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The Triathlete Blueprint newsletter #07-Weight Loss: A holistic approach

Updated: Aug 12, 2023








Read time: 4min.

By Coach Yan Busset



I want to make things clear: Weight loss shouldn't be your ultimate goal but a side effect of a healthy lifestyle. Keep in mind that diets don't work; these tips are common-sense points that are effective. As a coach, I see myself acting as a filter. You can find an overwhelming amount of nutrition tips and diets online (Keto, paleo, low or no carbs, fasting…). You achieve weight loss through a caloric deficit. To achieve a healthy and sustainable weight, this deficit needs to be moderate, gradual, and personalized.


But before considering it, it's important to establish healthy lifestyle basics that will support achieving the right weight balance and allow you to keep up with training.


1. Eat real food and avoid processed food. Try to cut on canned and long-shelf-life items as much as possible. Keep it simple and avoid junk food. So, my first tip is to go through your food storage at home and throw in the bin every piece of junk food you find. If you allow junk food into your home, the question won't be "Will you eat it?" but "When?" It will only be a matter of time before your reptilian brain takes over the decision-making process, and you end up stuffing your mouth with it. The best way to avoid this is to start fresh. Clean out your cupboards and fridge, don't let new non-real food in. Get healthy fresh alternatives.






2. Avoid snacking; aim to have your nutrition within your main meals to let your stomach rest as much as possible between. Constant eating can lead to inflammation. Here, I'm referring to nutrition, not fueling support your training sessions.


3. "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a Prince, and dinner like a beggar". Make breakfast and lunch your main meals, and keep dinner light and far away from bedtime. Otherwise, you may compromise sleep quality and hormone production during the night (more on that in point 7). You wouldn't fill your car tank with gas to park it in the garage; the same goes for your body. Focusing on food intake earlier in the day ensures that you use calories to support your activities rather than being stored as fat.




4. Understand the difference between nutrition and fueling. Nutrition, which includes your main meals, should provide the macro and micronutrients that support your health. Food should be nutrient-dense. Fueling, to simplify, bring the carbs, water and electrolytes to support your training sessions.


5. Fuel your workouts with sports drinks, gels, or homemade recipes before, during, and after, so that you can perform and recover best. Properly fueling your workouts can reduce later cravings because it helps maintain stable blood glucose levels. less craving will enable you to make smarter, healthier meal choices. Additionally, "training your guts" to assimilate enough carbohydrates is crucial for optimal race performance. Especially in long-distance triathlons, which are swim/bike/run/eating competitions. (more on common race day mistakes here)




6. Drink enough water, track your fluid intake. Depending on the temperature, on average, in a cool environment, you need at least 1.5 liters of water per day, plus 1 liter per hour of exercise. There is a simple, low-tech way to control your fluid intake: Next time you go pee, check the shade of your urine. If it's too dark, you need to drink more until it becomes clear.


7. Avoid eating too late in the evening. Eating too late creates an insulin peak that lowers the production of important hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone. As a result, you won't recover. This habit also helps your digestive system rest, allows your cells to regenerate, and promotes fat burning. Try instead to stop eating after 7pm. Exception to this rule: if you train late during the day, then you can fuel it during or right after your workout.


8. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Taking your time during meals will help you feel satiated and avoid overeating. Chewing stimulates saliva production, which helps digestion.


9. Prefer complex carbs over refined sugars. Outside of fueling your workouts, avoid consuming simple carbs. They can raise your insulin levels, promote inflammation, and contribute to fat storage. Opt for foods that provide carbs with a lower glycemic index. This will help sustain your energy throughout the day and prevent long-term insulin resistance.




10. Get enough sleep. During sleep, your body loses fat, reduces inflammation, and repairs the damage caused by the stress of training sessions. Track your sleeping hours and aim to improve your average weekly sleep duration. It's normal to have occasional bad nights, but consistency is key. To enhance your sleep, follow the advice I mentioned earlier about having a light dinner. Also make sure your bedroom is dark and cool, avoid screens close to bedtime, and go to bed same time every day.


If you're struggling to reach a well-balanced and healthy weight or to maintain your training volume, it's likely because you haven't addressed some of these factors yet. Be systematic and leave no stone unturned. By following these simple guidelines, you will see results. Remember, sustainable weight loss and optimal nutrition are achieved through a holistic approach and the development of healthy habits.


Summary:

-Weight loss shouldn't be your ultimate goal but a side effect of a healthy lifestyle

-Eat real food and avoid processed food.

-Avoid snacking

-Make breakfast and lunch your main meals, and keep dinner light and far away from bedtime.

-Nutrition is providing the macro and micronutrients and fueling support your training. Fuel well your workouts to perform and recover better.

-Hydrate well and avoid eating too late in the evening.

-Eat slowly and prefer complex carbs over refined sugars.

-Get enough sleep





Thank you for reading and see you next week!


 

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:


1. If you are looking for support for your triathlon journey, I recommend you book a 30min 1on1 video consultation with me here.


2. If you are looking for an online coaching service check here.


3. if you are in the Helsinki area and looking for the best training group check here


 

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