Fat Adapting in a Carb Loading World – Part 2

Before I let the cat out of the bag, let’s go back in time, shall we?

In February 2013, just as I began training for Grandma’s Marathon, I decided to go gluten free. The fact of the matter is I always suspected I had a gluten intolerance, not necessarily Celiac’s Disease. For the majority of my life, I’ve suffered from debilitating belly aches. They were the kind where the only cure was to take some Simethicone and lie in bed on my belly until the pain and bloating subsided (I used to drink bottles of the baby stuff). Mainly, they occurred at the end of the day, after dinner.

For the most part, I’d eat a light breakfast and lunch and then eat the majority of my carbs at dinner. This could include pasta or bread, or maybe pizza. Occasionally, it would happen around noon time after breakfast if I happened to include a piece of toast or a bagel. But it took me 40 years to put two and two together.

So, I voluntarily removed it from my diet. Here is what happened:

  • Week 1 – No more belly aches.
  • Week 2 – Normal bowel movements. No more constipation. No more hemorrhoids.
  • Week 3 – Sleep returned and night sweats disappeared.
  • Week 4 – I swear my skin looked better.
  • Week 5 – I’d lost 5 pounds and got to a great running weight.

Don’t get me wrong. There were clearly positive changes happening as I underwent this elimination of gluten. Unfortunately, I took it as a ticket to eat anything gluten-free I could find. This included energy bars (loaded with sugar, oats, rice, what have you), gluten free pastas, gluten free chips, gluten free breads, and gluten free oatmeal.


Oatmeal. It is supposed to be a “hearty” breakfast. You are supposed to eat it and be satisfied until lunch, right? I made oatmeal by the buckets. Hot, warm, cold, refrigerated, in a jar, with berries, with nut butters, you name it. Yet, an hour after I ate it, I was famished. And I was irritated. And I was dragging. And I could NOT get anything done. I suspected each time that I got some oatmeal with gluten in it. So I tried different brands and different kinds of gluten free breakfast cereals to no avail. Clearly, there was something else going on. This was still not working.

And despite my Boston qualifying run at Grandma’s marathon, I didn’t enjoy the fact that the amount of energy gels (now gluten free gels) I had to consume increased exponentially the further I ran. First, I fueled every 6 miles until mile 18, then I felt I had to fuel every 3 miles. Yuck! I just couldn’t stomach it. And my performance was taking a hit near the end of the run.

ENERGYbits Tin

ENERGYbits Tin

Just before Grandma’s Marathon I received a Runner Box which had Energybits in it, and not a week later did I get an e-mail from Jonathan Levitt from said company asking me to give the product a try in exchange for a blog review. I desperately wanted to try something new to fuel my runs, but was afraid to do it so close to the marathon. So, I opted to wait until after. As soon as I was running again,  I gave them a try. (You can read my review about them here.) I was instantly a fan after just one use. I especially loved the idea that they were easy to transport, gluten-free, sugar-free, and could replace my multi-vitamin. All this appealed to me, and the more and more I used them, the more PR’s I began to accumulate. Clearly, there was something to this “no sugar” fueling. I just hadn’t seen the “light” yet.

And the weight started creeping back on.

And the constipation was returning.

I’d made it through the holidays in 2013 gluten free. In fact, everything I served to my family that year for Christmas was gluten free. The year ended and I realized that something else had to give before I began training for Boston. Sure, I was planning to fuel with bits, but something else had to go.

This is where Part 1 begins…Enter the Ketogenic diet. As I mentioned earlier, I had heard about it on Ben Greenfield’s podcasts, and closer to home on Runner Girls Podcast. Sue, who had recently delivered a baby, lost a huge chunk of her baby weight by following the plan. The idea? Get the majority of your calories from fat and protein. Bacon and eggs for breakfast? Heck, yeah. I could do that!

I went to The Ketogenic Calculator to figure out my macros (the breakdown of grams of protein, fat and carbs I believed I’d need) and decided that the only way I could pull this off successfully would be to start a food journal. I’d have to record everything I put into my mouth. I pulled out the kitchen scale and zero’d it with a paper plate on top. And I logged back into My Fitness Pal. I was determined to get this down to the gram.

Things started changing very quickly. But not really the way I had anticipated.


Stay tuned for Part 3 of Fat Adapting in a Carb Loading World.

Go back to Part 1 of Fat Adapting in a Carb Loading World.

And now for my disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor. I am NOT a nutritionist. I am an athlete and a runner. And I like to look good and feel good. All of this information in these blog posts comes from my own personal experiences. It has worked for me. Consult your own physician before attempting any major life changes. Educate yourself first and foremost.

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One Response to Fat Adapting in a Carb Loading World – Part 2

  1. ahhhh, the suspense is killing me!! Can’t wait for Part 3!

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