The American College of Sports Medicine is not the typical college (with a campus and buildings and students) -- but rather an orgaization that brings together health professionals (sports medicine doctors, sports nutritionists, physical therapists) and exercise scientists and researchers. Every year, they have an annual meeting. This year, it is in Indianapolis and I am leaving tomorrow for the week. This is one of my favorite meetings because this is where I learn the latest sports nutrition information. The researchers will be presenting the studies they completed in the past year. I'll look forward to sharing with you what I learn. If you want more information about ACSM, take a look at their website: www.acsm.org.
When I counsel either casual exercisers or competitive athletes, I ask them what they typically eat in a day. I then do a more thorough food intake, gathering details of all that they eat, More often then not, they “try to stay away from” bagels, crackers, pasta, juice, bananas, and other “carbs.” I ask them “Why?” With embarrassment, they mumble, “Because they’re fattening.” The athletes know in their intelligent minds this is not true, but somehow they have fallen victim to fad diets.
If you are among those who “try to stay away from carbs”, think again. Remember that carbs are NOT fattening (excess calories are fattening) and that carbs (such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables) should be the foundation of each meal because they fuel your workouts. I invite you to enjoy whole grain bagels, sandwiches, and pasta – and also enjoy higher energy during your workouts.
Do you really want to never enjoy potato or pasta again.....???
For more information about carbs/weight, please read the chapter on how to lose weight and have energy to exercise in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook (www.nancyclarkrd.com).
Yesterday I received a phone call from a writer for Backpacker magazine. He talked about “dieters’ hikes” (sort of like “fat camps”) for people who want to lose undesired body fat. He participated in one of the hikes, and said he lost weight — that is, until he returned to civilization and immediately stuffed himself with an over-sized Mexican dinner.
While he raved about the dieters’ hike, I reminded him losing weight is just part of the process. Dieters have to keep the weight off—and that means learning how to manage the American Food Supply, not just be denied and deprived while restricted to the wilderness.
The bottom line is: If you want to lose undesired body fat, please think about learning how to EAT, instead of embarking on a food program you really don’t want to maintain for the rest of your life. (Do you really want to never eat bagels, potato, or pasta for the rest of your life?)
Your best bet if to get personalized nutrition advice from a board certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD). You can find your local sports nutrition expert by using the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org.
Sports dietitians are an under-utilized coach. You’ll wish you hadn’t waited so long for profesional food help. You can also find helpful information in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook (2008; www.nancyclarkrd.com )