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Ok everyone. I know this diet question is going to get advice mainly from those clued up on the sports side of nutrition rather than general nutrition. In general, I want to be very healthy with my diet (very keen on superfoods, antioxidants, low sat fats, lots of omega-3, fibre etc) to increase my general health, as well as enhancing my training, and my physique. I think it's hard to do all 3 of those at once... but I may be wrong.
I know a lot of runners just eat what they want, but this is where I want to do things different and get my nutrition spot on so I have an advantage.
I'm 17, been running since April 2011, been cycling every day to school and back for 2.5 years (50 miles a week) but otherwise I've been pretty inactive until I started running. I could run a 37 minute 10k this March.
Currently I'm recovering from shin splints which I've had since April. I should be starting rehab next week. Until now I've not done much, I've cycled on and off and for the past 8 weeks I've had a short gym membership so have been doing lots of swimming and weights/core work/strength stuff whilst not running. Saying that I'm still pretty unfit.
Before my injury, I ate whatever I wanted, but had lots of carbs from bread, Soreen malt loaf and pasta especially. Since not running I ate the same but I've realised how bad it was in terms of not enough veg, superfoods and too much sat fats/sugar.
For the past 2 weeks, I've cut out simple carbs (white bread, pasta and rice) and had a little bit of brown rice. I'm having a big bowl of porridge every day though. I've eaten a lot more fruit and veg than before, and focused on protein and veg for main meals. Mainly tuna, prawns, chicken and smoked mackerel. I've cut down processed foods and had more fresh foods. I've also started having more nuts and seeds. I stopped having my usual cakes, cookies and refined sugars, and drinking only water or fruit juice. I have also tried fasting a few times, earlier on in the Summer. I'm supplementing Calcium/Magnesium and multi-vitamins.
I've been swimming with this diet and I've been feeling great but this week I've started feeling really tired. I'm not sure whether it's the lack of carbs or lack of sleep. I've been absolutely shattered. Today I gave in and had pasta, 3 slices of bread and a protein shake with high-carb and feel better.
You may wonder why I'm doing this- well, my nutritionist friend says that by cutting out carbs my body will become better at burning fat and more efficient at burning carbs when it does have them. Also, I want a 'six-pack', I've been doing loads of abs work and want to see the results. My body fat is currently about 13% and I believe I need about 10% for them to show. From what I've read, a strong core doesn't necessarily mean a 'six-pack' but I know lots of runners with one.
So by cutting out carbs, I am lowering my body fat and keeping my muscles lean. Is this correct? I also want to keep myself light whilst I'm not training so I come back fast, so I want to keep my weight down too. I've been told cutting carbs is the way to do this.
I understand when I'm hard running again I'll need to increase my fuel, but is it possible to fuel myself to eat well, get all my recommended amounts of fibre etc, to run well whilst ALSO keeping my body fat low and beating my rivals?
Sorry to confuse you...