Let’s face it, dieting and exercising can sometimes be a difficult task. Whether you are a first-time participant at the high school sport level, an active adult with fitness goals, or a professional athlete, proper nutrition is essential to overall good health and optimal athletic performance. Participants of all ages and at all levels of competition are affected by good nutrition.
Today’s fitness participants can sometimes become complacent. We plan our training sessions with intricate detail from start to finish, however our eating habits are often unbalanced. Today’s fitness participants need help planning a diet that will not only promote good performance but also supports lifetime health and disease prevention. Here are some important diet ideas that we think will help you reach your goals.
Eat More—The more you eat the better. “What”? Yes, you should eat about 6 meals a day. That is three small meals and three snacks throughout the day. This brings me to the next idea…
Snack on Fruits and Vegetables—After those slices of toast in the morning, grab a banana on your way out the door. Try to eat 4 fruits and 6 servings of vegetables throughout the day. This is easy if you consider keeping baby carrots, celery, spinach, apples, oranges, and grapes (I love grapes), in the office fridge.
Chug, Chug, Chug—Water, not what you chugged in college. Try and drink about 8 glasses of water per day and a bit more if you are going to have a grueling boot camp session. Don’t mistake thirst for hunger. Sometimes a nice glass of agua will keep you from grabbing that snack.
How many did you have?—Huh! Did you eat one serving of cookies or ate until the box was empty? How about taking one serving out of the box and putting the rest back in the pantry. Portion size control is important in any foods you eat. Most foods are okay when eaten in moderation.
1, 2, 3, “1”—The more you exercise the better. Active recovery is better than inactive recovery. Even if you go for a 10 minute walk on your day off, it is better than doing nothing. Get into the habit of exercising everyday.
Reward Yourself—Reward your tag team member too. Go shopping or see a movie to reward yourself for short term goals. “Girl you lost two pounds, let’s buy some shoes to fit your smaller feet.”
Meal by Meal—If you have a slip up in your diet at breakfast, don’t let it become another slip up at lunch. Every meal provides the opportunity to start the perfect diet. So what you had a cookie at lunch, have extra veggies at dinner and do a couple couch squats while watching television before bed.