Ben Greenfield has been writing and publishing information on \"Using FAT as FUEL\" for a while now, below is the first segment from Ben\'s experiment on himself.
EXTRACTED FROM BEN\'S SITE.
Lying facedown on a cold, vinyl-plastered laboratory bench, I grimaced and squirmed uncomfortably as a medical technician yanked a giant biopsy needle out of my right quad – sucking nearly 200 milligrams of my precious muscle fibers out of my leg.
I knew my left quad and both butt cheeks were next in line to get more of my living tissue brutally extracted, so I braced myself and prepared for the next sharp needle jab.
It’s not like uncomfortable self-experimentation is something new to me, but this scientific venture of muscle and fat biopsy was an even deeper dive into the pain cave than I’d experienced in the past…
…including the extensive bloodwork and biomarker testing I did to discover the damage that back-to-back triathlons on the most difficult course in the US do to the human body…
…the strict high-fat ketogenic state I followed for 12 consecutive weeks to see if it’s possible to race an Ironman triathlon in under 10 hours without eating carbohydrates (which made wandering past any halfway decent Italian restaurant incredibly difficult)…
…and my combination of cold thermogenesis, electrical stimulation, extreme isometrics, hypoxic training, and Chinese adaptogens to train at just 25% of the normal Ironman triathlon training volume.
For this latest experiment involving giant biopsy needles, I had ventured into one of America’s top human performance laboratories to hammer on a treadmill for 3 consecutive hours while measuring fat and carb oxidation, blood lactic acid, oxygen utilization, fat and muscle composition, blood glucose, insulin (and much more) to see how successful my efforts have been to hack my metabolic efficiency and train my body to become the ultimate fat burning machine.
And now, you’re about to read the story of how I discovered the human body’s true fat burning potential, how you can turn yourself into a fat burning machine, and why you’ve been lied to about carbs.
Why You’ve Been Lied To About Carbs
Open any textbook on human performance, read any magazine article on workout nutrition or review any research produced by the world’s leading exercise and diet science institutes, and you’ll see the same two pieces of standard advice churned out with robotic-like repetition:
Standard Piece of Advice #1. Before any big workout days, eat seven to ten grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight daily for optimal performance. On any other days, eat five to seven grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight.
So how many carbs is that? Let’s do the math. 7-10 g/kg of carbohydrates is about 3-4.5 g/lb. So in the 24 hours before a heavy workout day, a 150 pound male would be advised to eat roughly 450-675g of carbs. And that’s 1800-2700 calories of carbs per day – the equivalent of 38-56 slices of bread. Or 17-25 bowls of cereal. Pick your poison.
And on any average day, even a non-workout day, you’d be advised to eat around 2-3 g/lb, or 300-450g of carbs. That’s 1200-1800 calories of carbs per day. So if you were eating a relatively typical 2500 calorie per day intake, you’d be looking at about 50-75% carbohydrate based diet.
Don’t believe me? Does 50-75% seem like too much to you? Sadly, this level of carbohydrate intake is status quo for the gold standard in athletes and exercise enthusiasts.
As a matter of fact, I frequently travel as a speaker, coach and athlete, and actually began writing this article from my bedroom at the IMG Sports Academy in Florida, where children and teenagers (along with recreational, collegiate and professional athletes) come to study and train. The facilities here are amazing and immaculate, and I’m physically sitting located about 100 yards away from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) (where I was exercising just this morning).
The GSSI is widely considered one of the world’s top go-to resources for cutting-edge exercise and nutrition science advice – which is probably why Gatorade vending machines dot the campus here, and the majority of the kids seem to be walking around campus with a never-ending big gulp-sized cup full of sports drink.
Anyways, here’s an excerpt on recommend carb intake from GSSI’s Sport Science Exchange Journal. Note that they actually go as high as TWELVE grams in this particular article:
“Adequate dietary carbohydrate is critical to raise muscle glycogen to high levels in preparation for the next day’s endurance competition or hard training session. Accordingly, during the 24 h prior to a hard training session or endurance competition, athletes should consume 7-12 g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. However, during the 24 h prior to a moderate or easy day of training, athletes need to consume only 5-7 g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight.”
Here’s another excerpt from a different GSSI article: