As we get started into summer, I want to discuss diet for performance and weight loss, stemming from all the questions I get asked when people find out I am a performance trainer, sprint coach, boxing coach and personal trainer.
It’s not usually the training part that people have questions about. I’d be happy to answer questions on how to properly execute a Turkish get-up, how to properly condition a hockey player or some of the best “bang for your buck” exercises, any day… however, it’s usually the nutrition questions I often get.
Let’s quickly talk athletes first. For them, it’s just as important, if not more important, than the strength and conditioning for performance. We know that the food they put in their body serves as fuel for their activities. I’ve talked about the race car analogy in the past. They need to start looking at their body as a Formula 1 race car, rather than a passenger car that you drive to work. I haven’t seen a Formula 1 car at the Esso or Petro Canada when I’m filling up. That’s because it needs special fuel. And just as the car needs special fuel, so does the performance athlete.
If the athlete wants to perform to the best of their capabilities, it has to start will fuelling up right. The athlete will likely need more carbohydrates and protein than your average individual. But, remember what I said about the Formula 1 car. Eating out at McDonald’s isn’t a real good option for me, let alone someone training for performance. Excellent fuel equals excellent performance. Mediocre fuel equals…I think you get it.
As recently as this past week I had the question of what I think of intermittent fasting for weight loss. The person I was talking with went on to describe how they fast, and they don’t eat past 7pm and will not eat again until about 10am the next day. When you’re looking to eat healthy, you should be doing that anyway, right? I went on to explain how I don’t really keep track of all the diets that have come and gone.
From Atkins to Keto, a diet to me is temporary. If you can stick to the Atkins diet on a long-term basis, then by all means go for it. Totally eliminating food groups is probably not sustainable, limiting them might be a little more reasonable. Eating healthy isn’t rocket science. People know good food and bad food when they see it. Veggies, good. Fried food, bad. Get your protein (in higher quantities in the morning).
There are many other factors to be aware of, like food tolerances or allergies. I’m always happy to discuss optimal nutrition with all my clients at WIN Health Solutions and for more individualized nutrition that factors in food allergies, or other health concerns, you can get guidance from Dr. Laura, our Naturopathic Doctor. If you’re trying to get in better shape for the upcoming season or maybe just trying to be more physically active, come see me…or better yet, see us both!!