Most people on weight-reduction diets believe that having a salad for meal is a low calorie option that’s preferable to eating a Whopper or a Big Mac. Not always the case. Many salads come loaded with dried fruits, nuts, avocado, corn, and beans. Nutritious ingredients, yes, but caloric—especially if lots of cheese is sprinkled on top.
Salad dressing can be a real calorie-killer. Even a little bit of dressing on a big salad can become a LOT of dressing! Perhaps that’s why I’ve observed that people who eat salads for meals tend to be heavier than people who eat sandwiches. As for myself, I’ll take my sandwich with a small (but colorful) side salad.
Do Hummers need more gas than Mini-Coopers. Of course!
Do athletes who weigh 180 pounds need more calories than those who weigh 120 pounds? Of couse.
While this seems so obvious, I spend too much time counseling 180-pound over-fat athletes who try to eat like a 120-pound ballet dancer. They believe:
1. Food is a fattening “enemy.”
2. The less they eat, the faster they will lose weight.
3. The lighter they are, the better they will perform.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
1. Food is fuel, not fattening. People who eat normally tend to be lean. People who diet tend to be heavy. Hence, dieting tends to make people heavy (in the long run) while learning how to eat normally contributes to a leaner physique.
2. The less you eat, the more likely you are to binge and regain all the weight you lost. This urge to binge is physiological. Just as you gasp for air and cannot breath normally after having stayed too long underwater, you can eat normally after having restricted food the point of feeling ravenously hungry.
3. The best-fueled athlete (who is genetically gifted and well trained) will out-perform the starved athlete who is thinner-at-any-cost.
I invite you to eat wisely, perform well and be at peace,
For food help:
To consult with a registered dietitian (RD) who specializes in sports nutrition, find your local expert at www.SCANdpg.org.