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Iron & Endurance Performance with Rebecca Hall

Mar 25, 2022

Iron & Endurance Performance with Rebecca Hall

Do you feel tired, lethargic or fatigued and are not sure why? Maybe you need to get your iron levels checked…

 

As an endurance athlete, you should have a basic understanding of why iron is so important and know where you can get it from your diet. But iron absorption is a little more complicated, as what's actually in that food doesn't necessarily all get digested and absorbed.  

On the podcast, I spoke with fellow Advanced Sports Dietitian, Rebecca Hall to get the lowdown and her tips on all things Iron. Rebecca worked with some of the athletes competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and recently submitted her Master's in iron supplementation for endurance athletes.

Why is iron such an important nutrient for active people?

Iron plays a key role in building the haemoglobin and myoglobin that carries the oxygen around the body. Think about haemoglobin as the transport vehicle - iron plays...

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Stop wasting your money on Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) scans

Mar 18, 2022

Stop wasting your money on Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) scans

Don’t book in for a body composition scan until you read this! 

 

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (or BIA) scans are popping up in just about every gym and I’ve even seen some health professional clinics offering them as a service. 

They’re advertised as a quick and affordable way to accurately measure your body composition i.e. how much muscle, fat and bone tissue you’re made up of.

But if an athlete of mine brings me a scan to interpret, I tell them to throw it in the bin!

Here’s why….

What is a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) scan?

BIA stands for Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis. You see them at gyms – they're those little scales that you can either stand on or hold on to (or both) that give you a report to tell you what you're made up of. They’re really popular for the before and afters in Gym Challenges.

How does a Bioelectrical...

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Why You're Not Losing Weight

Mar 11, 2022

Why You're Not Losing Weight

Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

 

Are you frustrated you can’t seem to reach your body composition goals? You train more than most people but still have a little excess body fat to lose.

Are you constantly trying to eat a little less to burn more fat and end up starving all the time? Or absolutely wrecked after training?

That is definitely no way to live

But don't stress, you're not alone. A lot of athletes who I work with struggle with the same challenges.


Here are 3 reasons why you might not be losing weight as an endurance athlete:

 

1. You can’t out-train a bad diet

To lose body fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit. It's as simple as that. You need to consume less energy than you're burning. But the types of foods that you're consuming are really important as well.

  • Even if you train for 18 hours a week, not being strategic with your nutrition can cause you to hold on to body fat
  • Your body is really smart at recalibrating...
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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

Specificity

  • 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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