Category Archives: Eating
It is warm outside. Sitting on the balcony, the sun burns my face. What a grand feeling: winter is now hopefully gone.
The past few weeks I lost my drive to post here. In business and private a lot changed. Soon I am going to be married – YIKES (even me!) and I am self-employed again. Still it is worthless without fitness…
The past few weeks I had some longer runs. Actually I prefer to run at dawn or night and so the city looks a whole lot different. And sometimes – sometimes I have to shoot a picture, even though I didn’t have the drive to post, I still shot those for the blog.
Located in Bad Homburg is a natural fountain, which has been used for a long time. Later on through the park you arrive here…
That run was exhausting but also fulfilling.
Much later I went on a trip to Milano with my fiance. Somehow I didn’t pack my running shoes and so all that was left was to explore the city day and night and… to go swimming.
So I went to the public bath (I refrain to write about the overall oddities of the bath itself). Once in the pool swimming was well for me, actually I was the fastest swimmer on day 1.
That was not good.
So I was doing some long distance swim on my lane, yet the person in breast stroke I was about to pass didn’t like this. So that one tried to swim faster and kicked to all sides, while I tried to pass.
I couldn’t pass after being kicked twice.
At the end of the lane he immediately swam off in freestyle sprint. Well ok, exactly my speed. Suddenly I couldn’t see any more bubbles in front of me and didn’t see him at the end of the lane. Instead he was on his way back. WTF? That fast or was I that slow?
Again he was swimming breast stroke, again kicking. Again I couldn’t pass him.
At the end of the next lane he was waiting with red head, breathing heavily, apparently about to die, but letting me pass with a smile…
Turns out he cut the previous lane first, just to make sure he stays in front of me.
Italian $%/§&%%& – nuff said.
Then again swimming regularly helps. Since I returned from Milano I also added daily running in low pulse at dusk and at dawn apart from my regular training plan by Coach Ralf. To make sure I wont be injured like last year, I am massaged almost daily. So I am sure to have no hard, cramped or inflamed muscles at all. Even heavy training only leave me dizzy in worst case, but no more pain.
By now I have the chance to participate in London Triathlon, yet I need to enter by a charity WWF in my case.
Seriously would you donate, so I can participate in London? If some support it, I will.
Yet during all that time there was more.
German duathlon masters
We went there. First to give my fiance an impression of the atmosphere, second since I supported them I felt the need to be there on the day.
To face the truth I could have trained more till now, then again I feel happy and good besides the still existing excess kilos. If everything is as expected, I might start my first Triathlon this year in normal weight. The second maybe already in ideal weight.
Of course you are right: How do I plan to achieve that target weight? Fair enough I finally changed my eating habits. A normal breakfast, a good and rich lunch and that’s it. Every day. On anything else running at dusk and dawn as well as my normal training plan.
4-5 kg a week works for me right now 🙂
And this way I leave you until my next post with the song I enjoy to listen while running
It happened: I went out for my run. So I went on and… as promised had a look at Challenge Roth swim exit…
Ok, maybe too cold for Challenge right now… then again here we have the bike transition zone:
So on I ran towards the area of Rothsee Triathlon Festival. Rothsee is still covered with thin ice – almost looks like my cold experience on the sprint race last year.
Looking straight forward I look at the bike transition of the Olympic distance race and along the run course:
Returning back to Hilpoltstein I had some interesting talks, met Coach Ralf and his wife afterwards and had a chat with Claudi in the “Zwinger” – if you ever come to Challenge Roth: go there for dinner, have a beer and tell her, where you learnt about her.
And for the Americans looking for medieval flair:
Or some seats for guests:
After all I had nothing to eat today and so I made sure to leave fully sated. Anyway my training today hurt me, but I am happy I finished it nonetheless. What a grand day.
Today some power swimming was due, so I grabbed my paddles and pullboy and off I went to the bath. My paddles are actually considered huge and people in training tend to make fun like “I am just watching you to make sure you don’t hit me with those.”
Driving to the bath was annoying since my mountain bike makes noises while driving. I confess I should have cleaned it after the last cross tour:
Yet I arrived and off I went for my swim.
