After my shocking post-Christmas check in, weighing at a 61.6kg (not particularly unusual for me); shifting the muscle mass I had gained to basically stored body fat, it was finally time to address my nutrition.
The change in the type of training really changed my eating habits; pretty much eating carbs in every snack and meal. My protein intake was pretty hit and miss, sometimes barely hitting 60g. The recommended protein intake to sustain muscle repair and increase muscle growth is between 1.5 - 2 g per kg of body weight.
My mindset was consumed by getting the training done. Every session for each discipline was physically demanding. These longer duration (compared to my usual resistance weight training) lead to me feeling fatigued, which in turn resorted to me looking for sugary food to binge on.
Christmas happened. Obviously I enjoyed myself, not really limiting myself to certain foods and there were a number of evenings where there were puddings after desserts.
I was training over the Christmas period so I felt I could just have the extra helping here and there. I could not see any excessive fat that I had stored, however, the increase in intensity and choice of foods combined left me feeling lethargic, needing afternoon naps to get through the long days.
Since the start of the year, I decided to track my food on MyFitnessPal to be mindful of the macro-nutrients I was consuming per day and start to use my food as fuel rather than a craving restoration. So far so good. It has been 20 days and my scan showed that I had pretty much stayed the same weight (bang on for my height and age) and decreased my body fat percentage by 4.1 and increased my muscle mass by 1.5 kg. I'm aiming for around 2000 calories per day, being mindful on my type of training that day. I'm still consuming carbs, trying to aim for sources such as porridge, crumpets or pitta bread after a work out and I love a rice cake.
I'm trying to hit 100-120 grams of protein per day, mostly through food, such as chicken, quorn roast, eggs and yogurt. I do supplement with protein pancakes (satisfies my sweet cravings) and also a shake that I blend with water. Bubbly and well-mixed shakes make it so much tastier and not a nose-holding-all-in-one experience.
Moving in the right direction.
Sneakily, I have started to introduce some more resistance training into my week. I completely understand why it would not be recommended to overload my body with heavy lifting. I was starting to get the itch to get back to some more substantial compound lifts in the gym, so I scratched the itch. I see it as improving my strength that will relate to the three disciplines and also vary up the routine of swim, bike, run a little more.
I know my coach wouldn't mind, as it is my body and he can only advise on the results he has had previously. However, I do believe that in his experience, many of the athletes he has encountered have had to develop strength coming from endurance backgrounds - I am a special case and felt I could maintain both levels of fitness and strength.