Autumn is upon us and that’s very exciting for us here at Tri Force. It’s a time where we build athletes strength, power and speed ready for the season ahead without the disruption of tapering and racing.

It’s also a time where we work with our athletes nutritionally to get the best from training, recovery, help them drop body fat, reduce upper body muscle mass (yes we’ve done that, keep an eye out on our page for a post on that one) and focus on building metabolic flexibility.

Ahhhh….. metabolic flexibility and fat adaption.

Two buzz phrases and nutrition rabbit hole’s that causes much confusion, dogma and frankly crazy talk.

So let’s clear a few things up a little, give you our stand point on what works and what’s definitely total and utter BUNK!

Let’s start with fat loss

How do we go about achieving this and maintain energy levels so we can train consistently, recover well and have the ability to deliver maximum output in training when required?

Let’s get this straight

There is NO nutritional strategy that is superior for fat loss except one. That’s CALORIC restriction, that’s FACT!

No keto, low carb or high fat diets don’t have magic properties in isocaloric states.

So what’s our stand point on fat loss and maintaining energy levels. It’s very simple. A small caloric restriction, maximum of -15% of BMR then test and re-set every 3-4 weeks.

Simple, straight forward and practical advice. (Oh and have some bloody patience – I don’t care what the magazines say it’s not a six or 12 week thang)

Metabolic flexibility and fat adaption!

Yes, higher fat, lower carbohydrate diets mean more metabolic flexibility but only in such as it up regulates the body’s ability to derive fuel from ingested fats and intra muscular fats.

It’s an attractive notion to say that the body holds an unlimited amount of body fat and that eating a high fat diet helps us metabolically tap into that endless fuel for exercise.

The reality is that’s not the case and at its best it’s extremely limited.

Yes, we can make the body more metabolically flexible with this kind of nutritional approach but the flexibility is through the ingestion of fats for fuel thus conserving muscle glycogen. (Though id ram that home)

And there is another fly in the ointment with strict fat adaption and that’s the reduction in Glycogenolyisis and PDHa.

If you actually care about finding out the truth look that up yourself. Or just troll us!

I know thats mean of us, we’re making you have to do some work.

Ok, to show you we are impartial and forward thinking. Low carbohydrate availability has been shown to improve mitochondrial content. That’s really cool. We like that!

But we also like the fact that carbohydrates give our athletes the ability to perform at their best effort in hard sessions.

Those sessions are key to developing AWESOME race engines.

So our stand point on fat adaption and low carbohydrate availability to improve performance is this.

Periodisation of food (Fuel) alongside training not polarization because effective training is not just low level.

It’s worth stepping back and thinking about. 

Simon de Burgh
2 X Winner of Gym Based PT 
Level 2 British Triathlon Coach 

Performance & Nutrition Director

The 7 Most Overlooked Areas of Performance

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