Nikki Kimball: On Depression, A Fat-Adapted Diet, and Ultrarunning

July 30, 2015
Be sure to check out for the trusted products and services we recommend, and enjoy exclusive deals and great savings! When you shop through the podcast you help support the show and keep it thriving!
Photo credit Paul Nelson

Photo credit Paul Nelson

On this show we’re joined by professional ultrarunner Nikki Kimball, one of the most accomplished ultrarunners alive as well as a physical therapist out of Bozeman, Montana. Nikki gives a candid interview on her struggles with depression and adopting a low-carb/high-fat diet for better performance in sport and in life.

Nikki opens up about female-specific issues when being fat-adapted from her experiences, answering all those burning questions you’ve had and especially: Is LCHF for female athletes a good idea and safe? While the answer is most certainly: “it depends on the individual” we still get a close account on what to expect based on Nikki’s experiences.

Topics  discussed:

– An intro on Nikki’s ultra career,

– The documentary “Finding Traction” that followed her journey in getting the Vermont’s Long Trail FKT – 5 days, 7 hrs, 42min, 272 miles,

– WS100 this year, and her struggles going into the race. She still finished top 10, making her the first female to have 10 top-10 finishes including two wins!

– Her intense battle with depression and how she manages it to still live an awesome life (and how diet plays a role!)


– How Nikki ate and fueled for years before taking the high-fat route, including being vegetarian.

– How and why she went the fat-adapted route,

– Her approach to fat, carbs and protein; in terms of intake, timing them with training, racing, her season, etc?

– What kind of carbs does she eat, and cycling in carbs,

– How long did it take to feel and be fat adapted?

– Experience as a woman specifically who prescribes to LCHF,

– How did her body react high fat diet – pros and cons?

– Hormonal balance: did hormones out of whack or did hormones improve,

– Fatigue management,

– Cognitive effects,

– Performance effects?

– Addressing high-end speed when LCHF,

– Higher clarity in races,

– Ability to race with few calories and still perform even better,

– How she fuels for races and what she eats during,

– What are her carb/sugar go-tos if used in a race,

– Intermittent fasting (IF) for female athletes,

– Hunting,

– and more!