Episode 117 - Get Out of a Nutrition Funk with a 3 Day Reset
Get Out of a Nutrition Funk with a 3 Day Reset
At this time of year, people often find themselves at a crossroads in their nutrition journey. It's the holiday season, and it can be easy to give in to the festivities, thinking you’ve earned a break. It is also the time when people resort to weird and unusual strategies in an attempt to maintain control. From detoxes and diets to intermittent fasting and punishing exercise routines, we've seen it all. The result? A nutritional rollercoaster that takes you from deprivation to overindulgence in an instant.
To set you up for the fast approaching silly season, I’ve got some strategies to help you maintain control, rebalance your nutrition, and get out of a nutrition funk, quick!
🎁 As a gift to you, I've put together a quick, manageable, and entirely achievable 3-day reset meal plan.
Grab my free 3-day reset: dietitianapproved.com/reset
Check how well you’re doing when it comes to your nutrition with our 50 step checklist to Triathlon Nutrition Mastery: dietitianapproved.com/checklist
Start working on your nutrition now with my Triathlon Nutrition Kickstart course: dietitianapproved.com/kickstart
It’s for you if you’re a triathlete and you feel like you’ve got your training under control and you’re ready to layer in your nutrition. It's your warmup on the path to becoming a SUPERCHARGED triathlete – woohoo!
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Episode 117: Get Out of a Nutrition Funk with a 3 Day Reset
Taryn Richardson 00:00
Welcome to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. The show designed to serve you up evidence-based sports nutrition advice from the experts. Hi, I'm your host Taryn, Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Advanced Sports Dietitian and founder of Dietitian Approved. Listen as I break down the latest evidence to give you practical, easy-to-digest strategies to train hard, recover faster and perform at your best. You have so much potential, and I want to help you unlock that with the power of nutrition. Let's get into it.
Taryn Richardson 00:36
At this time of year, I find people tend to go one of two ways with their nutrition. Number one is you start to just give up, resign yourself to the fact that Christmas is coming, you've worked really hard all year so you deserve to treat yourself. And maybe you know, that's future you's problem, you'll sort it out come January and you'll start the year fresh then - that is one type of person. You probably have a little bit less balance across your year. There's way more peaks and troughs to your nutrition and less consistency. The second type of person which to be honest, is most of the triathletes that I work with, or have worked with in the past, use this time of year to kind of get themselves organised for next year. I know we've still got a couple of months left of the year but so often I get really busy in October, November because people want to get set up with a plan and a strategy and some structure so that they can start the new year fresh and get a head start on that rather than waiting until sort of January or February and then starting then.
Taryn Richardson 01:52
So which camp do you fall into is my question to you. Because at this time of year, people tend to do a lot of weird things as well. Like now, people start to do things like detoxes and diets in preparation for the party season. Start to dabble in things like intermittent fasting or punish themselves by starving themselves, which never works, never ends well because if you do that and you restrict too much, then you often end up binge eating and eating more than you did in the first place.
Taryn Richardson 02:22
And the other thing we're pretty good at as triathletes is punishing ourselves with extra exercise. People find it easier to do more training or fit more in so that they can get away with eating more. Now honestly, I've seen it all. I've seen every type of weird and wonderful thing at this time of year, particularly as we head towards Christmas. And particularly once January takes over and people are like, right, that's it, line in the sand, now I'm going to hardcore restrict my calories, I'm going to stick to this really structured meal plan, I'm going to track my food every day, and honestly set themselves up to fail because they had such a debaucherous lead in to that period of the year.
Taryn Richardson 03:04
So I wanted to get ahead of all of that. I know it's fairly early in the year to be talking about this but I want to set you up for the silly season now with some strategies to make sure that you're not a nutrition funk and you've got some balance with your eating habits that you can take with you through this period of time and head into the new year in a pretty good state because I'm very much all about balance. And you can't out train a bad diet. As much as some people think that they can, particularly training for three sports in a week, you probably do a lot of training hours compared to somebody at work or family members. But how you fuel your body and what you put into your high performance engine matters no matter how many training hours you have in a week.
