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
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.
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