View Full Version : Back in the saddle- Nutrition advice?

February 14th, 2002, 02:58 AM
Hello everyone,

My name is Tom and this is my first post here- though I have lurked off and on for a while now.

I have seen a lot of great expertise here, so hopefully you all can help me out here :)

I have just recently left a job that had me abroad 80% of the time. Hence I am rather out of shape and have not touched a pool in months.

I have a very strong swimming experience going back to my youth, so no worries there. But I am concerned about nutrition.

I have been all over the map on this before, ranging from a self created weight loss plan that worked quite well to eating out like someone who travels 80% of the time...

But now as I look to dedicate some serious time to my potential as a competitive swimmer once again, I would be very grateful for advice to ensure I am eating enough and also eating the right things.

In the time since I started being home again full time, I have done the following foodwise,

Breakfast- 1 hard boiled egg, melon or citrus fruit
Lunch- 3-4 oz lean meat, 5-6 oz vegetables (fresh or frozen, not canned.)
Dinner- same as lunch.
Snack- a piece of citrus fruit during the day as desired.

No-nos- pasta, rice, bread, sugar, fried foods.

This is working wonders as I get back down to my ideal weight, but I am not sure it is enough to keep me energized for the day, especially swimming for an hour, plus workouts and running on the side, six days a week. And as time goes on, the swimming is only going to get longer and more intensive.

What do you all suggest? What should I be adding to this as I step up the physical routines? (I am still slowly rising up to my former levels.) When should I be eating relative to my swimming and workouts?

I have never really tried to suit my diet to both weight loss AND high level exercise all at once, so I am not sure what direction to go with this. All I can say is that the food listed above is very quickly becoming insufficient as I work out more and more. The diet above is basically what I have used in the past for weight maintenance and mid level exercise.

I am 28, 6'2" and around 220 right now. In top shape I run about 175 or so and right now I am losing about 5-6 pounds per week- in case any of that info helps with suggestions.

Thanks to all for any suggestions! This is the one thing holding me back right now and I am hoping to correct it ASAP.


February 14th, 2002, 09:03 AM

Your diet looks pretty good to me. If you bonk in practice from lack of sufficient food you will know it. It is sort of an unable to continue kind of tiredness. Perhaps you may have experienced it before if you did a lot of training.

Given your size you may need a little bit more protein if you train hard. If you keep the meatlike objects in proportion to the good carbohydrates you should not overdo it.

With your snacks I'd recommend nuts, especially almonds. Minerals and some good fats to keep your blood sugar stable.

Plenty of water.

Also, after practice, within 30 minutes ideally, get 1 fruit-equivalent of carbohydrates into your body. There is a replacement window for what you have just used in practice. If you miss it, your body is not very good at fully recuperating.

I weigh more than you, so take this advice with a grain of salt. Find what works for you.

Swim fast,

February 14th, 2002, 02:22 PM

Welcome back to swimming! I returned to swimming a year ago after living a lifestyle as a business traveler for 5.5 years so I can relate to your story. Your diet sounds fine. When I first started back, I did have problems with sustaining energy during workouts and being hungry at night. Someone pointed me to the Zone diet and I adopted some of its basic principles. Primarily, eating more often, smaller portions, and an overall balance of protein, carbs and fat. I avoid heavy carbs, such pasta and white breads for the most part. I drink lots of water. You will need to increase your food intake but your body will let you know that. My first few months back in the pool I tried hard to stay to a strict diet and only ended up binging when I couldn't take the hunger. Needless to say, those first few months I didn't lose weight. If you keep to a good balance, over time the weight does comes off. I lost over 40 pounds in the past year. Of course, there's always the additional 10 pounds at the end that seem difficult to lose but I'm working on it. The only other advice is weight lifting does help. I try my best to lift light weights twice a week (which I hate doing), but it does help both in swimming and weight loss. Best of luck!


February 15th, 2002, 12:08 AM
Thanks guys!

Dan I especially read into your comment on feeling hungry at night! I have been feeling that, so I guess it is not just me.

Well, if I am reading correctly, all is well with this, but you guys are saying to keep the carbs and protein balanced as food intake increases, lots of water, eat soon after workouts. Will do!

And glad nuts are okay too. I brought back a big bag of cashews from Brazil- they had just been roasted the day before I bought them at the plantation!, so nice to know I can eat those without guilt :)

Thanks again!


February 15th, 2002, 08:33 AM
A book about longevity I read recently (can't remember the title) had a survey scoring good habits for longevity. The author recommended 5 oz. of nuts a day. More than I eat, that's for sure. I went over the limit on exercise though.

Swim fast,