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20 Sep 2011

Diet for training
Hi Doc,

I am 39, weigh 58kgs and am 1.8m tall. I am going to start masters swimming and need more energy to keep up with the pace. I train 8km a week but need to double this.

I eat oats porridge for breakfast, an apple at 10am and then 3 slices of toast for lunch. I eat a banana for a snack and then for dinner usually have a meat dish, potatoes or rice and a vegetable.

When I last trained, I ended up shaking afterwards. This morning I ate a banana before training and I did not shake but I was very sluggish. I take a multi vitamin and vitamin c every day. I also take Eltroxin 100mg for an under active thyroid.

How can I increase my energy levels? I tried to keep my baby fat, I put on 16 kgs with my second child, but lost 8kgs already in the hospital.

Thank you for your time.
Answer 415 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Shelby
Are you sure that you only weigh 58 kg? Your current BMI = 17,9 which is in the underweight category. If as you say, you gained 16 kg with your second child and have lost 8 kg, then I surmise that you are trying to either maintain your present weight or even gain some more (for an ideal BMI of 22 you would need to weigh 71 kg!). If you are also doing intensive physical exercise such as swimming 8 to 16 km per week, you need a hearty well balanced diet that is rich in carbohydrates to provide your body with the fuel it needs for all this exertion. The diet you describe is very minimalistic and does not contain enough energy, milk, yoghurt, cheese, wholegrain cereals, fruits and vegetables, to keep you healthy and energetic. I would recommend that you consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), so that she/he can assess your present intakes of energy and other nutrients and help you with an individual diet prescription to ensure that you have enough energy to not only do the swimming, but also keep up with the children, otherwise you will be permanently exhausted. In the meanwhile, click on 'DietnFood' at the top of this page and then on 'DietDoc's articles' and read the articles on diets for sportsmen and women. There is also info on the Fitness site. Click on 'Fitness' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition'. While you are on the ‘DietnFood’ site, also click on 'Nutrition Basics' and 'Weight gaining' to read up on how to supplement your diet with extra kJ and if necessary with a liquid meal supplement.
I hope you can get your diet sorted out so that you don't lose even more weight and that you can train with vigour.
Best regards
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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