I didn’t swim much but only with paddles – after all it’s a power session. Leaving the pool my shoulders felt like on fire and for the first time in a year my wrist bands felt too tight around my wrists. Actually so much blood pumped through my veins that my first guess was: I have swollen arms. Minutes later it felt ok again and downstairs I prepared to close my biking clothes, preparing for my cold ride through the night.
Hopefully I can soon again lift my arms easily – still feel empty and exhausted.
There is an issue close to everyone encounters when loosing weight. At first weight drops fast and suddenly it stops, one even gains weight, even though nothing (apparently?) changed. I got my very own experience and view on this issue…
I took the time to think about what you wrote up here – about not loosing weight while maintaining a diet and workouts. I am not an expert, but I do have that “dangerous” half-ok-knowledge. Well probably more than most fitness instructors or trainers anyway. But? What was it to me, what is my experience, how did I or how would I handle what you outline? Not loosing weight despite being disciplined?
The answer is: From your words I experienced some of it. So I answer in a list of options, where some options might apply simultaneously. I do not claim the list to be complete at all:
- Deception (love that word) – happy makers: Oftentimes I worked out, but did not lose weight. Most time I dropped me a “happy-maker” for working out that good. Loads of chocolate or similar. Other times I slacked with nutrition (which was ok alone), but I also increased the times of meals without really noticing it. An ok meal or a meal with a taste of sin (carbs) once a day is ok, but 2-3 times a day… not. Solution is to simply not take happy-makers. It is crucial to know it and be honest to oneself.
- Deception – drinks: On another occasion I was drinking too much juices like 2-3 litres a day. Juices make you fat, likewise for white wine and beer. Let us call them “fluid carbs” – they come in every form and kill your plans to lose weight dead cold. Solution: switch completely to water – go out and find the water that tastes best for you.
- Deception – healthy food: Similar applies to healthy food like yoghurt. Yes, a normal, unmodified healthy yoghurt. A small one might be ok, but once I did not have the times for meals, so I took the bigger yoghurt but dropped the proper meals instead. Yoghurt in larger amounts make you really fat. Solution: decrease amounts of healthy fat-making foods.
- Deception – fruits: And to top it off, let us assume you live healthy and good, nothing of the above applies and you take those healthy fruits, apples, oranges, bananas, like one each 3-4 times a day… Apples, oranges and especially bananas in excessive amounts make you… fat. It is simply due to the Fructose, a low chain carb in fruits and in case of banana the whole banana being made of a low chain carb. In fact a banana is the fruit which comes close to those dreaded chocolate bars or even brownies when it comes to calories. Solution: one apple, one orange is enough a day.
- Deception – lieing to oneself: This is unfortunately the most common in my case. I believe I do it ok, I somehow know I do not, but I can not confess to myself. That one hurts, it also hurts the ego. Since people around saw the effect that I lost a lot of weight already, I am unable to confess to myself that I fell back in past patterns. Yet people see I do. Realizing this one can be a bloodbath to your ego. It simply hurts that one almost needs to cry (or just does). Keep in mind – it is human and I have this one more often than I am able to confess. Solution is to me a bible verse (no, I am not very religious, yet this one is grand to me – my lie-to-me-mantra) – “And thou shall learn the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
- Changes due to workout: It is well-known that muscles weigh more than fat. So when someone works out while loosing weight and takes it serious – by then there comes a time, where the body suddenly (in my case over 2 month) heavily builds up muscles. In my case my shoulders grew drastically, my thighs lost in size, but still became much heavier. Despite my still existing fat I could see most single muscle strains below my skin and feel how stiff and hard my muscles became. It seemed to me that the structure of my muscles changed drastically. So I still lost weight, but gained excessive muscles. This is a much wanted effect to me, which I pushed by also taking BCAA. Solution: accept it.
- Changes due to fluid management: A major issue when loosing weight is drinking enough water. Coupled with heavy workouts the body might lose litres of sweat. If you forget to drink enough and only replace parts of the lost fluid… By then there can come a time where you workout less and the body gladly takes more fluid hence not loosing weight. Solution: always drink enough. It is for everyone at least 3 litres a day. In heavy workouts it is MUCH more. Days where I am spinning instructor and go running I drink up to 6 litres a day.
