If you have read many of my posts you may get the impression that I am baffled by nutrition. Over the last few years I have tried a whole number of different ways of eating. While I stand by my stance on fad diets and the belief that if you can't do it for the rest of your life than don't bother, I do like to experiment. I have gone vegetarian to learn how to cook and eat vegetables (so happy I did this), I have tried low carb high fat (didn't last too long) and seem to have settled on the idea of portion control. In short, I weigh my ingredients when I cook to avoid overeating. This way of eating has seen my weight drop and stay in the low 70's for the last 12 months. Even though that is the way that I eat now I am still incredibly confused about how much I should eat and what should my breakdown of carbs, fats and protein be. I think that it might be because of my history of being overweight but I notice that I put weight on very quickly. This tells me that while I am generally doing things right I am not doing them perfectly. With my next big race being in Phuket where it is hot and humid I decided that I want to head to Thailand lean so I can race fast. I also feel like I have been 'flying blind' with my nutrition. As I said, I think if you had to give me a grade I would pass, but there is lots of room for improvement. So this week I made the decision to consult a dietician.
Seeing a dietician is something that my Mum has been on my case about for a long time. Mum wanted to make sure that I was fuelling right and not doing anything too unhealthy. I actually agree and it is something I have been meaning to do for a long time now. I think nutrition is such a big part of the puzzle but often one of the most neglected. There is literally too much information out there with everyone being an expert so it is confusing to know what to do. What this means is that many people are confused and may stumble across a diet plan which works for them but it might not work best. As my training becomes more intense and my results improve I figured it was time to get this sorted. So this week I booked an appointment with Chloe Mcleod. Why Chloe? Well when I started looking for a nutritionist I was surprised to find how difficult it was. I eventually stumbled across a nutritionist directory and when I saw that Chloe was at Balmain Sports Medicine, a sponsor of my new triathlon club, Concord Tri Club, I looked into her. Chloe's speciality in sports nutrition and weight management was all I needed to book the appointment.
Yesterday I went in for my initial consultation. I knew I was in good hands as soon as I sat down and Chloe, knowing I was a member of Concord Tri Club asked if I race 70.3 or Iron Man. I explained that I am not so bothered by the number on the scale but instead am interested in dropping my body fat percentage. I believe that the key to racing in the heat is the ability to cool yourself down and to do this well you need to be lean. We discussed many things and I was asked a lot of questions about my training, eating and goals. I was delighted to be told that I was doing lots right. I had made some smart changes over the last 5 years and that is why I am now 50kg lighter than I was. The good news was that Chloe was confident we could make changes to help me reach my goals. Chloe was going to put together meal plans for 4 types of days. A double workout day, a single long workout day, a rest day and a long workout day but a fasted session. I think this approach suits me really well. The main thing I am looking forward to is knowing exactly how much I need to be eating. Instead of flying blind I will have actual qualities of what to eat and this will help me to consistently do it. How I look at is is similar to my triathlon coach. I used to train before I signed up with Ben but also felt like I was flying blind. Now, Ben tells me what to do, when to do it and how hard to go. This will be the same. I will eat certain amounts of certain things at certain times. I like the idea of having this certainty, it has certainly helped with my training.
The added bonus that I wasn't expecting when I went in for my meeting was that Chloe was going to start helping me with how to fuel while I race. As a bloke who relied on redskins for my race nutrition for years this is another area where I feel I need all the help I can get. Basically all the information I received exceeded my expectations, I went in kind of expecting just a sort of eat this at this time but what I got instead was information specific to my demands as a law student, triathlete, husband and human. I am really excited to start following the plan and seeing my progress. I ordered a set of fat callipers which I will use to measure my progress and I am sure I will keep you updated as to how I am going with it.
Other than that, I am racing a half marathon tomorrow and will once again have another crack at going under 80 minutes. The race is also pancake flat but the last two years I have delivered less than stellar performances. I will be giving it a red hot go though. Other than that I am looking forward to a weekend of racing, riding and probably some swimming.
So enjoy your weekend and remember to TRI!