Sarah Lonergan – Weight management & fuelling for rowers.

Working with Sarah was my first insight into the world of rowing, and over our time together, we managed to decrease 5kg in weight, whilst NOT inhibiting performance, or quality of life…

I started working with Evan in January this year, and it’s safe to say it has been one of the best decisions I have made. As a rower/cox I wanted to be sure I was eating the right food to (a) fuel my training sessions, while (b) trying to lose weight coming into the summer racing season. Before speaking with Evan, I was pretty much on a road to nowhere I terms of my nutrition.

I was exhausted all the time had put on a notable couple of kilograms during the transition from college to an office based job. I was under fuelling massively by making silly mistakes like skipping breakfast when rushing to work, and being extremely strict on myself to “eat clean” at lunch time leaving me feeling hungry and exhausted in work. This meant I was typically hungry/tired/under-fuelled for training after work, so I would give up easily, stop, not perform well … Then when I got home in the evenings, sitting down and watching an episode of whatever on Netflix came hand in hand with binging whatever chocolate / cookies / jellies I could. The sugar intake would then leave me lying awake way too late to get enough sleep to recover for the following day of work and training, and feeling super guilty for eating “bad” food. Kind of a vicious circle, but I was pretty much oblivious before sitting down and talking it through with Evan. When we discussed my daily routine / training programme and Evan came back with my plan, I was fairly shocked to see the amount of food I needed in a day!

My calorie intake increased to include a good breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks for mid morning and pre training etc .. but even though I was eating I started losing weight incrementally and consistently while always feeling full and satiated. Evan also gave excellent advice on how to manage those sugar cravings at night, by using healthy substitutes that satisfied the cravings while also having beneficial nutritional value… Like swapping crisps for a packet of popcorn, or freezing a high protein yoghurt and having this instead of ice cream for example. So I felt like I was still having a treat but ultimately stopped feeling bad/guilty afterwards. My attitude around food changed a lot and this was definitely for the better. Time management was also a big factor for me, I started batch cooking / meal prepping which helped an awful lot and stopped me reaching for unhealthy quick fixes when I got home wrecked in evenings. Rather than giving a strict plan of what to eat and when, Evan’s plan was guideline of what is ideal and had great flexibility so even though I was prepping my meals in advance – it wasn’t boring, and I wasn’t eating the same thing every day!! I lost just under 5 kg from when I started the plan to my weigh in at the rowing championships in July.

The main thing I can take away from working with Evan is how much I actually learned from him, and the good habits I’ve now developed as a result. My sleep has improved massively, I have so much more energy and I feel an awful lot healthier than I did back in January, not to mention the noticeable weight loss! He is always only a message away if you have any questions or need any extra advice – and the amount of effort he puts in to researching, educating himself and giving you the most well informed, evidence based and personally tailored advice is second to none!! I honestly couldn’t recommend him more.