- Changes due to salt: Taking less water than needed and using salt is a dangerous issue. Salt increase tastes and is able to partially replace the “feel-good” feeling we had when we were fat and killed that Schnitzel with french fries or cakes or or or (yes, I exaggerated – you know your own poison much better than I do). Not drinking enough keeps salt in your body. Salt is binding water in your tissue especially. Hence you gain weight. Solution: reduce salt input. Keep in mind that there is a lot of salt in food you buy.
- Reaction of your body – jojo-effect: That one is well-known too. When you lose weight your body starts with energy management. This comes in positive and unwanted aka negative forms. One of the worst forms is your body shutting down operations. Eg. you feel lazy, tired,… quite often. When you need long rest after workouts. When you tend to sleep more than 9 hours a day. Sex drive is less or stops almost completely. This one is quite obvious for men, but can be much less obvious for women. One or all of those and much more can be signs of a beginning jojo-effect. This can and will – if you don’t fight it – stop your workouts or reduce them and make you gain weight sooner or later. Solution: start immediately with a proper super-meal, the meal you love most and commit your sins, make sure you are sated but not full, then push yourself the day after, increase workout amount heavily, force yourself to not be lazy, while actively listening what your body wants. Be extremely narrow-minded on your diet, but make sure to eat a lot, especially salad and meat (proteins).
- Reaction of your body – rest: Loosing weight comes in steps to me. It seems the body has a lot to do. Especially when workout amount increases, the body drives crazy. Suddenly loads of vitamins and minerals are missing. Special forms of salt are needed. Special food is needed (eg. for me it was loads of lamb and sea fish, which I needed). In those times the body either rests with loosing weight or does overall weird things. Some of those things were actually funny, some frightening. Having shaking cramps was on the more frightening side. The phase where I was farting extremely for almost a week was funny to me (and frightening to others 😉 ). In this option you just go on and ignore that you don’t lose weight. Solution: accept this phase.
- Reaction of your body – health: There are a lot of health issues. And of course since I am not a doctor I do not know all of those. Yet I know that eg. issues with ones thyroid can heavily contribute to weight issues too. Solution: see a doctor for a proper check-up. Yep, I did that too.
The most positive effect, when pursuing the path of weight loss with diet and workout comes after some time. The time, when the body is used to both. By then your body looses weight from itself. That one is really cool – even if you are out and do nothing for a day or two, you lose weight. It is just that you are hyperactive during that time (I am told that a “normal” partner loves that – or aspects of it). This effect seems to last for close to 2 weeks without too much workout. Yet this effect needs heavy workouts before and after so that it goes on. Once the body is used to this and all fluid, vitamin, calory management,… is settled, by then it is really cool and every day is a happy day.
So far my experience. I hope it helps someone.
Good job Martin on the training and losing the weight.
I can’t get my eating and training right to where I can lose weight. I can maintain like crazy, but I can’t lose and train. I am not sure what exactly I am doing wrong. Kinda frustrated with that. I LOVE the way muscle feels opposed to flabby squishy flesh.
Did your coach help you with training and diet?
the question you raise is a major issue to me too. Your answers upfront:
- I am quite well-read on diet as well as on nutrition overall – well-read like also knowing a lot of what most nutrition components do to a body from fat, carbs to vitamins, different kinds of salts and so on. So no, I had no specific advice. I only adjust my diet on advice I understand.
- It seems nutrition and training is also something for “believers”. Ask 10 athletes and you hear kinda 12 religion-like confessions on diet.
- On what is wrong, the answer is dead simple: loosing weight is only about energy deficit. It is: Lower calory intake than calory usage. The difference is the weight you lose.
Let me start with “rules” – listed again at the bottom of this post.
Rule of thumb
- NO modified food whatsoever
- NO short chain carbs (only maybe to start in the morning or directly after sports).
- LOW carbs overall
- NO carbs in the evening (no exception there)
- Calory and carb input overall is deserved by training
Upfront: it all assumes a healthy person, since I have no experience on how health interferes. Except for excess water in one’s tissue especially in the lower legs. So including this, here is what I do, the commandments by which I live:
- Carbs: Drastically reduce carbs, especially low chain carbs like sugar, flour, bread, noodles, but also potatoes, most sweet fruits as well as rice. If one takes carbs it is long chain carbs aka full corn. I took a long time to find full corn food that tastes well. Greatest issue are full corn pasta – most taste like sh… but I found a brand being great.
