Monday, March 5, 2012

Seasonal Nutrition #3

Be sure to read “Seasonal Nutrition #1 and  #2" before checking out this post.

The first kind of seasonality we’ll look at is “Competition” vs. “Off-season”.  Right now, I’m in my competition season (SBX Racing) and spend approximately 4 hours on snow, 3 days a week.  I also weight train 2 times a week for about 2 hours each (depending on travel – some weeks I can get 3 days in).  So that’s 16 total hours of physical activity per week.  The remainder of the week is not that stressful activity-wise.  The lack of activity the remainder of the week means I’m only at a Moderate Activity Level (see post #2 in the series for more info about Activity Level). 
On Course in NY
During the off-season I weight train in the gym 4 days a week (2 hours each day) and mountain bike or trail run on another day (1 or 2 hours at the most).  My total activity time is about 10 hours per week, which earns me the Light Activity Level category.

Some people might look at both of these descriptions and think “wow, this guy’s really active” and to some degree I am.  But it still doesn’t get me any higher on the Activity Level scale.  To fit into the Heavy or Exceptional Activity categories I’d have to train more than I do and have a job, like construction, during the work-week.  That kind of lifestyle would increase the total activity hours per week dramatically.  The bad news is some of you reading this, who think you qualify as “very active”, actually do not.  That’s nothing to get down on yourself about, just a variable that needs to be considered when calculating your Daily Caloric Needs.
Fish w/ Chopped Pepper
In summary the first seasonality effect on nutrition is to adjust your caloric intake accordingly depending on what activity level you experience during your competition and off-seasons.  Consult with a professional to take a real assessment of your Activity Level in order to adjust your calories and percentage of CHO/PRO/FAT to match.  Don’t look at a competition season as ‘lighter work’ (sometimes a mistake since the weight training/gym time usually drops from “off-season” levels) especially if there’s more time involved with training/competition sessions.  Also, be aware of spikes in activity (for example competition weeks) where temporary adjustments/revisions are necessary.  
Double Cooked Pork Belly w/ Spicy Capsicum and Brown Rice
Coming up in “Seasonal Nutrition #4”, besides more awesome food pictures, how the actual seasons of the year affect your body.

*Note* - The topics covered in this and previous posts should not be taken as a recommended nutrition program and are not intended as such.  Consult with a professional to get an accurate nutritional plan that accounts for your specific needs and goals.

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