Updated: Mar 28, 2022
"Sutto, since the lockdown I've piled on the pounds. I'm still doing some training but I want to now get going again for the races that will be coming up in the second half of the year "
Each week we try to address topics that are sent in to us and having received several notes from athletes in a similar vein to the above, we thought there may be a few more that are battling with this issue..., so here we go!
This will not be a long nutrition lecture looking to debate the thousands of experts out there who have specific dogma on all the types of diets out there. We are going to keep it simple and just pass on the same advice I give those in my private group that want to lose a few pounds. We look to a three step program: 1) Address slowed metabolism We point out that while still doing maintenance training, most people have been working out less than what their body is used to. Have you modified your level of eating inline with this? The usual answer is no. We then ask 'have you modified your intake of food supplements, shakes, bars and the like, consumed back when your were working out full tilt?' The usual answer is no, not really. Thus we point out, our metabolism has slowed during the lock down but you are still feeding your bodies at the same rate. So we point out, that with moving back to a more normal training pattern, you will automatically start the process of losing those extra pounds and they will slowly melt away normally.
2) Go natural While the weight has come on slowly over 12 months, as usual, most want to lose it much faster. It's human nature. Once we decide to start, many want to go fully back into training, and to restrict calories / food too. So what we point out is that ramping up training and a restrictive diet at the same time places additional stress on the body, leading to more fatigue both physically and mentally, slower recovery from training, as well as more likelyhood of missed workouts, while taxing both your willpower and relationships if it makes you a hungry, tired and grumpy triathlete! Instead we advocate to go more natural, not cutting meal size but to actually increase portions while using different food items. We suggest eating larger portions of foods that have to be grown. Lots of vegetables and fruits complimented with different meats. While not drinking your calories. If you have become addicted to pasta; I point out, do you eat it without sauce or just pesto for flavour? We all know the answer to that. I suggest potato has similar benefits that can be cooked in many different ways, in their skins, mashed, even baked. We tend not to put thick creamy sauces on them, same as white rice, grown as well but tastes usually fine. The meat question - I'm not getting into that fight or a carnivore, vegetarian or vegan debate! Vegan meat products have developed enormously in the last 3 years, so we can use that as a meat replacement without me losing my mind. I can tell you that following the above really works, and quite quickly. It also addresses the "I feel hungry all the time when I'm training" syndrome. 3) Shopping habits When we go shopping we tend to traipse up and down the aisles; 'I'd like to try that'and 'this looks good'. Thus, the heading.., If you don't buy it, you won't eat it. Yes number 3 is not about diet but about psychology. Before you head into the supermarket, train yourself to stay in the aisles that have what you need to buy to lose the weight. Be aware before you enter what the bigger mission is. This makes possibly the biggest effect on weight loss, your mind set and discipline triggered before you enter the food halls is the foundation of your success with this particular problem. Conclusion Yes, this blog is simplistic, but making small changes is simple. Add to these an increase in water consumption and you will be well on your way to achieving your previous ideal race weight. Just the way I see it! Thanks for your time.