Staying Lean During the Off Season
When we are in the height of out training, we are burning a lot of calories. On average, a 60-minute run can burn 600 calories, 3 hours of cycling can burn 1500 calories and 60 minutes of swimming can easily burn upwards of 500 calories. During the off-season we are just not burning the same amount of calories, and that’s ok.
However, how do we keep from putting on a lot of weight when dealing with sporting events, holiday parties, colder weather, etc…? I’ve outlined a few things that may help all of us not put weight on during the off-season.
Do not limit or cut out your carb intake
This is a mistake a lot of athletes make. We still need carbs to fuel our gym sessions; whether that is the trainer, treadmill, swimming or weights. Think about consuming carbs that digest slowly like wild rice, whole grains and legumes. Try to stay away from fast absorbing carbs like bagels.
Do limit your alcohol consumption
I know, easier said than done! It’s a lot easier to do this when you are at home. Keep a non-alcoholic beverage in the fridge so that you can grab one in between the alcoholic ones. If you are at a party, have a glass of water in between each drink. This will also help keep you hydrated while limiting the calories you are putting into your body.
Eat a lot of nutrient dense food
During the colder months we tend to want to eat a lot more. Go ahead and embrace it – just do it with the right kinds of food. Do eat loads of sweet potatoes, kale, hummus with whole grain crackers or apples – soups, especially bean based ones. Do not eat quick digesting carbs like white bread, white rice or high in fat chicken wings during the game!!!
Still eat recovery food
You just need to switch it up a bit. Our muscles are still being damaged with the less intense workouts, so we still need a way to repair them without adding to many calories. Try working out after a meal. This way, you are burning those calories and will only need to ‘top’ off the tank with a lighter version of your regular recovery foods.
So, if we can all stay away from fast absorbing carbs, too much alcohol, high fat foods and try to be mindful of what we eat throughout the day by consuming nutrient dense foods – there is a great chance we can stay lean year around!
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