Brad Lester Full Performance Nutrition Plan
Your Responsibility As An Athlete
Sports Performance Nutrition/Lifestyle can be defined as the act of doing everything right off the field to help increase your performance on the field. There are 168 hours in a week. As an Red Wolve Athlete you will be training a maximum of 8 hours a week. That leaves 160 hours where you are recovering and not training. Wouldn’t it make sense to do everything you can off the field to help maximize your training? It does not matter how hard you train or practice; it does not matter how often you run or how many hours you spend in the weight room; if you are not living correctly you will never reach your maximum potential. You must be a 24 hour athlete!
Nutrition/Lifestyle is over half your battle as an athlete. Many times as a coach an athlete will ask “What drill can I do to get faster”. It’s not as simple as one drill though. Getting faster and stronger comes from a multitude of things. Soft Tissue Work, Mobility work, Plyometric work, Strength work, Nutrition, and Recovery strategies, etc. It’s not one specific drill it’s the sum of the whole program. By an athlete eating right that’s going to help improve their body composition. By improving their body composition and dropping body fat they will increase their movement efficiency. So you see, everything we do is speed development.
If you are willing to do everything in your power to reach your goals on the field and in the weight room, it only makes sense to put forth the same effort towards improving your nutritional and lifestyle habits. Without living right, all your hard work will be for nothing more than minimal gains in reaching optimal goals for size, strength, speed, agility and health.
It is easy to take the easy way out. That’s why most do it. As an Red Wolve Athlete you must Take The Road Less Traveled! It is easy to skip breakfast so that you can sleep in, to eat fast food for lunch or eat junk food before bed; however common sense should tell you that you
are only cheating yourself and your teammates when looking for short cuts. Remember The Road Less Traveled Is The One Most Feared, But The One Successful Choose To Take.
Remember when reading this manual: There is no such thing as a magic powder, pill or serum. The use of supplements is for just that: “Supplementing” the diet. The use of supplements is useless unless you are first eating the proper foods and getting the proper calories in the body on a daily basis. There are no replacements for good daily nutritional/lifestyle habits.
Diets vs. Lifestyles: What Really Works in the Long Run?
A performance nutrition program takes time to adapt to. Just as coaches cannot ask athletes to execute the entire playbook after one installation meeting, adapting to and executing a performance nutrition program cannot be mastered after one or two days. Adjusting to a nutritionally sound program built around individual food preferences and lifestyle takes time. Athletes are not expected to give up favorite foods, commit to radical dietary changes and launch themselves into a full lifestyle change in one day. We must understand that the information presented in this manual is solely to help understand the following statement:
Goals of a Performance Nutrition Program
A properly designed performance nutrition program allows us to PROTECT our body and PRODUCE results while enjoying life with teammates, friends and family. The three main goals of this new lifestyle are the following:
Goal #1: Improve Body Composition (Look Good)
Body composition refers to the percentage of lean mass (muscle, bone, water,
organs) versus the percentage of fat mass (adipose tissue) we hold on our frame. Decreasing fat mass and increasing lean mass improves our appearance and provides a visual and physical representation of progress and success.
Goal #2: Improve Health (Feel Good)
By improving our body composition through better food choices, our overall healthy will also improve. Stabilized levels of hormones, blood pressure, cholesterol and various other cardiovascular issues many people suffer from all can be improved by simply improving body composition. Less issues with overall health translates to a decreased risk of suffering from sickness or sustaining an injury during training or a game.
Goal #3: Improve Performance (Play Good)
The most important goal of a performance nutrition program is the improvement
in performance. Better body composition and improved health enhances movement efficiency, improves breathing mechanics, stabilizes energy levels, and improves power output, which ultimately helps improve performance.
Optimal performance on the field is connected to both improvement in body composition and overall health. Developing a more favorable body type for each sport and position
by improving day to day food choices will bring athletic performance to the next level
An easy way of seeing change, slowly but surely, is to make what we call P.D.C.’s- Progressive Dietary Changes. In order to reach the end result of our goal, we must make small and progressive changes, one at a time. The most important factor when making P.D.C.’s is to target the most manageable, easiest habits to change first. Here are a few ideas:
If we’re trying to lose body-fat:
Instead of removing all fast-food from our diet, let’s make a healthier choice when we go
through the drive-through.
