New Program Allows Athletes to Create a Tailored Everyday Nutrition Plan to Match their Individual Needs
Review of the Fueling that Fits Course
Dietitian expert in endurance athlete nutrition, Alex Larson, just launched a new program to help the everyday athlete meet their nutrition goals through a simple to follow, comprehensive eating blueprint. As an athlete who is mindful of nutrition, but not looking for the commitment of working directly with a dietician, I was eager to give the Fueling that Fits program a try. After several weeks of programming, homework and debrief with Larson, I came away from the course with a new outlook on the way I view food, a newfound appreciation for carbs and a deeper understanding of the macros my body needs on a daily and weekly basis.
Fueling that Fits is a multi step program that is presented through short videos, assignments and recaps. It is easy to follow, well developed and requires a realistic amount of time and effort. A great deal of care was put into the flow of the program. It must be followed in a specific order – no skipping ahead!
“Prior to creating this course, I spent months learning about curriculum design so I could build a course that was engaging and impactful. In addition to the educational components to the course, the magic is in the homework assignments where you’ll personalize the information to you and your athlete lifestyle,” said Larson.
She is right, the heavy lifting in the front half of the course sets you up to best understand your results at the end. You can go through each module at your convenience, and when it comes time for the homework, no video plus assignment took me more than 20-30 minutes to complete.
“I recognized that not all athletes are looking for the commitment of working 1-on-1 with a dietitian, they may be seeking more broad thoughts around how to fuel their endurance athlete lifestyle that they can do at their own pace,” she noted.
What we eat and when is often dictated by a feeling, habit or mindset. Step one of the course is to better understand that mindset as you approach meals and snacks. A food journal is used to understand what you eat on a typical day, and how satiated you feel before and afterwards.
Additionally, the first homework assignment forces you to take a long hard look at how you feel about certain foods and your current eating habits. Wow, I was unnecessarily hard on myself! I didn’t realize I thought the way I did until I put pen to paper.
Next up is to do a deeper dive into what you eat on a daily basis. Using an app to create a weekly food journal is the easiest way to see your daily caloric intake. It breaks everything down into carbohydrates, proteins and fats so you can see how many grams of each you take to fuel your basic bodily needs and active lifestyle. Similarly to the first module, you will be tasked with putting feelings to the food and identifying habits and behaviors.
I want to stress that this program is not a quick fix “diet” plan. There is no magic pill or secret reveal about the foods you eat. You need to put in the work to recognize what you eat and why. I appreciate the realistic approach Larson took when developing this program. You are not going to be asked to cut things from your diet. Moderate perhaps, but pizza and cookies are not the enemy.
“The number one takeaway that I want athletes to get from this program is that improving your nutrition is very do-able, and that there’s no radical diet needed to be successful,” said Larson.
Once you have a clearer understanding of how you feel about the foods you eat, it’s time to see just what you ingest in terms of macros. Next you’ll break down what you are consuming compared to what your body needs to fuel your daily activities. What did my journal show? Well, to no surprise, my fat intake was a tad too high. I was severely low on protein. And to my surprise, I was several grams short on carbs, too.
I thought I was eating a relatively balanced diet, but as my training increased, I didn’t always adjust my food intake to match my needs. The fix was easy, however. The course helps you to see that all you need to do is make one small change at a time. For me, it was as simple as adding in a bagel or some toast at snack time and eggs or yogurt to my otherwise protein free breakfast. I started small and soon, it became the norm. As I added more protein to my meals, I suddenly began to drop the unnecessary fatty snacks throughout the day. My body was telling me what I needed, and I listened. During training, I really started to feel the difference.
Sometimes setbacks happen, and this program helps you to see that it is OK if you fall off the wagon. You will begin to understand what eating habits have worked for you in the past and which ones haven’t. You’ll come up with a game plan to help you get back on track if you waver without stressing yourself out.
And lastly, your final task will be to identify habits that once incorporated into your day-to-day will have lasting effects over time. Now you know what you need, and you have a better understanding about how you feel about the changes at hand. You can put everything into practice and establish a long-term nutrition plan that will work for you.
Once you are done with the program, you have the opportunity to hop on a call with Larson to review the findings. Here she will shed light on areas for improvement, food options, incorporating new habits, etc. Come with questions! You have the chance to chat with one of the best about your nutrition so nothing is off the table. The course costs $399, and it’s money well spent.