Nutritional Math

I think one of the hardest parts of putting a training or weight loss program together is nutrition.  What to eat, not eat and when are all valid questions.  I am not a dietitian or nutrionalist.  Let me get this out there before I go on.  I have been reading and absorbing this material for years through all my start and stop work outs. I have had some success with simple meal changes not involving a particular fad diet, including dropping 40 pounds and keeping it off till marriage set in.    So, when I started my triathlon training, involving longer endurance workouts and multiple workouts per day, I seriously examined my nutrition.  I have found what works for me through non-stop trial and error.  If something works, I try to stick with it.

First, I do not trust, like or use the inferanl BMI metric.  It is pure bollocks in my opinion.  But that is a rant for a different time.  I what I use to figure calories is Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR).  This number basically how many calories you need to consume when you are doing nothing but lying in bed and not moving.  The most accurate way to get this number is to go too a specialist and have it measured.  But, you can get an idea by using BMR calculator like this one.  So I put in my info and get back 2610.41.  Then I use another calculator to get the Harris Benedict  equation results, which adds in the daily base activity. I like to go with the lowest value and then adjust as I do activity through out the day, so I use 1.2 which gives 3132 calories for light activity and exercise to maintain 297 lbs a day.  From there just subtract 1000-500 calories and make that the goal.  From what I understand you do not want to go below t his deficit as you deprive your body of the calories it needs to function and lose weight.

Now all of this can be very complex so the simpler solution is to use calorie and nutrition tracker websites.  I use Livestrong calorie tracker, Daily Plate, because they take your weight, goals and calculate how many calories you should have through out the day. Then you just add the food you consume, from their fairly large database, through out the day and it subtracts your calories.  Also, you can add in your exercise and it will adjust your calorie intake based on calories burned.  Its a great program to keep track of what you are eating and all nutritional values and calories expended.

Eating wise, I try to eat more carbs around and after my workouts and taper the complex carbs down through out the day.  I try to stick to a simple idea of a portion of protein and a portion of carbohydrates with all meals.  Adding in greens and fruits whenever possible and as snacks.  So that is really pretty simple.  After most of my heavier cardo sessions like running and biking I eat instantly to replace spent glycogen.

Below is an example of what I found works for my running morning routine:

5:20 Get up and eat oatmeal and Chobani yogurt – I give myself an hour or so to process this, usually starting my run by 6:45 which seems to work as the perfect digestion time.  320 Calories/47 carbs/22 protein.

7:45 Immediately after my run, I consume a chocolate almond milk and protein powder, some sort of bar like bonk bar or kashi bar and a Chobani yogurt. 600 calories/80 carbs/46 proteins.

It looks like allot of calories, but according to the formula my watch and heart rate monitor calculated I burnt 1300 calories on my run. Even if this is not super accurate it give an idea of how many calories burnt off during the workout period.  I figured this food mixture out from trial and error to be honest.  This fills me up for at least an hour, in which I shower and get ready for work.  Then I make another meal when I get home as I am usually starving at this point.  But it is less calories/carbs and proteins.  This meal gets me ready for my lunchtime swim session and allows my body to process the food.  On some long days I have to toss in a gel before running to give the body enough fuel to run.

After my swim, I eat a decent amount of carbs. The rest of the day, I try to transition my carbs to  fruits and vegetables,away from grains and pasta and processed breads.

I also constantly drink water through out the day. If I have coffee I try to drink 2 cups of water per cup to balance it out.  Occasionally I reach for a diet soda with dinner.  So that is my basic nutrition plan, basically put together off of a base of sound principles, but firmed up with experience and experimentation. Til next time.



  1. Great information. My blog today is going to include my current food plan, which is a low carb, high protein. My trainer just zapped me back from the carbs for this week to confuse my body again and kick some pounds off. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to add some oatmeal and fruit back in. Your plan looks GREAT compared to mine right now. ha ha

    1. Mine is purely functional. I have to have the carbs or I go into ketosis (I often fight the boundary of this) which burns protein instead of carbs for fuel. Also, I eat to prepare myself for specific workouts, finish one, eat to make the next one doable with energy to spare. I feel like I am often fighting ketosis with the heavy runs and bikes. Have not seen a post in a few days, was wondering. Thanks.

      1. Life seems to have me by the tail right now. Just posted to Carrie recently that I’ve had time to choose to read others blogs and keep up OR keep up with my own. I just haven’t had time to do BOTH. I’d rather post every two or three days and keep up with all of you, rather than post every single day on my own blog. I should have more time this weekend. It’s hard to come up with things that are interesting. Ketosis… it’s probably why trainer dude has me eating SO much protein, so that it levels it all out. It’s not fun.

      2. He probably has you on reduced carbs so that your body produces more glycogen and off sets its standard quo. When you eat balanced carbs to protein your body produces normal sugar, if you change the balance you spike your sugars forcing your body to work harder and thus increasing weight loss and metablolism. This is the key to the Atkins diet. Since you have a trainer working with you on it its probably ok, but it can put some strain on the heart and cardiovascular system, and is a definate no no if you are dabetic.

        Ketosis is basically caused when, during working out or activity, your body runs out of its fuel source carbohydrates. It goes to the next best thing which is protein, used by your body to create lean muscle mass. Ketosis is a bad, bad thing. And smells bad too, Ammonia smell. For some activities I burn so many calories in an hour I have to rely on gels to fill the gap in carbohydrates. Good to know all is well.

        I often write allot of blog posts and then schedule them. If I put out more than one its either because I had allot to say that week or I decided to add some updates or had something more immediate.

        Brevet y is not always my strong suit.

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