Instead of removing all junk food snacks and drinks from our diet, let’s cut out a few
items and move them until after we train or practice. If we are trying to gain/retain muscle:
Instead of buying muscle-building supplements, let’s try eating 5-6 meals balanced meals per day spread evenly throughout the day.
Instead of adding fast-food and empty calories to our diet, let’s try eating breakfast on a daily basis
The trick is to pick one thing to change at a time. Pick one habit that can lead up to making a major difference in our body composition, dietary habits and performance and focus on that habit exclusively for two weeks. Re-evaluate the progress made after two weeks and either improve that habit or add another one. We must learn to adapt to and master one specific behavior or action at a time. Soon enough, our performance nutrition plan will be complete and the habits we thought were difficult to comply and be consistent with will become a part of our new lifestyle without any issues or concerns.
The Seven Highly Successful Habits of
When most athletes try to lose or gain weight, they typically only think about the number on the scale. Unfortunately, the number on the scale doesn’t tell the whole picture. A variety of factors such as hydration status, salt intake or amount of sleep will control what athletes see looking down at the scale every week. Instead of worrying about how much we weigh, the quality of the weight we gain or lose and how we go about achieving that goal should be the primary concern. It’s easy to sit in a sauna or steam room to shed a few pounds or stuff our body
with fast food to make weight, but why do that every week? Why not change a few things in our eating lifestyle to make sure we don’t have to resort to such extremes? Why sacrifice the lean body mass (muscle) we worked so hard to build during training just to lose a few pounds?
Why sacrifice the speed, strength, power and conditioning we’ve improved during the year just to weigh a few more pounds? It doesn’t make sense. If we can learn to improve WHAT we eat and WHEN we eat it, the quality of our results will be enhanced. If we focus on these two qualities, food selection and timing, we will be in complete control of our body’s appearance and performance, which will allow us to succeed not only for one game or one season, but an entire career.
Following the SEVEN HEALTHY HABITS for the foundation of our nutritional program in will maximize our performance on and off the field. Whether we are trying to gain muscle, lose fat, maintain or do both, modifying these following habits will allow us to see and feel the results we deserve to be a championship player.
HABIT #1: EAT EVERY 2-3 HOURS
EAT SMALL, BALANCED MEALS EVERY 2-3 HOURS
This is the most effective method of eating to maximize muscle gain and enhance fat loss. Instead of storing excessive amounts of food where it will be converted into fat, the body is uses a steady supply of nutrients over time. With this method, our blood sugar and mood levels become more stable and we never feel hungry between each meal. Not to mention, we have a consistent level of energy to perform, since all of our meals are balanced and timed appropriately for training, practices or games. We will never have to worry about whether or not we have enough fuel left in the tank when we need it most. To help understand this, relate eating every 2-3 meals per day to attempting to light a campfire. If we load up the fire pit with too much wood (food), it won’t catch fire (burn for energy). The end result is a cold area and a fire pit full of useless wood (fat). On the other hand, if we take our time and allow the fire to catch with kindling, we are able to keep the fire going longer (burn for fuel for energy) by throwing on a log or two (a small meal) every few hours. This keeps the coals hot and ready to burn fuel when the time is right. The end result is now a warm area and a fireplace that didn’t accumulate any excessive junk (did not gain any fat weight).
HABIT #2: EAT PROTEIIN WIITH
To prevent fatigue and injuries, it’s important to supply the body with the right fuel at the right times. Protein is no exception and should be a cornerstone in our performance nutrition diet.
take into consideration the general public or individuals who do not train and compete in a competitive sport for a living. Thus, the amount of damage done to their body is extremely less, lowering their daily intake of protein tremendously. For athletes, supply must meet the demand in order to stay on top of their game.
How Big is a Serving of Protein?
Servings sizes ranges anywhere from 40-60 grams each. This will be dependent on how many total grams and meals we should eat per day. One serving of protein is very similar to about two decks of cards or hand palms. If a NSF approved protein powder is being used, a serving size can be anywhere between 2-3 scoops (depending on the size).