Taryn Richardson 03:50
So I find the best way for somebody to kind of hit reset on their nutrition and regain that equilibrium again after maybe a debaucherous weekend or just being loosey goosey for a little while is a quick 3 day reset. It's something I've used for many years with people. It's nothing too scary. It's nothing too drastic. And it's my gift to you today to go and grab my free 3 day reset at dietitianapproved.com/reset. Now the benefits of doing something short and sharp like this is that it is maintainable and achievable like 3 days you're probably like, whatever Taryn, that's nothing, I can do that. And that's a good sign because it means that you'll actually stick to it.
Taryn Richardson 04:34
It is a nice little kickstart as well. So if you are feeling like you are in a bit of a funk with your nutrition, something like this for 3 days is a really good kickstart into the momentum of whatever it is that you're trying to achieve. It helps with your motivation. It can help just put a stop in whatever is going on with your body composition and the way that you're eating, it's like a line in the sand. And for me, it's planned by a dietitian for a massive injection of nutrients. And that is really important. That's one of our big rocks when it comes to eating for health plus also, our performance. We still need to be eating all of our fruits and vegetables even through this silly season on a daily basis, and that's one of the key rocks that you can take with you through the silly season is to make sure that that still happens. Once you've done a couple of days of eating really well like that, you will find you'll have so much more energy and you'll be feeling better and you're like, oh, that's all I needed. I just needed that quick little reset to help me get over that whatever funk or whatever hump that you're in at the moment. So go and grab that for free dietitianapproved.com/reset.
Taryn Richardson 05:48
One of the other things that I find it's really useful for is to manage cravings. Now if you're somebody that is not fuelling correctly and not recovering correctly, you will probably have some intense cravings at particular times of the day or particular times across the week. Often it is sweet with people, I'm not going to lie, but it could be savoury if you're a savoury tooth and you find that you crave like really nibbly things like nuts and crisps and pretzels. And once you kind of open those floodgates, whether it's sweet or savoury, it's really hard to close them. And that is your body telling you that you are not doing a good job of fuelling and it's trying to play catch up by having these very high carbohydrate, typically high GI and very easy to eat foods to help you put that fuel back in your glycogen fuel tank.
Taryn Richardson 06:43
So if this is you, something like a 3 day reset can help that. You're going to have to ride through those craving waves for a couple of days. But I find that honestly, all it takes is a few days to curb those cravings and manage that a little bit better because it almost becomes habitual. You crave sweet in that afternoon period because you've done a crap job of fuelling and recovery in the morning around training. And then when you do that consistently over time, your body kind of just gets used to having that sweet fix in the afternoon. So you need a couple of days of strict like, we're not doing this today body to get over those cravings but you also still need to work on your day to day fuelling.
Taryn Richardson 07:24
So if you are somebody that suffers from cravings all the time, couple of strategies for you would be to balance out your main meals. Now that's something we talk about in the Academy program all the time is periodisation and matching fuel to training demands and how to actually build your main meals for what you need for that type of training day. So you need that perfect mix and blend of our macronutrients - carbohydrate, protein, and fat on your plate in the proportions that you need it for you and where you're at. And when you get that right, that's going to help maintain your energy levels so much better throughout the day and help to reduce those cravings outside of those meals because your body is getting the right building blocks that it needs at that time and it's not in a hole.
Taryn Richardson 08:13
The other thing that you could try if you are a bit of a cravings person is some more strategic snacking. So you want to opt for whole food, real food and healthy snacks as much as possible. So things like nuts and seeds, fresh fruit, high protein yoghurt and things like that in between your meals to help curb cravings rather than trying to push through to the next meal. Being in a hole, being hungry, being tired, and then still craving sweet and end up eating a whole bag of popcorn or something like that. So sometimes some planned snacks can help if you suffer from cravings.
