Even Tour de France Cyclists Avoid Carbs to Stay Lean

Even chefs for Tour de France cyclists know more about weight control than most calorie-obsessed so called experts. And even elite cyclists need to avoid over-indulging in carbs:

Today’s a rest day, so we do a low-carb lunch for them. They’re not going so far, they just want to keep their legs going, so we don’t want to fill them up too much. And we don’t want to go too hard on the carbs so they don’t gain weight.

Then we have a philosophy of using lots of vegetables, proteins, and cold-pressed fats, and then we use a lot of gluten-free alternatives. So we try to encourage the riders to try other things than just pasta and bread. I do gluten-free breads as well.

It’s all to minimize all the little things that can stop you from performing 100 percent, that promote injuries, stomach problems, all those things.

Fueling the Tour: Q&A with Saxo chef Hannah Grant

111 Comments

Top Comments

  1. Murray
    I never saw this blog as existing to "promote" low carb living, maybe to "advance" low carb living. People can adopt the diet they please and assess whether it works for them. Recall that just a few years ago a physician was charged with professional misconduct for counselling a low carb diet for patients with insulin resistance and obesity, notwithstanding the success of the prescription. This blog and others have been working to carve a niche to allow low carb high fat as an option in view of the dramatically positive experience many have had in controlling fat and general health by reducing foods that stimulate insulin. Just a few short years ago mainstreamm funding for anything suggestive that high fat or low carb could be beneficial was blackballed by vested interests.

    Does this mean insulin is the cause of the obesity epidemic? Seems reasonable, but proof of a social phenomenon is a different matter than the empirical experience of individuals. One needs to be careful of falling into fallacies of composition. But to an individual, like me, the causes of the obesity epidemic are irrelevant. The reality is that by managing insulin I reduced body fat, reduced inflammation, reversed hair greying, eliminated tinnitus, improved gum health, significantly improved skin health and sleep fewer hours. I had stopped eating,processed foods years before going LCHF and had in fact avoided saturated fats. What the metabolics research tells me is that there are metabolic reasons behind each improvement. The research does not prove it will work for everyone, nor do most LCHF adherents so claim. Eating fruits and safe starches make my ears ring every time I give them a try, so I know which approach works for me.

    It seems lately that many discussions here devolve into grumpy Stephan Guyenet sock puppets waging a Cold War against Gary Taubes as to the primary cause of the obesity epidemic. Well, have at it kids. Meanwhile I thank Dr. Eenfeldt for his continual stream of useful information that helps explain why LCHF works so well for me and provides tips and useful questions to explore that help to make LCHF work even better.

    Reply: #22
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  2. bill
    grinch:

    To your last question: No.

    ...and if your argument is that people should
    eat carbs, it doesn't follow from your evidence.

    Nope, it doesn't. Not convinced. What else ya got?

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  1. FrankG
    Or to use Anthony Colpo's words...

    Your "penchant for performing all manner of mental contortionism in order to rationalize scientifically untenable beliefs would garner envy from even the most fanatical Creationist."

  2. FrankG
    "Since people become obese from eating more than they burn..."

    This is one of those lies that is put about so much, by so many people, and so very often that after a while it is accepted as a truth... which it is not.

    It is a simple enough premise to test:

    * Gets some volunteers
    * Seal them in a metabolic ward/chamber for a month -- 'cos we all know how untrustworthy everybody is -- everybody except Ondrej of course
    * Calculate their baseline daily resting caloric needs -- 'cos scientists like numbers
    * Keep them at rest for 4 weeks, no exercise and minimal activity -- so we can minimise the effect of the variable "energy out"... the "burn" bit of your statement)
    * During that 4 weeks feed them double their baseline calories per day, having had a Registered Dietitian calculate their minimal daily requirements for protein and ensuring adequate micronutrients of vitamins, minerals etc... with supplements
    * BUT the remaining calories (up to double their baseline) must ALL be fat.. Olive Oil, Butter, Lard, Coconut Oil...
    * And because I know someone like grinch will bleat and say "but fat by itself is not palatable" or some such attempt to stay macronutrient neutral, while somehow still accepting that they make a difference -- for grinch's sake we'll motivate the volunteers with $1,000 per week!

    And by all means for scientific rigour, we will have a randomly selected control group who are also locked in a metabolic ward but no other intervention.

    So what do you think would happen Ondrej? Still stand by your statement that overeating causes obesity? Care to be one of the volunteers guzzling all that olive oil -- pure calories... over twice as many per gram as carbohydrates? How much excess fat mass do you predict for the test subjects? Do you think it would be the same for all of them? Do you think you could predict it ahead of time based on 1lb of fat = 3,500 calories? How many trips to the bathroom do I predict?

    It is about how much the body stores and that is under hormonal control. The hormonal response is to the quality of what we eat more so than the quantity.

