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Why every triathlete should be doing strength training with Exercise Physiologist Huw Darnell

May 19, 2022

I’m a big advocate for triathletes implementing strength into their training program. But not many do it!

Maybe it’s because you’re worried about getting too sore, putting on too much muscle mass and affecting your power to weight ratio, you have zero time, or maybe it’s because you have no idea what you should be doing!

As an Advanced Sports Dietitian, this is not my area of expertise, so recently I asked Exercise Physiologist, Huw Darnell, who specialises in strength and rehabilitation for triathletes, to join me on my podcast.

Huw is all about building bulletproof bodies that are injury resilient with greater capacity. Exactly what you need - to be strong and injury-free heading into race season!

Here’s a little of what he shared (and for the full story check out EP 42 of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast): Episode 42 - Why every triathlete should be doing strength training with Exercise Physiologist Huw Darnell

Why should every triathlete...

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How to mentally prepare for a race with mindset coach Trang Nguyen

May 12, 2022

 

As an endurance athlete, ahead of a race you’ve done everything else to prepare – you train your arse off, have your nutrition dialled in, have the fast wheels, shaved down, done all the things BUT if your mind is not in it, your race performance is not likely to result in what you’re truly capable of.

Who doesn’t need practical strategies to prepare mentally for race day? To quieten down pre-race nerves, get out of a dark hole during a race and ultimately achieve your goal.

My podcast guest, Physiotherapist, Running Coach, Strength and Conditioning Coach, qualified PT and Mindset and Performance Coach, Trang Nguyen shared some great strategies to implement to mentally prepare for a race.

Weeks and even months before

  • Be aware of the stories you’re telling yourself
  • Stay conscious and aware of how you’re going as a whole (don’t focus on the one or two things that haven’t gone well)
  • Gather and focus on the evidence that proves to...
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Stop wasting your money on Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) scans

Mar 17, 2022
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 Impedance Analysis (BIA) scan work?

It sends an electrical current through the body....

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Why You're Not Losing Weight

Mar 11, 2022
 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 – if you do more training it will...
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Why You Need to Stop Weighing Yourself with Gary Slater

Feb 24, 2022

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 perceive themselves

What components are important when...
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How to Know if a Sports Dietitian is Right For You?

Jan 20, 2022

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 endurance nutrition specialist so I work with runners,...
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Why You Need to Ditch the Detox this Year

Jan 05, 2022

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 regularly, it'll help you to get yourself...
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5 Tips for Surviving the Festive Season

Dec 09, 2021

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 for it. Focus on being mindful so you...
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The Shit Show that was 2021

Dec 03, 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 .com.au 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 power of social media can be...
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Alcohol and Performance

Jun 10, 2021
 

Today on coffee & questions I answered Shane & Bec's questions on alcohol and its place in the week when it comes to exercise and performance.

Can I have a drink after my race?

Is there a way to be sensible with alcohol intake?

What effects does alcohol have on exercise performance?

 

I'm not here to say don't ever drink but from the perspective of a dietitian... Alcohol is a toxin. 

We don't store it anywhere - it gets processed in the liver and burnt off in preference to anything else as we try and get rid of it out of the body

It's used as a social lubricant and is a socially acceptable toxin

My advice will differ depending on who you are and what your overall goals are. Find a balance between drinking and exercise performance depending on who you are and what your goals are

 

Alcohol equals energy - calories or kilojoules

Alcohol = 29kJ/gram

It also depends on what calories you're drinking it with - e.g. soda water or full-fat coke

...

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