Thursday, September 29, 2011

Being Fit and Fashionable

Fashion is about looking good. And that also means looking good in the clothes you wear.

We triathletes have this misconception that because we exercise a ton, we can eat whatever we want.

Not true.

I went on a rigorous diet and lost about 30 lbs and I can honestly say now that whenever I think about eating something "non-Kosher", as it were, I think about Mad Eye Moody from the Harry Potter series and his famous catchline, "Constant vigilance!"

Constant vigilance for the rest of my life. And I really don't mind.

So here's a couple of tips, words from the wise, as it were, so that you don't fall into the same traps as I did:

1. High fructose corn syrup = BAD!

Studies (in particular, one done at Princeton University) have shown that lab rats showed considerably more signs of obesity when fed high fructose corn syrup as opposed to table sugar.

Do this test: go to your local supermarket and pick up anything off the shelf. You would be surprised by how many items have HFCS. I can only find one type of bread out of the 25 I regularly see on the shelves that DOES NOT have HFCS.

2. No-Carb Diets

It may have worked for Jennifer Aniston but I'm pretty sure she wasn't running or doing triathlons. Carbs are a necessity. Think of it as having gas in your car. You have no gas, you don't move.

Same principle with the human body.

Your body needs carbs (in limited amounts, mind you) in order to function. A friend of mine was eating proteins before working out and carbs afterwards and was always tired.

What he should have done was switch those two around.

Proteins help your muscles knit and repair themselves and sit a little heavy in the stomach if you eat them before working out. Carbs are fuel and you would definitely need those before the work out!

3. Fried Food

This one's a big no-no. I had a daily allowance of 1 portion of oil per day for my diet, usually used for cooking purposes.

That's one tablespoon! Deep fry anything and you're way over your limit.

4. Starchy Foods

Did you know that corn and bananas are starchy? They may be low in fat but they are high in calories. Potatoes, yams, peas and taro are among the several foods that are as well.

Like everything, eat limited amounts and don't go overboard.

5. Beauty Rest

It sounds like a cliche but it really is true. Sleeping helps you repair your body and is also a part of weight loss. If you don't sleep enough, your body will never have the time to recover from the beating you give it.

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