Avoid Nutrition Fads, Chart your Own Course!

Nov
10

Posted by Coach Liesl Begnaud

Keto, Plant Based, Vegetarian, Vegan, Protein “super shakes”, “Perfect greens”, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Counting Calories, Tracking points, Simple Carbs, Complex carbs, “good fats”, Whole Foods.

Any of these eating styles sound familiar? As athletes it is important to fuel well for a better training and racing experience.  It doesn’t matter if you are racing a Sprint or 140.6 long distance triathlon, a 5k or a marathon, fueling well will help your performance. Healthy eating doesn't need a special name or gimmick!  

However, there is an overwhelming amount of information available on which program or cookbook to buy, various "cleanses," and what carbs you should eat. Over the many years of my endurance training and racing, before I figured it out, I tried it all: I’ve counted calories and tracked points; I drank super shakes of every brand and protein type, soy protein, whey protein, pea protein;  I’ve eaten only meat and vegetables; and I’ve eaten a plant based diet.  I have worked with a licensed nutritionist and done blood tests x, y, and z to determine if I have food allergies. I’ve done a 10 day cleanse and 30 day eating plan and even that “lemonade, cayenne pepper diet”.

Don't try this at home!

 

Take it from me, these fads are just that - fads! Nutrition and sound eating are not a fad.

All of these efforts and food choices are made for WHAT?  It’s important to ask yourself WHY you want to eat a particular way. Are you pre-diabetic and a doctor has told you to change your diet?  Do you have a celiac diagnosis so it's essential to avoid gluten? Are you allergic to certain foods?  Do you need to lose weight for your long term health?  Or are you just trying to “keep up with the Joneses”? 

Forget what other people are doing. Do what is right for you!

It seems like every month a new “fad” way of eating or new product comes out targeting athletes.  There is an obsession with diet and weight and somehow correlating it to our training and racing.  Even the “pro” endurance nutritionists who research and provide statistics and data only present one option that is not a one-size-fits-all model. Just because the blog includes great reviews and raves on a certain eating path, does not mean it’s the best for you.  Comparing yourself to the pros or the competition in your age group does no good.

Focus on what is good for your health.

Team MPI coaches can provide general guidance and advise on nutrition periodization.  Just like frequency and duration of your workouts vary during your season, so do your nutritional needs.   It’s important to dial in your own caloric needs and how you are going to get the nutrition you need to fuel your performance and fuel your off season. I recommend talking with a Registered Dietician/nutritionist.  Read nutritional articles with interest but with caution and recognize that not all eating styles or fads are healthy.  The important thing to remember is that your nutrition needs are uniquely your own.


Coach Liesl Begnaud is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, USAT Paratriathlon Certified Coach, and USMS Level 1 & 2 Coach based in Denver, CO. Liesl has been racing endurance sports for over 13 years which includes two Ironman finishes, numerous marathons, cycling events and multiple triathlon age group podium finishes. She has assisted with Team MPI Paratriathlon Camps, coached cycling for Special Olympics, and has been active with multiple triathlon clubs and teams. Her coaching philosophy is based on creating a caring partnership while working together to meet the athlete's goals. She helps her athletes to develop skills and confidence by encouraging them to train hard, play hard, have fun, and stay healthy while enjoying a balanced life. Prior to joining the Team MPI coaching staff, Liesl worked as a social worker with persons with disabilities and special needs. Contact Coach Liesl at liesl@teamMPI.com.

Share |

Keep up with the Blog with RSS.

 

Archive

Consistency and Variability: Two Key Ingredients for Successful Endurance Training

Posted by Coach David Bauerle on January 14, 2018

Testosterone and endurance exercise: the "exercise-hypogonadal male condition"

Posted by Coach Manuel Delgado Goana on January 14, 2018

Team MPI Celebrates 8th year of Excellence in Endurance Coaching and Coach Mentoring

Posted by admi on January 10, 2018

Training for your First Triathlon

Posted by Coach Liesl Begnaud on January 07, 2018

Mastering the Art of Choosing Our Reason "Why"

Posted by Coach Chris Palmquist on January 07, 2018

Triathlon is for Every BODY

Posted by Coach Adam Sczech on January 01, 2018

Watch Your AIM in 2018

Posted by Coach Mark Turner on January 01, 2018

Surviving the Holidays, One Bite at a Time

Posted by Coach April Corey on December 17, 2017

A “Heavy” Conversation

Posted by Coach Mark Sortino on December 10, 2017

The Revelations, The Risks, and the Rewards - Part 2

Posted by Coach Mandi Kowal on December 10, 2017

 

Full Blog Archive

Sign up for our Newsletter

Keep up with the latest tips, news, and events from Team MPI.