But is there an NK/LCHF quick start guide for menu planning?

Then lastly, what am I overlooking?

I apologize for such a long post. But I figured, that since I already had the info, I should throw it out there to give a better snapshot of where I am.

Thanks in advance for any help/guidance. I'm pretty excited about what I've researched and can't wait to get started.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:11 AM   #2
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Are you trying to shed lean body mass as well as fat mass? Because that matters.

Technically NK will help you lose bodyfat but it depends what type of training you are doing. Running to lose weight is difficult, although being on a ketogenic diet does help. I am not sure though at 1000cal or less a day you will accomplish what you want, I think you have to stay about 1000 cal a day to avoid losing lean body mass.

Probably what I would recommend doing, if fat loss is your main goal, is to cut down on the endurance exercise, and take exercise up as more of a lifestyle. Ie. enjoying it for fun as opposed to training for a competitive event. At the same time, develop a ketogenic diet that you can live with long term. The combination of a having a "fat burning" diet and a low intensity "fat burning" weekly exercise plan, with long term goals will allow you to drop a lot of body fat and get good results.

Having said that though, if you are really set on being a competitive endurance athlete, then you have to do a lot of research because it isn't just as simple as ketogenic diet + a lot of exercise = a lean body. Unfortunately. You have to be really accurate with what you do with respect to diet and training plans, and it takes a lot of experimentation. Good luck though if you go that way, it is a real challenge trying to figure out what works.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdpierce View Post
...However, I'm already experiencing energy issues because of the lack of calories??...
Yes. Also, possibly a combination of very low calories and psuedo-norm (mainstream) macro composition.

Quote:
From what I've read (https://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/n...h-version.html), I need to start taking potassium supplements, magnesum supplements and what else?
There are some others. Google 'jimmy moore bowden all things vitamin' for a great podcast for supplements. I think CoQ10 made the short list of desert island supplements for Dr. Bowden. Creatine might be good too for your training regimen.

Quote:
To be: Cal/1437, Carbs/120, Fat/935, Protein/382
Your calories look too low to me. You are about 185 pounds (140 + the 45 you want to lose) now and you want to run your daily body needs *and* train on 17kCals per kg of body weight. It doesn't seem workable to me.

Calorie deficit is the salient factor not absolute calories. Too much of a deficit will usually make your body down regulate for the famine.

Probably you need closer to 2000 calories. And you'd lose weight.

The big variable is the type of event you are training for and the type of exercise you are doing to prepare for it. Lots of running will lower your resting metabolism and reduce 24/7 calorie burn. I'd still start closer to 2000 calories and work down if needed.

During your medifast program are the folks at the clinic measuring LBM losses? Depending on how much you've lost you will gain some or all of that back, which is a good thing, even if the weight gain is no fat tissue at all.

Will you have a way to measure you LBM and body fat while training?

Quote:
Coming from a carb restricted plan to NK/LCHF, should I expect:

- a weeks worth of headaches/energy loss/grumpiness, etc? I did go through this during Week 1 of MF.
- 8-10 weeks for transition
- what else?
You may not experience most of the induction symptoms coming from MF. Some people don't experience them coming from high carb. Google 'dr eades tips & tricks' for a great two part blog article about minimizing induction problems.

NK typically has a 2-4 week adaptation phase.

Quote:
NK/LCHF goals:
I understand that I may not lose as much weight while I'm training for Chicago. So, through Oct 13, my goals are:
1. Finish Chicago in 5 hours or less
2. Lose 45 more lbs
I can't help you with the fueling issue. The 45 pounds sounds doable. Keep a good food log and spreadsheet for calories, macro grams, macro ratios and trailing morning weigh-ins. Keep good records on your workout routine too so you can tie everything together and make good guesses at how to tweak what you are doing.

Quote:
But is there an NK/LCHF quick start guide for menu planning?
No, not really. We need one on the forum though. If I get a chance I'll see if I can create one this week for everyone.

