The ‘Natural, under-fuelling diet’ : a simple and effective way to change your body composition! (written for UK Athletics 04/08).
Many athletes may fit the following criteria: not fortunate enough to have a super-fast metabolism but possess a large appetite and subsequently find that they have to constantly either worry or monitor their weight. Despite regualrly clocking up around 50-70miles of running each week and abiding by a healthy diet, even Run Britain editor, NICOLA BAMFORD falls into this category so enlisted the help of a top nutritionist and athlete to formulate a plan to help shift a little and maintain an ideal weight....
The ‘Natural, under-fuelling diet’ is the brainchild of Performance Nutritionist and Univeristy lecturer, Mayur Ranchordas. In addition to developing diet plans for the British diving, handball and volleyball squads and lecturing at Sheffield Hallam Universtity, Ranchordas is a top triathlete in the 25-29 age-group and created the nutritional regime in line with his own training schedule, through trial and error.
A person’s body composition is determined by three factors: their genetics, level of physical activity and their diet and lifestyle. Ranchordas elaborates; “You may or may not be blessed with ‘slim genes’ so you have no control over your body composition but you have 100% control over your diet/lifestyle. You have to accept your genetics but you can change your figure – the latter two factors (physical activity and diet/lifestyle) can override genetics.”
The diet is primarily based around the consumption of fruit and dairy products, whilst cutting out carbohydrates, such as bread and cereals.
When embarking on the diet, participants should sets themselves a goal, such as exactly how much weight or inches they’d like to lose. Those on the diet should, however, be aware of the risks – they should avoid becomming obsessed with losing weight, as a drop in energy levels and negative health-effects will subsequently transpire.
“The diet’s severe,” explains Ranchordas, “it shocks the body, as it doesn’t give it enough fuel for especially for hard sessions, and hence you should only practice the diet on ‘easy, recovery’ days.” The other rules per say, are to never follow the regime on two consecutive days and to only abide by the diet for 2-days a week for initial 2-weeks f following the plan, then for 3-days a week there after.
“It takes some getting used to but it’s designed to sustain a person’s energy adequately without negatively affecting their training and health,” divulges the slim, muscular Ranchordas.
The ‘Natural, under-fuelling diet cannot just be followed as a means to losing weight, however, as it can additionally be beneficial to aiding the maintenance of weight or alternatively, helping a person feel less ‘stodgy’ or bloated – a factor caused by eating too many carbohydrates.
Keen to offer some tips on how to stay motivated to stick to the diet, Ranchordas says, “It’s really in the mindset – it’s a choice. You can sit there craving a chocolate bar but at the end of the day, you should ask yourself if that chocolate’s worth more than what you’re trying to achieve (either a PB or losing weight). Behaviours are congruent with your goals – so feed your mindset with the right things”.
TYPICAL DAY ONTHE DIET (you can also drink plenty of water and two cups of tea):
8am - run
8:30am – glass OJ, half pint milk, banana (1 piece of fruit)
10:30am – 125g Shape yoghurt and an apple (1 piece of fruit)
12:15pm – Chicken, turkey or salmon salad and a bowl of vegetable soup (half a tin)
3pm – session
4:30pm – sports recovery carb/protein drink, such as Rego (sports bottle – quarter Rego – 3 tbl spoons, rest water) and a banana (1 piece of fruit)
6pm – medium bowl of fruit salad (with yogurt – optional)
9pm – half pint of milk (to help muscle not to break down)