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Skin Folds: What are they? Why you should be doing them

Mar 04, 2022

Skin Folds: What are they? Why you should be doing them

In our previous episode with Gary Slater, we highlighted why scales are such a poor measure of body composition. (If you haven't already, make sure you go back and listen to that episode!).


In congruence with that, skin folds were mentioned quite a lot as a superior method for measuring body composition. Here's some info into what skin folds actually are, what they measure, how they are done and how to find somebody who can accurately get a measurement for you.

What are used for skin folds?

  • Generally performed using metal calipers
    • They look painful, but they really don't hurt as much as they look like they will!

What do skin folds measure?

  • The calipers measure your subcutaneous fat
    • This is the fat that sits on top of your muscles, just under the skin

How are skin fold measurements collected?

  • The measurement is collected in millimetres, so we get how many millimetres of subcutaneous fat sits on your bicep,...
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Why You Need to Stop Weighing Yourself with Gary Slater

Feb 25, 2022

Why You Need to Stop Weighing Yourself with Gary Slater

Body composition is an aspect many triathletes really struggle with. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be leaner and faster, but changes without appropriate assessment and regular adjustments can often lead to performance detriments.


Here are some practicalities around how to manipulate your body composition as a triathlete, how to decide whether it’s useful, and how to accurately measure it.

Do changes in body composition just mean weight loss?

  • No! This should be a fat loss journey as opposed to a weight-loss journey
  • There are many tools you can use to assess body composition - all are not created equal
  • Weight loss does not always equal performance enhancement
    • Having a reduced energy availability can compromise fuelling and recovery
      • Quality of training will decline, leading to sub-optimal training adaptations
    • It can increase the risk of losing lean tissue/muscle mass
    • It can change the way individuals...
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Why you Suck at Carbohydrate Loading

Feb 18, 2022

Why you Suck at Carbohydrate Loading

I haven't seen one athlete that knows how to carbohydrate load until I've taught them to do it. Let me tell you, it is not just eating a bowl of spag bol the night before the race.

When it comes to the fourth leg of triathlon - nutrition, many try to wing it, which often ends in sub-optimal results on race day. One aspect of this is carbohydrate loading, when done right, can have a huge boost on your performance.

Here's some information on what carbohydrate loading is, what events it's appropriate for, why what you’re doing now may not be an effective strategy, and where you can find a plan that’s right for you.

To know what carbohydrate loading is, we must first understand…

What is muscle glycogen?

  • It is our storage form of glucose
  • There is a 3:1 ratio of water to glycogen
    e.g. for every 1g of glycogen stored, there is about 3ml water
  • Glycogen is stored in our muscles and liver
  • It is used as energy for exercise, and your brain...
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Nutrition to help you through Menopause

Feb 11, 2022

Nutrition to help you through Menopause

Menopause can be a confusing and confronting time of life for many women. But what can we do to help us through the symptoms of Menopause from a nutrition and exercise perspective?


First things first, what is menopause?

  • Menopause is the 12-month anniversary of your last period, whereas perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause
  • Menopause occurs at an average age of around 55 but varies widely among women
  • It is a natural aging progression and can actually be a really great time for women

What is happening to our body at Menopause?

  • Oestrogen and progesterone will be at their lowest levels
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) will often be high

What are some of the symptoms experienced during menopause?

  • Poor mood, emotional instability and stress become more prevalent
  • You may see a decrease in cognitive function, specifically learning and memory
  • Our Immune system is decreased
  • Appetite is affected...
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Nutrition to help you through Perimenopause

Feb 09, 2022

Nutrition to help you through Perimenopause

Do you experience hot flushes, night sweats, a rollercoaster of moods and changing periods? You may be in Perimenopause. Often described as the roller coaster shit show heading towards Menopause, Perimenopause can start from as young as 35 in some people.


But what can we do to manage Perimenopause from a nutrition perspective?

What is Perimenopause?

  • It is a natural aging process
  • It is the point in a women's life leading up to her final period
  • This typically happens around mid-40s, however, can vary between individuals and start as young as 35

What happens to the body during Perimenopause?

  • There is a decline in the female sex hormones; oestrogen and progesterone
  • The decline in these hormones is not linear
  • In general, between the age of 35 to 50, there will be about a 35% reduction in estrogen and a 75% reduction in progesterone over about a 5-10 year period

What are the symptoms of Perimenopause?

(All women experience it quite...

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How to Know if a Sports Dietitian is Right For You?

