It happens to most everyone as we get older. We have kids, we get busy with our careers. And before we know it, we start telling our friends we could lose 30 pounds, but we don’t. What health implications do those 30 extra pounds have? You may tell yourself your blood pressure is fine, you feel ok, but it starts to add up as we get older.
How we look changes too. A lot of people look older when they are overweight: Skin starts to look unhealthy, a bit grey, maybe some acne, bags under our eyes. Our clothes probably fit a bit too tight.
And then our activities take a hit. Sometimes I notice the overweight people at a staging area, sweating bullets and out of breath as they unload their bikes. I see them back at their vehicle after a single-track ride, red faces, soaked with sweat, out of breath and ready for a nap. Those 30 extra pounds take a bite out of your seat time. If you could lose that extra weight, you would have more energy to spend on the trail. You would have more muscle mass to throw that bike around and you certainly would not have to take a rest after unloading your bike.
On May 1, 2019, I weighed in at 145 pounds at 5’2” tall. While not obese, I felt it was time to lose a few pounds. I wanted to be able to go for longer rides without becoming tired. I enlisted the help of a professional and with his guidance, eating plans and workout schedule (I added 2 more workouts to my weekly schedule) I lost 22 pounds in 5 months and gained 4 pounds of muscle. It was hard, very hard! I went monthly to my nutritionist for weigh-ins and to make sure I wasn't losing any muscle mass and to discuss my progress and, yes, my slip-ups. Beer and sushi were my vices oh, and the daily Oreo cookies. March 2020, I weigh 125 pounds. I feel great, I have no aches and pains, a resting heart rate of 52, low cholesterol, I am stronger and fitter than I was a year ago, I look great and my riding has improved exponentially.
We can all do it despite our age and gender. I'm 48 years old and no way do I look or act like I'm 48, I look more like a 30-something and I act like I'm 12 most days.
Sometimes we have the willpower but not the knowledge. Sometimes we all just need someone on our side to give us a pat on the rear to get us motivated. I remember in my 30s I weighed close to 200 pounds. My doctor kept telling me to lose weight, but she never told me how. I figured it out for the most part but did end up working with a nutritionist. Best money I ever spent on myself.
We should take care of ourselves, no one else will and we only get one body, so why not look after it! Check out Fitriders’ nutritional programs. Do something amazing for yourself.
After spending 2 days playing a roller derby tournament in the U.S., I came to reflect on this topic quite a bit. The biggest problem I had was finding enough quality food to eat to fuel my activity. Roller derby can burn up to 1500 calories per hour. I figure I burned 1000 calories day one and 300-400 day 2 (I spent half the last game on the bench with a groin injury).
The hotel had the usual free breakfast: powdered eggs, white bread, pastries, sugary cereal, yogurt. I didn't have a problem with the breakfast options, but what about lunch, snacks and dinner? Our first game was at noon, so we ended up at a Japanese steakhouse/sushi bar for a team dinner. Our 2nd game was scheduled for 8 pm. I knew eating a steak was the wrong choice, and unfortunately, while you might think the veggies were a good choice, it takes a long time to digest vegetables, so sadly those were out. I chose sashimi and a bowl of white rice. My biggest mistake was the soy sauce. I was most likely on the edge of dehydration from game 1 and the soy sauce defiantly exacerbated the dehydration. While the white rice was a good choice as it has low fibre and is easily digested, I ate too much of it. The end result prior to game 2 was not so good. I was sluggish, tired and my gut hurt. I didn't play that well, in fact the entire team felt the same. We were tired from not sleeping well the night before, the long drive and the lack of quality food and choices.
A lot of us brought food but it's not the same. The best choice for us would have been a small plate of pasta and a good quality tomato sauce. The pasta is easily digestible, and the tomato sauce is low in fat and because the sauce is puréed, easily digestible. Both the pasta and tomato sauce contain carbohydrates for fuel and the tomato sauce has some vitamins and minerals.
The large portions you typically get at a restaurant are sometimes over the top. I would have been better off eating half the food I ordered, and instead paired it with a protein shake after game 1 and a banana before game 2.
Every time I go to the gym, play derby or go for a long dirt bike day, I ask myself “what snacks do I need” and “what am I currently eating and how will it effect my performance?”
There are so many diets out there that promise weight loss and other “results” if you eliminate one food group or another. The reality is you need to think of food as fuel for the adventure. You need to think: “What type of food do I need to have the energy I need to perform?”
With all the confusion around nutrition, FitRiders will be working on a cookbook for riders, with nutrition and calorie content for each meal. In addition, it will take the mystery out of what to eat, when to eat and what activity will benefit from different food types. The right food choice makes a difference. Even with the help of a nutritionist I have got it wrong on many occasions. Through trial and error, I have found what works for me. I can't wait to share my recipes for success and hope anyone who is interested in feeling better will use my experiences to help themselves. So, stay tuned sports fans for more nutritional information and the odd recipe here.
Karl Tettmann, Co-Founder. Avid health and fitness coach who just loves to ride.