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Featured Nutrition Tip: Healthy Eating Habits

In order to truly achieve your health and fitness goals, it is imperative that you develop healthy eating habits. The following info serves as a "nutritional guide" for putting you on the right path. This guide is very basic in nature. For an in depth look at your eating habits you should contact a Registered Dietician (RD). It is important to understand that there are no "bad" foods - any food can be incorporated into your diet in moderation. You should try and reduce your intake of refined sugars (cookies, etc.) and saturated fat (butter, etc.) and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Optimum athletic performance and enhance aesthetics require sound nutritional habits. We believe that you can get your daily requirements of nutrients through whole food and we rarely advocate the use of supplements (the only exception to that is the addition of a "weight gain" shake for clients who have trouble consuming adequate calories for muscle gain). We most certainly steer clear of "performance" enhancing supplements; Creatine, ephedrine, etc. because of the possible side effects.

It is very important not to overlook the role nutrition plays in acquiring maximum physical development. What you eat on a daily basis helps determine your body fat levels as well as how much energy you have for intense, rigorous exercise. Whether you are trying to gain muscle, reduce body fat, or maintain your current stature - it is very important you follow these basic dietary recommendations:

  • A balanced diet consists of approximately 60-65% carbohydrates,
    15-20% fat and 10-15% protein.

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.).

  • LIMIT your intake of fat, sugar, and sodium.

  • Drink plenty of WATER!

  • Eat 5-7 "smaller" meals throughout the day (size of meal depends on actual goal: weight loss vs. weight gain).

Fat Loss the Healthy Way

In order to reduce body fat, you MUST EXPEND MORE CALORIES THAN YOU CONSUME on a daily basis. This means you have to eat less and exercise more.

To determine how many calories a day you should consume, multiply your current bodyweight by 15. This will give you a rough estimate of your daily caloric needs. For example, a 200 lb. athlete trying to reduce body fat should only consume around 3000 calories a day (200 X 15 = 3000). Depending on your individual metabolism as well as your daily energy expenditure through physical activity - this number may have to be slightly adjusted either higher or lower. Also note, do not let your caloric intake per day drop below 1200-1500 - you body will go into a "starvation mode" which results in several physical complications.

Sample Menu #1:

Breakfast: Oatmeal and fresh fruit.
Snack: Yogurt and a granola bar.
Lunch: 1 Deli sandwiches (Turkey), and an apple.
Snack: 1 Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and Juice.
Dinner: Grilled chicken and steamed vegetables.
Snack: Pretzels.

Sample Menu #2:

Breakfast: Cheerios, banana, and rice milk.
Snack: Graham crackers and Juice.
Lunch: 1 slice of cheese pizza, salad, and fruit juice.
Snack: 1 English muffin w/jelly.
Dinner: Pasta w/marinara sauce, a vegetable, and Juice.
Snack: Frozen yogurt.

Weight Gain the Healthy Way

In order to gain weight, you MUST CONSUME MORE CALORIES THAN YOU EXPEND on a daily basis. This means you have to eat, eat, and eat.

To determine how many calories a day you should consume, multiply your current bodyweight by 25. This will give you a rough estimate of your daily caloric needs. For example, a 200 lb. athlete trying to gain muscular body weight requires around 5000 calories a day (200 X 25 = 5000). Depending on your individual metabolism as well as your daily energy expenditure through physical activity - this number may have to be slightly adjusted either higher or lower.

Sample Menu #1:

Breakfast: Orange juice, 5 pancakes w/syrup, and fresh fruit.
Snack: Yogurt, granola bar, and fruit juice.
Lunch: 2 Deli sandwiches, apple, juice, and 4 oatmeal cookies.
Snack: 2 Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and Juice.
Dinner: Steak, potatoes, steamed vegetables, and a roll.
Snack: 2 English muffins w/jelly.

Sample Menu #2:

Breakfast: Raisin Bran, rice milk, and 4 scrambled eggs.
Snack: Peanut butter on graham crackers, and Juice.
Lunch: 3 slices of cheese pizza, salad, and fruit juice.
Snack: Trail mix: peanuts, raisins, and dried fruit.
Dinner: Pasta w/meat sauce, garlic bread, a vegetable, and Juice.
Snack: Milk shake and peanut butter cookies.

Fluid Goals for Athletes

It is extremely important to be well hydrated, especially during the summer heat. Athletic performance can decrease dramatically when the body is low on water. You should aim to drink on a set schedule, don't wait until you are thirsty. Put water in your mouth, not on your head!

  1. Drink 16 oz. of fluid 2 hours before competition.

  2. Drink 8 oz. 15 minutes prior to competition.

  3. Drink during the event (at least 8 oz. every 20 minutes)

  4. Drink 24 oz. per pound of bodyweight lost.

Nutritional Tips for Athletes

The goals for nutritional care for athletes are very simple:

  • Ensure you are properly hydrated at all times (especially during times of active training and competition). Don't wait until you are thirsty to start drinking water!

  • Consume adequate calories to meet growth and development needs as well as the extra needs of intense training.

  • Try and get most of your nutrients from "real" food and don't look for supplements as a cure all.

  • Adopt healthy eating habits that will last you a lifetime. Don't bother with a "quick fix" or a temporary diet. If you are on a diet temporarily, then the results will only be temporary at best as well!

  • Design a meal pattern that fits your daily cycle and plan to eat several times per day using regularly spaced meals and snacks to meet your caloric and nutrient needs.

  • Eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates to provide the energy source to fuel your intense training and competition. Try and consume a variety of food types (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.) as your best insurance for getting the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to maintain health.

Pre-Game Rules:

  1. Eat lightly before competition.

  2. Eat complex carbs and limit protein and fat intake (they are much slower to digest). However, Protein Can be consumed in a liquid form making for easier digestion before a race.

  3. Avoid "bulky" foods that may weigh you down.

  4. Eat slowly and chew well to avoid indigestion.

  5. Drink sufficient amounts of water (see above for fluid requirements).

  6. Avoid drastic changes to your normal diet routine immediately prior to competition.

  7. limit your intake of milk and dairy products!!

Post-Game Rules:

  1. Consume carbohydrate rich foods and beverages as soon as possible after competition. They will replenish glycogen stores quickly.

  2. Replace fluids that have been lost (see above for fluid requirements).

  3. Replace any potassium or sodium that has been lost during competition or training. Fruits, vegetables, and salty foods are excellent for this.

  4. Return to your normal diet as soon as possible following the post game meal