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Obese Guy Talks Triathlon Training Nutrition
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Obese Guy Talks Triathlon Training Nutrition

It is tough being over weight and even more so overweight by 100 pounds or more your ideal weight. My greatest struggle is being a health fat guy. I know that sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but aside from the 100 extra pounds I am toting around I am in pretty good shape. I am not diabetic, I have good cholesterol levels, my BP is considered normal. Trouble is I am 315 pounds.

My greatest struggle is my lack of exercise and better nutrition choices. Several years ago I got down to 260 pounds and completes a sprint distance triathlon (1/2 mile swim, 10 mile bike ride, and 3 mile run.) in just over 2 hours. I am challenging my self to train for and complete 3 races in 2012. As I have done this with success before I am taking another crack at it. I want to to think about giving a tri a try.

In a previous article I talked about getting started with just some basic gear, you can check that out in Obese Guy Tackles Triathlon Training. Today I am going to talk about nutrition and basics to get you started at joining the 10% of the worlds population that will compete and finish your first triathlon. Let me share with you the fact I am not a doctor, a nutritionist, or a sports trainer. I am however going to share some things I have learned about sports nutrition and how that impacts my desire to be an endurance racer.

I sit at a desk most of the day. It is easy to mindlessly snack and bang away on the keyboard. I didn't really get the portion size thing because a bag of chips = a portion. The food industry has been mandated to include serving and nutrition information on all packaging. A 12oz can of soda is not 1 serving. A bag of pretzels is not always a serving. In the beginning I started a journal of the stuff I ate and drank. Think of it as a food budget. You have no idea of the amount of fuel you dump into the tank. And unlike gasoline our fuel get converted and stored for later if not used now. Know what you eat and how much goes along way into making a change in eating habits. Speaking of habits let's see what habits we have that are not doing us any favors.

Let's me start out by saying STOP drinking your calories. As of late I have been drinking only things that contain no calories. I do not count diet soda or diet drinks in that equation as a matter of fact I avoid them if at all possible. I am talking about drinking only water, coffee, tea. I make one exception and that is milk in a serving on occasion. You are already complaining I can hear it. Give it a try for 5 days and see if you don't see a change. I have avoided juice and sports drinks for the following reasons, no fiber and lots of sugar. I know the liquid police will be serving me we a cease and desist on this, but look at the label. 20 to 25 grams of sugar and zero fiber. Someone out there is raising their hand going, "What about vitamin C?" Unless you have the sniffles you don't need as much as you think besides if you eat the fruit you have the long lasting effect of the natural sugar and the 3 to 5 grams of fiber to make you feel full and all the vitamin C you should have.

Start reading labels! If there are more than five ingredients on the box or bag consider how good it is for you. Be careful of food you think is good for you too. Chicken enhanced with broth or solutions mean it was injected to make it heavier and taste good. Fat free often means more calories because it has sweeteners added to make up for the loss of fat. I suggest you stop shopping the same way you always do. I start in the meat section, then head over to the produce section and finish up with the breads, cereals, and grains. Changing the way you think about shopping and eating goes a long way to help you battle your bulges, get fit,gain strength, and lose fat.

I am not going to say I never eat ice cream, candy, or cake. The deal is just like when I was a kid, it is a treat not a snack. I am not against sweets, sugar, or even high fructose corn syrup, but I know they are not good for me in high volume. It is impossible to avoid them but not impossible to limit them. As an aside about three month into training I could eat a serving of ice cream at bed time and still lose weight, but my metabolism was pretty stoked up by then and eating was not a challenge.

I want to finish out with a few tips for getting started on the training part. For the first few weeks I am doing basic stretching to get ready for the resistance plan I will be using by week three. I have been doing three sets of 10 repetitions of squats or knee bends, three sets of 10 repetitions of toe touches (I wish, but the effort is there to touch them.) and a brisk 20 minute walk to get the blood moving. It doesn't seem like much but remember we are starting light and making only small changes. (Thanks to syvwlch for the nutrition label via Flickr.)

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