Everybody has different eating habits, and our busy lifestyles make it easy for us to gravitate back to what is familiar without challenging if those food choices align with training requirements and are what our bodies need.
As the new year begins it’s time to set intentions and execute performance plans and targets. It’s important to consider the role nutrition plays in helping these happen – use the below as a ‘check-up’ for 2022.
1. Every time you eat something, you have an opportunity to improve your health & take one step towards your performance goals
There is no denying there are a lot of foods out there to choose from! How often do you find yourself making food choices because; ‘it was free’, ‘I wanted something exciting to eat’, ‘it’s the easiest option’, or ‘I don’t want to offend someone’.
2. If you are being guided by what other successful athletes are eating, this can also mislead food choices because it’s not right for YOUR needs and YOUR training
If you don’t have a performance-focused purpose to consider before you put food in your mouth, then your food choices are not aligned with your goals; you are missing a key performance opportunity.
3. The focus of food choices for athletes should be your training and performance goals
This might mean having a different meal plan for each day of the week to match your training schedule; increasing your intake before a heavy or high-intensity session, and reducing your portions on rest days. Pack food to take with you to avoid fast food on the run. Pause before you eat to ask yourself, ‘will this help me reach my goal?
4. Eating well can be hard sometimes and it takes commitment
If your goal is important enough, you should take ownership of your diet and use your food intake as a performance advantage.
5. It’s possible you don’t have all the answers for what this looks like for you
If you need more education on making food choices, speak to a dietitian who can help you problem solve the challenges you face when making food choices.