Coach Charlie's Route: Library, E. Natoma, Johnny Cash Bridge, FLC Road, down to Greenback, continue on trail past Negro Bar to bluffs and then go back. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6794165
For many of us looking to improve performance diet is a big topic. It should be. After all, we will eat over 20x in a week, but maybe only workout 5-10x. There is a lot of debate and discussion about which diet and supplements work the best. My philosophy is that diet is like training. There are no miracle foods (workouts), everything works together, and consistency over time is best. All macro-nutrients are important; I personally don’t demonize any of them. Good sports nutrition interventions these days aim to slightly alter the composition of meals/snacks based on the timing (before, during, and after workouts or competitions) to optimize performance and recovery, but nothing is left out in the overall diet.
I think the most obvious diet advice is to eat real food as much as possible. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc and limit the amount of food which is found in boxes and wrappers, or that have tons of ingredients. Two elite track athletes recently shared their nutrition philosophy in a blog post. Obviously it is their job to be at peak fitness, optimal body composition, and strict discipline so they don’t have much room for cheat foods as we do! They also are decathletes so shorter events, including more strength and power exercises. Since we are training for a marathon, more carbs - and some gels, sports drinks (simple sugars) - will need to be consumed. But overall their message is a good one, and their planning is incredible.
Planning ahead is an excellent way to adhere to a healthy, balanced diet. And sticking to any diet is the best way to lose weight, if needed. Everything I read, that isn’t biased toward one fad diet, shows that weight loss isn’t just the composition of macro-nutrients (like high carb/low fat, Paleo, or low carb/high fat), rather it is usually a) sticking to the diet b) a calorie deficit c) exercise/activity. In other words, eat what you want as long as you aren’t over-consuming calories, hopefully also doing some exercise, and if you can do that over time, chances are you’re losing that extra weight.
Here is an excellent example of adherence winning above all else from this study: The only consistent finding among the trials is that adherence—the degree to which participants continued in the program or met program goals for diet and physical activity—was most strongly associated with weight loss and improvement in disease-related outcomes.
This one also highlights that any diet can get you there as long as calories are kept in check: Reduced-calorie diets result in clinically meaningful weight loss regardless of which macro-nutrients they emphasize.
Finally this article was really interesting to me. Shows how body weight can be maintained with a variety of activity levels as long as calories were kept in check. It also highlights how bad a sedentary lifestyle is for us. Not a problem for this group, but I’m sure we all have friends or family who could use some motivation to improve their health and fitness.
Calorie control is important because we cannot outrun a bad diet. This image showing two options for consuming 2000 calories speaks volumes to that. We might go burn that many calories in 2+ hours of exercise, but then could easily consume that in less than 10 minutes in a stop at a fast food restaurant. Not only is option 2 better in that picture because of how it spreads out the calories over more meals and snacks, it also gives us a better chance to consume more high quality foods. One of the first books I read on sports nutrition was by Chris Carmichael (unfortunately associated with Lance Armstrong but the book was great!). He talked about quality carriers that are packed more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, basically high octane fuel for our engines! So not all calories are created equal, some give us more bang for our buck.
Finally, I get asked a lot of questions about supplements or other specialty products. I have no problem recommending carbohydrate or protein products assuming they come from credible companies (PowerBar, GU, Hammer, etc). There is sufficient evidence to support that carbohydrates and protein are beneficial to improving exercise performance and recovery. But when these commercial products are over-consumed taking the place of real food that isn’t ideal. In fact, many top professionals preach that their should be a proper prioritization with supplements being last on the list, or at the peak of this pyramid. I’ll let one of my sports nutrition influences, Louise Burke, Australia Institute of Sport, have the final say on supplements in sports: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBAPapMCRIo
Free Clinics and Seminars: Fleet Feet Sacramento hosts a myriad of free clinics and seminars throughout the month. Take a look at our calendar to RSVP for everything from Mobility Clinics to Good Form Running to Injury Assessments by Results Physical Therapy and so much more!
Discounted Cooking Classes at SNFC: We are super excited to announce that the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op has offered our trainees discounted rates for selected cooking classes! They are currently offering 4 classes at $25 each (that's almost 1/2 off!). To sign up you will need to call their registration line and let them know you are a Fleet Feet Sacramento Trainee. Click here for class dates and times.
Road Map to Weight Loss: No matter if you are knee-deep in your own weight loss journey, have already lost the weight or just feel completely overwhelmed, local psychologist and academic researcher Dr. Mondo can help you discover your own mental and emotional road blocks to life-long weight loss. Please join us for the Road Map to Weight Loss, a FREE public seminar with Dr. Mondo on Wednesday, March 2nd at 7:00 pm. RSVP here. Space is limited.