How to fuel your escape from alcatraz triathlon part 3 _ examiner. com
To successfully escape from Alcatraz, a triathlete needs to properly fuel his/her body. We continue our November 4 conversation with Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN) Dorette Franks on how to fuel your Escape from Alcatraz triathlon.
Mark Davis: Should an athlete log what he/she eats?
DF: It’s really helpful and that’s a great thing to do. People find when they track their nutrition; they’re amazed at how much
they’ve really eaten or the food choices. And what a nutrition tracker can offer is not just how many carbohydrates, proteins and fats you’ve been eating and the fiber that you’re getting. Some advanced nutrition trackers are going to tell you how far you are from reaching your recommended allowance for vitamins and minerals and what your sodium intake is. There are people in the world of triathlon that have high blood pressure; they have to be conscientious. Or people who are diabetic, they have to be conscientious of the food that they eat.
MD: Do you recommend any particular nutrition tracker?
DF: There is the USDA SuperTracker; it can analyze a whole meal. There also is MyFitnessPal. It’s really easy to put your information in. What I don’t like about some of these nutrition trackers is when people enter in their current weight and their desired weight the prescribed rate of weight loss is very unrealistic. Like lose two pounds a week. It’s just unrealistic because it doesn’t know what your true resting metabolic rate (RMR) is.
MD: How would they find that out?
DF: By working with an RDN who can calculate that for them. What an RDN is going to do is determine their RMR and then what their activity level is with their job throughout the day. Then they are going to factor in what their training is throughout the week. They can really dial it in so that they know how many calories your body needs to break even and how many calories you can afford not to eat so that you lose weight without slipping below that RMR.
MD: What device do you use to calculate the RMR?
DF: There are a few devices. For me personally, I do it all by hand. Some people can actually have their RMR tested. They have a metabolic efficiency test at the Endurance Performance Training Center in Mill Valley. I believe they are the only place in San Francisco and Marin.
MD: Is that done while they are exercising?
DF: Yes, you do it on a bike. It’s going to tell you how efficient your body is at burning carbohydrates over fatty acids or fat.
MD: Once you have this information, then you can plug it into these nutrition trackers and know not to exceed the RMR number of calories.
DF: The other problem is when people follow an application that says your goal is to lose two pounds a week and maybe it’s not realistic. What that activity tracker is doing is dipping into your RMR; you’re actually going into your reserve. And your body thinks, “Hey man, you’ve stopped feeding me and now you’re dipping into the calories I need just to stay alive and to recover.”
MD: It does the opposite of what you want; it slows down your metabolism.
DF: Exactly and then people can’t lose weight or they start to gain weight because their metabolism is slowing down. Your body has a primal mechanism for survival. You can’t trick it. Sometimes you need to eat to lose weight. Having your RMR tested or going for a metabolic efficiency test is a little more elaborate than maybe a rookie triathlete would want, but I say hey, it’s a great way to start off the New Year.
Speaking of the New Year, we will check back with Ms. Franks to find out exactly what athletes should do during the Escape from Alcatraz. Stay tuned… Suggested Links
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Triathlon coach, author and motivational speaker Mark “XBigMan” Davis’ journey from a 368 pound fatman to Ironman has moved many to get off the couch and keep on moving. Please visit www. xbigman. com or e-mail mark@xbigman. com. Also Like him on Facebook at https://www. facebook. com/XBigMan-188423335497/ and follow him on twitter @xbigman.