The challenges in the diet of a professional triathlete

During her sporting career Anna Godoy  has been improving little by little; She was always aware that she could improve her weight and that would help her improve her performance because carrying a few pounds less would help her gain agility. In addition, she was frequently injured by overloading and by changing workouts and losing 6 kg of weight with a proper diet, these recurrent injuries stopped appearing. In addition, 2015 has been the best in terms of sporting results, being 1st in the Spanish Under-23 Olympic Triathlon Championship, among other podiums.

CHALLENGE 1: How to reduce calories without compromising athletic performance

  • The restriction of energy intake should not exceed 1000 kcal. The most advisable thing is to reduce between 500-800kcal. Weight loss should not exceed 1 kg per week and the athlete must ensure an intake of 30kcal for each kg of non-fat body mass, that is, total weight minus weight in the form of body fat.
  • If the weight is lost too fast, the diet will not provide enough nutrients such as carbohydrates to be able to perform quality workouts and subsequent recovery or vitamins for a correct immune response. In addition, the loss of lean mass will be favored when the important thing is to lose body fat. Also, the body can take compensatory measures, such as reducing basal energy expenditure, thus avoiding weight loss.

CHALLENGE 2: Lose weight and not starve.

Anna had been on other diets but was always hungry. In these diets, not all meals contained carbohydrates and that made him go hungry, so he later snacked between meals. For this reason, she was unable to lose weight.

  • There should be carbohydrates in all meals, including breakfast and dinner. The ration may go down during weight loss, but should not be eliminated.
    • If you are going to train first thing in the morning, the advice is to eat a small fraction of breakfast and complete it at the end of the training. Or get up 1-2 hours earlier and make breakfast full.
    • The carbohydrates from dinner help to recover post-workout muscle glycogen stores, promote muscle repair and synthesis, and help to complete the athlete’s energy needs, which will avoid snacking between hours of sweets, cookies, etc.
    • Foods rich in carbohydrates will preferably be legumes and whole grains. Fiber will help you feel full.

CHALLENGE 3: Do not think “since I do a lot of sport, I can eat whatever I want”

  • Actually an athlete has the same basic needs as anyone. The diet should contain a high proportion of plant foods, so don’t forget to include fruits and vegetables. Fruits can help you make snacks between meals or for dessert at meals. Vegetables must be present in the main meals, you can also put them in sandwiches (for example, roasted peppers, green leaves, tomato).
  • In addition, normally to lose weight the athlete removes carbohydrates, but does not consider that the contribution of fats in the diet must be controlled. If you want to lose body fat, do not exceed 3 tablespoons a day of oils, to cook and dress your food. You should choose foods rich in protein and low in saturated fat, avoiding fatty meats and cheeses, fatty meats or processed foods.

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