Triathlon Tricks of the Trade: Meal Timing, Composition, and Amount

To maintain adequate amounts of blood glucose throughout the day, it’s important that you pay attention to the following: meal timing, composition, and the amount of food that you ingest.

Pretty simple, huh?

It’s important that you keep your body fuelled throughout the day by distributing calories evenly because this plays a huge role in controlling weight.

A good number of athletes experience extreme hunger after a day of hard training because they fail to take in adequate calories to keep them energized during the day. This will then result in overeating after training because their body is looking for more calories.

This is the process of back loading calories, which is not very helpful at maintaining an ideal weight.

The message, then, is simple – try to equally distribute your calories from morning until nighttime.  No night time binging!

How to Keep Your Calories Steady

An ideal way to maintain an adequate amount of blood glucose throughout the day is by snacking with foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates in between big meals [every three hours]. Protein prevents blood glucose levels from falling while carbohydrates keep blood glucose high. So, for example, after your 6am meal you should eat your snacks at around 10 in the morning. Then after your lunch, your afternoon snacks should be consumed at 3pm, and then dinner at around 6pm.

To help you plan your daily meals better, you should experiment with recording what you eat, the time of each meal, and the amount of each meal.

Here’s the awesome part of maintaining a steady calorie intake:

Equal calorie distribution throughout the day will help you reduce the amount of calories that you consume while losing weight, but still possess enough energy to train all day.

Fruit and Veggies

If your goal is to shed some weight then incorporating fruits and vegetables in your daily diet is a good way to start. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients and are typically have low calorie levels. This will satiate your hunger without loading up the calories.

Don’t Cut Down too Quickly

Reducing too much calories in your daily diet in order to lose weight faster will leave you tired. Without enough energy, you will not be able to train intensely, and you become prone to sickness and injuries.

Here is an example of daily meal plan with adequate distribution of calories.

 

Breakfast: 500 calories

1 whole egg

1 type of fruit

A half cup of fruit juice

2 slices of whole grain toast. (If you add butter or jam, use in minimal amounts only)

 

Mid morning meal/snack: 250 calories

1 and ½ oz. of pretzels

1 oz. of string cheese

 

Lunch: 600 calories

1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables

1 type of fruit

3 oz. of meat, fish, or fowl

1 slice of bread with a cup of rice or pasta, or a cup of rice or pasta

 

Mid afternoon meal/snack: 250 calories

Liquid meals like Boost

 

Dinner: 600 calories

1 type of fruit

1 cup of rice or pasta, or 1 slice of bread and a cup of rice/pasta

A cup of fresh or cooked vegetables

3 oz. of meat, fish, or fowl.

 

 

That’s it.  You don’t have to live like a monk or really cut back on your total food or calorie consumption to get to the weight you want.  Just keep an eye on what you are eating and, more importantly, when you are doing your eating.

Just like the tortoise and the hare – Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

Terry

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