This is probably the most complicated question to get your head around, but through my past experiences I will try and enlighten your thoughts on the subject and underline how simple it really is.
I’m not going to write a magic formula of how many grams of protein and fats a triathlete needs, or how many calories you need if your weight is 74.3kg and exercice you train 2.4 hours on a Monday but only 1.3 on a Tuesday. The truth is there are so many variables in this whole « how should we eat » that the only thing we can truly fall back on is LISTENING TO OUR BODY. But this takes some practice.
Unfortunately diets come and go and the new miracle diet just read by a friend in her latest magazine might tempt you but the truth about it all is that there is no one model fits all when it comes to nutrition. Eating a few less carbs might work for one, whilst eating good fats might work for others. Some eat little and often and some are happy to just have 2 big meals a day. I personally see nutrition as a kind of trial and error situation where I generally end up in principal coming back to my initial way of eating with a few tweaks around different training sessions.
We all need to eat a well balanced diet, that is fresh, in season and most importantly full of nutrients. Oh yes, I nearly forgot : Really simply it needs to be « REAL » food.
What I mean by that is don’t go reaching for your all in one meal replacement protein bar or your super duper maxy ripped ketogenic powder that will work wonders on your performance. I am not saying there aren’t good food supplements out there on the market, and that some athletes may need to stock up a little more on Vitamin C or Iron, but the general rule is the less processed the better, after all we didn’t get to where we are today through E-numbers, processed foods and sweeteners.
I’ve tried lots of ways of eating, I’ve put on lots of weight very fast , and I’ve lost weight very fast. I’ve eaten shit for a month and eaten quality ingredients for a month. Whatever it is you decide to do you need to remember a few things:
- It will never be perfect.
- It needs to suit you.
- It needs to be sustainable in your daily way of living.
- Results don’t come in a week, be patient.
- The better quality fuel goes into the tank the longer the engine will run.