10 Nutrition Philosophies
When it comes to the best nutrition advice, everyone has an opinion. From fad diets to the big new trend, misinformation can be found everywhere.
The key to all of the nonsense? Realize there is no magic potion or one set of rules that is one-size-fits-all.
Here are some rules of thumb that I live by…
1. Keep it Simple.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time you eat. Snack on easy items like a healthy bar or an apple with nuts. And be consistent – stick to the same products for training as you would racing.
2. Keep a Food Log. Try keeping track of your food intake over the course of a week. Write down what you ate, how much and when (or use myfitness pal). This will help provide a great insight into your general nutrition and whether you are hitting your macros. It might also help you spot times during the week where you’ve made poor choices – maybe you could plan better next time to avoid this.
3. Enjoy What you Eat! Yes, food is fuel but that doesn’t mean it has to be bland and boring! No need to eat the same old white rice and chicken for every meal. Instead, try experimenting with different meats and vegetables and don’t be afraid to add herbs and spices to your meals. If the food you crave is unhealthy, try finding healthier alternatives that do the trick. Instead of a burger and chips, try a turkey burger with home made sweet potato wedges.
4. Have a Replenish Meal Once a Week! This is where you can enjoy the sought after meals you find alternatives for all week. One meal a week, my husband and I go out and enjoy the foods we love. We don’t concern ourselves with amount and just enjoy the meal and time together. It helps us focus on the week and also enjoy a good meal together.
5. Eat Carbs. There’s many fad diets and advice recommending no carbohydrates for training. The body requires them and using your race nutrition during training is key to a successful race day outcome. Also using carbohydrates at the right meal windows (before and after training; pre-day large meal for a race) will help you not only feel better, but race with the energy required to perform at your best.
6. Keep it Real. A good rule of thumb is 4 Fruits and 4 Veggies a day. Eat more greens. Oven bake some extra veg with your dinner. Try snacking on more fruit. Try adding berries to your breakfast.
7. Plan Ahead. How hard is it to pack an apple and some nuts the night before? It’s not. This should be as much of a priority as your workout itself. Bring training nutrition, recovery fuel and everything you think you’d need in a day and then some. It’s easy to have extra nutritious items stored in your gym bag and/or car.
8. Eggs. One of the most versatile foods out there. You can eat them by themselves, with vegetables, bake with them, and mix them with just about anything. They are highly nutritious and a great source of protein and fat.
9. Train like you Race. Use race nutrition while training. Don’t wait until race day! Be consistent and practice this to ensure your gut can absorb what’s required. Stick to the same fuels. Liquid fuels work the best for most people.
10. Eat Enough! Even when trying to lose weight, many individuals skip out on much needed caloric intake when it’s needed the most (during training and recovery)… Tracking calories can be helpful for learning what you eat for a few days. Seeing and talking with a sports dietician is also helpful for those trying to maximize their fitness and learn how much they should be eating for their weight loss goals and racing.
This article was written by pro triathlete, Ange Nath. Angela has won multiple Ironmans. She is a physical therapist by trade and has a Masters in Physical Therapy and Bachelors in Health Science.