I’ve been on the ‘lazy’ band wagon these past few weeks since my last race of the season. I love taking time off but it definitely sheds light on some bad nutrition habits I pick up in my peak training. One of the most eye opening ways to get a glimpse of what you are eating is to take note of what you consume via a food log. FOOD LOG?! The first thing to remember that this isn’t you going on a ‘diet’. It’s you doing some self-awareness work and paying a tad bit more attention to what goes in your mouth.
There are a few different ways to do a food log and the easiest of which is a PHOTO food log. Most smart phones have a camera. Each time you put something in your mouth – well before – snap a photo of it. At the end of the day go through your photos and reflect on what you see. Do you snack most of the day? Do your plates look like they’ve got mounds of food on them? Do you see veggies at your major meals? How often are you drinking water? All of these questions and many more can be answered just by taking 10 seconds to note what you’re eating. If you want to take it a step further you can input your foods into a free online calorie log (i.e. sparkpeople or BASE athletes can log in TrainingPeaks) which will break down the food into your major macronutrient and micrnutrient profile.
Don’t get caught up in calories if you’re just looking to improve your overall health. Worry more about getting adequate water, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins. In the transition/off season it is important to focus on getting your carbohydrates from fruit and vegetable sources. If you are interested in learning more about maximizing your metabolic efficiency read Bob Seebohar’s “Metabolic Efficiency”. Endurance athletes can bolster their endurance training by maintain proper nutrition at various stages of the season.
Remember that food is FUEL. Take some time to find out how powerful your fuel is. Come back tomorrow and read the blog about Mindful Eating…