You can find my most recent thoughts on Body Composition here. Â One thing about writing a short online article is that I don’t have enough space to list all the mistakes I have made through the years to reach my most current state of being. Â In the interest of full disclosure, I decided to list my top 6 nutrition mistakes on my path to better body composition:
Avoiding the Scale: At some point I thought using a scale was counterproductive. Â What would the daily fluctuations mean? Â Weight doesn’t matter because; I am an athlete, or I am just big boned, or I have more lean muscle mass.
Wrong on all accounts. Â As I mentioned in my previous post my Withings scale graphs my lean body mass, fat percentage and weight. Spotting trends is now possible allowing me to readjust my behavior to reinforce positive changes.
Eliminating Foodgroups: at various points I was vegetarian, abstained from alcohol and consumed only protein. Â How did I feel on any of those diets? Â No different. Â After some time I noticed I felt better when I eat from lots of food groups in moderation.
The protein diet? Â Coach (who always looks fit and ready to race) decided to try it and asked me to join her. Â Two hours into it, she slips into ketosis and is stopping at a Boston Market to eat a whole roasted chicken with a side of meatloaf. Â After two days, ketosis was beyond my reach and I felt horrible. Â Never again.
Thinking Exercise Alone was Enough to Control my Weight: The most obvious answer is NO! Â Even on my heaviest training days I need to be conscious of how much I consume. Â Unfortunately, I have a metabolism that is incredibly efficient at storing calories. Â Too efficient. Â The equation is pretty simple. Â Calories expended must be less than or equal to calories consumed.
Eating without Consciousness: Coach and I have a deal, when she sees me mindlessly eating she stops me with a touch or words. Â I need to be careful when reading or watching TV to not just eat because it is a repetitive task that meets the needs of my OCD tendencies.
Battling Addictions: Speaking of mindless, my Brummel and Brown addiction (a yogurt based butter alternative) was out of control last December. Â I was eating the stuff as a thick spread on everything. Â January, I went cold turkey for 31 days. Â Now I respect the spread. I have noticed that I develop these addictions to food I like. Â I am much more careful now.
Cutting Calories in Training: At one point in my early triathlon career, I was avoiding calories on long days or consuming limited calories. Â I spent most of my time tired and fatigued. Â These days, anything over an hour and a half of activity, I consume 200 calories/hour of nutrition by starting to fuel the moment I start my workout. Â My body is my vehicle and it needs fuel to win the race.
There are even more mistakes I have made, but you get the idea. Â It is all about the progress towards creating a body best for my health, my life and my racing.