Quote:
Using Dr. Phinney's protein formula ((goal_weight/2.2)*1.5 = daily protein grams),
I wanted to come back to this one and it is something I am going to change in Aprils 80/15/5 NK thread. Dr. Phinney told Jimmy Moore that he leans more towards 1.0 to 1.5 grams per kg reference weight. I guess that the 1.5-2.0g is from Volek's influence on the Living and Performance books. So don't be afraid to tweak your protein down to the 1.x range if needed.

Keep in mind, though, that Volek is the fitness guy of the two doctors. He's written books about it that are best sellers. So if Volek thinks 1.5-2.0 grams is better it probably is from a fitness perspective.

I'm not a big fan of blood ketone testing. It is expensive and I fear needles of any size/sort. And it is usually getting the cart before the horse.

However, for you and your plans I think you need to do blood ketone testing. You have an aggressive agenda laid out with the training and weight loss goal and you need to know for sure that you are in the NK range of blood ketones which is .5 to 3.0. And you need the immediate feedback for quicker tweaking of macros too.

Ah. One last thing. NK is not a macro ratio way of eating. Ratios are a great at-a-glance tool but actual grams are what is important. You can have great looking ratios and terrible macros.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
Are you trying to shed lean body mass as well as fat mass? Because that matters.
Thank you for your reply.

I am not trying to shed lean body mass. I'm trying to understand why I would want to lose LBM? What are some of the incentives for losing LBM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
Probably what I would recommend doing, if fat loss is your main goal, is to cut down on the endurance exercise, and take exercise up as more of a lifestyle. Ie. enjoying it for fun as opposed to training for a competitive event. At the same time, develop a ketogenic diet that you can live with long term. The combination of a having a "fat burning" diet and a low intensity "fat burning" weekly exercise plan, with long term goals will allow you to drop a lot of body fat and get good results.
Getting healthy is my "overall" main goal which includes nutrition and exercise. My goal through Oct 2013 is to finish the marathon in 5 hours or less. When I'm not training for an endurance event, I run 3 times a week for around 4-6 miles. This is a fun and enjoyable exercise for me. It is my "me" time. No work, no kids, etc. In addition to running, I take karate and do plyometrics/strength training along with Yoga. I'm trying to find a way to fit some "spinning" in. But right now, my schedule doesn't allow it. I do want to lose fat/weight because I need to. My weight is unhealthy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkin View Post
Having said that though, if you are really set on being a competitive endurance athlete, then you have to do a lot of research because it isn't just as simple as ketogenic diet + a lot of exercise = a lean body. Unfortunately. You have to be really accurate with what you do with respect to diet and training plans, and it takes a lot of experimentation. Good luck though if you go that way, it is a real challenge trying to figure out what works.
I'm dead set on being able to complete some endurance events with training. I have no interest in competing with anyone other than myself. I've just started the research into nutrition (part time research over the last couple of months). It has been pretty frustrating at times. But, I'm getting there. Or at least I've found a starting point. Recommendations?
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
Yes. Also, possibly a combination of very low calories and psuedo-norm (mainstream) macro composition.
I don't want to sound ignorant. But I've seen the term macro used. But I don't have a good understanding of what it means or how they are calculated. At one point, I thought I understood it to be % Carbs/% Fats/ %Protein. But then, I read something somewhere else that made me think I was misunderstood. I wasn't intending to focus on the %s. I was planning on a static # for carbs/protein and a variable # for fats.



Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
During your medifast program are the folks at the clinic measuring LBM losses? Depending on how much you've lost you will gain some or all of that back, which is a good thing, even if the weight gain is no fat tissue at all.
No. I've not had LBM measured at all. Can I use the height and weight calculators or do I need to find someone that can do the caliper and/or machine measurement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
Will you have a way to measure you LBM and body fat while training?
I don't even know where to begin to find someone to measure LBM for me. If I can use the height/weight calculations, I could do it. Suggestions?



Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
You may not experience most of the induction symptoms coming from MF. Some people don't experience them coming from high carb. Google 'dr eades tips & tricks' for a great two part blog article about minimizing induction problems.
Great! That was horrid!! I'll google 'dr eades tips & tricks'

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
I can't help you with the fueling issue. The 45 pounds sounds doable. Keep a good food log and spreadsheet for calories, macro grams, macro ratios and trailing morning weigh-ins. Keep good records on your workout routine too so you can tie everything together and make good guesses at how to tweak what you are doing.
I've used a tracking site for logging food/exercise. I'm pretty handy with spreadsheets. But would need to understand what to log and why its applicable. Otherwise, I wouldn't know what to tweak.



Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
No, not really. We need one on the forum though. If I get a chance I'll see if I can create one this week for everyone.
that would be awesome!


Thanks for your reply and suggestions. I truly appreciate it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:22 AM   #6
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I am an endurance athlete and also trying to work my way towards being able to compete in a body building competition, which means I am trying to lose fat and preserve my LBM. I am finding it very difficult for a number of reasons. A lot of competitive endurance athletes when they think about weight loss, although they prefer losing fat mass, it doesn't really matter what type of weight they lose. Lighter means faster. If you have read any of Gary Taubes books. I recommend them because he explains in a lot of detail why endurance exercise works against you when you are trying to lose weight. And I have found that the research he quotes in his books is exactly what I have experienced: The more you exercise, the fatter you become. The exception is that if you can restrict calories, you will lose weight but its an emaciation type of weight loss, meaning you lose fat and muscle.. It results in what is commonly now called a "skinny fat" body. To a marathon runner, skinny fat doesn't matter, because it is the overall weight that is the advantage in running. Ie. lighter weight = faster time.

In Gary's books he alludes to the ketogenic diet being a solution to the above, but what I have found is that eating no carbs, doesn't exactly fix the problem above. This is because to lose body fat you have to eat at a deficit. Eat less calories than you burn. There is no other way around that. And exercise, stimulates appetite. It doesn't matter what type of diet you are on, it is almost impossible to eat at a deficit when you are exercising a lot. Even if you do manage to restrict your calories, your body will shift into downregulation which means lower its metabolic rate to adjust the the lowered amount of calories, you can't get around that either.

Another issue has to do with the type of fuel used during exercise. With endurance exercise you use 4 types of fuel: muscle glycogen, free fatty acids, muscle triglycerides and blood glucose. Depending on the intensity, the ratio of these fuels change. With high intensity and anaerobic exercise you use a lot more muscle glycogen and with aerobic and lower intensity you use more free fatty acids. For marathon training you probably will be doing a lot of aerobic training which will burn a lot of fat. However, you also need muscle glycogen for aerobic training which sets up a bit of a paradox. You can't go completely ketogenic because you will be running a lot, you are going to need muscle glycogen to fuel your workouts, on the other hand if you eat too many carbs your body will spend a lot of time converting the carbs you eat into fat. This will teach your body how to shuttle its carbs off to become converted to fat. Combine that with the tendency to overeat and you will wind up with a fat storage issue. Gary discusses research some about how runners become fatter over time, this is most likely why.

Now, I don't necessarily agree with all of Gary's research. I think people who are really overweight can lose weight with endurance exercise. Because it isn't necessary for the body to carry a lot of extra body fat and it will readily shed the excess weight for someone who is 60lbs overweight. I think it becomes more problematic for people who are trying to get rid of their last 20lbs.

Just to give you an idea of the direction I am headed. I love being an endurance athlete, but I still have roughly 5lbs of body fat to lose. I also can't afford to lose any LBM. I have cut down my endurance exercise from 20hrs a week to about 5 hrs a week. And I have many days where I don't exercise at all. To get rid of the extra fat I am planning on sticking to some very low intensity jogging and light spinning on my bike trainer. Physical activity that occurs in the zone 1, burns almost 100 percent fat. It will allow me to lose the fat without putting a requirement on my body to build up my muscle glycogen, which is difficult on a ketogenic diet. You can do it, especially if you are eating an excess of protein, but the recovery is slower than when you are using carbs. And if you aren't over eating protein, your body will use some fat to build glycogen, but recovery in this case is really slow.

