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Chickpeas are naturally high in carbs — a single cup contains 45 grams of carbohydrates.31 However, you can modify the recipe to make it more nutritious. Try this recipe from Pete Evans, which replaces the chickpeas with beetroot.32 Beware, though, that beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, so consume them in very controlled amounts.
• Weight loss — If you're trying to lose weight, then a ketogenic diet is one of the best ways to do it, because it helps access your body fat so that it can be shed. Obese people in particular can benefit from this method. In one study, obese test subjects were given a low-carb ketogenic diet and a low-fat diet. After 24 weeks, researchers noted that the low-carb group lost more weight (9.4 kilograms or 20.7 pounds) compared to the low-fat group (4.8 kilograms or 10.5 pounds).1
• Fighting inflammation — The human body can use both sugar and fat as fuel sources. However, the latter is preferred because it is a cleaner, healthier fuel that releases far fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals. By eliminating sugar from your daily food consumption, you're decreasing your risk of developing chronic inflammation throughout your body.
Another common mistake is to eat the same or similar every day regardless of the riding you are doing. For example, a big bowl of porridge is brilliant on the morning of a big ride but, if you’re not cycling that day or not doing a session until later in the day, it is not necessary. A less carbohydrate and calorie heavy breakfast, such as an omelette or yoghurt with fruit, would be more appropriate. Conversely, if you are riding hard and the quality of the session is your priority, it is important that you take on sufficient carbohydrates. At the same time as you plan your training, plan your diet so that it is appropriate to the riding you are doing.
So what makes cycling so special for weight loss? In short, it makes you happy, says Jimmy Weber, of Enid, Oklahoma, who at 6’2” and 260 pounds is not a small rider, but is now 150 pounds lighter than his max weight of 410 pounds eight years ago. He initially shed weight through bariatric surgery and a lot of walking. But walking his usual seven miles a day got boring and running was out of the question.