Peter Defty:  Optimal Fat Metabolism

Let’s talk about OFM & Strategic Carb Timing.

Are you strategically placing low glycemic load real food carbs into your fueling and training plan?

Do you need carbs as an athlete?

If so, when should you add them into your day, why and when?

How do we individualize our training and fueling program at an athlete?

OFM is about getting your body back to optimal fat metabolism.  Use fat and not store fat.  Use FAT as your FUEL!

OFM can help you you:

  • Smash your PR / PB
  • Eliminate GI issues
  • Eliminate ‘bonking’ and ‘hitting the wall’ in all facets of life
  • Recover like you never thought possible. Hint: It’s not recovery! 
  • Reduce or eliminate injuries
  • Turn back the aging process & take back YOUR Health!

Many non-athlete suggestions for keto is around 50 grams per day- even 50 grams total carbs (vs. NET).

Once you are fat adapted as an athlete- the more training load increases then the carb intake can be increased for performance gains.  You could tolerate 100-150 grams of carbs per day- ideally saving for post workout when insulin sensitivity (insulin is highly anabolic), or the evening “re-feed” to top off glycogen stores for your next workout.

The night before your morning workout, as I would do an early run or bike ride at sunrise, the dinner (3 hours before bed time), could include some safe starches.

Cycle in carbs during heavy training blocks if doing higher heart rate (higher percentage of carbs being used for fuel in higher heart rate workouts).  Non-starchy vegetables you don’t need to count as a fat adapted athlete.  On recovery easy days – then you can keep carbs lower and do more protein/fat with longer fasting window (but not on the week before your cycle for female athletes!).

I would stop counting calories- instead INTUITIVE fueling and eating to figure out how much you need if you eat slowly, mindfully and combine your macros appropriately to feel full, satisfied and energized.

Part One: OFM, Strategic Carbs and Vespa

What are you able to digest and absorb as an athlete while training?

ME… not much.  Less fuel is more for my gut before, during and right after a workout or race.

Do we need carbs as an athlete?  Can’t you just be a carnivore as an athlete as we hear on social media and other podcasts?

I can’t eat animal meat before a workout as it will be still digesting.  Easy to digest fats and sometimes small amounts of carbs pre workouts can help me – or I make my own low carb protein scones (as below).

Where do you cross over from burning primarily fat to carbohydrates as an athlete?  It depends.

How metabolically efficient are you?

Test and not guess!

Peter Defty was In this interview with Mike Mutzel, where he discussed real world fat-adaptation and how everything changes with performance fat adaptation.

Some key points Peter Makes with my friend Mike a few years ago include::

  • I stress individuality and how one size does not  fit all when it comes to sports nutrition.
  • The best level of Ketones probably are sub-clinical for athletes  
  • Beta-oxidation is actually the principle energy pathway for fat burning
  • How fasting glucose can increase and post exercise glucose
  • Aerobic fitness increases metabolic flexibility  
  • How important developing cardiovascular fitness is for fat adapted performance
  • How hard core ‘keto’ can create adrenal stress and limit performance
  • Stress, EMF & Circadian Rhythm are as big of a factor as carbohydrates

OFM:  If you are an athlete that has a hard time regulating energy levels, bonks during races and training, has GI issues or maintaining the reins on your diet ……..then understanding how YOU can tap into your onboard energy stores the way Nature intended is crucial to getting you to the next level.

In Peter’s 15+ years of coaching athletes in fat adaptation, he realized the huge metabolic differences between athletes, especially between men and women. Learn more in my interviews with Peter on THE LOW CARB ATHLETE podcast.

The more muscles we have, the larger storage tank for muscle glycogen fuel.  Your back up fuel tank- if you are a fat adapted athlete, replenish glycogen stores without eating lots of carbs.  We can replenish the back up fuel tank from fat – or strategically place carbs in post workout window when insulin sensitive or in an evening carb refeed to fuel the next day’s “fasted” workout.

You should meet with a coach, myself or one of the OFM coaches, to get a personalized fueling and training program.  I coach my clients with the eight elements of THE WHOLESTIC Method to be fit and healthy from the inside out.

Does an athlete need carbs?  If so why, when and how much?


If you can tolerate safe starchy vegetables – at the right time of day that works to your advantage then check out how your body reacts to these vegetables…but always strive for a four day rotation food plan and save your carbs for your evening meal.


These are highly recommended for post-workout glycogen replacement to your muscles after CrossFit or HIIT style training or longer, endurance-based training. 

ItemCHO g per 100g servingFiber g per 100g servingCHO g per 1cup servingPortion Size NotesOther Notable Nutrients
cassava382781c= 206gVitamin C, Thiamin, Folate, Potassium, Manganese
taro root355461c= 132gVitamin B6, Vitamin E, potassium, manganese
plantains312481c= 154g (slices)Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium
yam274371c= 136g (cubed)Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Manganese, Potassium
white potato, peeled221271c= 122gNot much very high, some Vitamin C
sweet potato213581c= 328g (mashed)Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron (non-heme), Vitamin E
parsnips174271c= 178g (sliced)Vitamin C, Manganese.
lotus root163191c= 120g (sliced)Vitamin C.
acorn squash154311c= 205gVitamin C.
onion101211c= 210g (chopped)Vitamin C, Potassium.
beets102171c= 170g (sliced)Folate, Manganese.
carrots103131c= 128g (chopped)Vitamin A, Vitamin K,
butternut squash10 –221c= 205gVitamin A, Vitamin C
jicama (raw)95121c= 130g (slices)Vitamin C.
kohlrabi71121c = 165gVitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper, Manganese
spaghetti squash6191c= 155gNot very many. 

Part Two: Peter Defty on OFM, Vespa and Strategic Carbs

Are you doing a fasted long bike ride, run or hike over three hours?  Perhaps you can experiment by eating before your workout as compared to eating during your workout.  For example, last weekend

Low-Carb Bacon and Cheese Scones
These Low-carb Bacon and Cheese Scones are gluten-free, ultra-simple to whip up, and made with almond flour, coconut flour, bacon, cheese, and chives.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings12 people
Author Olivia Ribas


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream or you can use almond milk (I used combo Heavy Cream/Almond Milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese save 2 tablespoons for topping (I used GOAT Cheese)
  • ½ cup cooked bacon save 1 tbsp for topping
  • 3 tablespoons chives chopped (save ½ tsp for topping)
  • Bonus Debbie Ingredients:
    • EQUIP Beef Protein unsweetened (use our code LOWCARBATHLETE to save!)
    • Laird or OM Mushroom 10 superfoods


  • Preheat oven to 325F. Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt together.
  • In a small bowl, whisk egg, egg white, and whipping cream.
  • Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then toss the mixture together with a rubber spatula.
  • Add cheese, bacon, and chives. Mix everything together until well combined.
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.
  • With your hands, work the dough into a ball.
  • Press into a neat 8″ disc and cut into 8 equal wedges with a knife.
  • Top with cheese, bacon, and chives.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a 5 minutes before serving.
Remember… that OFM is not keto or paleo but it is an individualized fueling and training program for Athletes.

Ask me any questions here!

The WHOLESTIC Method Coach,

Debbie Potts