Hi Ms. Stewart, thanks for your time.
I'm a competitive swimmer and am constantly training or practicing etc. I've been on level with all my energy and nutrition and everything's been good. What I'm trying to do is loose about 10-15 pounds to get my stroke cleaner and try to get a lot quicker. My problem is that I'm trying to diet old fashioned and am cutting down on my food portions. But when I do, I notice that I have less energy at practices and
I'm a lot more tired. Also, when I get back from practices, I refrain from eating until a fixed meal time, but I've heard that actually slows your metabolism down. So I'm wondering, is there a way to diet when I have so much physical activity going on? When should I eat/how much? Any suggestions on foods I should consume more of/less of (I've already cut down/cleared my system of sugars/fats)? Thanks!
I'm glad you asked those questions. I coached swimmers of all sizes and I have to say that the way to a cleaner stroke is flexibility and practice.
You have to be strong to be competitive and by cutting your food portions, your body is telling you that you are not giving it enough energy to meet the physical demands.
So, definitely eat every 3-4 hours and make sure you have lean protein, complex carbs, and fiber at every meal.
Fat is an essential nutrient and should not be cut from your diet. The type of fat you want are Omega 3 and Omega 6. That can come from fortified foods, many types of fish (tuna, salmon, tilapia) and supplements. Even though they are available in supplement form, it is best to get your nutrients from your diet.
You do not have to totally cut out sugar either. All you have to do is find a way to incorporate small amounts of sugar in your daily meal plan.
And speaking of meal plans, it is essential that you refuel your body during practices and meets and within one hour of finishing.
Please do not wait until a specific time unless you have to for medical reasons. Otherwise, refuel your body as soon as possible so that your body can recover faster.
So, what you need to do is make sure you are taking in enough energy calories from your food (upwards of 2000 calories at least) in order to keep up with your intense practices. When the season is over, and you may not be as active, you will not need as much energy, but that doesn't mean you should diet either. Adjust your meals to give you the energy you need to make it through the day.
I hope that helps. Remember, keep your energy levels up by feeding your body, not starving it. Good luck.
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