Many endurance athletes struggle to reach their racing weight for more or less the same reasons that non athletes struggle to reach a healthy body weight Typically athletes perform best when they carry just a little more body fat than minimum that is required to sustain good health.


Here is a set of few dietary, behavioral, and exercise guidelines to help endurance athletes reach their optimal body weight:

  1. High quality foods promote lean body composition and overall good health. Low - quality foods do the opposite. The six categories of high - quality foods are:
  • fruits
  • Vegetables ( including legumes)
  • whole grains
  • lean meats and fish
  • dairy
  • nuts and seeds

Low quality foods are:

  • refined grains
  • fatty proteins
  • sweets
  • fried food

   2. The first thing of most of us think of when the topic turns to weight management is      overeating and its avoidance. Whether its high-quality or low quality, simply eating too much food will foil anyone's efforts to lose weight.

You might find it easier to avoid overeating if you start each meal by filling some space in your stomach with a food or liquid that has low calorie density.

     3. Monitor yourself - for example, on a home scale with bioelectrical technology at least once every four weeks

     4. Balance your Energy source - there are three major sources of energy in the diet :

  • carbohydrates
  • fat
  • protein

    5. Time your nurition - in the effort to reach your racing weight, it is important that you pay attention not only to what you eat but also to when you eat.

  • Eat early - everyone should eat breakfast, if you workout in the morning, eat light, carb- rich snack after waking and then eat a full breakfast within an hour after completing your workout. If you don'd train until later, eat full breakfast within an hour after getting out of bed.

 

  • Eat carbs early and protein late - your breakfast should contain plenty of carbs because your body needs carbs in the morning to replenish liver glycogen stores to meet the energy demands of the most active day.

                                                   - your dinner should contain a little less carbs and more protein because at the end of the day the body switches into a biochemical rebuild - and - repair mode, and protein is needed for these processes.

  • Eat before exercise - is providing your energy, the smaller your meal is and the more time you you allow between it and the workout, the less likely it will be to cause uncomfortable stomach sloshing, bloating, or other symptoms during the workout.
  • Eat during exercise - you will want to withhold carbs during roughly hal of your workouts that last between one and two hours. Doing this will make those workouts harder, but it will also make you fitter than you would be if you used sports drinks or energy gels as crutch in all such workouts.

 

  • Eat after exercise - your body needs carbohydrates to replenish muscle and liver glycogen stores, protein to rebuild damaged muscle tissue, and fluid to rehydrate. The sooner you take in these nutrients after exercise, the more effectively your body will be able to use them. 

 

  • Eating on Weekends - it's okay if your weekend eating schedule is a little different from your weekday routine. But at least be sure to maintain your normal diet quality standards on weekends

 

  • Forget about "cheat" meals - there is nothing wrong with eating a few pieces of fried chicken every now and then, but your food treats should not become a weekend routine. You are better of allowing yourself to enjoy small amounts of your favourite low - quality foods daily than you are saving them up for the weekend and then going nuts 

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