- Fat: reduce fat. Not extremely since I use fat to feel sated, yet I reduce it. I try to use unmodified fat like butter, olive oil, but no calory reduced butter or margarine. I am aware of butter calories, but I am not willing to eat modified food. I will write about modified food at the bottom.
- Proteins: increase protein intake. Most of my food consists of vegetables and proteins aka meat. Close to no pork, but a lot of turkey, beef, calf, fish (preferably salt-water fish) and lamb.Mostly prepared with olive oil.
What do I eat then?
As mentioned above I eat a lot of meat with salad, but also cauliflower, broccoli, paprika, beans (yet also some sorts got huge loads of carbs, be cautious), I also eat normal food by times, even pizza, but I do it normally after heavy workouts and while being aware that I gain in weight what I eat in eg Pizza.
What do I drink?
I drink a lot of coffee (my addiction) with milk on anything else I drink only water and sometimes Coke Zero. I also drink juices but this is mostly after workouts, when I can barely walk anymore. When I am finished off by training. It brings me back on my feet.
Day times In the morning I am relaxed with carbs, most times, like 4-5 days a week, I have nothing in the morning. If I do, it is on most cases oat flakes in milk with some honey (CARB INVASION). Yet this breakfast keeps me going for the day if need be.
At noon I always think about carbs and avoid those already. Fish or meat with vegetables and/or salad serves well. If extremely hungry I even go for eg. greek food since it offers excess meat compared to the rest. If at all carbs I prefer rice over potatoes, but also try to reduce rice input.
In the evening I heavily rely on meat and salad/vegetables only. Yet again I often run in the evening or almost night, so I can not eat too much anyways.
Type of diet?
It is not a specific diet even though some people would call it “low carb” or DHCF or… whatever. The general idea is to eat more like our ancestors (hey, that is what our body is built for) and especially unmodified food (yes, Coke Zero is my sin in that regard). I have an increased carb intake in the morning, a fair amount at noon and close to no carbs in the evening (ideally zero). The carbs are needed to keep me going for work and training. If I don’t, it can happen that I fall asleep anywhere I am after heavy training.
Modified food is something I heavily avoid. I tried to, I started to look at contents and I am scared by now. Modified food gives me the creeps. Examples are: fat-reduced butter, fat-reduced milk, fat reduced yogurt, fat reduced cheese, calory-reduced bacon, calory reduced juice, calory reduced cakes,… – that food gives me the creeps!! Why? It is all about taste. By taste our body decides what it needs. Funnily our body reacts to tastes accordingly, sometimes even if the tasted ingredient is not present. Common example is fire/hot to chili, but similar applies to sweet for sugar (insulin production) and a lot more. Also if fat is reduced almost always sugar is added and a lot of salt. Coupled with substitute components this modified food sounds to me like poison: none knows for sure what it does to your body long-term.
Like most of my readers know, I workout quite a lot. Right now I am at 14-25 hours training a week. Where training is intensive endurance and interval training. Most training is riding on my bike, running and swimming. Normally in GA1 or GA2 (base endurance 1 and 2). In my case it translates to a pulse of 130 – 145 during training steadily. With 134-138 being the average.
Workouts adjust my diet by increasing carb input. Yet not excessively and only directly after workout if at all.
I did not list sport bars, which I rarely but sometimes use eg on long bike tours. 3-5 hours on one bike tour at 20 mph + you really, really need calories. But that is reserved for heavy and excessive sports. Even on 10 mile runs I don’t use sport bars and no gel packs either.
TriAddict special case
As mentioned above water in my leg tissue was an issue. By now I know it is due to lack of movement, body fat and excessive salt usage. Move a lot, reduce salt input, drink a lot of water, control weight and it is all good. Really was that easy! Seriously I had no ankles when I started. Two pieces of wood nailed together resembled more an ankle than mine.
This time is gone – I can see my ankles again. Excess water in my leg tissue is almost gone.
This way of diet might sound difficult since a lot of food someone knows is reduced or taken away. Take my word: it is your lack of imagination in the beginning.
Rule of thumb – again:
- NO modified food whatsoever
- NO short chain carbs (only maybe to start in the morning or directly after sports).
