The Triathletes Diet: Eating for Weight Loss and Fitness
If you’re looking to lose weight and get fit by dieting, set yourself a goal by entering a local triathlon. If you’ve struggled to cut down your portion sizes and reduce your daily calorie intake, the Triathletes Diet is great because you must eat small meals between 4 and 6 times per day.
Getting your training diet right is just as essential as your physical endurance, so eat right to prepare well. You also need to have the right triathlon clothing which you can get from suppliers such as Activinstinct.
Ultimately, the aim of your game is to use more calories in training than you eat during mealtimes and keep your heart rate up to improve fitness. Most decent sport watches have integrated heart rate monitors so these are worth investing in to aid your training.
Estimating your Calorie Intake
The Harris-Benedict equation is a frequently used estimation of your ideal daily expenditure and base metabolic rate.
For women, your BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilos) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)
For men, your BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilos) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)
Once you have approximated your BMR, this is multiplied according to the type of activity you are doing to get your recommended calorie intake.
Moderate exercise 3-5 days out of every week = BMR x 1.55
Hard exercise 6-7 days of the week = BMR x 1.725
Training = BMR x 1.9
What you need: hydration and energy-fuelled carbohydrates & protein
What to eat/drink: Anything that is low fat and high energy is preferable. This could include eggs (not fried) with tomatoes and mushrooms, a combination of fruit yoghurt and granola, whole meal toast with low fat spread and milk or porridge with fresh chopped fruit.
If you don’t have time to prepare porridge or sit while you eat then take milk and whole meal products instead. I.e. smoothies, fruit, juices and cereal bars.
What you need: carbohydrates
Because you’re intense early-morning training required carbohydrates which release energy quickly, your late-morning session should be more about endurance which burns energy stored as fat which is released slowly.
What to eat: Fresh fruit (i.e. apples) and a glass of water. More carbohydrate-rich foods can be found here.
What you need: protein
What to eat: 1 skinless chicken breast, ½ plate salad (2 tbsp low fat dressing optional) and a glass of water. Foods such as eggs, beans, lean beef, soy and milk are also good for protein. For more protein food ideas visit the BBC guide.
What you need: fat
What to eat: handful or small bowl of nuts and a glass of water. Any types of nuts (unsalted) and seeds are ideal to take with you for a mid-work-out snack.
Sports drinks made up of 6-8% carbohydrates, energy bars, jelly sweets and dried fruits are good alternatives. During a long workout it is advisable to keep extra snacks with you.
What you need: carbohydrates and protein
What to eat: Portion of oily fish (i.e. salmon, tuna), portion of vegetables, small bread roll/portion of boiled potatoes and a glass of milk or water