Breaking Down the 3,500 Calorie Myth: How We Lose Weight Matters More Than How Much

When Pursuing Your Racing Weight, Focus on the Process, Not on the Outcome

by Matt Fitzgerald

One of the oldest myths of weight loss has been laid to rest.

Since the late 1950s, dieters have been taught that for every 3,500 fewer calories they eat than they burn, they will lose one pound of body weight. This dictum was based on research showing that a pound of human flesh contains about 3,500 calories of energy, and it predicted that if a person adjust her activity and or dietary habits to create an energy deficit of 500 calories per day, she will lose 1 pound per week, every week, indefinitely.

This prediction has never borne out in research. When scientists carefully control the diet and activity level of subjects, they usually lose only about half the weight that the 3,500-calorie rule predicts. The main reason is that the body adapts to caloric deficits in ways that progressively reduce their effect over time. In principle, therefore, the only way to lose weight at a steady rate over a long period of time is to progressively increase your activity level and/or reduce your food intake. But this is neither practical nor wise, because energy deficits exceeding 500 calories per day generate more muscle loss than fat loss, leave the body underfueled for exercise, carry a risk of nutrient deficiencies, reduce bone mineral density, and exacerbate metabolic adaptation to energy shortfalls.

The death of the 3,500-calorie myth points to an important principle of effective weight loss: It’s better to focus on process (how you lose weight) than on outcome (how much weight you lose or how quickly you lose it).

Racing Weight elite runners body fat percentage

Elite runners get lean from running, not dieting.

The simple truth is that it is difficult to predict how much weight you will lose on any given diet plan. Nor is it a good idea to chose a diet plan on the basis of a particular weight-loss goal.

Healthy eating habits are universal. Whether you are 50 pounds overweight, 10 pounds overweight, or already at a good weight, you will get the best long-term results from the same core set of eating habits and from combining these with vigorous daily exercise. In today’s food and eating environment, most people find these habits difficult to adopt and sustain.

In fact, focusing too much on results makes it even harder to achieve them. This was shown in a 2012 study conducted by psychologists at the University of Zurich and published in Psychology & Health. The subjects were 126 overweight women involved in a 6-month weight-loss program. The researchers found that those who were more focused on the process of acquiring and practicing healthy eating habits experienced fewer dietary lapses and lost more weight compared to those who were more outcome focused.

Racing Weight bathroom scale

Do check the scale–but just about once a week.

For these reasons, anyone seeking to lose weight or maintain his current healthy weight should concentrate on the process of adopting and sustaining these habits and trust that they will lead to the best possible outcome.

Endurance athletes are no exception. If you’ve read Racing Weight, you might find this statement surprising. After all, the book includes a formula that athletes can use to estimate their optimal racing weight, the ultimate bodyweight outcome goal. But there is a reason this tool is called an estimator, not a calculator.

As I take pains to explain in Racing Weight, there is no way to predict your optimal racing weight with perfect accuracy. The only way to determine it is to attain it, and the only way to attain it is to eat and train your way to the highest level of race-specific fitness possible.

There are six core habits to weight loss for athletes: maintaining high diet quality, balancing energy sources appropriately, managing appetite, self-monitoring, nutrient timing, and adhering to the “80/20 Rule” of training intensity distribution. These six habits apply to all athletes. These habits, not your target weight, should be your major focus. If they are, the numbers will work themselves out, as they always have.

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:

Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for Athletes Racing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p stroke RWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.

Skip the Cleanse and Detox: Start the New Year Right with a Racing Weight “DQS Clean Streak”

New Year Cleanses and Detoxes Are a Hoax! Instead, Try a Racing Weight “DQS Clean Streak”.

You don’t need to be a rabid fan of The Dr. Oz Show to know that diet “detox” and “cleanse” programs are all the rage. Examples include Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush Cleanse and the Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox™. By far and away the most popular day of the year on which to start such a program is January 1, a holiday that has become deeply associated with hitting the reset button on one’s health habits.

Racing Weight Cookbook Greena Colada Smoothie RecipeThe only problem with dietary cleansing and detoxing is that it is a make-believe phenomenon. There are no foods that detoxify the body in any meaningful sense. The body detoxifies itself. I won’t waste any more time here debunking the notion of dietary cleansing and detoxing. It’s already been done very well in articles such as this one (The Guardian) and this one (Lifehacker).