- LOW carbs overall
- NO carbs in the evening (no exception there)
- Calory and therefore carb input overall is deserved by training
More and more people approach me, telling me on how inspiring they consider my discipline. They ask me how I do it to never stop. How I can go on. Of course my ego likes those questions, but…
The truth is: after last race I trained a lot but I didn’t care on my eating and when I returned home last Saturday I had to realize that I gained weight 5kg (=10lbs). Yikes! Of course I did not like to post about it, instead… I had to lose it asap – keep in mind that in my weight class 5kg is like 3% that is like 2-2.5kg (5 lbs.) for a 75kg (150 lbs.) person . Yet my discipline paid off: Since today in the morning am again at my last race weight and lost those 5kg within 7 days. Lucky me – training pays off and I am very proud :).
So the truth is: I am only human too.
The difference to some people is merely: when I realize such and think about racing in Triathlon I panick and can push myself to extremes at once – every single time. But believe me: only human, sometimes with too much ego, which also pushes me. Actually more things did not go according plan:
- Preparation: I am preparing for next year with a lot of ideas to make it perfect – a lot of secrets I won’t share yet 🙂 – but a great surprise to all involved if some work out. Next year won’t be perfect, but it is fair that I try to make it. One part of this did not go too well yesterday, much more difficult than anticipated for my ideas.
- Swimming yesterday: I thought I feel good, yet yesterday’s swim unit with Coach X was… futile. My worst training – probably ever. I tried to do everything right, thought about my last units and instead I had to stop each time. I was close to shout, become angry and cry – all at once. Nothing went according plan. To top it off, when Coach X left, a woman approached me: “That is nice – did you just learn freestyle?” – ok, I thought I need to cry for real. Yet she topped it off: “Do not lose your fun in doing so – you seem so… dedicated – too dedicated to keep your fun.” One may argue about her first statement, but the second hit me really deep since there was truth to it. A lot. Too much truth. I so want to, that I start to lose my fun – this is dangerous it could stop me cold.
- Running yesterday: So I had that swimming experience, felt frustrated, was angry and so I went running later on. I did not expect much, I just wanted to lose my anger. Instead I had my best run – ever. Due to a neighbour talking when I had left, I forgot to continue taking the time. Yet if my estimations are close to correct, then I was definitely below 6min/km – easily. Yet I don’t know for sure. What happened? I somehow could run, not jogging, but controlled running. Paired with my anger and frustration this apparently worked well.
- Weigh-In today: So with all that stuff from yesterday I was for my weigh-in today, since I got a scale here in Bad Homburg. My whole excess weight is gone – I am back to my last race weight already.
Bottom line: good and bad news are bathing me hot and cold.
Nothing special, but only human with one exception to most people: I have a dream and I am willing to pursue it, no matter how unrealistic or far away. Sometimes it really seems that only the road leading there counts – not necessarily achieving the goal.
There is a lot I learned from last race and a lot which hurt my ego.
What do I do?I change all that more drastically than ever. Just to make sure to have an even greater experience on next race.
What is it I do?
- I continue to swim a lot. Right now almost daily, even twice a day like yesterday: a normal swimming unit (eg. sprint or similar) and an open water unit – swimming to buoys.
- Running: yesterday I also ran 12 km. Simply because I lose most weight with running.
- Bicycle: I do not take that part too serious for now. I do believe to be ok on my bike and I feel safe there. The weight I lose will help me on my bike and further improve my biking. So even though Coach didn’t send me my plan yet, I would almost bet, that bike units are reduced in quantity but increased in quality (more intervals, more sprints, not as long as before).
- Nutrition: back to diet, while further reducing calory input. There is always a lot of water in case I feel hungry. Nutrition is still a topic where I am unsure, where I don´t know for sure how much and what to eat or not. Of course overall I know what is right, but I do not know it specifically for me. So how I do it now might sound bad to you (it is the way i wrote it), but it might be the right thing. It could still even be too much. Or maybe not enough. I seriously don’t know. At least it is healthy and I know for sure that besides calories – anything else I need is available to my body like eg. minerals, vitamins,…
- Transition: gotta train that some more, maybe a lot more.
- Stretching,…: Due to my swim trainer this part improved loads. I continue to stretch 30 mins to 1 hour a day. A lot changed to the better since I stretch that much.