I ran a half marathon last year in the fall and thought about training for a full marathon this october but I am very concerned with losing lean body mass. From everything I have read it is very high risk when not fueling with carbs, if eating at a deficit. I suppose if you could keep all your training in the first zone, you could. But is that possible? To be in zone one you have to be able to have a full conversation with someone while doing the activity. That is why they suggest light activity for people who are using exercise to help lose body fat.

Anyways, if you haven't read Gary Taubes books: Why we get fat and Good calories, bad calories. I suggest reading them. If it is just about losing weight for you then you might be fine with your plan. My goals are different because I can't afford to lose any lean mass.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:54 AM   #7
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I dunno. Some of this isn't jiving with what I'm reading in "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. However, I did send all of my references off to a nutritionist for verification.

Another source states:

Quote:
Metabolically, high-volume training makes sense. There are two main sources of fuel for exercise: carbohydrates and fats. The energy supply from carbohydrate and fat is inversely related. High rates of carbohydrate use reduce combustion of fat. Carbohydrates are used preferentially at very high efforts, such as a 5K race, or at low fitness levels when fat metabolism is underdeveloped.

Conversely, when you teach your body to rely on fat for fuel, your combustion of carbohydrates goes down, thus "sparing" carbohydrates. This benefits performance in endurance events. You become very fatigued when you run too low on carbohydrates. We store only a very limited amount of carbohydrate (glycogen) in our bodies. Compare this with a relatively unlimited supply of fat. Even an athlete with only 6 percent body fat will have enough fat to fuel exercise lasting for many hours. When you use more fat, you generate more energy and your carbohydrate supply lasts longer.

Follow the principle of specificity. If you want to teach your body to use more fat for fuel, then create training conditions that generate high fat metabolism. Your body will eventually learn to prefer fat.
I'll put "Gary Taubes" on my To-Read list. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdpierce View Post
I don't want to sound ignorant. But I've seen the term macro used. But I don't have a good understanding of what it means or how they are calculated. At one point, I thought I understood it to be % Carbs/% Fats/ %Protein. But then, I read something somewhere else that made me think I was misunderstood. I wasn't intending to focus on the %s. I was planning on a static # for carbs/protein and a variable # for fats.
'Macros', at least in the LC community, refer to the three Macro Nutrients - Fat, Protein and Carbs. Whenever they are referred to they are almost always referred to as ratios.

The problem with ratios is that they don't tell you anything of value without other information accompanying them. If you don't know the calories or grams you don't know what is being represented by the percentages.

With NK you use grams, as you were planning, instead of percentages. Ratios are good for at a glance stuff.

Quote:
No. I've not had LBM measured at all. Can I use the height and weight calculators or do I need to find someone that can do the caliper and/or machine measurement?
No. LBM needs to be actually measured to know what it is currently. Formulas using height/weight are only guesses. You can use a formula to set an LBM and BF% goal. The Peformance book's protein formula does that. There are formulas that use several body measurements to calculate BF% and infer LBM I think. They should be accurate.

Quote:
I don't even know where to begin to find someone to measure LBM for me. If I can use the height/weight calculations, I could do it. Suggestions?
There are several ways to do it although I have never done it myself. Google 'measure lean body mass'. The very best and most accurate way is with a DEXA scan. Your insurance may cover that. It looks like they cost about $200 in the US if you pay out of pocket.

Quote:
I've used a tracking site for logging food/exercise. I'm pretty handy with spreadsheets. But would need to understand what to log and why its applicable. Otherwise, I wouldn't know what to tweak.
On my spreadsheet I have these colums:

Date Cals Fat_grams Pro_grams Carb_grams Ratios Trailing_Weight

I use Chrome and I created an extension that aggregates that information on my food log site into a single formatted line so I can just copy/paste it into my spreadsheet. The 'Trailing Weight' column is the next morning's weigh-in.

Then I have another set of columns:

Wk Cal Avg Grams Avg Running Avg

In these columns I track my weekly average for calories and grams running Monday to Sunday. I use one column to concatenate the week's grams average for all three macros. The third column is similarly a long term average for grams for the three macros.

