Becoming a fat-burner: halfway

It’s been almost two weeks since I started the 30-day challenge of becoming a fat-burner. Quite a change. Here are my confessions and learnings.

Confessions: 3 days with too many carbs.

Day 1: This was during my attempt to run a marathon on none or very little carbs. It was also an attempt to run my first marathon in FiveFingers. In retrospect, the ladder was way to ambitious on a rocky surface. The first 21.1 km went pretty good though, only on water and peanuts and my legs felt ok. But I had to fuel up with some energy to continue: I ate an energy bar, 2 bananas and some energy drink. At around 24-25km I began to cramp up in my legs. I slowed down a lot, and struggled until 29km – the next pit stop, where I stopped. Looking back it made sense that I didn’t have more energy. 6 days with almost no carbs, not even the day before. Also, it takes 2-3 weeks to really switch to burning fat. It’s my first time I’ve ‘really’ bonked. Good experience to have.

Day 2: This was more out of politeness. Co-worker brought a home-made pumpkin cake to the office.

Day 3: I was visiting my grandmother ๐Ÿ™‚ Traditional old danish food with potatoes, and of course pancakes with ice cream as a dessert. Who could say no? ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t regret any of those days above. All worth it.

Learnings: The interesting part of the experiment has been how my body has responded. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed:

  • Consistent energy level. I used to have a good energy during a normal day with enough water and sleep the night before. But there was always a time during the day where I felt like a power nap. These 2 weeks I’ve felt surprisingly fresh. It’s a different feeling – it’s kind of a more stable feeling, no serious spikes. I’ve also noticed that coffee doesn’t have the same effect on me either. It’s like nothing can drag me neither up or down. This is enough reason for me to continue with something similar.
  • Body composition staying the same.ย My weight and body fat is exactly the same as when I started. And I’m eating a lot of fat. Full cream smoothies in morning, olives, avocados, nuts, etc. My activity level is lower. I’m convinced I will lose fat if my activity level is higher. I’ll try to turn that up now though.
  • Sugar is like cocaine. The day after my attempt of running a marathon, I almost couldn’t control myself. I was thinking about sugar constantly. I was actually so close that I picked up a dark chocolate from the drawer, opened it, and had a long conversation with the devil on my shoulder before putting it back again. Now, I really understand why sugar is in everything; it makes us addicted. I’ve heard it before, but that day I was convinced that it’s true that our brains response to sugar is exactly the same as narcotics. Scary.
  • Faster recovery.ย After my 29km run I could walk, but it wasn’t pretty. And I didn’t expect it to be prettier the day after. To my surprise I woke up feeling almost nothing in my legs. My body usually recovers pretty fast, but this time was faster than normal. A good indication I think.

I’m waiting for my blood ketone strips, which I expect to receive within a few days. I’m looking forward to see how efficient a fat-burner I’ve become. Until then, I’ll continue in the same style, but with an increased activity level.

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