The off season, exercise decreases, appetite may not. As a triathlon coach, I find that this is the time of year athletes start to ask a lot of questions regarding how to lose weight and how to keep it off. Not being a nutritionist, I typically shy away from the subject or give general recommendations. With these questions being abundant this year here are some of my personal “life hacks” and tips to help manage off season weight loss and weight management.
1. Have a goal and plan of action.
If you say you want to lose weight, make a realistic goal. Is that 5 pounds, 10 pounds or maybe more? Once you have your goal, break it down into smaller goals, .5-1 lbs weight loss per week. How will you track this goal? Stepping on the scale once or maybe twice a week helps focusing the mind when making good choices. There are also great apps to help count calories such as MyFitnessPal. Whatever stage you may be in, set a goal and a plan of action or it’s too easy to fall back on bad habits. 2 Improve diet quality .
2.Improve diet quality.
Increasing the overall quality of your diet is the simplest way to shed excess body fat. That means getting started by eliminating all soda, alcohol, candy, cakes, chips, sweets, and all the junk food. Then eating more high quality foods: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, lean meats and fish, whole grains.
The most important times of the day to eat are breakfast and within 45 minutes after a workout because calories consumed at these times are less likely to be stored as fat and more likely to be used as energy needs and recovery. You should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a peasant. You can also time your meals around your workouts. Instead of a recovery drink within 60 minutes of a workout, time your training to end at meal time and eat one of your meals for recovery. This can help eliminate 200-400 calories from your daily intake without any drawbacks.
4.Set cut off grazing times.
Setting a cut off time for eating helps to eliminate snacking while watching TV in the evening or scrolling through the internet. A cut off time should be 2-3 hours before you go to bed. This may be 7:00, 8:00, or 9:00 pm depending on when you go to bed. This gives the body time to digest your dinner so you don’t go to bed with a full stomach and you will wake up hungry and ready for breakfast. The most important meal of the day.
Just like training, weight management should be taken one day at a time and requires lots of dedication and patients.
- Coach Carly