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Dietary considerations for freediving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
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Ok - my turn to ask a question...

I am looking to try and improve my over health for the coming year with a change in my diet (Turn the bit 40 this year).

I can't seem to break myself of craving mass amounts of protein, mainly from animal sources, specifically from free range beef.

I also do a fair amount of weight lifting, aerobic type, to try and burn more calories, as I can't seem to shake the last 20 pounds of table muscle I have acquired over the years.

I thought I remembered there being some discussion regarding special dietary consumption for freediving. This included better oxygen transport, etc.

I am not sure what else to try. I suppliment heavily to make sure I am getting all my nutrients, but still, I am hungry most of the time. Typical caloric intake is 2000 - 2500 calories. If I go below that, I end up being hungry 24/7. I drink 1.5 liters H2O a day as well. No coffee, mainly Green Tea and Chai with Soy beverage. I have cut out all dairy and that has helped with excess mucous buildup.

Anything else I might be able to try?

HELP! :head

TIA,
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
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Hi Cliff, I remember we talked in the past about Hi protein, Low carb diets. I have used them to burn off at for a few weeks at a time, but I now believe that they are not really the best option . Yes, temporarily, they can be used, but one must then go on a more balanced diet. The reason being that carbs are necessary for many body functions, and for good glycogen levels in muscles. This means more energy for workouts, meaning more intense wokouts, plus better recovery times, and improved brain function. If you're feeling hungry all the time, chances are that your carbs are low in comparison to your proteins. Carbs are responsible for elevated serotonin levels that make you feel satiated during the day: cravings go away. Even if you eat tons of proteins, your body will go into a state of ketosis, and rob your muscles for the necessary proteins to make glucose for your brain.
When I have used the LCHP diet in the past, I stopped when I noticed these symptoms: I got very hungry all the time-I stopped making progress in the gym-my muscles became flat and smaller.
All these are typical symptoms of this diet that has been observed in many people who take it to extremes.
I went on the HPLC diet for January, then these symptoms again started to show. I upped the carbs a bit, while dropping caloric intake. In 2 months, I gained an inch on my arms, added 12 lbs body mass, and my waist dropped 2 inches. I have tons of energy, and my recovery times are much shorter, which is important to me.
I would also add that the lifting I do is extremely brief and heavy(for me). IE: chest and shoulders day is this regimen....dips with 45 lb plate-15 reps, then dips with no weight, 13 reps....butterfly machine: 145 lbs for 13 reps, then 70 lbs for 12 reps, Overhead dumbell press standing: 30 lbs for 9 reps. Takes 15 minutes max. Every set is to extremely brutal failure, where the last attempted rep can last 10 seconds. I wait at least a week before repeating this day, and every workout , the reps and/or weight goes up.
With the HPLC diet, I plateaued very quickly, but for 2 months I have progressed since upping the carbs.
It has also been proved that this kind of intense heavy duty training, including interval training, are much more efficient at burning fat than aerobic training or high-volume lifting; not that those don't have a place.
There's a really good article in the March 2002 Muscle Media about this, maybe have a look and see what you think.
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

thin_air

Alphabet
Sep 15, 2001
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although my knowledge of diets for exersice is limited what i have learned for mountain biking i think i can be applicable here.

1. Drink alot of water, not juice just water, every other fluid is treated by your body as solids. yes you can still drink sports drinks but i only use them for their carbo value(this means that i replace a gel with sports drink because its easier to digest)

2.Eat more then 3 times a day. the less frequently you eat the more you energy level will very hour to hour. my schedual with school allows me 5 "meals"
0700-breakfast, usually a bowl of cereal with a glass of OJ and a multivitamin(during the winter only)
1030-lunch (screw up school schedual) usully 2grain and 2fruit/vegetable
1230-snack, usually a fruit bar or a PB and J sandwich(whole grain bread)
1500-snack, usually a fruit or 2 with a cookie if i go work out that day
1830-supper, usually high in protien and low in carbs, no sweet desert, 1 fruit

i try to drink a cup of water at every meal and about half a liter inbetween meals (yes i have to go piss alot:duh :duh)

3.eat slowly, your body needs about 10 minutes to figure out there is food in the stomach

4.dont stop yourself from "pleasure" foods completly, to be successful in a diet reward yourself with something(donuts for me)

5. you said you cut out all dairy products, this is not good even if you take calcium supplements, eating a little bit of dairy is important for strong bones, i think i remember reading an article about the lack of dairy products being related to lack of red blood cells (you bones make the cells so it makes sence)

you are very disiplined so i wouldnt worry about the table muscles

good luck
 

Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
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I WANT to have Dairy!!!

