No, this post is not about dieting, but about diet. Dieting for an athlete is not an option, and event though I restrict how I eat, I still get to eat a lot which leaves me the strength to push hard in workouts, but keeps weight slipping off me.
Getting to that golden combination of food to make you perform your best is not easy, and I still haven't found it, but a great process I have inadvertently stumbled upon is to pick something to improve in your diet once a month to make sure it works for you.
I say one thing at a time because different people react to different things. If you scrap everything you eat all at once and start from scratch, your body may revolt against it, leaving you to trial and error to discover what did it. Changing one thing a month is not such a daunting endeavor either. Over the past two years my major changes have been.....
1. killing fast food and eating Subway
2. reducing the footlong to a six inch Subway
3. switching from the bag of chips to the fruit for lunch
4. Grapenuts and another cereal for breakfast
5. Adding blueberries to my cereal
6. Eating a Powerbar mid-afternoon to keep metabolism going
7. Switching from the Powerbar to a banana
8. Piece of fruit mid-morning to reduce the overeating urge at lunch
9. Stop gorging after long bike rides with Fried Chicken or Burrito
10. Keep fruit in the house instead of starchy snacks
A few other changes did not work very well. Some things did not agree with my stomach and some bad things resulted, other things just were not filling enough for me either.
The goal should be to add to your diet's nutrition, not take away calories. Eating better will fire up your metabolism and make you feel better before and after workouts to self perpetuate weight loss and well-being.
Some of the best ideas I incorporate into my eating habits come from articles on Competitor.com, usatriathlon.org, slowtwitch, so keep up with what the athlete experts are professing, and stay away from the fads that can seriously hurt your end goals.