Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Culp Diet (like Atkins, only more bad-ass)

After exactly one week of trying this whole "low-carb" thing, I'm calling it quits. The verdict is that it simply does not work for a serious athelte -- at least not during the season. I still think it may be a great off-season idea, but testing that hypothesis may have to wait for a few months. It's simply too hard to maintain consistent energy levels with no sugar in your body. My morning workouts didn't seem to suffer much; but I had little motivation and almost no energy for any afternoon workouts. My intensity dwindled to that of a 70-74-year-old age grouper and my body simply wasn't recovering fast enough.

All that being said, I'm not giving up completely. I refuse to go back to the routine of shoveling as many sugars into my gut as possible at all hours of the day. The human body can only process so many carbohydrates, so trying to constantly carb load is not ideal; for both athletes and coach potatoes alike.

For the next week, I'm going to re-introduce carbs to my diet, but I'll attempt to refrain from eating any "starchy" carbs. By "starchy" carbs, I'm referring to bread, pasta, potatoes, rice and any other form of grain. While it may seem like that list encompasses every carb on this planet, it does leave room for fruits and the entire legume family (beans and other things that look like beans). These two varieties of carbs are fortified with a good deal of fiber and therefore should have a minimal effect on my blood sugar, while still provided the energy needed for intense workouts. Of course, whole grains also provide fiber, but devouring half a pot of whole wheat pasta would still cause a tremendous blood sugar spike, as any carb-based meal simply provides too much sugar at one time. Instead of making carbs the base of each meal -- as I've done in the past -- I'll strive to make carbs an accessory to my protein-based meals. I.e., I'll eat a big piece of salmon along with some kidney beans and a piece of fruit.

Keep checking in to see if the next week is any better than the last.

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