Earlier in the year I completed the 14 Day Conscious Cleanse and want to share what I learned with regard to optimal nutrition for training and weight loss. You may remember my New Year’s transformative blog and 2017 is turning into my year for nutrition for optimal performance, recovery and maintaining a lean physique. My perspective is a continuation of what I’ve been preaching to athletes for over 15 years so I’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. As an athlete you are a Ferrari and I know you’d only fuel up your Ferrari with high octane if you owned one! There are two types of food:
the Go Fast kind and the Go Slow kind
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, brown rice
- Lean Cuts of Fish and Chicken
- Healthy Fats like Omega 3’s found in avocados and salmon
- Fruit! apples, oranges, mangoes, bananas, blueberries, raspberries (bananas can replace energy bars)
- Rice cakes – to use on the bike
- Raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli, celery, onions green and red pepper slices. Beets!
- Kale & Spinach – antioxidant rich
For weight loss, 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):
- Added sugar: its evil – go watch the documentary, Fed Up
- High fructose corn syrup (this includes convenience store gatorade and soft drinks)
- Processed foods with partially hydrogenated fats
- Any food that comes in a plastic bag or box
- 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, butter, and fried foods
- Alcohol, sorry but its empty calories and inhibits recovery + it leads to snacking
Back to the go fast food choices, my 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.
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 nutritionist: 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) 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.