If you’re an endurance athlete, you have a second reason not to engage in this bogus practice, which is that it doesn’t mix very well with training. Consider the Nature’s Secret 5-Day Fast and Cleanse™. How much exercise do you think you’ll feel up to on your fifth day of surviving on Colon Clear™ tablets and Super Nutrition™ mini-tablets?

I don’t mean to be a total party pooper. I recognize the importance of symbolism, renewal, and cleansing the body and soul for a new start each year. I have no quarrel with the general practice of starting off the New Year with some sort of dietary reset. But cleanses and detoxes might hurt you and probably won’t help. As an athlete, you should be sure to choose a program that actually supports your training.

So here’s what I propose as an alternative to the phony detoxes and cleanses:

The 7-Day DQS Clean Streak

“DQS” stands for “Diet Quality Score,” it’s a simple, practical method of rating the overall quality of one’s diet from day to day that is detailed in my book Racing Weight and overviewed in Racing Weight Cookbook.

Put simply, the DQS is a simple way to track how well you’re eating:

  • High-quality food types such as vegetables and whole grains earn positive points.
  • Low-quality food types such as processed meats and fried foods subtract points.

You keep a running tally throughout the day, and after your last meal or snack of the evening you are left with a total that represents your DQS for that day.

The goal is not to aim for perfection but rather to ensure that your diet quality is consistently “good enough” to yield the results you seek.rwc_website_background_2.jpg

At certain times, though, it is sensible to aim a little higher. One of these times is during what I call a Racing Weight Quick Start, which is a 4- to 8-week period immediately preceding the formal beginning of a race-focused training cycle, when you want to shed excess body fat more quickly than it is possible to do when you are eating to support intensive training.

Another of these times is when you want to get back on track after a period of slacking off—like New Year’s Day.

Executing the 7-Day DQS Clean Streak is simple: All it requires is that you go 7 days without consuming anything that subtracts points from your daily Diet Quality Score. Specifically, that means no refined grains, sweets, fatty or processed meats, fried foods, low-quality beverages (e.g. high-calorie coffee drinks), or alcohol beyond the first drink of the day.

It’s not a big ask, but it will do your body good, it will feel good, and oh-by-the-way it will also allow you to train normally, unlike a “cleanse” or “detox”.

For full details on how to track your DQS, check out my free online DQS Calculator. There’s also a smart phone version available for iOS and Android devices for $0.99. Just search “DQS” in your app store.

Healthy New Year!

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for AthletesRacing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p strokeRWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.

315 Pounds to Magazine Cover Model: Donald Sorah’s Weight-Loss Journey

by Donald Sorah

At age 31, I was morbidly obese. I weighed 315 pounds, almost double the normal BMI for my height. Inevitably, my weight would come up in conversation with others, and I’d joke that if I were at a “BMI normal” weight, I’d look like a skeleton.

Donald SorahI had tried a variety of weight-loss programs with some success. The most effective “diet plan” of all my attempts was the South Beach Diet, which helped me lose 100 pounds in 1 year. I didn’t gain it all back, but a few years later, half my hard work was wasted.

Then I got a bike.

My wife presented me with a bicycle for my birthday, and I accepted it reluctantly. I wasn’t really interested in cycling, but I soon fell in love with the invigorating sense of freedom, the coolness of a breeze wicking sweat from my cheeks. Meanwhile, I was burning calories—and lots of them. By the time my weight fell to 260 pounds, I was burning over 1,000 calories every ride. The sense of freedom and the thought of burning all those calories kept me motivated to ride and to ride more. Soon I discovered I’d made a mental switch; I started planning my nutrition so I could get faster at cycling.

Instead of riding to lose weight, I was eating to ride better.

Donald Sorah CannondaleI started setting goals. My private goal, which I didn’t share with anyone, was to start shopping for a brand new road bike once I dropped my weight below 200 pounds. For me, this was the Holy Grail, a goal that seemed impossible.

Then one morning, I stepped on the scale. 197. I stepped on the scale again. Still 197. A third time, just to be sure. Yes, 197.

A few weeks later, I was riding a new Specialized Roubaix. Now that bike has seen 6 states, more than 7,000 miles, and over 300,000 feet of climbing. I’m a cyclist, and no longer a fat one.

