While I attend USAT Level 1 Coaching Clinic, I took a class taught by Bob Seebohar in Metabolic Efficiency Training: Teaching the body to burn more fat.

I left this class with a completely new view on daily and training nutrition.

Before attending Bob's class, I was the typical "carb junky". I ate cereal for breakfast, snacked on crackers and sports bars throughout the day, ate sandwiches for lunch and normally had some pasta or pizza for dinner. I did this because I thought I had to replenish my carbohydrate stores from high intensity training while preparing for Ironman.

What if I were to tell you, that is unnecessary? You are probably thinking, she's crazy. And that was my initial response to Bob. But over the last two weeks I have started on Bob's idea of metabolic efficiency and I have noticed changes in my body composition, my energy, my attitude, and soon I hope to see these results in my training and racing.

Just like preparing a periodization plan for racing, a nutrition periodization plan is just as important. Without this your best training plan can fail, you can have bonking issues, not be properly prepare for before, during and after exercise, and also experience GI distress (this was my BIG issue!) It is important to understand what nutrients are needed during the different phases of training.

The purpose of Metabolic Efficiency Training is to teach your body to use carbohydrates and fats more efficiently. To do this it is very important to train your body to use fat as fuel.

How do you train your body to use fat as fuel? The best time to do this is during the preparatory or early season base building while exercises are done at a lower intensity.

  1. Start with daily nutrition. Minimize the amount of carbohydrates you take in by concentrating on eating lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and minimal "healthy" carbs (whole grains).
  2. Before, during and after exercise do not use any sports nutrition products that contain calories when exercise is less than 2-3 hours. Consume only water and electrolytes (if needed) during exercise. This will train and improve your body to oxidize fat.
  3. It is not important to "eat" for recovery during most training sessions during this cycle. Rehydrating with water and electrolytes can be done and a healthy lite snack of lean protein and fruits and veggies is okay. Avoid sports nutrition products and high carb rich foods.
Once you have trained your body to become metabolically efficient you will not crave large amounts of food post workout. Having the right amount and sources of protein, fiber, and fat you will maintain fullness longer lasting for about 3 to 4 hours. If you haven't achieved this in 2-4 weeks your nutrition may have been a bit off.

Again this step is only to become metabolically efficient. As your training plan changes and you move into more intense and higher volume workouts your nutrition changes. But there are ways to make sure you are still staying metabolically efficient.

Here is a link to Bob's website:
and his blog:

You can also contact me, Coach Sandy at for more information.

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