How to Avoid Off-Season Weight Gain

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Your race season has most likely ended, or will soon end, and you’re beginning to take a much needed break from training; in this case, you have to understand that your body will go through some major changes. Most importantly, you are not going to be burning as many calories as you were before, so you must change the way, or the amount that you eat, or you will experience off-season weight gain.

But it’s not that simple. What you really should be doing is following your set eating plan. If you can instill the following guidelines during your off-season, you will most likely not gain weight.

Your goals will be to control your calories, increase your variety of foods and enjoy your food.  Here are some tips to help you meet all those goals:

  1. Put the energy bars and sports drinks in the back of the cupboard for a while to give the body a break from them and get your vitamins and minerals from whole foods instead.
  2. Take a break from the norm and try new restaurants and foods. Food prepared from a different culture can also provide a great source of nutrients.
  3. Don’t overeat. Pay attention to portion sizes and quantities. Overeating by as little as 250 calories a day can help you gain 2 pounds per month.
  4. The environment has a lot to do with how you eat. Cold, dreary winter months tend to make us eat more comfort foods which are higher in calories and increase body fat and weight.
  5. Just because it’s “off-season” doesn’t mean “non-training season.” Don’t go from training eight (or 12 or 16) hours a week to zero. That will be an easy way for off-season weight gain to occur. Use this time to cross-train; try skiing or another new sport. No matter what you do – just keep burning the calories!
  6. If you need to lose weight and not trying to prevent weight gain, do so safely and realistically. A weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is safe and will not have a negative impact on future training.
  7. Avoid the temptation to indulge in everything you’ve denied yourself in season. The sky is not the limit.

If you need more tips on how to keep the pounds off, or need help in shaking up your routine, contact me today. I’ll help keep you in shape for next season, while still giving you opportunities to indulge.

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MJ Gasik started competing in the sport of triathlon in 2003 and has completed 12 Ironman distance races including the World Championships in Kona, HI. MJ is a USAT Certified Coach, Ironman U Certified Coach, USMS Level 4 Certified Coach and is the founder and owner of Tri Right Coaching. MJ has coached hundreds of athletes from beginners through elite to personal bests in distances from sprint through Ironman.

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