The 5 No B.S. Principals of Weight Loss

Triathlete MagazineTrismarter.com sports nutritionist, Rebecca Marks Rudy appears in the November 2010 issue of Triathlete Magazine with The 5, No B.S. Principals of Weight Loss, beginning on page 148. The article has some great tips on how to lose weight, all of which we use as part of our Triathlon Weight Loss programs, Tri2Lose and Weight Management for Peak Performance.

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Here is the article (click here to download a PDF version), if you haven’t had a chance to pick up the latest Triathlete Magazine:

Eat More, Weigh Less

Counter intuitive perhaps, but this strategy is reliable for weight loss. It all comes down to frequency and timing. Many athletes looking to lean down don’t want to “sabotage” a solid workout by immediately consuming a lot of calories. However, by not responding to an increased appetite—particularly early on—you run the risk of chasing hunger all day. Chances are you’ll cave to cravings and overeat later. Better to invest in a hearty bowl of oatmeal, with milk or protein powder, sliced bananas and chopped walnuts than to fall prey to the pastry platter at your office meeting. And eat frequently. There is a difference between grazing mindlessly on empty calories and planning a balanced snack of combined nutrients. Avoid plowing through a whole bag of chips come late afternoon by preparing a half turkey sandwich on wheat with hummus and tomato. Bottom line: Eat when hungry so you won’t overeat when famished

Slow and Steady Wins

Triathletes are an eager breed: we want to do something right, and right now. But weight loss is best accomplished moderately. Creating a deficit of even 250-500 calories per day can yield a comfortable loss of approximately one-half to one pound per week. Over five to ten weeks (preferably off-season) this is substantial. Sure, you can sweat out five pounds in a run—so why wait over a month? Because it’s about affecting long-term improvement in your body composition. Where, then, are the expendable 250 calories? Focus on evening hours, when you’re likely less active. A nixed 6-ounce glass of wine conserves about 150 calories and an 8-ounce portion of lean red meat downsized to 6 saves another 100 calories. Filling up on an apple or a ½-cup of soybeans versus cheese and crackers as appetizer can be substantial; let’s just say one little ounce of regular cheese—the size of a golf-ball—is alone worth 100 calories! Bottom line: Approach weight loss as an Ironman, not a sprint

Have Chocolate

…Or whatever your indulgence may be. It’s important to keep your favorite foods in your nutrition program so that you don’t feel you are dieting. The word diet conjures up notions of rapid, short-term cycles that likely end in failure. Steamed broccoli and boiled chicken might skinny you up—for about three days! Modification, on the other hand, enables you to alter your nutrition, leaving room for your priorities. Need some m&m’s? Go fun size….not king size. Bottom line: Deprivation ≠ success

Numbers Don’t Lie

Be accountable to yourself by tracking your intake. Know how many calories you require and how much energy you expend. Lay out your general food plan—as you would your training goals—for the week. Then track your progress and modify your choices as you go. Ate the bagel egg-white sandwich at breakfast because the deli ran out of English muffins? Switch out the pretzels from your morning snack to 10-15 almonds. No dairy yet in the day? Add a Greek-style yogurt with berries to lunch. Depending on your logging method, you can track calories, energy balance, vitamin and mineral levels, and macronutrient composition. Options bound for food journaling from free to small monthly fees: Training Peaks, The Daily Plate, My Food Diary to name a few. Bottom Line: Track on your computer, phone, notebook or—when desperate—a napkin

Eat and Run

Forget table manners: it’s OK to eat on the go. In fact, it’s imperative for long training sessions (90+ minutes). Don’t resist taking in fuel prior to and during exercise to hoard your calorie-budget for later in the day. You’ll compromise performance and set yourself up for over-consuming after the workout. We all know how it feels to bonk, then come home to an all-day “recovery” buffet. It’s better to take in 200-300 calories per hour of exercise so your effort will be more efficient and your appetite better controlled. Bottom Line: Active muscles require proactive fueling

If you are interested in learning about our Triathlon Weight Loss Programs, Tri2Lose, and Weight Management for Peak Performance, or, are interested in working with Rebecca, please feel free to contact us.

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