you struc­ture your train­ing to have an off-sea­son, right? it’s just as im­por­tant to struc­ture your nu­tri­tion to have an off-sea­son, too. if you eat the same way year round you’ll end up mak­ing it harder shift the win­ter ki­los and get back to peak fit­ness

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - ZoE WIL­Son, AC­CRED­ITED PRAC­TIS­InG DI­ETI­TIAn


do The shuf­fle

Shift ev­ery­thing in the pantry around. Push the gels, en­ergy bars and sports drink to the back and bring the whole foods to the front. Eat­ing ex­ces­sive amounts of sports foods, if your train­ing has de­creased, will just lead to ex­cess kilo­joules (calo­ries) your body won’t be us­ing. Ex­cess kilo­joules equals ex­cess weight.


aim for qual­iTy, noT quan­TiTy

Get the nu­tri­ents you need by eat­ing smaller amounts of qual­ity foods from all of the five food groups. The bulk of your diet should be made up of fruit, veg­eta­bles, dairy, whole grains, lean meats (or other pro­tein al­ter­na­tives) all topped off with a lit­tle healthy fat (think nuts, av­o­cado or olive oil).


Try new foods

Take this time as an op­por­tu­nity to try a whole range of new foods. Dur­ing the sea­son it can be dif­fi­cult to in­cor­po­rate new foods due to lack of time and fu­elling for each train­ing ses­sion. Take this op­por­tu­nity to find a few new recipes to cook at home, take a friend to a cooking class or try a new cui­sine at a restau­rant you haven’t been to.


fo­Cus on mind­ful eaT­ing

It’s likely your ap­petite will de­crease as your train­ing load de­creases, but you’ve got to lis­ten to your body. If you ig­nore your ap­petite and keep eat­ing the same sized por­tions you’ll be star­ing straight at all those ex­cess kilo­joules men­tioned in point one. It sounds sim­ple, but be­fore you eat, ask your­self “Am I ac­tu­ally hun­gry?”, and dur­ing your meal keep check­ing in to see if you’ve had enough - it’s okay to leave food on your plate!


down­size your plaTes and bowls

Have a 44 gal­lon drum that you usu­ally serve your pasta in? Swap this for a smaller bowl and you’ll au­to­mat­i­cally begin to eat less. It’s all an op­ti­cal illusion - our brain sees a full plate and thinks you’ve had a full meal, even if it’s a smaller plate than usual.


Take inTo aC­CounT The weaTher

As win­ter ap­proaches, so does our love of win­tery foods. In­dulge your­self with com­fort foods, but make sure you cook them your­self and bulk them out with lots of veg­eta­bles like car­rots, cel­ery, mush­rooms and onion or legumes like lentils, kid­ney beans and chick­peas. This way you’ll still feel as though you’re eat­ing fill­ing hearty meals, but they’ll be lower in kilo­joules and higher in vi­ta­mins and min­er­als.

7 Curb your Carbs buT don’T elim­i­naTe Them

Car­bo­hy­drates have been get­ting a lot of bad press over re­cent years. Re­sist the urge to cut them out en­tirely as you’ll still need to fuel the train­ing you are do­ing. In­stead, fo­cus on mak­ing the carb por­tion take up only a quar­ter of your meal. Also, go for low-GI carbs like sweet potato, quinoa, pasta, whole­grain bread or brown rice so they fill you up for longer.


waTCh your glass

Keep an eye out for ex­cess al­co­hol in­take. Al­co­hol pro­vides al­most as many kilo­joules per gram as fat and it doesn’t give us any other nu­tri­ents like pro­tein, fi­bre, vi­ta­mins or min­er­als. It also makes us more likely to make poor food choices so aim to keep your al­co­hol in­take to a cou­ple of drinks only a cou­ple of times a week.


sTay hy­draTed

Dur­ing win­ter, and with de­creased train­ing, it’s easy to drink less than you need. Be­ing de­hy­drated of­ten muddles with ap­petite and you may eat more than you re­ally need as you con­fuse the feel­ing of thirst for hunger. This is par­tic­u­larly true if you find you’re go­ing for ‘wet’ foods like ice cream. Aim to drink 1.5-2L of fluid ev­ery day. Go for low-kilo­joule flu­ids like wa­ter (hot or cold) or herbal tea to help keep kilo­joules in check.

10 Time your meals around your Train­ing

In­stead of putting an ex­tra snack in be­fore or af­ter train­ing like you usu­ally do dur­ing sea­son, try to plan your meals so you have a main meal or snack be­fore and af­ter train­ing. For ex­am­ple, if you train in the af­ter­noon, push your af­ter­noon snack back slightly so it works as your pre-train­ing fuel, and push din­ner slightly ear­lier so it acts as your re­cov­ery meal.

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