Sports Nutrition Habit Checklist
Although awareness of nutritional values (kcals, protein, carbs, fats) is fundamental for progress, habits are key to a sustained change.
This is the reason why as part of the Box framework, we look at developing several habits that help form the basis of a good diet. As you begin to implement these habits, your healthy diet begins to take shape and results will follow.
1. Include more vegetables
You may see this as a recurring theme but a diet rich in a variety of vegetables has numerous benefits for health, body composition and performance. So, make consuming a variety of different coloured vegetables in your diet a priority.
2. Drink more water
Hydrate yourself. An incredibly simple way to boost performance, help control cravings, improve energy levels and mood. Aim to drink water immediately upon waking and until your urine becomes transparent. Or just make sure you always keep a water bottle with you.
3. Make hitting protein numbers a priority
The literature consistently shows us that a diet high in protein helps with favourable changes in body composition and building new muscle. If you prefer not to calculate this number, aim to consume a portion (20g for women, 40g for men) of protein with every meal.
4. Educate yourself to help make better food choices and substitutions
Investing some time into understanding the foods that you’re eating will enable you to make better food choices and help you identify areas where you need to improve. By understanding the nutritional values of food like the number of kcals, protein or fat they contain will give you a better grasp of how much you are currently eating, and also how much you should be eating. This gives you more flexibility with your diet moving forward.
The best way to do this is simply to track what you eat.
5. Start by adding foods in rather than only taking foods out
Increasing foods like sources of lean protein, fibrous fruit and veg will have just as much of an impact on performance and body composition as removing all typically ‘bad’ foods. It will also help with reducing the feeling of ‘dieting’, and increasing the feelings of fullness. This will help you stick to your new eating plan.
6. Strive for 7-8hrs of sleep
Sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise. Being deprived of sleep can impact body composition, hunger, hormone regulation, energy, risk of illness and injury and subsequently performance. If you can’t get 7-8 hours of sleep daily, consider power naps (aim for 15-20 minutes) when you can.
Why not get the book. Fuelling the Functional Athlete walk is a sports nutrition book that walks you through everything you need to know when it comes to sports nutrition.