Taryn Richardson 08:54
The other big thing when it comes to that is making sure you do eat mindfully. We are so busy and we are constantly doing a million different things as a triathlete. So it's really important that you practice some mindfulness when you do eat. And that will help you pay more attention to what goes in your gob hole and have that connection from your stomach to your brain and your eyes and the message is saying, hey, look I'm eating. I'm going to feel you know, more full and satisfied in about 20 minutes because I'm paying more attention to what is going in. But so often we're in front of a screen, whether it's the computer screen, and we're having lunch through work like checking emails. We are watching TV while we eat breakfast or dinner or something like that or most people have a phone in their hands and they're scrolling through whatever it is while they're eating every meal of the day. That is not practicing mindfulness. You have no concept of how much you're eating and how full and satisfied you feel if you're not registering that process of food going into the piehole.
Taryn Richardson 10:04
And particularly for those really high, nibbly, snacky types of foods as well. Like, often we can sit there and be mindlessly putting chip after chip into our mouth and you look down and didn't realise that the whole packet's gone. BBQ shapes are a great one for those as well, if you know what they are. They are a very moreish, crunchy, savoury, delicious cracker that has MSG in it, which is why it tastes so good and it's why you can't stop. The same as Pringles, those chip things that come in a tube, they have MSG in them and so they make you want to eat more of those. Like the once you pop, you can't stop thing is because there's MSG on those bad boys.
Taryn Richardson 10:48
So whatever you're eating at whatever time of day, I want you to make sure you are stopping and you're not watching a screen and you're actually being mindful about what is going into your mouth and that'll help you be more full and satisfied and will help curb cravings. We fit a lot into our days, we train for three sports, we hold down a job, have busy family lives, you are probably running at a higher level of stress compared to somebody that is less functional. Now stress can absolutely trigger cravings.
Taryn Richardson 11:20
So while you're going through the 3 day reset, I want you to make sure that you are implementing some stress reduction techniques as well, like some sitting still, deep breathing, lie on the floor for a few minutes, do some meditation, do some yoga, it doesn't have to be a whole hour session that you feel like you can't fit in. Just take 5 minutes to stop and breathe and reduce your stress if you're feeling kind of wound up or those things are making your cravings worse because that is your body telling you, we need some fast acting sugars here. Our sympathetic nervous system is going AWOL, we need some quick hit of energy so we can run away from this lion. So if you feel like craving sweets or savoury and you're having trouble managing that, take a few deep breaths.
Taryn Richardson 12:08
And the last one is hydration. Sometimes we can think we're really hungry but we're actually really dehydrated. We are heading into summer here in Australia and it is getting hot. So we need to make sure we are drinking more just on a day to day basis in training but also outside of training to make sure we're rehydrating between sessions. But that's also going to help fill you up and curb some of those cravings if that is you because you are a little bit dehydrated. Make sure you're drinking a glass or two of water with all of your meals and snacks so that you're feeling full and satisfied from eating them. And sometimes having a good old drink can stop you eating junk food as well.
Taryn Richardson 12:54
So hopefully some of those strategies can help in combination with a 3 day reset if you are in a bit of a funk. Because honestly 3 days is all it takes to just get you back on track if you're going a little bit AWOL. And I created this free guide to try and help you refocus and put in place and put in practice the things that are actually important for you on a daily basis and start to build some momentum without needing to go on some crazy restrictive diet or detox or do anything too drastic. Just stop for a second, focus on the big rocks that are going to make a difference.
Taryn Richardson 13:32
So what do you get in the 3 day reset? It is 3 days of a healthy eating meal plan, the shopping list to get everything that you need. I'm going to give you for free the exact recipes to follow, which includes a Nutrition Information, which I think is really useful because so many recipes on the internet don't tell you what they contain. Everything is of course Dietitian Approved - it was developed by an advanced sports dietitian, aka me. And there's no shiny objects, marketing things in it. It's not a fad diet. It's not a detox. It is just basic principles of healthy eating. So go and grab it. Keep it in your back pocket for when you need it, when you need to pull the trigger on something like this and sort yourself out, get yourself back on track in a healthy sustainable, maintainable way. So dietitianapproved.com/reset.