Donald Sorah bandage

Battered, but not out of the race

Then I had another realization about my relationship with food. I rode a local 72-mile ride that finished with a very steep 3-mile climb. I finished the ride and made it home, but I passed out unconscious in my driveway. The scar I wear on the back of my head is a reminder of this critical moment.

It was at this point I realized I couldn’t starve myself to lose weight. What I was doing was unhealthy, and I needed a better balance of calories out and calories in. And this is when the Racing Weight series came into my life.

Enter Racing Weight

Although my Ph.D. is in music education, my “hunger” for knowledge led me to search for the ultimate nutrition plan. I interviewed friends and read about experts to analyze their approaches. I bought and read several books on nutrition. I purchased and downloaded the Racing Weight e-book on iBooks, reading it cover-to-cover in a few days.

After the conclusion of each chapter, I would make a collection of notes highlighting the most salient points, including ways this approach could be assimilated into my nutritional plan for cycling. Although the Diet Quality Score system seemed like a wonderful method of data collection for analysis of diet quality, I have decided to stick with my use of the LoseIt! app to catalog all my foods (which I have now done for over a year and a half).

I was intrigued by a mention in Racing Weight of a new cookbook. Being a foodie, a decent amateur cook, and the primary food preparer in our household, I sought to get my hands on the Racing Weight Cookbook. I found a copy at a local bookseller.

Donald Sorah Racing Weight Cookbook recipe

Playing with food (photography)

Before continuing, I should mention that, in addition to my career as a musician and music educator on the college level, I fancy myself a photographer and foodie. This means that my wife often asks if I am planning to eat dinner before it gets cold or if I am just going to keep capturing photos of my culinary concoctions. You must also understand that our lives as musicians and music teachers (my wife is a choir director and adjunct instructor at the local college) are quite complex and are very busy, especially with our growing four-year old!

My wife will be the first to tell you that our menu selections before Racing Weight Cookbook were quite limited and our weekly repertoire was quickly growing stagnant. The Racing Weight Cookbook has provided a breath of fresh air into our culinary repertoire. Thus far, I have prepared over twenty recipes from this cookbook.

Our Favorite Racing Weight Recipes

My favorite breakfast has been the the Cinnamon Raisin Wheat Berries (try it yourself!). With the flavor of cinnamon-spice oatmeal and the meaty texture with enhanced “tooth­sinkability” (thanks to Dan Pashman and the Sporkful podcast for the terminology), and nutty flavor of the wheat berries, this breakfast is filling, tasty, and packed full of nutrition. My four-year old even enjoyed a few bites and he is an extremely picky eater.

My wife and I have at least two recipes vying for first place dinner: Beefy Stuffed Poblanos and Asian Chicken with Peanut Sauce.

I have to admit that we have made a few substitutions in the recipes. We have always used 97% Fat Free Ground Turkey for the Poblano recipe and have used tofu as the protein the last two times we have made the Asian Peanut recipe. We did use chicken the first time we made the Asian Peanut recipe and it was just as good if not better than the tofu. We typically use whatever protein is on-hand and is simplest and quickest to prepare. Another favorite is the Black Bean & Cheddar Burger recipe.

We have also selected two dessert/sweet recipes as our favorites so far. The Lemon-Poppy Protein Bars, which I prepare as muffins, were one of my first recipes and remain my favorite sweet treat. My wife is quite fond of the Apple-Raisin Bars.

Have I Lost More Weight?

Truth be told, I have not observed any weight loss since investigating the nutritional guidelines in the Racing Weight book and preparing meals from the Racing Weight Cookbook. This is not to say that it doesn’t work. I am certain it does. However, I think my weight has settled where I need to be; in the low 160s.

What I have noticed is that my cycling fitness has improved, particularly in the area of endurance.

I have ridden seven metric century or longer distances so far this year and have not once “bonked” or run low on energy. In fact, a recent endurance ride of 60+ miles turned into 85 miles because I still had more to give.

It is remarkable how my energy level has surged since incorporating the Racing Weight Cookbook recipes into my diet. It would be interesting to collect data on the implementation of the Racing Weight philosophy into the diet of those who have significant weight loss to accomplish. I would presume that those athletes would be directed to minimize the preparation of those sweeter recipes and to place more emphasis on those designated as high-protein options.

