Monday, November 14, 2011

Sports Nutrition Guidebook

If you knew me when I was younger, you would never recognize me as the same person. As is the case with a lot of bloggers, a few years ago, I decided to make a huge lifestyle change. I lost 92 pounds while on Weight Watchers and found running.

As of this month, I am now 4 years at my goal weight. Four years! I can tell you about all the times I have tried to lose weight in the past and within a year, I gained all of it back plus some. I attribute my current success to running as I have been able to continuously make new goals that keeps me accountable.

Here is my confession: I find maintaining my weight loss, a million times harder than it was to lose 90 pounds. Weight Watchers, while it was a great program for weight loss, does not work for me in maintenance. I gain weight and have to restart the program to get me back to where I belong. To say maintenance has been frustrating is an understatement, especially recently.

My mileage has increased gradually over the years and I am running 55+ miles a week. In my opinion, the Weight Watchers program is harder to follow with intense exercise and I needed a change. (I am not saying it doesn't work, it just doesn't work for me.)

Luckily, at the same time that I was feeling frustrated, I met Steph from Run For Fun. Steph has been seeing a Sports Nutritionist for a few years and recommended that I read her book and see if I can get something from it that will help me.

And that is when I purchased Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook.
First of all, this was by far the easiest nutrition book that I have ever read. I currently have about 4 sports nutrition books sitting on my night stand, and I honestly am only a few chapters into each. I find nutrition books boring and rattling off the same information. This book seems to simplify the process of how to eat correctly and balanced.

Instead of summarizing the entire book, I will just point out a few facts that I pulled from the book that have already helped me with my eating.

1--Eat three kinds of food at meals and target different types of foods. This was huge for me as I used to think, eat as little as possible to satisfy myself. This always left me hungry an hour later, therefore I ended up eating more.

2--Don't be afraid of carbohydrates. This one little fact has really changed my eating and I feel better and my weight loss has finally resumed. My lunch in particular usually lacked carbohydrates. This left snacking all afternoon to make up for the lack of calories. The book emphasized that carbs are nothing to be scared of and how much they actually fuel your body.

3--Eat more calories during breakfast and lunch and eat a lighter dinner. I love breakfast and have never had a problem eating a decent amount of calories for breakfast. On the other hand, I always thought a salad with fillings was appropriate for lunch when trying to lose weight. By the time I got home from work to cook dinner, I would be ravenous and would eat anything in sight, not to mention would have a HUGE dinner. This would leave me with an upset stomach and it was an endless cycle. I have since started eating a larger lunch with a substantial afternoon snack. I can now cook dinner without feeling like I am going to eat my hand off and eat a small dinner to satisfaction instead of until my stomach feels like it is going to explode.

4--Eat your favorite foods. Don't deny yourself! Again, something that was hard to accept. What do you mean, I can eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch or I can have that cookie? I now know what my calorie budget is and I work food into my plan. When keeping track of food the correct way, I see that there is a lot of flexibility for what I can eat as long as I am eating a balanced diet. And by not avoiding these foods, I don't crave them, which means I won't go crazy on them when I do get a chance to eat them.

5--Slow down and enjoy your food. Sigh. I am a TV watching, computer reading eater. This is a work in progress, but let me tell you how much more satisfied I am, when I concentrate on what I am eating and how good it tastes. I get more out of each bite, not to mention I can listen to my body saying, that is enough, you don't need to keep eating.

Hopefully these tips help you and if you want more, I highly recommend reading this book. She also gives information on how many calories you should be consuming, which for me has always been a huge source of confusion. There are recipes in the back, which I already have tried and loved. I finally feel in control of my eating and am hoping my running will also see some benefit.

And please note, I am not trying to lose a lot of weight. I am at the top of the weight range for a healthy weight for my height. I know losing some weight will help but am also being realistic about my goals. I am now eating more and feel better because of my balanced diet.

**I purchased this book with my own money and my review is based on my own opinion and the fact that I really enjoyed this book.


Suz and Allan said...

I may have to check this book out. Thanks for recommending it!

Jessica Washburn said...

Wow, what a great story!! Congrats on your transformation and most of all for keeping it off!

Stephanie said...

YAYYYY check out on my post! we are on the same page today!! so proud of u!