Top diet tips for rowers after the festive indulgence
At this time of year thoughts inevitably turn to weight loss after the excess of the Christmas and New Year period. In many cases, the weight gain creeps up as if by stealth, fueled by an abundance of hyperpalatable foods and alcohol. The combination of refined carbohydrates, sugars and fats is a toxic combination for weight gain.
Many rowers will already have some idea of how to get their food back under control after the holiday excess but with so many conflicting diets out there it can get confusing. The British Dietary Association’s Top Diet Review of 2017 lists 12 diets, seven of which are run by profit-making companies such as Slimmers World and LighterLife, offering refined, branded “diet” foods.
McMaster University published the results of two studies involving more than 135,000 people across five continents in August 2017. The first shows that a diet which includes a moderate intake of fat and fruits and vegetables, and avoidance of high carbohydrates, is associated with lower risk of death.
The fruit, vegetable and legume consumption study.
Specifically, it showed that consuming a higher amount of fat (about 35 percent of energy) is associated with a lower risk of death compared to lower intakes. However, a diet high in carbohydrates (of more than 60 percent of energy) is related to higher mortality, although not with the risk of cardiovascular disease. The second study showed that those people who consumed three to four servings of fruits, vegetables and legumes per day had the lowest risk of death.
Here are the WEROW top tips to get your food back under control after the holiday season:-
- Never eat on your feet – grazing whilst preparing a meal can seriously increase your calorie intake
- 3 meals a day – only eat at mealtimes and don’t be tempted to skip one otherwise you may binge at the next one.
- No snacks – break the cycle of constant grazing
- No foods that are white or could be white – foods that are white tend to be highly glycaemic and so will spike blood sugar, for example, bread or rice.
- Clear your home of snacks – don’t make it easy to stuff
- Ensure you have abundant stocks of fresh, crisp vegetables
- Make favourite foods difficult to access – consider putting those nuts in a box somewhere high or difficult to reach
- Don’t drink your calories – a Grande White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks is a whopping 503 calories.
- Only eat whole foods – eat as close to nature as possible, most food processes remove fibre which makes the sugars more available to the human body.
- You can’t out-exercise a bad diet – whilst the “calories in v calories out” theory has been debunked as not all calories are equal (503 calories in a premium drink are not that same as 503 calories from steamed vegetables) energy balance still has to be considered. So a 30-minute erg session followed by the reward of a Grande White Chocolate Mocha will leave you with an energy surplus and quite possibly heartburn!