Why is it for so many that eating is a chore, an issue, a disorder or a nasty conversation that is centered around what not to eat?
If you are an athlete that has a drive for success, your methods for changing your body composition should not be counterproductive to your performance goals.
Training for a race is not a weight-loss method!
If you have recently felt vulnerable to your body composition and feel as if losing weight will help you be a better athlete (or look the part), let me remind you that your physical limitations like speed, power and endurance are a direct result of your training stress.
If your body is underfueled, you can't perform.
And your body weight on race day does not determine your ability to perform. You perform based on how well you trained smart and met your metabolic and health needs.
So, let's say you want to be able to do a pull-up. You have to be strong to do a pull-up. Losing 5 or 10 or 20 lbs may be less weight to carry and absolutely, you have a valid point as to making the effort easier or more efficient of you weighed less. But losing the weight does not guarantee that you will be able to do even a single pull-up. You must train to be able to consistently execute in each one of your specific workouts to be able to successfully do a pull-up. How much you weigh is not your limiter to being able to not do a pull-up so just because you lose weight, you still have to have a healthy and strong body to pull yourself up.
Never should you believe that fat burning will improve performance because the research does not support that. To say that fat burning or eating a low carb/high fat diet is the best method for endurance athletes is like saying that all athletes who want to get fast should only do speed workouts. Yes, I know that speed workouts can make me fast but they also come with risks like injury and I can't be consistent in training if I am constantly sore from speed workouts.
I would like you to use the same analogy to your training. Intentionally underfueling is an extreme, unhealthy and irresponsible method of trying to get faster or stronger. Not only are you hurting your health but you are sabotaging your performance and you may be increasing the risk for an eating disorder by constantly working out, underfueled, in an effort to weigh less.
On Sunday I did a 13.5 mile long run. Mobility work to start and then 11 miles slow running w/ good form (8:20-8:45 min/mile pace) w/ walk breaks each mile for 30 sec. Then, my MS: 2 miles best effort (7:35/7:36 min/mile) at the end of my long run.
Today, a 4400 long course swim.
Karel has not been seriously injured since starting triathlons in 2012 and hasn't been sick in about 6 years. No cold, flu, virus or stomach bug.
(I have my nutrition pretty dialed in as to what works best for me. Also, I'm not a heavy sweater and I don't ever suffer from cramping in training/racing. )
4 x 24 ounce bottles each with 300 calories sport drink
1 wafer (170 calories)
And not once did I think unhealthy or feel concerned about my weight. I fuel for performance.
300 calories before the workout (Rice cake + 5 saltines w/ PB, Jam and banana slices and cinnamon), water/coffee.
3 x 10 ounce flasks (2 flasks on Nathan Fuel belt, refilled first flask at 5 miles) each with 80 calories Clif Hydration.
Total: 240 calories during a 1:50 hr run + 300 calories = 540 calories before my first "meal of the day.
I did not feel sleepy, exhausted, overly sore or fatigued during the run or after and that is a major benefit from fueling properly before/during the workout.