What did two opposing nutrition strategies reveal through metabolic efficiency assessments? And why should you care?

October 25, 2018

 

Save time and keep it simple folks... that is if you want to optimize both your health and performance.  

 

That's right people... save time, keep it simple and stop experimenting as Dr. Neil Feldman has done the work for you. He summarizes, in his video above, the two nutrition strategies he implemented over this past year. Neil's first test was performed while he was executing a low-carb, high-fat nutrition approach in his lead-up to the Boston Marathon. His second assessment came near the close of his high-carb, vegan approach. It was his second test result that left him a bit surprised and contemplating yet another shift to bring his fat-burning back to a higher percentage. 

 

Let's have a look at his two metabolic assessment results and how the principles of Metabolic Efficiency Training can simplify eating without requiring the elimination of food groups, calorie restriction or extreme dieting. As it is an "eat-to-train" scenario which strategically wraps higher carbohydrate meals around higher intensity and prolonged training sessions. Quite simple really once you learn how to do it. 

Okay, let's rewind a bit.......

Granted, we would be nowhere without experimentation and I commend Dr. Feldman for his tenacity and ability to follow through in his quest to finding the perfect nutrition plan. And thankful, that he made his way into the InsideOut Lab, to test his two nutrition strategies via the metabolic efficiency protocol. Amen and thank you again Neil! We now have quantitative data that verifies these two nutrition strategies and I can share them and save folks a ton of time ;)

Firstly, there are a lot of things "right" from a metabolically efficient nutritional standpoint with what Dr. Feldman has been implementing with both strategies. Through his experimentation and test results he can now make some adjustments that will be easy to implement and give him the benefits he so desires - metabolic flexibility.

Let's review his two nutrition strategies and subsequent metabolic reports and then cover the adjustments he might make to achieve a goal of becoming metabolically efficient.

 

For all of Neil's experimentations he was not implementing the principles of Metabolic Efficiency Training (MET). These were his own nutritional strategies and I agreed to have him come in and do metabolic testing using the incremental protocol for MET. 

 

Nutrition Strategy #1: Low-Carb, High-Fat

From November of 2017, through the end of April of this year, Neil was implementing a strict low-carb, high-fat nutrition plan coinciding with his training leading up to race the Boston Marathon. He described his diet as "healthy omnivore," with no processed foods or added sugars, low sugar and starches and a higher fat intake. Not necessarily a keto diet but definitely skirting the edge of such a plan.

Neil came into the InsideOut Lab and performed a metabolic efficiency assessment using the incremental protocol for such a test. The goal was to see how his nutrition plan was working and to use the test data as a guide as he continued to train. 

Shown below is the first page of Neil's metabolic assessment report, titled "Metabolic Efficiency Point" (MEP). This graph shows his energy expenditure from fat and carbohydrate at minute mile paces. It also indicates whether he has a Metabolic Efficiency Point (MEP) and if so, the heart rate and intensity at which it occurred.


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Low-Carb Higher Fat:

...............................................

Assessment#1 - Run
Client: Neil Feldman
Date: Dec 2017
Age: 47 years

 

RESULT: 
Assessment shows MEP occurred at a heart rate of 175 beats per minute (bpm) and a pace of 7:44 min/mile. Below this heart rate and intensity, he was more efficient at using fat as his energy source, but began to burn a higher proportion of carbohydrate beyond this intensity.

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Neil's first assessment (above) shows excellent percentages of fat-burning. He decided to continue with his current nutrition plan, and now use the fueling data (not shown) to target heart rate below his metabolic efficiency point (MEP) in training and for race day competition.

Neil raced the marathon and finished in 3:05:24 which is a 7:04 min/mile pace. His heart rate for the race was high 160's bpm, which based on his metabolic efficiency point assessment report kept him burning a higher percentage of fat versus carbohydrates, hence preserving those precious carbohydrate stores for higher intensities and for a late race surge. As well he ingested minimal exogenous sugar while out on the race course which ensured no gastrointestinal distress and allowed for optimal blood flow to the working muscles.

