Triathletes come in all shapes and sizes. Just like books, they shouldn’t be judged by their cover. Still, whether it’s to look better in their tri kit or to become faster via an improved power-to-weight ratio, improving body composition is an ongoing process for many athletes. But how to achieve a leaner physique can be tricky. Here’s why, and what to do about it.
I came upon this article a few months ago and contacted Dr. Rick Kattouf, asking permission to use his article in my blog post. I felt this topic is all to common with endurance athletes – and it needed to be shared. If you are struggling with your weight, not becoming more lean, having afternoon and evening cravings despite long training hours each week, take a few minutes to read this article.
Weight Gain During High-Volume Training? How To Avoid the “Endurance 15”
By Dr. Rick Kattouf
Here is a common question that has come my way many times over the years:
“Rick, I recently trained for an Ironman/marathon/ultra-marathon/ultra-distance cycling event. I trained more than I ever have before and I tried to eat healthy. I am so frustrated because after all of this training, I actually gained 15 pounds during this time. How can I actually gain weight when I was training more than ever?”
I call this all-too-common scenario the “endurance 15”. I am sure you’ve heard of the “freshman 15”: a young man/woman goes off to college and gains 15 pounds during their freshman year of college. The “endurance 15” is the scenario in which an endurance athlete is training many hours a week and actually increases body weight and fat; gaining five, 10, or 15 pounds during their training.
There are a multitude of factors that contribute to the endurance 15. Let’s discuss why this may be happening. [Read more…]
Life is too short not to indulge once in a while — especially in chocolate. But, don’t grab a 3 Musketeers candy bar thinking you are doing your body a favor. Not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate packs the biggest health punch compared to milk and white chocolate.
The secret behind dark chocolate’s powerful punch is the cacao bean, rich in a plant-based organic compound called flavonoids. Flavanols, the primary type of flavonoid in cocoa and chocolate, have powerful antioxidant properties responsible for providing numerous health benefits. The downside is cacao (the cocoa bean) by itself is unappetizing with its chalky and bitter flavor. Once milk, butter and sugar are added chocolate gets its yummy, creamy taste we have come to crave. However, the processing of chocolate takes out the flavanols negating the health benefit of cacao. [Read more…]
From the Race Smart Kitchen
Looking for a healthy topping for your Greek yogurt, oatmeal or just a yummy post workout recovery snack? Here is a delicious, nutritious and homemade granola recipe that you won’t be able to live without!
One of my favorite dishes growing up was an apple cranberry casserole. It would show up on our buffet at Thanksgiving and Christmas and rarely anytime in between. I came to view this dish as a rare and special treat often sneaking back for more during the meal as I knew it would all be gone if I didn’t help myself while it was still there for the taking.
While I refer to this dish as a “casserole,” some friends have suggested it should be called a “dessert”. While it does have sugar and some butter (rich in fat soluble vitamins) to offset this it is full of vitamins, minerals and health promoting anti-oxidants.
Let’s dive into this casserole and see what is so good for us in there. [Read more…]
The holiday season is quickly approaching and while this is a festive and fun season, it can also be a challenging time with numerous food temptations, which can lead to weight gain. As Jan 1st rolls around, our resolution will be to lose the weight gained during these next 6 weeks, eat healthy and get physically fit.
As we all know, it is not healthy to ride the roller coaster of gaining weight only to try to lose it. This puts our bodies in a bit of a yo-yo rhythm and makes it harder to keep weight off in the long run. Here are some tips to help avoid the weight gain this holiday season so you can arrive on Jan 1st ahead of the game, with the resolution to continue eating healthy, getting more fit and having a great 2014.
When you eat is as important as what you eat. Timing your meals and snacks is crucial to maximizing your training performace and optimizing body composition. Here are some tips on nutrient timing.
Nutrient Timing Tips
Tip #1 Eat Breakfast
Your mother was right – Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance. Research shows that eating a healthy breakfast can reduce hunger throughout the day, and breakfast eaters tend to make healthier food choices at other meals. While it might seem you could save calories by skipping breakfast, this is not an effective strategy. Typically, hunger gets the best of breakfast-skippers, and they have increased cravings throughout the day. *Most studies linking breakfast to weight control consisted of a healthy meal containing a lean protein, fruit and whole grain, not meals loaded with sugar and fat. Protein increases satiety and keeps you feeling full longer. [Read more…]
For most triathletes, triathlon “off season” is quickly approaching. Many athletes welcome this unstructured, gadget free training cycle. It is a time to train just for fun, with no pressure of reaching heart rate and wattage zones, mile splits or swim set PR’s. Off-season provides the opportunity to rejuvenate our bodies and minds, but this is not the time to become relaxed with food choices.
Although your workouts become less strenuous with efforts no harder than zone II 90% of the time, off-season is a GREAT time to focus on your nutrition training. Yes, you read that correctly, nutrition training. [Read more…]