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Coach's Column: Avoiding Weight Gain the Offseason

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |March 23, 2013 8:38 PM

Coach's Column with Namrita O'Dea: Avoiding Weight Gain in the Offseason


Question: During the offseason, I am still training hard but not riding nearly as much as during the season.  What are some appropriate guidelines as far as making sure I am still getting adequate nutrition for my workouts and recovering properly from my workouts during this off-season without putting on any weight?

Answer: Make sure you are getting enough protein to help maintain your lean mass while you are still trying to decrease fat mass. Protein also keeps you full for a longer period of time. Depending on your body size, spread out 3 to 4 20-25 gram doses of protein throughout the day and another before you go to bed. Try to make sure one of these protein doses immediately follows your training session for optimal recovery. 

Eat lots of veggies. Whenever possible, load up on vegetables during every meal to add more food and nutrients without adding a lot of additional calories. Mix it up with salads, roasted veggies, and soups. Also, you can pack in a lot of vegetables in smoothies (i.e. greens, beets, pumpkin, carrots, celery) and eat dried veggie chips for snacks.

Not all your workouts need full energy support. During your lower intensity workouts, allow your body burn more fat by taking in less calories during the ride. You can also do some low-carb morning sessions on an empty stomach. 

Last, be aware of post-exercise compensation that can affect your weight. Try not to overeat later in the day or night after your workout; and, remember you can burn extra calories outside of your exercise session by staying active (i.e. standing, walking, moving more vs. sitting around all day).

Namrita is a Registered Dietitian and endurance mountain bike athlete. At 55nine Performance, she specializes in nutrition for sports performance and wellness, and coaching. Namrita holds a Masters degree in Nutrition from Georgia State University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Physiology at Georgia Institute of Technology. She also conducts clinics and camps for women cyclists and speaks at several nutrition and racing clinics in the Southeast. Namrita currently races for Team Topeak-Ergon USA. For more information and updates, visit http://namritaodea.com

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