What Types of Protein Should We Be Eating?
Lean, complete sources of protein are best. Lean sources are those that are low in fat (93% lean or <7% fat). Complete sources are those that include all the essential amino acids needed for proper growth and repair, which are typically plant or animal products.
√ √ √ √
√ √ √ √
√ √ √
95% Lean Ground Beef
95% Lean Ground Turkey
95% Lean Ham Skinless Chicken Fat-Free Ice Milk Fat-Free Cottage
Skim Milk Skinless White
Light Tuna in Water Whole Grains Fat-Free Yogurt Low-Fat Frozen
Fat-Free Pudding Baked Fish
√ 1% Milk
√ 2% Fat Cottage
√ 85% Lean Ground
√ 85% Lean Ground
√ 85% Lean Ham
√ 85% Lean Encased
√ Low-Fat Yogurt √ Regular Yogurt √ Baked Chicken
Strips / Nuggets
√ Frozen Ice Milk
√ Low-Fat Pudding √ Dark Meat Turkey,
√ Low-Fat Ice Cream
√ 2% Milk
√ 75% Lean Ground
√ 75% Lean Ground
√ Low-Fat Cheese
√ Frozen Yogurt
√ Lean Lamb
√ Lean Beef, Trimmed √ Lean Brisket
√ Turkey Sausage
√ Dark-Meat Chicken
√ Dark Meat Tuna In
√ Regular Pudding √ Lean Pork Chops √ Chicken with Skin √ Fried Chicken
√ Ham on Bone
√ Cheddar Cheese √ Whole Milk
√ Nuts and Seeds √ Peanut Butter
√ Ricotta Cheese √ Beef / Pork Ribs √ Fried Fish
√ Ice Cream
√ Whole Eggs
√ Hot Dogs
√ Buffalo Wings
√ Vienna Sausages √ Most Fast Food
Just be sure to eat one serving of protein every time we eat to ensure we are getting enough protein to improve our muscle mass, recovery and reduce our body-fat!
HABIT #3: EAT A FRUIT/ VEGGIE
WITH EVERY MEAL
Here’s an easy analogy to help us understand why fruits and vegetables are so
important. Every time we ingest some sort of carbohydrate (bread, pasta, bagel, etc.) or protein (steak, chicken breast, etc.) we alter the balance of our body’s blood concentration, or make it more acidic. There is nothing comfortable about an acidic environment. Our body has a tough time building muscle or losing fat in this type of environment. Compare it to sitting in an ice bath after practice or workouts to aid in recovery and restoration. We want to get in and out as fast
as we can because we can’t stand being in the ice-cold water there any longer as we have to. It’s painful, unpleasant and very uncomfortable. This is how our body feels when we don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. Lack of fruits and vegetables equals loss of muscle mass and bone strength, both something very critical for success.
But, every time we ingest some type of fruit OR vegetable, we bring balance back to our body’s
circulatory system and allow our blood to operate in a more basic state. Now, picture sitting in a hot tub after a long day at work, trying to relax. Essentially, we feel more comfortable and can most likely sit in a hot tub longer than an ice bath. By adding more fruits and vegetables to our dietary intake, we are bringing an alkaline (basic) load to our body so we can burn fat and build muscle in a more effective environment.
How Many Fruits/Vegetables per Day?
Fruits and vegetables should be a part of every meal we eat throughout the day. If you are eating every 2-3 hours, this could be between 4-7 opportunities to eat fruits or vegetables. A serving size is the following:
● 1 medium piece of fruit (apple, banana, orange, etc.)
● 1⁄2 cup raw or cooked vegetables/fruit or size of a tennis ball
● 1 cup raw, leafy vegetables (lettuce, spinach, etc.) or size of a softball
The more fruits and vegetables we can eat, the better. It’s quite easy to get 2-3 servings of vegetables in a typical salad for lunch or grilled or roasted vegetables for dinner. Between workout shakes and eating every 2-3 hours, we may find ourselves eating up to 10-15 servings of fruits or vegetables per day. This will ensure our body is ready to burn fat, build muscle and recover faster.
What Types of Fruits and Vegetables Should We Be Eating?
