Q: Work has been rough the last few months and I'll piled on more pounds than I realized. I've got a race coming up in just six weeks. Is there any real trick to taking it off fast?
A: Watch paid TV, particularly between midnight and 5 a.m., and you'll find plenty of options, but if you're up anyway, try real exercise. For all the smoke and mirrors out there, the formula for success remains "calories in, calories out." A sedentary person can go on a fad diet, cutting out all the junk food they normally eat, and lose 8 or 10 pounds in a week. As an endurance athlete, doing that would be foolish and counter productive. A crash diet will rob your body of the fuel it needs and crash your training program too. Losing much more than a pound a week is a losing proposition, so don't get carried away.
A German named Jan Ullrich was considered the most talented bike rider of the era dominated by Lance Armstrong, but he got heavy, had to crash diet before the Tour and didn't have the strength to match Lance. If you want to read a great new book on the subject, pick up Racing Weight by Matt Fitgerald.
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