Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!
Triathlon for Weightloss? Part 3: How to Eat
We’re going to discuss, really, how simple it is to lose weight if you have the right weight loss information. I’m going to give you a few weapons to put into your weight loss arsenal in this segment.
Month #3: Menu, caloric deficit, basics of how to eat (without getting technical), hydration.
OK, now its time to get down to the nitty-gritty with this weight loss series. We’re going to discuss, really, how simple it is to lose weight if you have the right weight loss information. I’m going to give you a few weapons to put into your weight loss arsenal in this segment. This information, in addition to one or two of the previous weight loss informationals I wrote in February and March, will truly jump start your weight loss, no questions asked.
#1. ALWAYS eat breakfast
If you want to lose weight, believe it or not, you MUST eat breakfast. Eating breakfast jump starts our metabolism in the morning and gets the furnace burning. Look at it this way…breakfast is called breakfast for a reason. At the point in which you wake up in the morning, you have fasted for AT LEAST 8 hours. Your body will start to go into survival mode and will begin to store fat until it gets fed again. In order to keep your blood sugar in check so you do not get to the point of hunger where you are ravenous and want to eat everything in sight, you MUST eat breakfast.
#2 Eat every 3 to 4 hours.
This is another way to keep your blood in check so that you do not get so hungry that you lose control at the dinner table, out to lunch, or even shopping at the grocery store! Be sure you have 4 to 6 SMALL meals during the day. Start with breakfast, have a mid morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and then dinner (you could have an optional evening snack here if you feel you need it). Be sure you are keeping your meals small and healthy.
Menu Example: (will be different for many people, activities and goals)
7 AM Breakfast: 1 piece of whole wheat bread/English muffin, 2 egg whites, 1 glass of skim milk, 16 oz water
10 AM Morning Snack: 1 small apple with 1 Tbs all natural peanut butter, 8 oz. water
1 PM Lunch: 1 piece of skinless/boneless chicken on 1 ½ cups of salad/mixed greens, 1 to 2 Tbs low fat dressing, 16 oz water.
4 PM Afternoon Snack: 1 handful of almonds, 8 oz water
7 PM Dinner: 3 oz. of Salmon, 1 serving of green beans, 1 low fat dinner roll, 1 cup skim milk, 16 oz water.
#3 Drink plenty of water!!
A sedentary individual should consume 64 oz. of water per day. If you are physically active, you will require more water. You should shoot to drink at least half of your body weight in fluid oz of water per day. So, if you are a 135 pound woman, you should shoot to drink 67 oz of water per day.
Notice on the brief menu I provided above that I included 64 oz of water for that day. It’s really easier than it seems when you plan when to drink the water and if you spread it out throughout the day.
#4 Create a caloric deficit.
OK, here’s where we do some calorie counting. In order to lose weight, it’s a simple equation. You must take in FEWER calories than you expend!! It’s really that simple. Now, here’s the question everyone is asking…how do I figure out how many calories I burn during the day?? Well, there are a couple different ways to figure this out.
You can look up local fitness clubs in your area to find out if they offer RMR (resting metabolic rate) testing. This is a test that takes about 5 to 10 minutes and will tell you how many calories you burn at rest (without doing any exercise at all). Once you have that number, you add to it the calories you burn during exercise and during your average day to get the total calories that you expend during the day.
The other way you can figure out your RMR is by inputting your own information into this equation. The Mifflin-St Jeor equation will have you enter your weight in kilograms and your height in centimeter into this equation. The result will be how many calories you burn a day without factoring in exercise or other activities (just sitting around).
Men: RMR = 9.99 X weight + 6.25 X height – 4.92 X age + 5
Women: RMR = 9.99 X weight + 6.25 X height – 4.92 X age – 161
From these RMR numbers, you will have to then either use 'activity' factors to come up with a general amount of calories you burn during the day or add up all of the activities you do during the day. See this website for a few calculators and more information on creating a caloric deficit for weightloss.
*Please consult with your doctor or nutritionist to come up with the appropriate caloric deficit per your needs and goals as inadequate nutrition can lead to malnutrition or death.
#5 Allow yourself a cheat meal.
You can’t deprive yourself of the things you love or you’ll binge on them and sabotage all of the hard work you have put into your meal/weight loss plan. It’s OK to have French fries, ice cream, even a donut…but have these things in moderation. Give yourself this little cheat meal to look forward to as a reward for all of your hard work, but don’t get crazy! Be smart about your cheat meal…notice I didn’t say cheat DAY!!! Just indulge one meal per week and you’ll be ready to kick it back into high gear the following day. You do have to live your life. Don’t be a prisoner of your weight loss plan…use it to guide and help you, not imprison you!!!
I’ve just given you some basic but useful information to get you to your weight loss goals. It is doable and reasonable. Give it a shot for a month. You’ll see results, have more energy, and feel like a new person when those pounds start to melt off!!
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