Fuel for thought.
Fuel your engine right and performing better at triathlon is guaranteed. Diet and lifestyle work together to produce the best possible athlete. As a triathlete you have established a healthy lifestyle incorporating weekly strength, swim, bike and run workouts. You go to bed early and rise early to get 8 hours sleep. So you’ve nailed the lifestyle side, but what’s your diet like? A bad diet can bring down a good athlete. Lets talk diet.
I like the 80 / 20 diet rule. The principle behind the 80 / 20 rule is simple. Eat nutritious foods 80% of the time and allow yourself to indulge a little the other 20%. The 20% portion of less healthy eating should occur once per week (not every day). Keep that Sunday afternoon free for a few cold beers and slice of pizza. I know this is easier said then done when you may have more then one social engagement on during a week. Thats why diet is really the 4th discipline. You have to work at it just as hard as the other 3 to get results.
Fuel your engine right and perform better by healthy eating on the 80 / 20 diet which includes eating mainly whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods including fruits, green leafy vegetables, lean proteins and whole unprocessed grains as well as plenty of water. From a personal stand point I find this the hardest discipline. I love to eat. I love food. I love wine, actually all alcohol. I know when I’m not disciplined with diet my performance suffers. I gain weight, I’m sluggish, flat footed, feel heavy and bloated.
Game On diet.
When I’m on my game my diet consists of a morning coffee ALWAYS followed by rolled oats, skim milk, Greek yoghurt and berries or eggs for breakfast. Tinned tuna, ham or turkey, avocado, tomato and cottage cheese on rice biscuits for lunch, lean proteins or fish with salad or vegetables for dinner. I add a lot of spice, herbs, garlic and ginger to jazz things up. Snacks in-between are usually carrot, cheese or cucumber sticks with hommus dip.
My weakness…..wait for it Pepsi Max (shocking I know) but I get tired of water. My other down fall is portion control. I can eat large amounts and often eye off my husband or kids plates to seek out more food…like an animal after its prey. Then there is my love of carbohydrates, especially pasta.
So ‘eat in a good paddock’ once a week and enjoy the things you deprive yourself 80% of the time. The best thing about this is the taste of chocolate will taste even sweeter and that chilled sparkling champagne will dance on your taste buds because you don’t have it too often. You deserve to reap the rewards of your training. Isn’t that a reason to train? Your fitness gains will be found in the gym, your weight management is found in the kitchen.
Above all, remember you earn your body. If you want it, nourish it, train it, live like it.