I haven't given up dairy because I want to - I have developed an intolerence for Lactose and as such have had to give it up. There is nothing I would love more than to have my favorite dish - cheese enchiladas with green sauce... mmmm.... :p

But as I stated before - cutting out dairy has helped enormously in reducing mucus secretions when training.

I am using a special calcium suppliment from GNC that is Calcium Citrate based - evidently, it is utilized by the body almost completely and is said to help with what thin_air was talking about with red blood cells...

I am relieved to hear that carbs are ok - I have been fighting the battle of the bulge for the last year and although I had lost 30 pounds, this winter I have gained about 12 of it back - I am sure some of it is muscle, since I have watched my biceps grow from 14 inches to 16 3/4 inches in the last year, but now I am wanting to go to the next level in my training, and as such, improve my lean muscle mass and remove some of this fat - then again, as I look at some of the freedivers out there, like Pipin, they seem to be more stocky in their stature, and yet do very well in freediving.

Does the type of physical stature determine one's ability in freediving?

Any thoughts???
 
Last edited:

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
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Cliff, in my opinion there comes a time when it's a good thing to accept one's body type. I am 6'1", and if I did not lift, I would be about 155-160 lbs. Because I lift, I'm 182, floating between 173 and 185. I am still slim, but I'm in damn good shape, and I no longer want to be 195 lbs....it's not reasonable to expect it, and I start to feel a little sluggish and my back and knees get sore when I'm at the top end of my floating weight. I have very small bone structure, and have come to like how my body looks and feels.
I know that you are very devoted to your health and training, but I wonder if maybe you're at the weight that your body is happy at? My sisters are big boned, and there is only so much weight they can lose, no matter what. If they get too thin, they get sick and look unhealthy.
That reminds me of when someone says "she's not fat, she's just big boned", and the reply is " well, she sure has a big stomach bone!" LOL.
As far as chubby freedivers, take a look at Dieter Baumann; he is definitely overweight, but pulls off 50 metre constant dives all the time. Hopefully he wont read this and kick the crap out of me if I meet him:blackeye , and you are DEFINITELY not in the same weight class as him.
And I feel for you regarding the dairy: I don't think I could do it! Chocolate, Ice Cream and Cheese are a big part of my diet, haha!
Anyhoo, good luck Cliff,
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

mark aronoff

New Member
Jul 9, 2001
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Originally posted by Erik
Cliff, in my opinion there comes a time when it's a good thing to accept one's body type. I am 6'1", and if I did not lift, I would be about 155-160 lbs. Because I lift, I'm 182, floating between 173 and 185. I am still slim, but I'm in damn good shape, and I no longer want to be 195 lbs....it's not reasonable to expect it, and I start to feel a little sluggish and my back and knees get sore when I'm at the top end of my floating weight. I have very small bone structure, and have come to like how my body looks and feels.
I know that you are very devoted to your health and training, but I wonder if maybe you're at the weight that your body is happy at? My sisters are big boned, and there is only so much weight they can lose, no matter what. If they get too thin, they get sick and look unhealthy.
That reminds me of when someone says "she's not fat, she's just big boned", and the reply is " well, she sure has a big stomach bone!" LOL.
As far as chubby freedivers, take a look at Dieter Baumann; he is definitely overweight, but pulls off 50 metre constant dives all the time. Hopefully he wont read this and kick the crap out of me if I meet him:blackeye , and you are DEFINITELY not in the same weight class as him.
And I feel for you regarding the dairy: I don't think I could do it! Chocolate, Ice Cream and Cheese are a big part of my diet, haha!
Anyhoo, good luck Cliff,
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

mark aronoff

New Member
Jul 9, 2001
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try again, mark: One thing not mentioned so far re:weight loss is, I think, the body's tendency to respond to cold water immersion by going into its "keep warm" mode ie "it's cold out there;gotta pack on the fat cells for survival." This is ,of course, the layman's non-scientific lingo for what I've read happens, and what I've experienced. Namely, for myself, a biig difference in bodyweight maintenance/increase/decrease noticed when switching between periods/seasons of running vs. periods of (coldwater) open water swimming. To the point where some of that extra body fat is WANTED for comfort level in the swims vs. NONE of it is wanted when running is the transportation mode. You can swim and swim and swim.....and (especially) if it's in cold(er) water, forget getting the bodyfat down to runner's levels.. But then, 3% Muscle and Fitness bodyfat levels are realistically speaking, unrealistic for the real world....right? And besides, my ear-clearing problems remain independent of my bodyfat levels.
 

thin_air

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Sep 15, 2001
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cliff, i also am lactose intolerante. however i drink lacteeze milk and take Lactaid pills when i eat icecream or cheese or anything of that matter, i have only dicovered these recently

about the lifting and body weight... i think that erik is right on the subject, your body has a built in "fat meter" and will keep your body fat at a certain level, there is also the fact that 25% percent of your body fat is hereditary, although that is less of an issue then the built in fat meter:duh i love saying that, he he he built in fat meter:D

hope this helps,
 

Cliff Etzel

Photographer & Visual Storyteller
Jul 7, 2000
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He said "FAT METER".. That's kewl....