The Cookbook Itself

The layout of the cookbook is well-designed. Although I love to cook and could spend hours in the kitchen even after a long day in the saddle, not all athletes share that same sentiment. The first two sections of the book are designed for athletes who don’t like to cook or just don’t have the time to prepare a more involved recipe. The middle sections are designed for those who can cook and have a little more time to prepare a meal. The final sections are offered to those athletes who enjoy cooking and are able to spend half an hour to an hour in the kitchen. Any athlete can find recipes that are easily within their current ability level and time constraints—and some that may provide a challenge to become a better cook should they desire to improve their culinary skills.

The Reaction

Since preparing these recipes and posting photos to social media including Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram, I have received numerous comments, questions, and requests for recipes from friends both local and virtual; many of them not even athletes. It is my desire that through social media exposure of the photos and recipes, others might begin to seek a healthier lifestyle.

My wife and I were recently featured on the Jan/Feb 2014 cover of Bicycling magazine for our weight-loss because, between the two of us, we have lost over 260 pounds. We will also be guests this summer on the radio show With Good Reason. Kelly was featured on the Half Size Me podcast last month.

Bicycling magazine Jan-Feb2014 Donald and Kelly SorahOur mission aligns with my mission of publicizing the Racing Weight Cookbook; we want others to see that if we can do it with all the time challenges in our lives, anyone can experience the same success and a healthier, happier lifestyle.

At age 31, I was morbidly obese. Now I know there is nothing like the feeling of being healthy and fit.

The daily increase in energy and brain power pays off at work as well as with the family. Why would anyone pass up the opportunity to be healthy, eat real food, raise their energy level, and be at the top of their game?

Donald and Kelly Sorah on bikes with son

The Sorah family

It took me forty years to achieve the best fitness and overall health of my life. With the continued support of family and friends, logging miles on the bike, and through the nutritional advice of the Racing Weight series, I look forward to many more years of healthy living, fun times in the kitchen, and flavorful and nutritious eating.

Donald Sorah is a cyclist, music professor, foodie, musician, photographer, father, and husband. He lives and rides with his wife and son in Virginia. Catch up with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for AthletesRacing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p strokeRWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.

One for the Foodies: Cinnamon-Raisin Wheat Berry Bowl

Racing Weight Cookbook delivers more than 100 flavorful, easy recipes for athletes that will help you hit your ideal weight without compromising your performance.

With steamed milk and the nutty aroma of toasted wheat berries, this breakfast cereal is worth the wait. If you have cooked wheat berries on hand, scoop 1½ cups into your pot, and wholesome goodness is just minutes away.

Racing Weight Cookbook Cinnamon-Raisin Wheat Berry Bowl

Serves 2 in 1 hour
Recipe profile: High carb, Vegetarian

½ cup wheat berries, rinsed and drained
1½ cups water
1 cup 1% milk (or whole milk, soy, or almond milk)
¼ cup raisins
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

In a dry saucepan over medium heat, toast wheat berries for about 5 minutes, taking care to stir them with a wooden spoon so they brown and don’t burn. Once you start to smell the aroma of the wheat berries, you will know that they are sufficiently toasted.

Add water to wheat berries and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes, or until wheat berries reach the desired texture.

Drain any remaining liquid, then add milk, raisins, cinnamon, and vanilla, if desired. Stir frequently to keep milk from scalding. Continue cooking until milk begins to thicken and raisins become plump, about 5 minutes.

Divide between two bowls and top with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

Per serving: 300 calories, 3 g fat, 59 g total carbohydrate, 6 g dietary fiber, 12 g protein
DQS COUNT (per serving): FRUITS ½     WHOLE GRAINS 1     DAIRY 1

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for AthletesRacing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p strokeRWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.

An Endurance Classic Made Lean: Turkey Meatballs & Fettucine

Racing Weight Cookbook delivers more than 100 flavorful, easy recipes for athletes that will help you hit your ideal weight without compromising your performance.

Spaghetti and Meatballs; it’s a classic endurance sports meal and for good reason. Complex carbs will fuel you up for tomorrow while the protein will help you recover from today. Enjoy with a glass of red!

