Thursday, May 25, 2006

Diet and Nutrition

A couple times during the two-week training course we just completed at work people brought in donuts. The first time, someone pointed them out to me, and I responded that donuts aren't in my diet. Her response was that, given all the training I do, there should be no need for me to diet.

So I told her that donuts weren't part of my "nutrition plan." She liked that better.

The responses received from NOT eating donuts or other junk type foods can be surprising. Now, I'll admit that I like donuts as much as anyone else out there. Maintaining a proper diet, however, is one of those "easy vs. right" decisions that must be made. It's easy to eat the ready made, processed, microwavable meals. As a soon-to-be triathlete with possible half or full Ironman visions, those aren't the right decisions.

So, while everyone else eats donuts, I have bagels (whole wheat, no cream cheese). When they start eating chips and cookies, I have a banana. Ice cream at night is replaced with grapes or oranges. Enriched flour pasta has been replaced by whole wheat pasta (which, by the way, is terribly course).

One of my friends from the Navy had a very succinct way of looking at diet, nutrition, and weight loss. "If you burn more than you eat, you lose weight." He ate a bit less, exercised a bit more, and took the $1000 prize pool in a family weight loss competition. For me, exercise more is a bit of a challenge at the moment. So, it's eat less. In a few months, I'll be able to balance out my intake, again, in order to maintain the proper and desirable weight.

Those of you who have struggled with weight despite consistent exercise may have to do the same soul searching I went through several months back. Swimming 3000+ yards, biking 50+ miles, and running 30+ miles may give us some leeway in eating those few extra calories. But we have to be realistic. The "few" extra cannot turn into 1000's extra. And the food we do eat must help meet the energy and health demands we place on our bodies.

Consider what you eat. If you find yourself being dishonest with yourself, keep a food log. If you're still cheating, post that food log here for all to see, along with weight loss goals and status. Once you start tracking it, you'll find it easier to achieve those goals.

And you'll also have the fun of watching co-workers, family, and friends as you try to explain why you, a triathlete and marathoner, are on a diet. It melts their heads.

Blog Note at Flatman's request: His site experience technical deleting difficulties followed by really fast address hijacking. He can now be found at FL4TM4N.


greyhound said...

Another aspect of nutrition that can't be neglected is its restorative properties. If I neglect to refuel after significant workouts and eat insufficiently nutritious foods, my metabolism will start to break down the tissues themselves, and injury is just around the corner.

jeanne said...

I read this as I was wiping away the crumbs from the (small?) but oh-so-pretty donut I just scarfed. Which was the follow-up to the chocolate chip scone. I JUST started keeping a journal. It's frightening. I'm travelling, so on carb overload. So, donuts and scones are out, huh? Who knew?
Here's another tip that I keep forgetting: half the time we eat junk that's bad for us, we're only eating it bcs it's in front of us, not bcs we decided beforehand that we actually wanted it. Like this morning. I had no idea that donut would be lurking there, screaming for me. If I had never seen it, I would not have sought it out. The moral?
I have no idea! :)