After the obligatory long run on Sunday me and the posse sat down at Clancy’s Café in sunny City Beach to mull over the weekly events. Due to a suicidal café manager they have stopped serving the best pancakes in Perth and instead offer waffles. This has not gone down well with the boys but needless to say we all ordered the waffles anyhow, after a slight protest which was of course ignored. ( In Perth the customer is always wrong apparently. ?) As we all wolfed down our coffee’s imagine our surprise when the waiter came over with a quiche for the table. There was much laughter among the lads at the thought of one of the boys eating quiche but then Jon put up his hand and took the offending article from the waiters grasp. After a period of stunned silence the banter began in earnest. It started with the obvious comments about Quiche being invented by women so they could enjoy bacon and eggs and not feel guilty, where as there is nothing a man enjoys more than a bacon and egg sandwich smeared all over this face. We then moved into the old Wife’s tales about Quiche affecting a mans sexuality. True to his ‘Banting diet’ regime Jon even ate the quiche but left the pastry, as I tucked into my waffle I wondered if Jon was enjoying his quiche as much as I was certainly enjoying my waffles, with extra maple syrup.
After my post earlier in the week regarding diet, and Jon ordering quiche, the conversation again turned to weight, diet and running performance. The table agreed as a whole that the most important thing is to get to your racing weight and how you get there isn’t important as such. If Jon wanted to eat quiche and test his masculinity then that was his choice. The rest of us ‘real men’ chowed down on our waffles confident our sexuality was not being compromised. Of course the quiche was probably helping Jon’s cause where as you would be hard justified to argue the case for waffles (with extra maple syrup) and weight loss to be perfect partners. I made a conscience effort to put in an extra hour on the Elliptigo in the afternoon to counter the waffles , a small price to pay me thinks.
I have attached the 10 golden rules of Banting below but, of course, have issues with a few of these. The first four are , at a push, do-able but the problem starts at number 5. Imagine skipping a meal, it just seems to alien to me (and all runners really. ). As runners we are normally always hungry as we exercise , the old adage calories out, calories in. The more calories we lose the more we need to refill, common sense surely ? Thus skipping meals is something that never happens. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is a bare minimum. This lead me to number 6, to quote John McEnroe ‘You cannot be serious!’….No snacking ! Runners love to snack as we’re always hungry and truth be told we enjoy snacking.
Unfortunately things now take a big turn for the worst as we look at rule number 7. No sugar, which means no sugar I assume, I had to reread it a few times to make sure I wasn’t missing something? Oh dear, Mr. Banting just lost about 90% of the population with this ‘bad boy’ rule. No sugar means no waffles, muffins, pancakes, do I need to go on ? This for me is a show stopper but we’ll continue on, rule 8 is another hard one to stomach (excuse the pun) as they’re taking out bread, pancakes, waffles again. (Banting really wasn’t a pancake fan was he?) Rule 9 is another tough one because there goes banana’s, our staple go to food after most runs. Banting does redeem himself with rule 10 as eggs are a runners friends but in the Banting diet they become your number one food source. This must have serious consequences for the people around you on a daily basis as eggs can certainly cause some unpleasant smells to be offered to the world, if you know what I mean. (I’m sure Quiche does not have this unpleasant side affect and any aroma would smell of ‘elderberry’s’ ?)
So that about sums it up for me. It ain’t going to happen. I’ll get to my racing weight with extra hard work and it’s a price I’m willing to pay. So as Jon sits at home eating his quiche reading ‘Good Housekeeping Monthly’ I’ll be out on the pavement putting in the extra hard yards needed to justify the pancakes, waffles and ‘all things nice’ I’m about to devour and I wouldn’t have it any other way……
10 golden rules of Banting
1. Remember: this is not a high protein diet. It’s a high fat, medium protein, low carb way of eating
2. Choose real foods that look like what they are, and cook them from scratch
3. Fat is not the enemy. Enjoy it!
4. Eat only when you are hungry; eat until you are satisfied – then stop
5. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. You won’t die if you occasionally skip a meal you don’t feel like eating.
6. Stop snacking. You won’t need to – it’s just a habit.
8. No grains of any kind
9. No (or very, very little) fruit. Think of it as a sweet rather than a health snack.
10. Embrace eggs. They’re healthy, satisfying and very good for you.
So to sum up this post there are diets out there for all people but to me a diet should be defined as a ‘temporary’ change of eating habits that is long term unsustainable. I see it so many times at work where people go on the ‘liteneasy’ diet where the food is delivered to them daily and costs a kings ransom. They do lose weight but look miserable every time lunchtime comes around as I tuck into my smorgasbord of meat, rice and pudding (runners love pudding!) while they are faced with something that looks like it was prepared for a small child who has an allergy for anything that tasted good and loves tuna. Eventually they come off the diet and the weight returns like an old friend as they sneak to the comfort foods that made them smile and they enjoyed eating. This of course is the fundamental flaw in diets, you are changing peoples eating habits by giving them food they don’t really enjoy eating or quantities that are not satisfying. What a diet should do is couple the diet changes with a change in attitude towards nutrition. Once you enjoy eating the food offered it is no longer a diet but a lifestyle change, which is sustainable.
It looks like Jon has embraced quiche and thus he is enjoying the Banting diet and does not see it now as a constraining factor in his daily diet choice. Thus he is at or near his racing weight and running the best I have seen him run in many years. This is a double positive, a new diet that he is enjoying and a performance spike. Of course this is the sacrifice Jon is prepared to make but now he is at his racing weight he can control his urges and maybe treat himself to a ‘macho‘ waffle and maple syrup in the near future. Maybe next week there’ll be more than one quiche making its way our table, we’ll see.
Although runners have less opportunities to increase pace without actually putting in the hard yards…
As you will know I have spent many hours pontificating over diets since my injury…