Jan 21, 2022

How to Know if a Sports Dietitian is Right For You?

If you are looking to improve your health or enhance your performance this year, it might be time to invest in a Dietitian. But finding the right person can be overwhelming and confusing.

Here are some tips for how to know if a Sports Dietitian is right for you, and how to best work with them based on your goals, time and budget:

Check Credentials

  • Make sure you're working with someone that is qualified to be giving nutrition advice
  • Look for 'APD' or 'Accredited Practicing Dietitian' if you’re in Australia
  • Other countries have different regulatory bodies, so make sure they have done a proper qualified university-level study in nutrition
  • If you’re looking for a Sports Dietitian make sure 'Accredited Sports Dietitian' is after their name in Australia or look at what regulatory bodies are in your country


  • Look for a Dietitian that is an expert in your area e.g. gut health, fertility, team sport etc.
  • I am an...
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Why You Need to Ditch the Detox this Year

Jan 06, 2022

Why You Need to Ditch the Detox this Year

Welcome to 2022!

I hope you all had a lovely break. I'm feeling pretty refreshed actually and ready for an awesome year ahead. I always have lots of really good ideas when I get to take the opportunity to step away for a bit. So I've got some pretty exciting things planned.

To set the scene for the year, I just wanted to give you some tips to help you actually achieve your health and fitness goals and stay on track. Instead of smashing it really hard at the start, going too hard, too fast and losing puff by February.

This is why you need to ditch the diet and detox mentality this year...

 1. Ditch the detoxes

  • So many people think you need to detox the body to get rid of toxins, to lose weight, to kick start something
  • There is no evidence to support detoxes
  • Our body is well equipped with two kidneys, and a liver that know how to filter our blood and that gets rid of the toxins out of it
  • If you can just simply eat well, and exercise...
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5 Tips for Surviving the Festive Season

Dec 10, 2021

5 Tips for Surviving the Festive Season

Before I take my one and only break for the year, I want to leave you with five tips to help you survive the silly season. I find that most people just completely switch off and let go of their healthy lifestyle and fitness goals as soon as December hits. We overindulge on delicious food and alcohol, are way more sedentary and just accept that 2kg weight gain is inevitable. Knowing that we’ll hit the diet or detox hard come January.

I'm not here to tell you to be strict and not enjoy all of the delicacies. I really want you to enjoy this time. But I challenge you to change your attitude this year and implement my top five tips for surviving the festive season without having a massive blowout.


 1. Aim For Balance

  • Find a comfortable middle ground where you can still go out and have a great time, but try and minimise the damage by going overboard
  • Make healthy choices when you can and when you can't, don’t feel guilty...
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The Shit Show that was 2021

Dec 03, 2021

The Shit Show that was 2021

I wanted to take you behind the scenes a little bit at Dietitian Approved and the Triathlon Nutrition Academy and give you some insight into what's been happening this year. The highs and the lows, the lessons I’ve learnt and a peek behind the scenes at our plans for 2022.

Highlights of the year

  • The Olympics! It provided a great distraction and banded the country together
  • The Debut of the Triathlon mixed team relay
  • Launched the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program
  • Launched the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast
  • Dietitian Approved turned 6
  • Dietitian Approved transitioned to a more global brand with the change from to .com

Things I learnt this year

  • Exercise is a huge part of my life, specifically social exercising. I need to prioritise
  • I need to schedule breaks/holidays ahead of time so they actually happen
  • If I am going to put myself out there in the online world, I need to develop a thicker skin. Because negativity will happen
  • The...
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The Rise of the Female Triathlete with Stef Hanson

Nov 26, 2021

The Rise of the Female Triathlete with Stef Hanson

This episode of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast is with total legend and one of my favourite humans, Stef Hanson. Stef is the founder of WITSUP, which stands for Women In Triathlon, Sup?

In this episode we chat about:

  • Her many talents, skills, and untapped knowledge
  • Her motivation for starting WITSUP
  • Key learnings from the business
  • Why she decided to close the chapter of WITSUP
  • How things have changed for women in sport/triathlon thanks to Stef
  • Perceptions of triathletes
  • Lowering the barrier to entry into triathlon and encouraging others to compete in the sport
  • How she has held people/companies accountable for leaving women as an afterthought in sporting events
  • Her journey and personal stories working as a photographer for triathlons
  • What the future holds for her businesses and family

To go deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast Episode 18:  The Rise of The Female Athlete Interview - Stef Hanson for...

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