From Overweight to Triathlete- Examples & 25 Tips

Overweight and thinking of doing a triathlon but not sure where to start?

Your journey will be a bit different from someone whose weight is around the typical triathlete. You will first have to lose some of that weight holding you down, then practice the three spots, and in a later stage merge them all into becoming a triathlete.

Here is an interesting article to help you out with some more tips on what to expect as a beginner triathlete : 50 must-know tips for every beginner triathlete

You will are not alone or the first to take on such a challenge. Kristine Thompson, who was 244 pounds who later on completed an ironman triathlete. Also, Steve Osani, who has been overweight his whole life, started his wellness journey and ended up being another ironman triathlete. Here is another nice example,

So how much should you wight to compete in triathlons? The average weight of a 1.82-meter-tall triathlete is around 80 kg. But remember that this an average figure. You will have to take into consideration your height to come up with the figure that fits you. Competitive male triathletes are about 0.38 to 0.41kgs per cm. and women are n the range of 0.32 to 0.35. 

For more on this, check out our post What Is The Ideal Weight for A Triathlete? BMI Impact!

But even then, it does not mean you cannot participate and finish triathlons if you did not exactly hit that figure. As long as you can swim, bike, and run, then you can finish a triathlon.  

On a side note, check our post on Top 30 Newbie Triathlon Mistakes You Are Probably Doing!

Here are some general tips for guidance,

Where to start

  • Sign up

Signing up for a triathlon get you committed. Signing up will by default set your deadline and target.

Give your self some time to figure it out. Pick a race 3 to 6 months from date.

  • Join a Tri club

Learning from other’s experiences is certainly valuable and may give you access to some motivation that you need.

  • Reach out to a nutritionist or/and a dietitian.

To optimize your diet, you visit a nutritionist or a dietitian. They might ask you for a blood test to know what your body requires and then provide you with a proper diet plan that includes all the nutrition needed. This will help you get a proper energy balance in your body.

Diet and nutritional habits

  • Consider Plant-based eating

The plant-based diet has been very successful for overweight people struggling to lose weight. You might have heard of the world’s fittest vegan, Rich Roll. Rich Roll was a classic lazy person and a junk food addict. Amidst his depression, he realized that his chosen lifestyle is wrong and needs to change. The change wouldn’t be just for himself but for his family. Hence, at the age of 40, he changed his path to a plant-based lifestyle. He also has written a book by the name “Finding Ultra,” in which he tells about his journey. For more information, you can listen to his podcasts on

Plants consist of ample nutrition like fiber, iron, protein, and magnesium. It would help if you started including green smoothies in your everyday diet. These smoothies can consist of tons of kale, spinach, peas, and berries. You can have all kinds of food and vegetables.

The more plant food you are building on your plate and the more you minimize the processed food that makes you sick, and the better off you will be.

  • Count Calories

You may have heard about this term before but not sure what it is. The calorie count is counting down your daily calories. While being on a weight loss journey, your calorie intake should be 500 less than the original input. It would help if you were a calorie deficit by eating less than the amount you are burning. You can track your calories through applications like MyFitnessPal, FatSecret, and Cronometer. These applications allow you to input your calorie goal. They allow you to add the meals you add while informing you how many calories you took and how many remain, helping you divide your food throughout your day.

  • Fruits are your candy

Prioritize fruits in your life. Fruits are the best snacks that you can have, but while being on a diet, always look for those foods which are low in calories. Some good fruit to have on your list are grapefruit, apples, berries, stone fruit, passion fruit, Rhubarb, Kiwifruit, melons and, oranges.

Grapefruit and apples are known for weight-maintained fruits. Also, a recent review has told that grapefruit intake can reduce body fat.

Apples are known to reduce hunger and control appetite. A cup of berries contains only 42 calories while providing us with 18% vitamin K. And a bonus point; they taste like candies.  Stone fruits are packed with nutrients like vitamin K and A. Hence, excellent for the ones losing weight. All the fruits mentioned above will only encourage weight loss; therefore, adding these to your daily diet will boost your journey.

  • Keep track of when and why you are eating.

Initially, there are a few things which you need to monitor about yourself. Start practicing mindful eating, eat slowly and enjoy your meal. Focus on how each bit tastes. Keeping track is a great way to reduce overeating, and you should feel fuller quicker. Try connecting why you are eating and when you are eating without thinking about how many calories you are consuming. For most people, weight loss is more linked to psychology than calorie intake. Stress or emotional eating and improper timings for nutrients often make weight loss difficult. These habits also lead to a drop in blood sugar and, later, a gradual downfall in metabolism. Hence, by changing such patterns, you will experience long-term success without stressing the calorie count.

  • Avoid junk food.

Throw all the junk in your kitchen or your room. Eat up all the chocolate bars hidden in your bedside table all at once and vanish them all so that you don’t see them again.