Racing Weight Cookbook Turkey Meatballs and FettucineServes 8 in 1 Hour
Recipe profile: High Carb, High Protein

2 pounds 99% lean ground turkey breast
1/3 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
cooking spray
4 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce from a jar
1 pinch of salt
1 pound whole-wheat fettucine

Combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, onion flakes, basil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix well.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Roll meat mixture into 40 2-inch balls and place a single layer in the skillet. (They usually have to be cooked in two batches.)

Brown over medium heat, using tongs or a wooden spoon to turn the meatballs so the outsides cook evenly.

Transfer meatballs to a large saucepan and pour in the tomato-basil sauce. Cover and simmer over a low flame for 40 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, fill a large saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then add fettucine. Cook 12–14 minutes or as directed on the package. Pour into a colander to drain.

Add about ¾ cup cooked fettucine to each plate and top with meatballs and sauce.

Per serving: 400 calories, 5 g fat, 55 g total carbohydrate, 8 g dietary fiber, 38 g protein

TIP: You can purchase a commercial brand of wholewheat bread crumbs, such as 4C, or make your own with bread you have on hand.

DQS COUNT (per serving) VEGETABLES 1 WHOLE GRAINS 1 LEAN MEATS & FISH 1

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:

Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for AthletesRacing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p strokeRWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.

Try a Quick Make-Ahead Breakfast: Banana-Pecan Pancakes

Racing Weight Cookbook delivers more than 100 flavorful, easy recipes for athletes that will help you hit your ideal weight without compromising your performance.

These pancakes are a great make-ahead breakfast. Double the batch, and store pancakes in freezer bags to be reheated in the toaster. They are delicious on their own, but you can top them with syrup or additional sliced banana if you like.

Racing Weight Cookbook: Banana Pecan Pancakes recipe

Serves 2 in 15-20 minutes
Recipe profile: Vegetarian, Great for Recovery

1 cup oats
1 cup egg whites
½ cup 1% cottage cheese
1 banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
cooking spray (or ½ tsp. butter)
¼ cup (1 oz.) pecans, chopped

Combine oats, egg whites, cottage cheese, banana, and vanilla in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add baking powder and process for just a second or two to mix in.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray or butter. Pour in about one-quarter of the batter to make a 7-inch pancake, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped pecans.

Cook until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown, then flip and cook the other side for a few minutes. Repeat with remaining batter and pecans.

Makes 4 large pancakes.

Per serving: 404 calories, 14 g fat, 44 g total carbohydrate, 7 g dietary fiber, 29 g protein

DQS COUNT (per serving) FRUITS ½ WHOLE GRAINS 1 LEAN MEATS & FISH 1 NUTS & SEEDS 1

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for AthletesRacing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p strokeRWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.

Racing Weight Cookbook: Winner’s Circle Yogurt

Racing Weight Cookbook delivers more than 100 flavorful, easy recipes for athletes that will help you hit your ideal weight without compromising your performance.

No time to cook? That’s no excuse for skipping breakfast. A base of plain yogurt provides protein and calcium. Add whole-grain cereal, an important source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. Top it off with fruit for sweetness and flavor and nuts or seeds for minerals, healthy fat, and a good crunch.

Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes Winner's Circle YogurtWINNER’S CIRCLE YOGURT

Start with a bowl of yogurt and add your favorite things for a high-quality breakfast.

TIP: If you like to mix it all together but want the cereal to stay crunchy, stir the nuts, seeds, and fruit into your yogurt, then add the cereal on top.

PLAIN YOGURT: Try Greek yogurt for higher protein.
WHOLE-GRAIN CEREAL: Original or Multigrain Cheerios, Kashi GOLEAN, Fiber One, Total Whole Grain, or Wheaties
FRUIT: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, or peaches
NUTS: Almonds, walnuts, or pecans
SEEDS: Chia, ground flaxseed, or pumpkin seeds

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for AthletesRacing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p strokeRWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.

Racing Weight Cookbook: Garden Minestrone with Kale

Racing Weight Cookbook delivers more than 100 flavorful, easy recipes for athletes that will help you hit your ideal weight without compromising your performance. Chock-full of vegetables and beans, this soup is a hearty, warming meal, packed with nutrition.

Garden Minestrone with Kale is a Level 1 Racing Weight recipe, which means it will be easy to prepare, even for athletes who don’t cook.

Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes Garden Minestrone with KaleGARDEN MINESTRONE WITH KALE
Serves 2 in 50 minutes
Recipe profile: High Carb, Vegetarian

4 cups vegetable broth
1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 large carrot, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
½ sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups baby kale, loosely packed
1 handful fresh basil, shredded (optional)
salt and black pepper

1 Combine all ingredients except kale, salt, and pepper in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes.

2 Add kale and cook for 10 more minutes. Season with fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Per serving: 282 calories, 5 g fat, 55 g total carbohydrate, 17 g dietary fiber, 16 g protein

DQS COUNT (per serving) VEGETABLES 2½ (1 legumes)

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for AthletesRacing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p strokeRWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.

Racing Weight Cookbook: Flaxseed & Herb-Crusted Chicken

Racing Weight Cookbook delivers more than 100 flavorful, easy recipes for athletes that will help you hit your ideal weight without compromising your performance.

This is a Level 2 recipe, meaning it will take a little bit more time (30 minutes) and is intended for athletes who have some cooking experience in the kitchen. But the effort will pay off! The crisp flaxseed crust keeps the chicken wonderfully moist inside. You can use golden or brown flaxseed; the only difference is color.Racing Weight Cookbook: Flaxseed & Herb-Crusted Chicken

3 SERVINGS // 30 MINUTES
Recipe profile: High Protein

cooking spray
¼ cup ground golden flaxseed
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
½ teaspoon each dried dill, dried oregano, garlic powder, and salt
¹/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons egg substitute or 1 egg, beaten
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place wire rack on top of it. Mist rack lightly with cooking spray.

2 In a shallow, wide bowl combine flaxseed, onion flakes, dill, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place egg substitute or beaten egg in a separate bowl.

3 Dip one chicken breast into egg, allow excess to drip off, and press each side into flaxseed mixture to coat. Place on wire rack on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with each chicken breast.

4 Bake for 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of chicken reads 160 degrees F.

Per serving: 203 calories, 5 g fat, 6 g total carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 37 g protein

TIP: If you don’t have a wire rack, you can cook the chicken on a baking sheet alone.

DQS COUNT (per serving)
LEAN MEATS & FISH 1
NUTS & SEEDS 1

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for AthletesRacing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p strokeRWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.

Racing Weight Cookbook: Greena Colada Smoothie

Racing Weight Cookbook delivers more than 100 flavorful, easy recipes for athletes that will help you hit your ideal weight without compromising your performance.

Racing Weight Cookbook Greena Colada Smoothie Recipe

Racing Weight Cookbook: Greena Colada Smoothie – so green!

Try out this easy-to-make recipe for as a pre-workout fuel-up snack or a light post-workout recovery snack.

1 SERVING // 5 MINUTES
Recipe profile: High Carb, Vegetarian

1 14-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice (unsweetened)
¼ cup canned coconut milk
1 cup baby spinach, loosely packed
1 serving protein powder (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Makes one 16-ounce smoothie.

Per serving: 400 calories, 11 g fat, 66 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 2 g protein

WHY USE PROTEIN POWDER?

Protein powder can be a convenient way to meet your protein needs, whether you are making hot cereal for a preworkout breakfast, blending a recovery smoothie, or baking for postworkout snacks. We recommend buying a whey protein powder that is low in fat and sugar and is free of additional anabolic ingredients (e.g., creatine monohydrate) that are unnecessary for endurance athletes. Look for a basic whey protein powder with 20 or more grams of protein and fewer than 175 calories per serving (typically 30 g). If you have an allergy or intolerance to whey or dairy protein, soy protein is a generally tasty alternative. As for flavors, vanilla is the most versatile and complements all other tastes.

Feel free to omit protein powder from your smoothies. In baked goods, you can simply add the equivalent amount of flour.

DQS COUNT (per serving):
FRUITS 1
VEGETABLES 1

The Racing Weight Series™ is the proven weight-loss program for endurance athletes. Find Racing Weight, Racing Weight Cookbook, or Racing Weight Quick Start Guide in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:Racing Weight Cookbook Lean Light Recipes for AthletesRacing Weight 2nd Ed. RW2 96dpi 400x600p strokeRWQSG 72dpi_400x600_stroke Racing Weight Quick Start Guide

The Racing Weight Series™ is published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books about endurance sports.