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Are you a "Butter Burner?"

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Are you a "Butter Burner?" Empty Are you a "Butter Burner?"

Post  Mark B on Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:04 pm

I found this very interesting article at ultrarunning.com by sports nutritionist Sunny Blende. She does a great job of talking about maximizing metabolic efficiency for endurance sports by finding the sweet spot where you burn fat/"butter" more than carbohydrates - and then training to make that sweet spot come at a higher level of intensity/speed.

She wrote it for an ultrarunner audience, but I think it applies to shorter distances, as well.


Also of note in the article is her take on nutrition, which goes pretty much in the opposite direction of the carbo-loading craze.
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Are you a "Butter Burner?" Empty Re: Are you a "Butter Burner?"

Post  ounce on Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:33 pm

I wish we had somebody on this message board that would try it out.  Oh, wait!  I'm the one trying it out!

She doesn't provide an objective mechanism from which to metabolically measure at the eating stage whether one is burning fat more than carbs other than just saying, "Your nutrition during this time will consist of lean protein, good fats and plenty of fruit, beans and vegetables."

She doesn't identify that butter from her opening paragraph contains, what nutritionists believe are bad fats, the fuel as medium-chain triglycerides that makes fat burning happen.

She's on the right track, but she's very purposeful in saying, "Remember, this is not a low-carbohydrate diet; it is a balanced diet."  So, she's got a ways to go before accepting or renaming LC/HF into something more marketable.

Ultras and triathletes are the perfect platform for LC/HF. 

  1. You have unlimited stores of energy in fat stores.
  2. You don't have to worry about bonking because your body is trained to burn fat stores.
  3. Fat stores will not provide enough energy on-demand at HR's of >80%.  Carbs are best for that anaerobic activity.

She is correct on the transition period of 4-10 weeks.  Polyunsaturated fats should be used sparingly or, at least, where the Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio is below 1:1.  Vegetable oils have a lot of Omega 6 fatty acids in them.  Hence why butter, palm oil, or coconut oil is the oil of choice.

She's a nutritionist that can't fully accept that she's been teaching the wrong thing for so long (eat grains!) and is trying to reconcile what's paid her house note against what is right.  Give her time to fully come around or a new profession.

I guess the biggest atta boy I could give myself on doing LC/HF is that I don't worry about running out of fuel.
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