Guest Blog by Dina Griffin, MS, RD, CSSD, METS II, Board Certified Sport Dietician:  Nutrition Tips for the Off Season

Guest Blog by Dina Griffin, MS, RD, CSSD, METS II, Board Certified Sport Dietician: Nutrition Tips for the Off Season

  Tips for the Off Season For athletes in the northern hemisphere, the “off season” typically occurs around the months of November and December and into the early part of the following new year. Most athletes have finished up their racing season and are enjoying some less structured training time. Because the holiday season coincides with this period of time, numerous nutritional challenges can arise. There are usually two modes of thought during this time: “I don’t care what I eat. I’ve been eating too rigidly all year and I want to be free!” or 2) “I don’t want to fall into the trap of overeating junk food and gaining a bunch of weight! ” If you associate with camp #1, I encourage you to keep reading as this article may change your mind about how you ponder your nutrition. For camp #2 folks, kudos for wanting to stay a notch ahead of the game. So what do we do to get through this off season (and holiday season) to feel free from harsh nutrition rules and yet still keep nutrition on the brain? Sure, we have the classic nutrition strategies of “drink more water” and “eat before you go to the party”, but I’d like to present a few other considerations related to food and nutrition for this off season:   It may be the season for some rest time, but take advantage of your time to explore different foods and try other food preparation methods. Get a collection of recipes that interest you, either from websites, youtube videos, or library books and then allocate time to tinker...
Get “Phat” with Fat

Get “Phat” with Fat

Get “Phat” with Fat Many recreational athletes and fitness enthusiasts are still “fat phobic”, believing that eating fat will make them fat or cause blockage in the arteries leading to heart disease. There still exists the notion of “good” and “bad” fats, which originated decades ago and is still perpetuated by the media and health professionals. To this, we say “times are changing” as nutrition research evolves and we build the body of scientific evidence. If you are interested in transforming your body to become more “metabolically efficient” (also known as “fat-adapted”), the implementation strategies involve eating more fat to varying degrees depending on which strategy is best suited for you. As we manipulate daily nutrition patterns to control carbohydrates, boost fat intake, and keep protein intake fairly constant, we can see the body begin to utilize internal fat stores as a fuel source, while preserving the limited stores of carbohydrate. All of this without compromising health and athletic performance — bonus! Now, this does not mean you have a free ticket to load up on any and all fats without giving attention to the other aspects of your daily nutrition choices and quantities. Nor does it necessarily mean you have to switch to nibbling on butter during exercise. The level of “how high fat do I need to go?” will depend on many factors, but the good news is when implemented properly, increasing fat does not cause athletes to become fat nor does it increase risk for incidence of disease states. On the contrary, the scientific evidence is showing it is high dietary intakes of carbohydrates that are...