As an athlete you are a Ferrari and we’d bet if you drove a Ferrari you’d only put the super high octane in it. Therefore its important for your cycling to recognize the two food groups:
the Go Fast kind and the Go Slow kind
We subscribe to the KISS principle at FasCat and believe its as simple as that. Our perspective is a continuation of what we’ve been preaching to athletes for over 15 years so we’ll try to keep this concise and to the point. First, is the food we choose to eat. If you put in junk you’ll ride like junk. If you put in high quality nutrients you’ll go fast.
Let’s start with Go Fast Food Choices. Remember, 80% of weight loss occurs in the kitchen, which begins in the grocery store:
- High quality Complex Carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats and rice
- Lean Cuts of Fish and Chicken or Plant-based Proteins
- Healthy Fats like Omega 3’s found in avocados and salmon
- Fruit – apples, oranges, mangoes, bananas, blueberries, raspberries
- Rice cakes – to eat on the bike or to eat in the 1-3 hours before a big ride or race to top off! (Can also use store bought rice cakes topped with honey for the latter)
- Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, celery, onions green and red pepper slices. Beets!
- Dark leafy Greens – Kale, Arugula & Spinach
To lose weight for cycling, athletes should also start paying attention to the back label of foods where ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated fats, and added sugar are displayed. You have to be an ingredient detective! Seriously, a sugar cop. Grocery shop in the perimeter of the store, not down the aisles where the food is in boxes.
Try switching to go fast food choices for a month and see where your weight goes.
Here are several ‘go slow‘ foods (& ingredients) that you should limit:
- Added sugar: its everywhere – go watch the documentary, Fed Up
- Note this does not include sugar consumed during training!
- High fructose corn syrup (this includes convenience store gatorade and soft drinks)
- Processed foods with partially hydrogenated fats, artificial colors and preservatives
- Sugary foods like cookies (sorry, Phil), cakes, and low-fat foods (that’s code for high in sugar)
- Saturated fats found in red meat, cheese, and fried foods
- Alcohol, sorry but its empty calories and inhibits recovery + it leads to snacking
Back to the go fast food choices, our favorite recipe book is Skratch Labs’ “The Feed Zone Cookbook” which has over 150 easy meals for you to try. Dial in two or three of these meals (my favorite is the Chicken Fried Rice) to improve your performance and diet. We also have our own set of recipes that can be found here on the website under ‘nutrition’ as well as our Winning in the Kitchen Introductory Plan and Weight Loss Meal Plan that were designed by our dietitian, Lacey Rivette!
More hardcore recommendations are to go gluten and dairy free. Reducing inflammation is a good way to encourage your body to burn more fat.
Disclaimer: if the recommendations above are not working for you you may want to work with a Dietitian: one that can do 3 things for you: 1) incorporate and periodize your nutrition to your annual training plan, 2) use metabolic laboratory data (FAT MAX) plus your powermeter data (kJ’s = calories) to tailor diet to your calorie needs AND 3) design a meal plan for long term sustainability. Because after all, we are talking about lifestyle changes, not diets. Above all, congratulations on the commitment you made to your health and to your power to weight ratio! Chris Froome here you come.
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Frank coaches his athletes to make better [Go Faster] food choices to achieve healthy sustainable weight loss, better recovery, and optimal performance. Ultimately this leads to a change in the athlete’s lifestyle. To talk with Frank about your cycling and losing weight, please call 720.406.7444 or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation. Otherwise you can find him riding and eating healthy in Boulder, CO.