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Colin Allan 1 Colin Allan is a professional rugby-player-turned-PT and performance coach, with a specialist interest in hyper-tailored training and nutrition. I wish I'd said it but I didn't, ' you can't outrun a bad diet' nor out-train it. It's absolutely true and what we eat and drink is fundamental to how we perform physically and mentally and impacts on our mood and vice versa. Maybe as a result of this there are few subjects that have the power to polarise and confuse. It’s like a battle ground out there Vegan V' Paleo, High Fat low carb v's Low fat high carb, Zone v Banting. As with many things in life we've grown up with a black and white picture of how things should be and it is becoming increasingly evident that this just isn’t the case. When the author of ‘The Lore of Running’ and the Godfather of ‘Carbo Loading’ and one of the smartest guys in Sports Science Tim Noakes changes his tune then it’s time the rest of us did the same. Here i will try and give some simple guidelines or anchors for your nutritional needs that will be true whatever view you take. Firstly let’s talk about weight. Everyones optimal running weight will fall near the bottom end of his or her healthy weight range. Excess body fat is dead weight that requires more energy to carry and over 26.2miles that could be alot!!!! So this challenge is a great opportunity to shed a few pounds. If this is you, then you need to monitor what impact your nutrition and training is having on you. Monitoring your weight alone can be deceptive so buy a measuring tape and measure your Hips and Waist. As a general guide Men want a waist that is 0.9 of their Hips and women 0.85. From a nutritional perspective we need to understand what our daily and weekly energy consumption looks like and we must be aware of what is known as the 'compensation effect'. This is when a person exercises, they will tend to overestimate how much they need to eat to compensate and often people will put on weight. So next up download an App such as Myfitnesspal which has a huge database of foods, allows you to scan barcodes and Buddy upwith your friends. The first week get used to entering everything that passes your lips and log what you think you are eating. The next week be super precise so you can see exactly what you are eating and what the difference is. Firstly you want to be well hydrated as already discussed in my previous article (link). Now you need to concentrate on on eating the right number of calories and improving the quality of those calories. The easiest way to do this is to ensure you are eating enough fibre. Fibrous foods such as fresh fruit & veg are less calorie dense, help control your appetite are higher in vitamins and minerals and also help with gut health. The recommended daily intake for men is 38 grams and women 25 grams. Try and eliminate as much processed food as possible and eating ‘REAL SUPERFOODS’ i.e. seasonal, raw , local produce and ditch the Goji Berries and Tuscan Kale. Other high-quality food types are nuts and seeds, great for snacks, meats, fish, and dairy. Three basic categories of low-quality foods are refined grains, i.e. bread and pasta, sweets and deep fried foods. At this stage don’t worry too much about the percentage of macronutrients focus on calories and fibre. Implement these changes slowly to ensure the become habits and don't overwhelm you. Getting your hydration, calories, fibre and calorie quality right will not only fuel you better for your training but also for life. 5 Take Home Tips for General Nutrition
  • Hydration (link to other article) it’s fundamental
  • If your wanting to lose weight track your Hip to Waist ratio as well as weight
  • Create a calorie deficit of 250kcal per day if you want to lose weight
  • Track your calories and don’t over compensate for activity
  • Concentrate on fibre content and calorie quality
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