September 2007 Nutrition Chat with Coach Marni Rakes

author : mrakes1
comments : 0

Discussion on training and weightloss, what to do if the cafeteria has no good food, sweet tooth problems and the importance of nutrient timing.

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[mrakes1] If you have any nutrition questions off the top of your head we can start if you'd like.
 

[1st Timer in NY] How do you watch/limit what you eat, yet stayed fueled for tri-training?

 

[mrakes1] The easiest tool for losing weight while not losing energy is to focus on your calories before, during and after training. If training is less than an hour, no fueling is really necessary for the workout. A small snack before will get you through the workout and a small snack afterwords will keep you from overeating before a meal (breakfast or dinner). The rest of your meals (especially if you only train once a day) should be nutritious and wholesome and filling. 3 meals a day and 2-3 small snacks.  Each meal around 300-400 calories, snacks less than 150 calories.


[Comet] I have kind of a big one. I eat 3 meals a day in a hospital cafeteria. The salad bar is limited: spinach, carrots, broccoli and that's about it. There is a hot grill: burgers, ham&cheese melts, Philly cheese steaks, etc. Then there is a hot line: some meat, cooked veggies, mashed potatoes. For lunch there is a cold cut bar. That's about it. As for fruits: some apples and maybe bananas if were lucky.  There aren't any health food stores (whole foods, wild oats, etc) in this crappy town. I can't cook my own food and I only have minimal room for buying my own fruit. I keep tuna, fruit and just found Bear Naked granola at a store here. What can I do? I'm not used to being limited on fresh fruits and veggies. I am skeptical of the cooked veggies, as they are probably salted and buttered. Oh, they have canned fruits too, but in syrup.

 

Breakfast: Cheerios, 2 boiled eggs, fruit.
Lunch: sandwich and/or salad
Dinner: whatever is available and not empty.

 

I feel very limited and not satisfied as my choices are VERY limited. Healthy gets hard when you look at the same ham sandwich and bad salad everyday.


[mrakes1] Comet-sounds like you have lots of choices. Be sure to combine some protein with any carbs, even if it is a salad w/ beans or lean meat. You are right about cooked foods as they can be coated in oil and salt. Choose foods which take minimal preparation (salads, veggies) and start from there. Lean meats, veggies meat, egg whites and beans are great stuffers or toppings for salads and sandwiches.


[Comet] They don't keep black beans (or any beans). Beans and mushrooms I miss the most.  There isn't anything fresh foods for breakfast. Is eating Cheerios and boiled eggs bad everyday?

 

[mrakes1] Rather than the cheerios, opt for oatmeal for more fiber and a more filling breakfast. I like the hard boiled eggs but opt for 2-3 whites with every yolk. Save the fruit for a mid morning snack and combine with a 60 calorie (or less) yogurt or some cottage cheese for some protein. Protein w/ the carbs (especially fruit and bread) will prevent a rise and then drop in blood sugar.

 

[Comet] I don't need the preparation of a big meal, but this salad bar is really lacking.


[mrakes1] Can you bring your own food rather than eating at work? Try weight watchers banana nut or maple cinnamon rather than just plane oatmeal. I recommend those for extra protein w/o the sugar.


[Comet] Ok, I can cook oatmeal in my room. I have a microwave. What can I put in cottage cheese?  Can I put in some of the canned fruit? I try to strain it when I can.
 

[mrakes1] Cottage cheese and a few nuts, fresh fruit (like pears or peaches), 1 tbsp. granola or 1/2 cup cheerios would be great.  Opt for low sugar canned fruit. There is more fiber in real fruit (orange rather than OJ, pears rather than canned pears).  Look for low fat or fat free cottage cheese. They may not offer that but if they don't have the reduced options, keep the cottage cheese around 1/2 cup to save on calories.

 

Pineapple is great with cottage cheese and w/ a couple chocolate chips (a couple). If you are in a situation where you have no other option (but I would always recommend bringing your own food), plan ahead for a couple hundred extra calories due to food which you have no idea how it was prepared. Look for foods which are fresh and not already pre-made (i.e. pre-made sandwiches, salads, etc.). You can also have oatmeal for lunch but be sure to get your veggies and fruit in during the day sometime. 

 

[Comet] I'd buy my own from a store that I know is fat free rather than trust the cafeteria.

 

[mrakes1] Good idea Comet! It is always better to make your own food rather than eating out. You have more control. But if you are eating out, I recommend looking at menus online ahead of time and knowing what you will get before you get there. Also, have a small protein snack before eating out to help control blood sugar before the meal. A couple of apple slices, small piece of cheese, glass of milk, a couple nuts will offset that spike in blood sugar. Watch granola since it is very high in calories for such a small portion. If you enjoy granola, combine a low calorie cereal (look for a "puff" type consistency or Special K) and combine your granola in a container with the cereal. Add a scoop of raisins and you have your own healthy cereal without extra sugars and lots of calories.


[Ontherun] I read Picture Perfect Weightloss as the foundation of what I eat. My problem is that there doesn't seem to be any good books written for the nutrition of a triathlete, while working on weight loss.
 

[mrakes1] When I consult athletes I work with losing weight while training. It is important to time your nutrition with your training. Nutrient Timing by John Ivy is
a good book.

[mrakes1] I'd be happy to answer a couple more questions if you have any?

[rstocks3] Not really. I have a serious sweet tooth that keeps me from really dropping into the lower bodyfat.
 

[mrakes1] As far as sweet tooth's-time your "sweets" within 30 min. post exercise with whey protein (either in a smoothie or with protein powder). Enjoy 100-200 calories of a sweet if the workout is more than 2 hours. It's an incentive to work longer. You also won't need to worry about putting the wrong food in your body.

 

[rstocks3]  Thanks. So the 1/2 gallon of Caramel Swirl ice cream that I ate in 1 sitting was too much last week?

[mrakes1] Have ice cream in smaller bowls. I like coffee cups. Then you aren't as inclined to eat as much. Or-have a bowl of fruit with ice cream on top if you need a treat.

[ellismichael] Marni, do you lean more towards the calories in - calories out paradigm, or the blood sugar/GI one?

[mrakes1] Blood sugar and GI index. Calories in and out is very important but as an athlete you need to watch your blood sugar and nutrient timing. Combine protein w/ carbs at meals and have some type of protein before your meal in order to offset the spike in blood sugar. You don't want to eat too much at one time so watch calories in especially if you aren't training before the meal.  I have an article in the July issue of triathlete which really focuses on GI index.

 

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date: October 5, 2007

mrakes1

Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. I am a certified sports nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition,I teach spinning and I am CPR certified. I have finished the 2006 Boston marathon, 2006 IMFL, 2007 Ironman world Championship and I am qualified for the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. I write for Triathlete magazine and I love writing for BT.com!

avatarmrakes1

Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. I am a certified sports nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition,I teach spinning and I am CPR certified. I have finished the 2006 Boston marathon, 2006 IMFL, 2007 Ironman world Championship and I am qualified for the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. I write for Triathlete magazine and I love writing for BT.com!

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