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Dukan for edurance athletes?

I have been doing Dukan for 7 days (6 on attack and 1 on cruise). I am also a triathlete training for my first race of the season. I have 30 pounds to lose, and managed to lose 4 so far this week. I exercise 1-2 hours most days (swimming, biking, running, weight training, hot yoga). Yes, despite all that exercise, I am still overweight b/c I used to eat anything I wanted :) I am worried about not having enough energy from the PP/PV diet. I felt fine the first few days on the plan, but today, I was really dragging during my workouts.

Here was today's menu-
B-veggie omelet and 2T oat bran porridge
L-2 tuna cakes and asparagus
(swam 1200m, then biked 15 miles= 1200 calories burned according to heart rate monitor)
S-raw baby carrots
D-1/2 chicken breast, 1tuna cake, asparagus and mushroom sauté
Dessert-Greek yogurt and hot tea

I am curious to see if the scale will budge tomorrow. I had been down 7 pounds Friday, then gained 3 yesterday despite a perfect Attack day. Retaining water? Too much sodium?

Suggestions appreciated.
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** Chief WITCH **
I maybe mistakenly thought carbs were necessary for that sort of level of exercise...?

If you'd come to us before starting, I for one would have tried to talk you out of it. Now you've gone ahead and started, however, you tell us. How do YOU feel exercising with no carbs (and indeed not a great amount of protein... what are "tuna cakes"? something you make yourself?)


Goat herder(ess)
Hi, TriMama. I'm no expert, but I would imagine that carbs are definitely required for the energy you'll need as a triathlete (guessing that from your name!) I have a horrible feeling that Dukan isn't for you. Even in the book, Dr D advises no strenuous exercise during Attack as the pure protein days can drain your energy a bit.

If I were you, I'd speak to an experienced athlete or sports nutritionist (if there is such a thing) for recommendation on whether you should ditch Dukan and what form of diet they'd advise for you.

Best of luck with your training.
Thanks for the input.
I will try another week of training and see how it goes. Yes, you do need carbs for longer activies, so that's why I was wondering... I do really like Dukan, and it is working for me to have high protein and am starting to get leaner. Doesn't your body burn carbs first, if you eat them, and would burn fat if there wasn't a large carb reserve? I need to burn fat, and have enough to live on for a long time ;) Perhaps, I can just "carb load " before my races, then go back on the plan? Other athletes, believe in more of a "clean eating" approach with lean proteins, veg, fruit, and whole grains. Probably a more realistic long term plan for me, but for now, I need the rigidity of this plan to jump start my weight loss.

FYI-I made the tuna cakes (as an experiment, and they were like crab cakes). I used can tuna, a hardboiled egg, spices, and Greek yogurt, made patties and dry fried in pan. Topped with a tarter sauce of gk yogurt, lemon juice, and chopped pickles. It was fine, but not great.

Thanks again
Doesn't your body burn carbs first, if you eat them, and would burn fat if there wasn't a large carb reserve? I need to burn fat, and have enough to live on for a long time ;) Perhaps, I can just "carb load " before my races, then go back on the plan?
As I understand it, body fat is an emergency slow release energy store, which is useful for things like an intense cold snap, or being shipwrecked ( :)), where you may need to draw on reserves for a few days to see you through.

There is another kind of energy supply - glycogen - which is stored in the muscles and liver - which is used for quick release energy, the sort you need for a race, or to outrun a sabre tooth tiger.

The problem is that in ketosis you have no glycogen store - it is the disappearance of glycogen which causes the sudden drop in weight during attack.

So, if you demand make demands on your body that require an emergency release of stored energy - pretty much a definition of endurance events - you will have no glycogen, and the body can't use the fat store - so it will start to burn your muscles instead! And, to make this worse, one of the muscles it will burn is your already hard-working heart!

This is why endurance runners a.) eat whole grains and b.) carb load before a race.

Could you scale back your training until you reach the weight you want?

Or, if the training is more important, postpone the diet for a few months, and reassess your weight at a later stage. You may find you don't need to diet at all by then.


** Chief WITCH **
Wow Atropos... what a fabulous post!

Those crab cakes look "interesting". We'll have to get some of chefs to work on that recipe!

You did mention in another post that you did a lot of exercise, but had gained weight because you ate anything and everything you wanted. I would think that if you worked yourself out a personalised plan, including carbs, and stuck to it, you'd lose weight very easily.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
Thanks again. I am thinking a personalized plan may be in order! I sure don't want to be burning my muscle or hurting my heart. For now, training is more important. I was dragging in spin class this AM, despite eatung my oatbran before class. I took 6 months off after a bike accident and surgery and gained 20 pounds being lazy and eating whatever. Typically, all the training makes me starving, and what I've enjoyed about Dukan is that I'm not hungry! Perhaps making protein the largest portion on my plate, and adding veggies, and whole grains. Stick to PP on non-training days... The weight loss won't be as fast, but maybe more reasonable until triathlon season is over.

Thanks for all your input and knowledge,
Oh yeah, for the "tuna cakes" I'd definitely use raw egg and oat bran to hold them together!
I got interested in the way the body uses fat because of what recently happened to a friend, who has absolutely no body fat at all. He is a dancer, you can't stop him moving. He eats very little, but loads his body with carbs - often sweets and biscuits.

At first I was insanely jealous - he's fit, active and can eat what he wants.

Then I realised he was as cursed by his body type as I am by mine. It's not that he stays slim by moving - it's that he has to keep moving because he can not store fat or glycogen at all. It goes in as carb, is burnt as carb, without ever being stored. And an hour later his reserve is gone, and he has to eat again. In cold weather he starts to shake in minutes, and when he swims he sinks straight to the bottom of the pool.

Then, one day not so long ago, we needed to work long hours in a very cold place. It wasn't pleasant for anybody - but it almost killed him. Most of us had a little (or a lot!) fat to draw on for that extra energy needed to keep is ticking over until we could get back to the pub, the fireside and a hot meal.

Without a fat store to draw on, his muscles started to shake, his skin went blue, he couldn't breathe, he was in real pain.

And than his heart stopped.

Only for a few seconds, but it was enough to knock him out entirely and cause a real scare for everyone else. Luckily we had a first aider on hand, and he was in hospital with 30 minutes.

He's fine now - but I gave him thermal knickers for Christmas!


** Chief WITCH **
How awful for him indeed. You sound like a lovely friend to have!
Wow, that is scary! I guess all my body fat is helpful after all :) Gotta look at the bright side. I am thankful to be fit and healthy even if I'm a little fat!
Still, i would much prefer to be fit, skinny and eat biscuits all day...

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