Research has suggested many variations on consuming a healthy diet and here are some of those top tips to keep you on the right path! First of all, diet accounts for over 80% of your daily sport/exercise performance and energy levels. This demonstrates the massive impact your diet has on your lifestyle! The most common approach that people will take due to working commitments and routines is to have 3 meals a day and potentially an evening snack. Body builders tend to consume at least 200 calories every 2-3 hours; however, this inhibits that feeling of ‘fullness’ and can potentially encourage you to eat more. Here are some tops tips to keep you feeling energised and healthy!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Our liver glycogen stores (stored carbohydrates) will deplete overnight in our sleep therefore it’s essential to replenish these stores ready for your busy day ahead! Those that skip breakfast have been shown to feel so ravenous and energy-less by lunch time that they tend to over consume. So start the morning off well and consume your carbohydrates! Depending on your height, weight, age and gender you should aim to consume between 300 and 600 calories for breakfast. Porridge accompanied by fruit and a cup of coffee is a very well supported breakfast to boost those energy levels! A morning dose of caffeine helps you to feel engaged and alert.
Lunch is the meal that most people struggle to consume due to having to work through their breaks at work. If you struggle to find the time to have lunch then you could always consider having a protein shake tucked away just in case. All you have to do is combine the protein powder with some water, give it a shake and you’re good to go! If you skip lunch then your body will begin to break down your muscle tissue for energy as protein will only stay in your system for up to 4 hours.
On the other hand, if you have time to consume a nutritional lunch then aim to get at least one of your five a day in alongside protein and carbohydrates. Again, depending on your height and weight etc, you should aim to consume around 500 calories for lunch.
Lunch is very commonly a grab and go meal. Try to avoid those processed ready-made lunches at the local supermarket as they are high in fat to increase their shelf-life. Making something home-made can be much healthier and much lower in fat. If you have a very active job you want to consume plenty of carbs to keep your energy levels up whereas if you’re quite inactive then try to focus on getting a protein-rich lunch. Pasta, rice, fruit, nuts, beans, eggs, fish and salad are all healthy lunch options!
Dinner is the perfect opportunity to refuel after your busy day! Be sure to complete your 5 a day and consume plenty of carbohydrates and protein to maximise recovery. Within your 5 a day you should try to consume as many different coloured vegetables as possible to gain all of the essential vitamins and minerals. This is especially important for those who are vegan/vegetarian.
Dinner should also be your largest portion of the day and you should aim to consume at least 600 calories. As much as you may be tempted to pile on lots of sauce onto your salad and vegetables, try to minimise these sauces. For example mayonnaise is very high in fat and calories. Sauces are predominantly made from fats and so to minimise the intake of these is critical to aid weight less and weight balance.
Avoid eating past 8 o’clock. “For a moment on your lips and forever on your hips” is the phrase used for eating past 8 o’clock. Eating past this time doesn’t allow your body enough time to digest and use the energy and so it just gets stored away waiting to be used.
After a workout have a nice protein snack to recover! Enjoy a nice whey protein shake or a protein bar.