I thought this topic was very appropriate, now that triathlon season is in full-swing. I hope you enjoy my latest article found in the FREE Iron Girl newsletter. Enjoy!
Weight Maintenance Throughout Racing Season
By Marni Sumbal
When an athlete attempts to lose weight, nutrient empty foods are often the first to go. But when weight loss begins to plateau, athletes may reach towards drastic measures, such as extreme exercise, weight loss pills or unrealistic calorie restriction. Regardless, if you feel frustrated, depressed or lacking self-confidence, there is no reason why you should seek radical measures to lose and/or maintain weight. While increasing your consumption of nutrient dense foods, such as fruits and veggies will help curb hunger and control appetite throughout the day, it's important that your dietary habits support your current training routine and help reach racing goals.
If you are training for an upcoming race, your diet should include a variety of nutrients to encourage proper fuel storage, to boost immunity and to aid in quick tissue repair. A diet rich in whole grains, heart-healthy fats, lean or vegetarian protein, low-fat dairy, legumes and nut butters/nuts/seeds will not only encourage performance gains but will keep you satisfied as you train for future races. For individuals trying to prevent weight gain throughout racing season, prioritize pre and post training fuels depending on the workout intensity and volume and keep a food journal to recognize times of food weakness and strength.
Planning balanced meals (starting with breakfast), interspersed with several balanced snacks, is a great way to jump-start your metabolism and control blood sugar levels throughout the day. As a dedicated athlete seeking performance gains, a positive attitude, patience and confidence will help with weight maintenance throughout the racing season. While there are foods that limit performance and provide negligible nutritional value to your health and exercise routine, associating guilty feelings when eating "bad" foods is not appropriate for an Iron Girl, living a balanced lifestyle. Starting today, throw away that list imaginary list of "off-limit" foods and consider all the foods that should be included in your active and healthy diet.