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I was wondering if anyone out there has any tips or experience with dropping weight while race training.  By way of background...

I am 38 years old, 6 foot 4 inches and at 225lbs right now.  I have dropped 10 in the last month but was hoping to get down to around 200.  My diet is actually not bad and I try to hit around 1800 calories a day.  I track meals with myfitnesspal to keep me honest and use a fitbit charge hr to get an idea of health/activity level outside of training.  I have a desk job so during the day I am pretty sedentary.  I have two young kids so schedule can get hectic.  This is my second season doing triathlon.  Last year I did two sprints and one olympic.  This year I have a sprint in May and a 70.3 in July.  Aside from health I want to drop the weight because hauling 20 less pounds around the course would clearly help performance.  If I have a weakness diet wise is salty snacks.  I avoid the chip aisle in the grocery store like the plague because I have no self control.  (Who can avoid bacon mac and cheese flavored chips?)  As I said I have lost 10 in the last month but when I ramp up intensity and training hours that is when the hunger comes on stronger and I am worried I hit a wall weight wise.

One last thing.  While I don't have a need to attend weekly meetings where they serve stale donuts and bad coffee I like beer.  The occasional weekend trip to the brewery with a growler to go home is sometimes as important as those long runs and rides.  It helps the mental health when you have 6 year old twin girls.

So with that background in mind here are a few questions and if anyone out there have some of their own to add or are trying to do something similar feel free to chime in.

How much intensity should you have in your workouts vs. low heart rate so you can spend more time working out?

What things should you look to snack on when the hunger hits between meals?  (please don't say a handful of broccoli)

Are late evening meals deadly for progress?  (Sometimes due to schedule I don't sit down to eat until 8 pm or so after I workout)

Rather than take a rest day should you incorporate something like very light spinning just to burn off some more calories?

Is 1800 calories a reasonable target and how should you distribute them throughout the day?  I usually have something very light for breakfast decent sized lunch and a little larger dinner.

Your comment...

Tanya would be a bit better for these but let me take a crack at what helped me:

In general you cant manage your weight just through working out. don't fall into this trap. Its an easy one to get caught in for sure. I still struggle with that too. Your weight will be mainly managed through your diet. 

intensity is key to helping you burn calories. that doesn't make you fat burning efficient though, those are two different things. when you work out harder, you burn less percentage of fat but the overall calories burnt are a lot more. so its like getting 50% of a dollar or 30 percent of 10. percentage is lower but the caloric burn is a lot more. you also get an EPOC effect with things like high intensity or weight lifting. that basically means that when you do high end type stuff, your body continues to burn after you stop.

TO be successful at long course triathlon though, you have to get your body efficient at burning fat for a fuel source. You have to accomplish that by working out at the right intensity, not taking on any calories (in my opinion) for the first 60 -120 min depending on you, your experience, and activity level. They when you DO take on calories you do something to help limit your blood sugar spikes. One thing that I would try to take on my long rides were the individual made nut and raisin pouches from Trader Joes. Easy to carry and you don't have to finish it all at once.

- BTW I would use those as snacks too. 

I also like mojo bars as they are easy to carry, taste good and low on the glycemic index   

I am not qualified to tell you how much you should eat but good rules of thumb:
- never eat a carb by itself. Always try to eat a fat or protein with it. 
- only eat if you are biologically hungry
- try to eat real food when you can
- don't change too many things at once. 
- if I was hungry at night I would have a snack. but not a large one. after a few bites, you are probably not hungry anymore. 
- chew gum :)

Oh and drink a lot of water. 

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