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Reaching your racing weight and staying there

Author:Cyril Jay-Rayon
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For most athletes (like endurance athletes), one of their goals is to weigh as little as possible without losing power or muscle strength. This is especially important for athletes who fight gravity, as in cyclists going uphill.

As a general rule, we are diet agnostic. In other words, we don't believe that there is one diet that works for all people. We wish there was, because it would be much easier to tell our fellow athletes, eat a vegan, paleo, or vegetarian type diet and you will reach your optimal health and performance. Unfortunately, like most things in life, it's never that easy. A vegan diet may work magic for one person, but not for another. The same is true with other diets like low carbs etc.. Although it makes things a little more complicated, we find it's what makes nutrition so fascinating and exciting to explore as an individual. The science of Nutrigenomics - which is still in its infancy - is starting to shed light on why by showing that certain nutrients trigger a certain gene response in one person and a different gene response in another. That's why, for example, caffeine is well tolerated and healthful in one person and the exact opposite in another.

That said, as a general rule, our experience has shown that most can maintain a lean and strong body by focusing on these majory key nutrients:

  • Eat tons of vegetables and some fruits (ideally organic). Not only will you get essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutritients, you'll also feel full more quickly, especially if you eat as much of the complete vegetable as possible (skin, stock ... the works).
  • Don't shy away from fats, as long as they are from a healthy source, like pastured, grass fed animals, raw nuts, and avocados.
  • Eat quality sources of proteins. The type of proteins will depend on whether you're an ominvore, vegetarian, or vegan of course. Example of good sources include pastured, grass fed, organically raised meats and animal products (eggs, diary), fish, and vegetable proteins (Like from: pea, brown rice, hemp, legumes, chlorella, and spirulina).

 As we all become more educated about what we put in our bodies and its importance to health and performance, the above guidelines are followed by most. However, some mis-information persists, like the aversion to fats. Fats are crucial to good health, let alone performance. See our "The Power of Omega Fats" article for a list of the benefits of eating healthy fats. Some recent research discussed in an article by Dr. Mercola also shows that eating healthy fats found in nuts are not only benefiicial, they can actually help you lose weight.

Here are 2 other interesting articles by Matt Fitzgerald relating to staying lean:

  • This article talks about the importance of being lean in order to perform at your best, and how most pros follow an agnostic diet (they don't follow any diets with a name) but with similar guiding principles.
  • This article talks about "satiety" (the feeling of being full and content) and how some specialized proteins, like cholecystokinin (CCK), in your body trigger this feeling. The article goes on to explain that it takes about 20 minutes for this to protein to work and send the "I'm full" signal to your brain. This led to the recommendation that if you eat a small appetizer 15 minutes before your meal, you'll feel fuller more quickly and most likely will eat less during your meal.

 We hope this brief article helps you reach and maintain your ideal racing weight. If you have any questions, please reach out to us via email or phone.

Team FTM

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