Outstanding result and even more impressive given the adverse conditions (heavy rain and high winds) in Boston this year. Nicely done!

But we're not done, as Neil wanted to continue to experiment.... 

Nutrition Strategy #2: High-Carb Vegan

Soon after the Boston Marathon Neil wasted little time and shifted to a vegan-based diet. The goal being to find out how his body would respond to the new approach. 

Starting  May 1 and continuing for 10 weeks, Neil implemented what he dubbed a  "healthy vegan," diet. This plan consisted of all plants and no processed foods or added sugars and zero diary. It did include whole grains, beans and rice which he never consumed in his low-carb, high-fat approach. Plenty of vegetables (obviously ;) as well as nuts and seeds were on his plate.

Back into the InsideOut Lab in July, Neil re-tested to reveal how this new nutrition strategy was fairing.  Below is the first page of Neil's metabolic efficiency assessment report, showing his energy expenditure from fat and carbohydrate at minute mile paces and Metabolic Efficiency Point (MEP). 


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Higher-Carb Vegan:

...............................................

Assessment #2 - Run
Client: Neil Feldman
Date: Jul 2018
Age: 47 years

 

RESULT:
Assessment shows MEP occurred at a heart rate of 134 beats per minute (bpm) and a pace of 8:55 min/mile. Below this heart rate and intensity, he was more efficient at using fat as his energy source, but began to burn a higher proportion of carbohydrate beyond this intensity.

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Neil's second assessment (above) reveals quite a dramatic shift in the reverse direction. His MEP moved roughly three stages to the left and although he did have a crossover point he is now burning higher percentages of carbohydrates at slower paces and lower heart rates. 

 

Remember in both nutrition experiments, Neil was not implementing the principles of Metabolic Efficiency Training. 

As Neil explained in his video, his goal with this assessment was to see how his body was responding relative to his current nutrition plan. He expected his carbohydrate and fat-burning percentages to move to the left, which means he believed he was surely going to see his fat-burning percentage decrease. What surprised him was the degree in the shift. 


Summary

In looking at Neil's two nutrition experiments metabolic efficiency is a solution that falls middle ground, which simply means it would allow for both strategies to be successful.

 

For example, in Neil's low-carb, high-fat strategy he was following a diet that was strictly limiting carbohydrates which can be difficult to sustain long-term. High-fat burning can be accomplished within the metabolic efficiency model through strategic carbohydrate to protein ratios which wrap around training sessions and adjust up and down based on intensity and length.

Within the practice of Metabolic Efficiency Training, all food groups can be included on the plate and following a strict almost keto-diet is not necessary in order to accomplish the goal of becoming an excellent fat-burner. 

 

Neil did quite well with this first strategy but long term he may have found some pitfalls to overcome - and that's for another story.

Within the high-carb, vegan strategy higher fat-burning can still be accomplished. Again it is about strategic implementation of higher carbohydrate to protein ratios when higher energy needs come into play and dropping back when energy levels are lower.

 

In my discussion with Neil in regards to changes he might make after his second assessment, the focus was on his protein - frequency, quantity and sources. As well as the application of ratios in regards to the macronutrient pairing of carbohydrate to protein.

Within the realm of the vegan athlete, it is important to remember to include quality protein sources on the plate. But becoming a great fat-burner within the vegan diet is absolutely achievable! 
 

Why you should care?

Because Metabolic Efficiency Training (MET) is not a "diet" per se, it allows for individual customization. We all have our likes and dislikes as well as tolerances and philosophies around the food we eat. Given this premise MET is broad scope.

Ultimately it is the basic principles of metabolic efficiency that simplify eating and don't require extremes. It is a life-style shift in the way of eating that is simple and effective and results in optimized health and performance.   
 

Learn how to do it and get on the fast-track!


#insideOuthp.com #metabolicefficiency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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