  • Lean protein

Lean protein is an excellent source of energy while being on a diet. Here are some example of leanf protein containing food:

  1. Beans and legumes

Beans and legumes are naturally free from cholesterol and rich in protein. They are known to reduce two types of diabetes, help control weight, and lower blood pressure.

2. Plain yogurt

Did you know that plain yogurt is a good source of lean protein? We have taken yogurt very lightly; however, it provides us with high amounts of protein needed in a healthy diet.

3. Tofu

Tofu is from the soybean family. It is an excellent food for those on a vegetarian diet and is cholesterol-free

4. Eggs

Eggs are excellent choices for breakfast. They are low calorie and high in protein.

5. Quinoa

Quinoa is a rice substitute. Like all others, it is also low in calories and high in protein. It is fantastic for weight loss and to reduce the risk of diabetes.

6. Edamame

Edamame is a classic Japanese snack. It is known to be a young soybean. Studies have shown that Edamame protects against breast cancer.

  • Restrict sugar intake

If you monitor your food intake for a week, you might conclude that your sugar intake is excessive. Canned fruit, fruit juice, granola bars, and sweetened cereal all are full of sugar. Such foods are bad during your phase of weight loss but may come handy in at a later stage. Triathletes burn a lot of energy during races and training sessions and will need quick refile to avoid energy deficiency. Energy gels are commonly used for this purpose. Check out How much to spend on triathlon energy gel?

  • Carbohydrates

You might have heard that while being on a diet, you will have to avoid carbs. This statement is wrong. Carbs are the primary source of energy that your body receives. Completely restricting carbs from your diet will make you dull, lazy, and feel fatigued all day long. Along with this, carbs work with proteins in our body to construct muscle. The proper technique for a healthy diet is portion control. Take small portions of each food but do have it. Once you start with training, you will need more carbohydrates for energy.

  • Don’t forget refueling.

Keep refueling your body with small healthy snacks throughout the day. Always have food an hour before the workout, and don’t forget to refuel yourself after the workout. You may want to try dry fruit

  • Hydration

Hydration. Hydration. Hydration. It is vital to keep yourself hydrated throughout your day. Target 3.7 letters intake for men and 2.7 liters for women. Also, be careful of hyperhydration during workouts

  • Energy balance

Keep a balance between your energy intake than energy spend. If your energy expenditure is more significant than your energy intake, you will feel dizzy. Hence, track your food. Don’t miss any of your meals.

Mental Preparation

  • Structure a training plan

There is no shortage of training plans online, but these will not address your specific need. You will either have to do the research yourseld or at least hire an online coach to help you out strucutre it .

You may want to check out this post for some guidance >> How Much Does a Triathlon Coach Cost?

  • Don’t weigh yourself daily.

Once you start training, you will gradually build muscle mass. You will see a slight increase in your weight because of the muscle mass you have gained on your body. Hence, daily weighing yourself can freak you out.

  • Avoid Inappropriate weight loss

Avoid nutrition deficiency and dehydration just so you can feel lighter. Such wight loss is not sustainable.

  • Make small intentions

Know that you are new to this game. You might have been a racer, a swimmer, or you might have done any sorts of sports in some part of your life. But right now, know that you are starting all over again. Hence, give your body some time; start with small intentions. Long walks, short jogs, easy rides, and swims.

However, do set your goals, do not sit around, and wait for a miracle to happen.

  • Don’t stress out

Stressing out wont do you any good. Just have a plan and believe that this plan will enable you to hit your goal as long as your patient and persistent in following it

  • Exercise

Gradually build it up. You do not have to rush it but you have to do it. Rather than focusing on how many miles you covered, time yourslef on how long do you spend working out. The more time you spend the better.

  • Focus on the technique

Learn how to swim, bike, and run. Correct your technique and posture for all three disciplines is crutial to avoid injurys

If you are constantly getting injured, then this is a warning sign that you are going wrong. Have an expert look at your techniques.

Here is an article to help you out >> 50 must-know tips for every beginner triathlete

  • Keep it exciting

Keep it interesting. One of triathlon’s perks is that you get to do a variety of workouts. Moreover, you can always try a different ambiance. Somedays go out for running on a trail whereas somedays you can hit the gym with your friends. You can also organize sessions with your family. Through this, you build up a healthy environment around you, and you enjoy the progress.


  • Get yourself a bike and start riding

You don’t need an expensive new bike to start with; if you already own a bike, then you are good to go. spend some time on the saddle to get yourself used to it.

  • Sleep your recovery tool.

Now is the time where you leave all the bad habits and move to a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is not only about healthy eating, but it also focuses on your daily lifestyle. Take proper 7 to 8 hours of sleep. However, this does not mean you can sleep anytime and wake at any time of the day. Sleep taken during the night hours is beneficial for your body. Your body requires rest; lack of sleep discourages weight loss; if not the opposite.

  • Find an expert to review your strokes and forms.

Ask an expert to review your stroke and forms.


An extreme triathlete who have competed in dozens of triathlons including IronMans and Extreme triathlons.

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