While we have always advocated a balanced approach to nutrition with the ethos of “eat well, most of the time”, we also understand that for some athletes shedding a bit of excess weight is an important personal goal and can be challenging.
For those of you on that journey finding it tough, one approach is a mindful investigation into your individual “cracking points”.
When do you simply find it impossible to resist the Ben & Jerries, cake or takeaway?
Is it on Friday evening after a busy week, when you feel drained of energy and outfaced by cooking?
Or perhaps by the time dinner comes around every day you are so hungry having worked, exercised, cleaned the house, put the kids to bed etc that you find yourself eating a huge portion and topping it off with a chocolate feast?
What about the day after a long ride, do you find the sugar cravings irresistible?
One we often hear from clients who have been up since 6am, perhaps jumping straight on the indoor trainer, is the early afternoon crack.
I guarantee you there will be a pattern and you will begin to notice it if you start noting down when the excessive calorie binges occur and working backwards from there in order to pinpoint specific triggers.
Once you have done this, you are half way there!
Now it’s time to start introducing some roadblocks.
Let’s say evenings are your weak moments: try adding more quality carbs (eg rice) to your lunch and a substantial bowl of fruit and yogurt at 5pm. This should give you the energy not only to power through the afternoon but also the composure to then make rational, healthy food choices come dinner time as opposed to eating everything in the fridge and then the fridge itself.
If the day after long rides gets you: increase the amount of carbs you are consuming during the ride and the size of the meal post ride. Often a bowl of yogurt just before bed can also help manage your appetite the next day.
The early afternoon crack: you simply have to find a way of fuelling that morning session better, if you can’t stomach the oats or don’t have time, try downing a banana smoothie prepared the night before. Plus, get something substantial in mid morning, like an omelette and toast or the old faithful yogurt and fruit at 11am or so.
The fundamental point here is getting something healthy and substantial in before you start feeling hungry and tired. By this point, it is too late!
Get the roadblock in early to avert the inevitable cakeathon.
Over time you will see some really positive results.
As always, balance is the key. Never completely cut out the foods you love, life is for living.
Small, sustainable changes are the way forward.
Happy eating, love Duchy Cycle Coaching.