A solid nutrition strategy is the first step in any weight loss and fitness program. Those looking to turn it up a notch and enter high endurance sports need to be particularly picky when it comes to their diet. A race is won or lost in the weeks and months of preparation. Foods are the fuel that gives us the ability to become faster, stronger and leaner.
As a general strategy seek out superfoods. A superfood contains nutrients that are known to enhance longevity and has other health benefits that are backed by peer-reviewed, scientific studies. Broccoli makes the list because it’s one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods, with only 30 calories per cup. That means you get a ton of hunger-curbing fiber and polyphenols — antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging chemicals in your body — with each serving. Live marine phytoplankton is making its way up the list as one of the newest superfoods. Packed with EPA Omega-3, caternoids and antioxidants- they are positioned to quickly overtake fish oils. PhytOriginal is the only live refrigerated source on the market.
1. Eat carbs
You should be consuming carbohydrates every day, with most meals and always before and after workouts.
2. Lots of fruits and veggies
Although we’ve heard this over and over, sometimes you get busy and produce is the first thing to slip out of your diet. Eat 2 to 3 fruits and 4 to 6 vegetables per day to optimize your weight and nutrient intake.
3. Keep your head out of the clouds
Losing five pounds in 5 to 6 weeks is possible; 10 pounds in two weeks is not. When you’re looking to shed weight, slow and steady really does win the race, especially when you’re eating to support your training.
And don’t be fooled by weight loss ads or supplements. Gimmicks do not work!
3. Recover right
Consume half a gram of carbs per pound of body weight, and 15 to 20 grams of protein within 60 minutes after training sessions or races.
4. Follow the 15% rule
No matter what your nutrition and health goals are, 15% of your total daily calories can come from splurges, treats or desserts. This keeps your glass of wine, square of dark chocolate or ice cream cone guilt-free, but also within your nutrition budget.
5. Plan healthy snacks
Two minutes per day is enough time to pack two nutritious snacks, and will save you hundreds of unwanted calories that you’d end up eating if you were not prepared with your own.
6. Know what’s off limits
Avoid foods that are high in fat and fiber for both your pre-race dinner and morning-of breakfast to keep your gut happy during the race.