Taryn Richardson 14:28
Now, quick disclaimer, and why I don't provide generic meal plans even though I get asked all the time, "Can you just send me a generic meal plan?" Like, no dude, I can't. It's against my whole ethos. A 3 day reset, you'll be fine but it doesn't take into consideration your individual circumstances and your training load and things like that. Doesn't take into consideration any food allergies or intolerances or even preferences that you have. It's not specific to you and your individual requirements and where you're at so just be mindful of that. I've included all of the Nutrition Information so that you can see, but you may need to scale that up or scale that down or add some additional things to that, as long as those additional things are of the healthy food variety. But it's 3 days, it's short term, it's a quick reset. And I know that in 3 days, it's going to help you get back on track without doing anything too weird. Whether it meets your 100% calorie requirements or not, doesn't matter, we're going to put some of those fundamentals in place. And I know that you're smart enough to do a little bit of adjusting if you need to.
Taryn Richardson 15:39
Now I'm not going to do a Festive Season Survival Guide type episode this year on the podcast. So if that is something that you do want more help with specifically, I've got a couple of older episodes in the archives that you can go back and listen to. So Episode 70 was your Festive Season Survival Guide - healthy tips to manage the silly season back in December 2022. The year before that, December 2021, I also did 5 Tips to Survive the Festive Season. So both of those are worth a listen if you are somebody that finds that this time of year is just like risky for you. And then in January 2022, I also did an episode about Why You Need to Ditch the Detox. So if you're somebody that does think they need to detox or has a family member that detoxes, send them to that episode so that they can have a listen and make sure we're not doing anything weird and wonderful like that.
Taryn Richardson 16:37
But I do want to go through really briefly, some other strategies that you might find really useful at this time of year. I really want to set you up for success early so that you've got some tools in your tool belt if things are going a little bit haywire. So the first one is to take a bit of a reflection on your goals. Like, think about where you're at and what your overall health and fitness goals are. What are your motivations and, you know, what can you use or dangling a carrot to help you get back on track if you do find you're going a little bit off track at the moment? Sometimes that can really help put things into perspective for us if we can actually have our goals written down somewhere where you can see them regularly. Maybe put it inside the fridge, or put it in the cupboard where the junk food usually sits so that you can unconsciously see those all the time to help you make better choices.
Taryn Richardson 17:35
The second tip is to make sure whatever you're doing, you're starting slow. Don't try and go all in and make really quick, big, drastic changes all at once. Start with small tiny baby steps that are manageable and you can maintain and sustain them over time. That can definitely help set you up for success and get you to build some momentum and make sure you're not feeling overwhelmed trying to do all the things at once. If this time of year is really risky for you, then spend some time planning your meals. Stock your freezer so you've got lots of healthy things around. Make sure your whole kitchen is full of healthy, fresh, whole foods, particularly if self control is a problem for you. Don't even bring the junk food into the house if you know you can't eat it until it's finished. If you've been gifted a lot of stuff at the moment, take it back to work or give it away, take it to school, get it out of your house if you have issues with self control.
Taryn Richardson 18:35
But have a bit of a plan. Planning your meals in advance can help you make better healthier choices in the long run. And I'm a huge advocate for this as you know. If you go to dietitianapproved.com/menuplanning, you can have me do this for you for 3 months or an entire year. But he can also grab my free Weekly Menu Template that I use in my house every week to plan out what we're eating. It is the only way that we eat well, despite the other chaos that happens particularly midweek. If you're somebody that likes to track your food and likes to track your calories, maybe this time of year is actually a good time to do that because the simple act of having to write things down can make us stop and think about the choices and decisions that we're making. Even if you did that for a day or two around like Christmas parties or events and things like that, rather than going, I'm not going to track today because I've got work parties, I've got, you know, things on and I know it's not going to be good, they are the exact days that you want to be writing things down to see what is going on.
Taryn Richardson 19:44
And if you have to put every little skerrick of chocolate into the diary or every little candy cane or whatever it is, then it will make you stop and think for a second which to me is honestly enough. Just a little bit of a pause so that you're making conscious decisions about what you put in your mouth, you're not just mindlessly eating because it's in front of you. If you need a bit of an accountability buddy over this period of time, now's a good time to find somebody and set some goals for yourself around whatever it is that you want to achieve. Maybe it's moving every day if this is a period of time where you do less exercise, you have an offseason, you know, that elusive offseason, or we lose our rhythm and routine from work and so then, we sit on the couch all day, or we just eat all day. Maybe you need some accountability around your fruit and vegetable intake or your alcohol intake is a big one. But share your goals with someone that you're close with, friend or family member that can keep you accountable and provide some support when you need it.
Taryn Richardson 20:48
But of course, forgive yourself. If you have a bad day, it's all good. Get back up, dust yourself off, get back on the horse. Don't wait till Monday to start though and don't wait till January 1st or January 2nd to start. No one is perfect, not even me. But it's how quickly you can adapt and bounce back, that is going to set you up for success long term. The longer you keep in this funk, the worse it gets. So if you can dust yourself off that day or the very next day, then it's so much better than waiting till Monday or waiting till January kicks over. I honestly think that's why I get so busy in November is people like, right, I need some accountability, I need some support through this period, I need to report to somebody to help me stay on track. So find somebody that can do that for you.
Taryn Richardson 21:40
Remember that it's all about balance. We're not all or none, although we tend to be like that. But it's those small, consistent, daily habits compounded over time that have the greatest impact. So as we hurtle towards the silly season, I just wanted to get in your ear a little bit and remind you about what's important. What is important for you? What are your goals? And how do you want to wake up on January 1st feeling? Do you want to feel like you are in control of your nutrition and you have a plan, you have some structure, and you have some strategy? Or is it just complete free for all? Because that is a key time where we don't make great decisions around our nutrition and around our training. We punish ourselves with extra exercise and we significantly under fuel. And January is a really pivotal time where people often put themselves in low energy availability because they're punishing themselves from Christmas.
Taryn Richardson 22:39
So like I said, this is very early, but I'm getting in early so that you can think about it while you've got some headspace. When you're out riding or running next, think about what 2024 looks like and what you want to be doing with your nutrition. Is it different? Have you got it perfectly nailed right now? What is it that you want to do differently to help level up your performance next year? We are opening doors to the Academy program in January if you do want some help. Make sure you've got your name on the waitlist for that, dietitianapproved.com/academy to go and see the date that we open doors. Have a look at all the details and be ready when they do open because next year is going to be big, it's going to be awesome.
Taryn Richardson 23:22
And if nutrition is something that you want to work on, then perhaps now is the perfect time to get yourself organised to do that. If you haven't grabbed it yet, go and grab my 3 day reset to set yourself up for success now before shit hits the fan - dietitianapproved.com/reset. Keep it in your back pocket if you don't want to use it now. But don't do anything weird and drastic and crazy on me. 3 days of following something that's structured and healthy eating principles is honestly enough to get you back on track if you do find yourself going AWOL, in a bit of a funk, and just need a reset. So dietitianapproved.com/reset, go and get it now and I'll talk to you next week.
Taryn Richardson 24:07
Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or want to share with me what you've learned, email me at [email protected]. You can also spread the word by leaving me a review and taking a screenshot of you listening to the show. Don't forget to tag me on social media, @dietitian.approved, so I can give you a shout out, too. If you want to learn more about what we do, head to dietitianapproved.com. And if you want to learn more about the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program, head to dietitianapproved.com/academy. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to helping you smashed in the fourth leg - nutrition!