Using the second set of columns I can see if I am trending up or down with protein grams, in particular, and calories and I can see how my weight has measured during that week - trending down, up, or steady. I can also see the trend for total carbs during the week and if that is having an impact on weight.

If you track blood ketones I'd add another column for trailing ketone level and the corresponding average column in the second set of columns. Maybe more depending on how often you test daily.

I'd also track your workout routine and averages. You'll have to tinker with that to create meaningful data. I don't work out so I haven't had to mess with it on a spreadsheet. I'm thinking that the end product would be something you can correlate with the macro part of the spreadsheet.

The sky is the limit with good spreadsheet skills heh.

Last edited by reddarin; 04-01-2013 at 07:06 AM..
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdpierce View Post
I dunno. Some of this isn't jiving with what I'm reading in "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. However, I did send all of my references off to a nutritionist for verification.

Another source states:



I'll put "Gary Taubes" on my To-Read list. Thanks for the recommendation.
The Phinney and Volek books were the first LC books I read, and I was sold on their theories 100%, until I read Taubes. Then I started to rethink my approach to diet and exercise. Definitely read his books if you like reading some of the theory and research backing LC and how it works.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:46 AM   #10
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No. LBM needs to be actually measured to know what it is currently. Formulas using height/weight are only guesses. You can use a formula to set an LBM and BF% goal. The Peformance book's protein formula does that. There are formulas that use several body measurements to calculate BF% and infer LBM I think. They should be accurate.
I found a formula that uses several body measurements. So, I have an LBM now. I'll have to find someone to give me a more accurate reading. It won't be this week. Work is crazy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
On my spreadsheet I have these columns:

Date Cals Fat_grams Pro_grams Carb_grams Ratios Trailing_Weight

I use Chrome and I created an extension that aggregates that information on my food log site into a single formatted line so I can just copy/paste it into my spreadsheet. The 'Trailing Weight' column is the next morning's weigh-in.

Then I have another set of columns:

Wk Cal Avg Grams Avg Running Avg

In these columns I track my weekly average for calories and grams running Monday to Sunday. I use one column to concatenate the week's grams average for all three macros. The third column is similarly a long term average for grams for the three macros.

Using the second set of columns I can see if I am trending up or down with protein grams, in particular, and calories and I can see how my weight has measured during that week - trending down, up, or steady. I can also see the trend for total carbs during the week and if that is having an impact on weight.

If you track blood ketones I'd add another column for trailing ketone level and the corresponding average column in the second set of columns. Maybe more depending on how often you test daily.

I'd also track your workout routine and averages. You'll have to tinker with that to create meaningful data. I don't work out so I haven't had to mess with it on a spreadsheet. I'm thinking that the end product would be something you can correlate with the macro part of the spreadsheet.

The sky is the limit with good spreadsheet skills heh.
I see that the sky is the limit. I think I'll add measurements/LBM as well. I'm sure that I will be converting some of my fat to muscle (or at least I did when training for my Half Marathon last November).

Thanks for the knowledge sharing.

I'm starting to prepare my shopping list and first week's menu. I have 2 more weeks until I transition. Coincidentally, that also happens to be a low mileage week which is probably a good thing.

I'm also paying attention to the menu planning thread that was started a few days back. Thanks! That helps.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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Check out the recipe sections here at LCF:

Lowcarb Recipe Help & Suggestions - Low Carb Friends

Main Index - LowCarbFriends Recipes

Low Carb Menus - Low Carb Friends

...and Linda Sue's site:

Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes - Home

Since NK is a subset of LC almost any LC friendly recipe should be tweakable to make it compatible with NK. Watch out for the use of net carbs and keep an eye on protein being too high.

You might look at the various LC type meal bars and shakes that are available too. I'm not a fan of them and they do stall some people but in a pinch they are far better than getting so hungry you go off plan if you are caught flat footed without time to make something or don't have anything with you that is shelf stable.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #12
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Thanks! I appreciate the links!
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