Rarely touch alcohol – maximum five units per week and never after 6pm. You must respect your metabolism and work with it – not against it. This doesn’t need a Doctorate in Nutrition. Nor deep scientific knowledge. Just discipline. As a serious athlete or cyclist, you commit to a disciplined training regime. You value your health and fitness. You want to feel like an Elite rider or top Triathlete, every time you train. So why not follow the same discipline with controlling your weight and alcohol consumption? And what a difference climbing hills! It’s amazing. Unshed those kilos and you fly up those killer climbs. You recover quicker at the top. You feel so much better that you could go back down and climb that hill again! Seriously. When you cut out alcohol and lose that weight you will think how ill-disciplined you were, to leave it so long, before taking action. And it’s not about fads like Atkins or G.I. or others. It’s about balance, moderation and getting into good habits. Habits so good that you can reward yourself regularly – even to the extent of a bar of chocolate any afternoon! Provided, of course, that you are following the rules carefully, like no other carbs after 6pm.
So we have put together key rules for an active sports person to lose 10 kilos in 5 months – or about an imperial pound in weight every week. These reflect varied pieces of information, advice and learning, over thirty years of fighting excess weight. The key is to keep the rules, all the time. And cut out alcohol. Then you’ll feel great. Rarely hungry. And fly up the hills as if they did not exist! Follow
So reducing alcohol consumption is critical. Even better, just give it up completely. Try to combine this with a life-changing event like a new job, a new home, or a new long-term relationship. Seriously, this gives you an alternative focus but keeps your discipline. You will find, after a few days, that when you have a beer or a glass of wine, you can really taste the alcohol in it. The flavours that you thought you were yearning for are just not there. They are overwhelmed by the alcohol itself. Why is this so important? Because you must respect the importance of a properly functioning liver. A healthy liver is essential to process your weight loss and regulate your whole body’s digestive balance. The second you consume alcohol, then your liver switches into self-preservation mode, to get the impurities out of your body as fast as you drank them in! What happens? Well clearly all the other liver activities move back down the queue. So other toxins from training take longer to process out. And other fats in your system take longer to burn. Go to bed at night after a few glasses of wine or beer and say goodbye to any weight loss benefits for a couple of days. Yes, it is that important.
But what happens if you slip back into some social drinking? A Sunday lunchtime pint is fine. Or a glass of wine with a good meal. If you are serious about weight loss, make sure that you dilute one glass of an alcoholic drink with at least two glasses of water. The effect will be amazing on your general well-being too. Better sleep, better skin and better late-night abilities for conversation – or other activities that need a healthy body But don’t some people advocate that a daily glass of red wine is healthy? Sure they do. For the fruit and the tannins. But not for the acidity and the alcohol. Better to get yourself a really good juicing machine. Then make the most amazing fresh fruit juice cocktails. But again watch consuming high sugar content, too late in the evening before bed. Remember a pint of lager has the same sugar content as doughnut coated with icing. How many Elite Cyclists or Top triathletes win races by stuffing themselves with Crispy Cremes?
Elite Cycling Fitness has an experienced team of ex Top Sports People, who recommend cutting out alcohol as one of the key Training and Nutrition Rules for a Serious Cyclist or Triathlete. Alan Taylor was a Top Rider who won Elite Bike Races in the UK and Italy and you can get all his key rules here, for Fitness and Weight Loss for a Cyclist or Triathlete