The Endurance Diet - 80/20 Nutrition | 80/20 Endurance

The Endurance Diet – 80/20 Nutrition

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    I hope it is ok to post here about “The Endurance Diet” as it is also in a way mentioned under the resources section of this website.
    First of all, I want to point out that I am a big fan of the 80/20 system and also truly like the Endurance Diet. I read the Book, and also the Racing Weight book.

    I don’t want to be boring and share my daily meals and nutrition details but I do have a question that is now bothering me for a while. When switching from my “normal” nutrition (I have been eating healthy but by far not as focused on whole foods and carb intake, etc.) to “The Endurance Diet” I started to gain weight. Quite some weight actually – 8 lbs – within a relatively short period of time. Also my body composition did change as per my scale – unfortunately not what I was hoping for: BF up by about 2%.
    I can most certainly rule out a too high calorie intake as I did track everything I was eating to make sure I do it right (I use the DQS app as well as MyFitnessPal) and I also wanted to develop a feeling for my new way of eating.
    Is it possible that the increase in weight is caused by the sudden increase in carbs? I don’t know if the scale is measuring BF correctly though.
    Is there any explanation why this is happening? I currently hold my weight and it seems it has now settled – hopefully.
    I made the switch to the endurance diet on September 21st, weighing in at 143 lbs at a height of 5’9″, BF of 12.5% (as per my scale). I did not use athlete mode.
    Right now, I’m right around the same height and shrinking 🙂 by I’m weighing 151 lbs and the scale says my BF is around 15%. Switching to athlese mode it shows a BF of about 7.5% but I’m pretty sure that’s not right because I don’t look like that – LMAO.

    What has changed is my training: I haven’t been running in about 6-8 months before I started the Endurance Diet due to injuries and I also picked increased swimming & (home) strength training. But that would not explain that much increase in weight and/or bodyfat?

    Oh, and I also want to add that I usually score between 20-25 DQS – depending on what I eat, but typically my days are like this:
    Breakfast: steel cut oats or oat bran, berries, cottage cheese, coffee & skim milk
    Snack 1: raisins mixed with nuts (unsalted)
    Lunch: greek yogurt, oats, chia seeds, banana or pear
    Snack 2: tomato, bell peppers, cooked beets / afternoon coffee & skim milk plus dark chocolate (I need a treat daily)
    Dinner: protein (chicken breast, fish, 96% ground, turkey ground), veggies, whole grain bread, whole grain noodles, brown rice etc. etc.
    Snack 3: oranges, banana, kiwi, apple with cottage cheese, etc.

    sometimes, I have hot lunch and cold dinner. Depending on the day of the week, etc.


    Matt Fitzgerald

    Hi Winoria,

    Yes, I’m happy to field nutrition-related questions here.

    It is physically impossible to gain weight unless you’re either consuming more calories or burning fewer calories or both. I know some low-carb diet advocates claim otherwise, but, well, they’re wrong.

    Does energy imbalance (calories in > out) cause obesity?

    So, one way or another, your recent weight gain must be caused by increased calorie consumption or reduced calorie output (via resting metabolism or activity or both). Weight gain is not always a bad thing. If you gain weight and start to feel and perform better in your training at the same time, then there’s nothing to worry about. But if your weight gain is not associated with any such benefits, then you’ll want to tweak your diet further to have it both ways.

    One thing you might try is eating more satiating foods. For example, boiled potatoes are a lot more satiating than bread. Replacing some of your fruit servings with veggies would have a similar effect. Finally, I will say that by the looks of it you are now consuming more carbs than you need to support a low to moderate training volume. So for now, at least, you might consider replacing some carb-rich unprocessed foods with some more fat/protein-rich unprocessed foods, not because carbs are inherently fattening (they aren’t) but again for the satiety effect.

    Coach Matt


    Hi Coach Matt,

    thanks for the swift response. I actually don’t consider myself to do a low/moderate training volume – I train about 9-14h per week. It was less a few weeks ago (6-9h). I currently do the 70.3 Level 3 plan.
    I had days where I thought I haven’t been eating enough carbs (when looking at the macros in MFP) and therefore ate another banana or tried to find some other carbs. As I think of it, maybe I should stop tracking in MyFitnessPal and really only listen to my body.
    I will take on your advice and eat more fat/protein rich foods and see where it gets me. Also replacing fruits with veggies sounds good.
    My understanding was also that you cannot gain or lose weight without creating a imbalance meaning too little or too high calorie intake. I was wondering however, if, for example, a sudden increase in carbs could cause the body to store more water or maybe change something in the GI tract or so? Or is that stupid?

    I have another question about DQS though: How would you score Sushi made with brown rice and how would you score Gold Standard Chocolate Protein Powder? I was assuming the protein powder would be “sweets” because of the chocolate flavor (sweetener) and the Sushi High Quality Meats & Whole Grains?

    Thanks again!

    Matt Fitzgerald

    Generally speaking, it’s best not to mix and match Endurance Diet habits with other protocols. In the book I argue for relying on mindfulness instead of math to regulate quantity of food intake, and I guess you’re finding out why!

    Sushi I would score as you suggest. The specific supplement you mention I would score as a high-quality processed food.


    Thanks Matt – lesson learned. I will report back in a few weeks.

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