    How many trips to the bathroom do I predict for these volunteers? Trust me, they ain't storing all that olive oil in fat tissue.

  3. Paul
    Here is one of my personal tests: I run 10 miles/day/ 6 days week. All else being equal (consumed calories/day) if I eat 60% energy as carbohydrates I put on weight, when I reduce carbohydrates to 10% I loose what I gained and stay lean. And I do not think that any clinical/animal studies no matter how cleverly design and by how many professors will convince me that I am delusional or what I am experiencing (and I did this experiment several time) is a some kind of artifact. Of cause when I reduce calories to the starvation level (and go hungry all day and night) I loose weight even when I eat carbohydrates - but that's not rocket science. and the other way - it is difficult to overeat on LCHF because you are not hungry and simply can not eat much.
    Reply: #104
  4. FrankG
    Why sure... extend the study as I laid out above to include a group that rather than eating fat up to double their daily baseline calories, instead eats carbohydrates -- and in the same way as with the olive oil, butter etc... going for the purest forms of carbs such as sugar, honey, maple syrup. Of course the RD would also have to allow for the minimal essential fatty acids.

    Care to place bets on which group has the highest gain in excess fat mass?

    In addition to complete energy measurement as facilitated by the metabolic ward environment, of course it would be great to have body measurements such as waistline, arm and thigh diameters. Body fat -- even ideally, pre- and post-trial CT and/or MRI Scans to determine the distribution of fat. Not forgetting of course a battery of blood tests and other health markers. And what the heck, why not even throw in some mental testing -- notwithstanding the purely subjective (so non-scientific) nature of asking "how do you feel today?"

    Seriously I hope this is the kind of study that NuSI is planning. Not that I expect it to convert the dogmatists -- it is hard to argue against blind faith and ignorance -- but it would offer further evidence of their untenable position.

  5. FrankG
    And before idiot-boy Ondrej pipes in and starts quoting Anthony Colpo's "Bible stories" -- if he even bothers to give credit to the words that he cuts and pastes from other sites this time... I'll point out that I am NOT suggesting a comparison of low-carb with high-carb but rather testing his assertion "people become obese from eating more than they burn" with an RCT designed to cause overfeeding with as close to ALL fat or ALL carbs as we can feasibly and safely get to. If his assertion is correct then both groups should fare equally.
  6. Paul
    As we know there always be people who say that black is white, for the reasons only they know. In my view (I am sure as it is for all here) this blog is first of all to expand our own understanding and sharing our experiences about LCHF, which most of us here (based on personal life-stories) know - works.
    (although for some reason I can not restrain myself to argue with someone who can not tell shit from clay - knowing that it leads to nowhere).
  7. FrankG
    An obvious extension of the above test would then be a further 4 weeks in the metabolic ward with the same food but now with the calories de-restricted. Eat as much, or as little of the "all fat" or "all carb" diets as you want/need.

    Obviously this is not a real world scenario. no more than ANY metabolic ward study reflects the real world but I am trying to be as scientific as possible: minimising variables while still trying to offer the paid volunteers "real" food, rather than nutritional pellets or "milkshakes".

  8. Paul
    Ondrej - here is a real life story for you, not an experiment, real Homo sapiens sapiens (with all respects and regards to that lady with best wishes). Go to 17:34 and watch and listen carefully.
    And if you say again that ketones are only medications for certain conditions, than you simply have no knowledge of ketone body (and brain) biochemistry.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75NBoh3LVHI

    Reply: #109
  9. FrankG
    Perfect example with the woman having MS Paul... we can only speculate of course, as to how much more debilitated she would have been by the time of this interview if she had stuck with the "mainstream advice", as is still being pushed by people like Ondrej... Advice that is not being "helpful" or even neutral but is potentially harmful!

    I suspect you may be right that he has a financial stake in maintaining the status quo -- it's certainly good for business.

    Reply: #110
  10. Paul
    I personally know 2 similar (MS) cases, with complete remission.

    I agree and said somewhere on this blog that Ondrej stance does have a potential to do harm.

    Now about $$. Say, theoretically 50% of population goes LCHF, how much drug companies would lose just on diabetes, blood pressure, related medications?. Not to mentions whole plethora of diseases, which are prevented or cured by LCHF?
    What would thousands of professors, associate professors, assistant professors, post-doctoral fellows, PhD "working" at every University and University hospitals on this planet just on diabetes, obesity et cetera go and do ?. That is why they will never give-up fight. They will continue to design meaning-less experiments and pat themselves on the backs ad infinitum and employ Ondrejs of this world to present their song and dance.

  11. Benboom
    I cannot believe the amount of space that has been wasted in this comments section. If you don't agree with what's on the blog you are under no requirement to post multiple times to say so - once is enough, really.
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