The En­durance Diet

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SWIM BIKE RUN TRANSITION - POW­ERS

By Matt Fitzger­ald

You could say The En­durance Diet evolved from “the school of hard knocks” be­cause the good and bad ex­pe­ri­ences of elite en­durance ath­letes from around the world are the ba­sis of its re­search. The com­mon eat­ing habits of suc­cess­ful in­di­vid­u­als and teams are com­bined in this plan to help read­ers look, feel and per­form bet­ter.

Matt Fitzger­ald is a cer­ti­fied sports nu­tri­tion­ist who works with non-elite ath­letes and ex­er­cis­ers. He finds that in­fe­rior nu­tri­tion is a com­mon prob­lem and that clients of­ten look for help in the wrong places.

“Elite en­durance ath­letes take their di­etary cues from other pros – es­pe­cially the most suc­cess­ful ones,” he writes. “Non-elite ath­letes and ex­er­cis­ers, mean­while, tend to ob­tain diet in­for­ma­tion from sources in the mass me­dia and pop cul­ture.”

Set­ting out to iden­tify best diet prac­tises, Fitzger­ald gath­ered in­for­ma­tion from top per­form­ers in 32 na­tions and 11 sports. He was sur­prised at how sim­i­lar the eat­ing habits and food groups were de­spite the broad ge­o­graph­i­cal and cul­tural dif­fer­ences. His re­search anal­y­sis led to a list of five core habits that max­i­mize the ben­e­fits of car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise for any­one: EAT EV­ERY­THING to pro­vide your body with a va­ri­ety of nu­tri­tion sources in­clud­ing six cat­e­gories of whole foods and oc­ca­sional treats like re­fined grains and pro­cessed meats.

EAT QUAL­ITY – with nu­tri­ent-dense foods to get more over­all nu­tri­tion from fewer calo­ries, which helps to max­i­mize fit­ness lev­els and main­tain op­ti­mal race weight.

EAT CARB-CEN­TRED – as much as 60 to 80 per cent of your diet, which Fitzger­ald found can still be di­verse: “Ethiopian run­ners eat a lot more teff than Chilean moun­tain bik­ers, who eat a lot more pota­toes than Chi­nese swim­mers, who eat a lot more rice than Dan­ish cross-coun­try skiers.”

EAT ENOUGH to make sure the en­ergy de­mands of train­ing are be­ing met while stay­ing mind­ful of hunger sig­nals to avoid overeat­ing.

EAT IN­DI­VID­U­ALLY to dis­cover what foods or eat­ing pat­terns work and don’t work for each in­di­vid­ual’s unique di­etary needs.

In high school Molly Hud­dle, an Amer­i­can top dis­tance run­ner, had a typ­i­cal diet of break­fast ce­real, sand­wiches, meat and pota­toes. Dur­ing col­lege her main­stays were cold ce­real with milk, bagels with peanut but­ter and the oc­ca­sional salad. After grad­u­a­tion, Hud­dle strug­gled when she started train­ing with elite run­ners and so she ad­justed by eat­ing more, re­duc­ing her ce­real and in­creas­ing her sal­ads.

“It helped me to see that the women I was train­ing with were eat­ing full, carb-heavy meals and kick­ing my butt in races, so I fig­ured they were do­ing ev­ery­thing right,” she told Fitzger­ald.

Re­sources in the book in­clude recipes, a list of su­per­foods, and how to build bet­ter habits with small ad­just­ments. Fitzger­ald also re­minds read­ers that there is a diet-ex­er­cise syn­ergy: “You are not what you eat. You are what your body does with what you eat. And what your body does with what you eat is strongly in­flu­enced by what you do with your BODY.”—HE­LEN

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.