If you have a few pounds to lose and want to reach a healthy weight that is more conducive to better athletic performance here are five tips to reach your race weight. This isn’t about losing a lot of weight, for that you need to make changes you can live with, forever. These tips aren’t the ones you normally see about weight loss, these are ones that can help you lose 5-10 pounds while training for an event.
1.Limit your decisions.
The more decisions you make, the more you choose. Click To Tweet The more decisions you have to make, the more you choose. That is why you eat so much more at a buffet. When surrounded by choice we eat more. Limit your choices. Eat the same thing for breakfast everyday. Eat the same lunch everyday. Limit your dinner options to 3 of your favourites. We usually eat similar meals anyway so this sounds harder than it is. Limiting choice is an easy way to stick to your plan and you can prepare meals ahead of time, saving time and mental energy. Meals should be healthy, mostly vegetables, whole grains and not too much.
2. Have a free day.
One day just eat. No worries. Want to have a snack every hour. Go ahead. Want to eat a second breakfast. Fine. Don’t worry about it. Just eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. No guilt. Nothing. Enjoy.
3. Watch your training snacks.
Don’t overeat during training. Not eating is just as bad. Runners can burn about 600 calories in an hour, cyclists about 400 per hour depending on speed and body weight. You can calculate your estimated calorie burn at CaloriesBurnedHQ So many athletes overeat during their training rides or runs or don’t eat enough during training and then overeat after their workout. Both result in overeating, poor training and weight gain. Eat to maintain your training and refuel your workout with a ratio of 4:1 grams of carbohydrates to protein. What does that look like? Whole wheat bread and avocado, hummus and carrots, whole grain cereal and almond milk, a banana and peanut butter.
4. Get enough sleep.
Can’t say enough about getting good quality sleep. If you don’t get enough rest you can’t recover. If you don’t recover properly you will be more likely to overeat. Training increases your sleep requirements. Naps are good too. Sleep.
5. Measure. Measure. Measure.
Don’t guess. Weigh yourself once a week. Measure your portions. Do you really know what one cup of rice looks like? Most of us under estimate our portions and overestimate how many calories we are burning. Losing more than 1-2 pounds a week will reduce your ability to train well. Be smart and lose weight slowly. Want to calculate how many calories you need? My two favourite online resources are Supertracker, it gives you calorie allowances and includes how active you are – with and without exercise. The other tracker I like is eaTracker you can add your own goals and recipes for a nutrition analysis.
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