Thansk to all who have responded... I was beginning to worry that I was somehow missing something - Sounds like I am on the right track.

Regarding being Lactose Intolerent - I really don't mind, actually. The only thing I REALLY miss is cheese and making my homemade Fettuccini Alfredo, and I have been known to splurge once in a while on pizza - my wife always pays for it later with an unusual amount of snoring at night due to the mucus build up.

Oh Well... zzz

Have to say that drinking Silk in my Green Tea and Chai has been a treat - especially the Vanilla flavor. Don't miss drinking milk at all.

And Erik you were right about the Carbs - started them back into my diet and have found that my energy level is up and I am not so hungry - thanks for the info on that - it has helped quite a bit...

Am in serious training for April - it is looking like I will be attending the IAFD Instructor Certification being held in the Dominican Republic and want to be in shape for it.

L8R...
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
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Cliff, that's great news about the IAFD clinic. Good luck, I am envious:D
Cheers,
Erik Y.
 

clogz

New Member
Aug 30, 2001
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fats

I'm not on any diet, I eat anything but dairy products (some cheese someday), drink sometimes (booze & beer), pizza, crapfood etc, whatever. Last weekend measured my body fat %, and it was below 5% (gauge scale started from 5 and it said 'error'). I'm few cm over 180cm and weight 67kg.

But this is intresting thread, I'd like to eat healthy and more freediving-specific if it would help. I also know it doesn't make master itself :)

Juha
 

ickledevil

take a breath and relax..
Apr 26, 2001
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Loverly thread,
I was just thinking of starting somthing similar myself... Im out of shape, but not overweight just need to get diving!!!
Anyway the one thing I thought Id add is a note on body fat, I happen to have met a bloke who lives near me a few times I think he used to have the envious (?) title of 'Britains Fittest Man' Anyway his body fat was never above 4% which apparently is quite low. He said the only problem he had was in his Triatholons etc. He couldnt swim, he had such low fat levels and quite high muscle that he plain sank. Maybe not such a bad thing for a freediver!? :confused: but he had to expend much more energy swimming than he should have... its a bit odd seeing a man easily run 20miles and hardly break a sweat yet be 'dead' after a 500m swim!
Joe
 

BryanW

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2002
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Body fat

4% or 5% body fat is very very low: most charts I've seen give "athletic" as between 12 and 15%, which is still quite a bit lower than the average in this country. I've heard that going much below this can have health implications, one of them being that the body is more likely to cannibalise protein (ie those muscles you've spent so much effort building up) for fuel. Anyone know any more about this?

And Thin Air ... maybe at your age the body has a built-in "fat meter", but when you hit 25, you better watch those doughnuts! :D

Bryan
 

Ike

New Member
Apr 3, 2002
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Supplements

Not sure this is exactly what you were asking,but I feel it will definitely be useful to freedivers.Taking dessicated liver tablets and vitamin E tabs can greatly increase your body's oxygen transportation.Many people have noticed big differences using these.
 

A Brownsword

Well-Known Member
Mar 25, 2002
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Re: Body fat

Originally posted by BryanW
And Thin Air ... maybe at your age the body has a built-in "fat meter", but when you hit 25, you better watch those doughnuts! :D

Heh, for me this happened at 30. Now I'm actually having to pay attention to what I eat -- what a pain.

Not related to Freediving training, but perhaps of interest... I've read a bit and played around with a few "eating patterns" (I hate the word "diet"), and have some observations. First of all a diet should be balanced, not one of those "hi this, lo that" patterns that overloads you with some elements and deprives you of others. Second, it should be consistent and long-term so that you can establish habits around it. Third, avoid processed sugars -- this is really hard in our consumer society because almost everything is heavily processed, but this is the primary reason for obesity and a wide variety of health issues. Fourth, reduce your caffine intake (coffee, pop, chocolate)... this last one I think would affect freedivers noticably.
 
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