So that’s what I do. Now I am curious for Coach Ralfs new plan for me…
It started the past few days. Apparently my daily running took its toll, likewise swimming,… – i am totally finished off. Lower abs cramp sometimes, likewise my legs (despite taking care for saline, magnesium,… input). My arms and shoulders feel so empty, that I barely can push myself up.
Lucky me: today Coach had a +1 day planned – the first for long without anything, nothing, nada,…
Any good advice on how to regenerate perfectly?
Time and time again there are things, which make me laugh and which I don’t believe. That is especially when someone exaggerates or is gloating. It becomes worse, when it is from officials…
Whenever I travel to Hilpoltstein there is a sign at the highway: Triathlon region Rothsee.
Ok they got the Roth challenge there, the former Ironman Europe, so I knew, where they are coming from. Still seeing that sign always made me grin or giggle – just because I considered it funny calling a region a Triathlon region just because of one competition. I always made my fun about the people involved.
I was dead wrong.
There is definitely a nest of Triathletes here – where they are bred and coming from. You go out running and no matter they time of day, you got 2-3 Triathletes passing you – every 5 km running. On the bike it is worse – usually they come in packs of 3-5 on time trial bikes. I mean seriously I didn’t see a normal person on a bike for 3 days down here! But loads of Triathletes on TT-bikes or several people minding some serious business uphill on some high-end Mountain bikes. Swimming is even worse. Today swimming in the open bath we had more Triathletes in neoprene suit in the pool than normal swimmers.
No kidding – you gotta see that to believe.
Now you can say: fatsmoker, it is just because you are training yourself and therefore saw them. Unfortunately the story goes on… So, I was out for dinner in some nice spanish/mexican restaurant, enjoying the food and talking about Triathlon. Actually I am not sure if I can or should start at the sprint part of the Rothsee Triathlon in 20 days, so we were arguing at our table. Suddenly a voice from the side, the innkeeper – “Which Triathlon is it you are talking about?” – “I answered: 1st day of Rothsee Triathlon, sprint distance.”. And he answered: “Now that’s cool, I do my Ironman distance each year and also some shorter ones. This year am also at the Rothsee Triathlon 2nd day on olympic distance: Speedfighters is my team name, also got my restaurant’s name on my shoulder there: Teatro.” We talked for some time…
I confess: there is sufficient reason to call this region the Triathlon region. There is a nest closeby – I gotta find it!
Stay tuned for next report.
the past few weeks I posted less to … nothing. Still work has me in its grip. Yet somehow I managed to find a way to make sport/training and work go hand in hand. As a result I have zero time for anything else.
In fact I was hesitant to stop completely like 1-3 weeks ago. Especially after I heard the magic sentence: “Looks as if you gained some weight?” I probably did paired with no to low training. Back home I tried to compensate with a drastic workout, which in return was a massacre – frustrating. As already mentioned in my last post I really started a drastic turnaround. Right now I am back to my diet (more sane but also more strict) and – after talking with Coach Ralf – drastically increased my workout with base endurance units.
Since I have to cope with my flaws:
- sometimes running out of energy and power to go on
- my weight and
- my issues in swimming
Since I realized those, I decided to dedicate more time to my flaws. One major result is a huge step to loosing weight: at least 6 hours running per week and at least 6 hours swimming a week – in addition to Coach Ralf’s training plan. For that I reduced all the time I need for eating/preparing food, housework etc. If I didn’t cut the time elsewhere, I wouldn’t have the time to do that training. So basically it is 12-14 hours work a day, 2-4 hours doing sports and rest sleep and eating (right now only one meal a day). That schedule is pretty tight but works for now.
- Running improves – again. I feel the sheer amount of times I go running to have a grand effect.
- Swimming is still frustrating in regards to distance but… technique and anything else is pretty good (so I am told just yesterday by a pro swimmer). Considering the professional advice I got, 3-4 weeks of endurance training to increase swimming distance should make me easily swim 2+ km. We will see on that but I trust the ones who told me.
- Biking – I do believe I am lucky in riding my bike. Whenever out and “meeting” other people on a road or time trial bike I easily smoke them. Not because I start racing due to them, but by simply going on with my scheduled training. Biking should be my easy part.
Bottom line: I am on “extreme weight-reduction”. It’s the only way out enabling me to achieve my goal.
Let’s see how it goes.