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This article appeared in the West Australian newspaper, Mind & Body lift out on April 13 2010.
You don’t need to make drastic changes to your diet in order to compliment your fitness training, however it does require making good choices. The first step to dietary change is to analyse what you eat and think about the changes that need to be made to align with training.
Make note of what you eat and check if it includes:
These are the essential changes that need to be made as a start. Once they have become part of your daily routine, you should be well on your way to feeling great for the training you are doing. Next is to think about the subsequent stages of optimal sports nutrition, such as planning meals and snacks around training times and work hours, hydration before and during exercise, optimising micronutrient intake, special pre-training and recovery foods.
You need to be aware of any radical or ‘fad’ diets that claim to assist with exercise - anything that states you need to cut out a certain food or food group, exchange a balanced meal for a ‘shake’, or the promise a quick fix, is more than likely not going to work in the long term for sports performance, weight loss or general health.
Fad diets are usually;
For anyone doing exercise two or more times per week, a diet that encourages reduced carbohydrate intake is a definite mistake, as carbohydrate is the body’s primary fuel source for exercise. Reducing carbohydrate intake will only lead to a reduction in glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrate) which will cause fatigue, and a potential decrease in immunity when trying to stay energetic.