It’s important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, as each type and color provide different types of nutrients that improve our health and performance. Try to “EAT A RAINBOW” of fruits and vegetables.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES-EAT WITH EVERY MEAL
HABIT #4: TIME UP OUR
Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source for the body as they digest and absorb quickly. They can provide immediate energy during activity or provide slow, long lasting energy throughout a day. Unfortunately, not all carbohydrates are the same and each different type has a different effect on our body composition and performance. By managing WHAT types of carbohydrates and WHEN we eat them, we will be able to improve all aspects of our health and performance. Many people attribute health problems to high fat meals when most of them originate from excessive amounts of bad carbohydrates and lack of exercise. By planning our meals with either higher or lower levels of carbohydrates around physical exercise, we can ensure we gain more muscle than fat (if trying to gain) and lose more fat than muscle (when trying to lose).
1) Fiber rich (fruits and vegetables)
These carbohydrates should be the main source of fuel for our body during the day because they are naturally unprocessed and unrefined. This allows better absorption and utilization of the nutrients inside the foods due to their high level of nutrient density (small serving packed with nutrients). They also absorb more slowly; allowing a steady supply of energy throughout the day which prevents the typical and often experienced sugar “crash”. This only leaves us feeling sluggish and an empty gas tank. By limiting this crash, our circulating blood sugar (the amount of fuel floating around that is readily available) stays stable, which can keep our body-fat levels in check.
Whether we are trying to gain muscle or lose fat, fruits and vegetables should be eaten with every meal.
2) Starches (breads, pastas, beans)
Starchy carbohydrates are long chains of carbohydrates bound together which tend to be
calorically dense (pack a large amount of calories in a small serving). They can be digested either quickly or slowly, depending on the source and how it’s prepared (White rice versus brown rice, white bread versus wheat, etc.). They can aid in providing extra calories for increasing muscle mass and improve recovery from exercise for those who
Apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwis, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, etc. VEGETABLES
Asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens,
eggplant, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, peas, peppers, spinach, squash, tomatoes, etc.
can tolerate them in their diet. If an athlete can eat a large amount of starches throughout the day and either have a low body-fat level or not gain any additional weight or body- fat, chances are he/she has a good tolerance. If an athlete is gaining weight and increasing his/her body-fat (or the athlete already has a high body-fat), then he/she may have a low carbohydrate tolerance. Managing this single nutrient can improve our ability to lose fat, gain muscle, maintain size and appearance, and most importantly improve performance. When choosing what types of starchy carbohydrates to eat, high fiber, whole-grain and unprocessed items are the best.
The types of carbohydrates are best consumed around physical activity.
3) Sugars and Sweets (candy, juice, soda, etc.)
These carbohydrates are the most overeaten and most dangerous in the diet today. They provide empty calories, no nutritional value and often increase health problems when eaten in excess. Unfortunately, they are usually the cheapest and most convenient to eat.
Whether trying to lose fat or gain muscle, these types of carbohydrates should be eaten rarely.
The best time to eat starches and sugars is around intense, physical activity. The POWER HOUR, or one hour directly after activity, is the perfect opportunity to load up on these muscle building nutrients. If we’re trying to gain muscle or lose body-fat, it ensures the post-workout fuel goes to our muscle tissue for growth and repair, not your mid-section for fat storage. See the individualized eating plans in the manual for clarification on what, when and how to manage these nutrients for optimal results.
Low Glycemic Index
High Glycemic Index
√ Black Beans
√ Butter Beans
√ Cooked Carrots √ Spaghetti
√ Garbanzo Beans √ Fettuccini
√ Lima Beans
√ Kidney Beans
√ Dried Apricots √ Tomato Soup
√ All Bran Cereal
√ Baked Beans
√ Bran Chex
√ Brown / Wild Rice √ Grape nuts
√ White Rice
√ Multi Grain Bread √ New Potatoes Boiled w/ Skin
√ Oat Bran
√ Pita Bread
√ Rye Bread
√ Special K Cereal
√ Banana Cake √ Bananas
√ Green Peas
√ Oatmeal Cookies √ Popcorn
√ Pound Cake
√ Cheese Tortellini √ Pineapple
√ Sweet Corn
√ Sweet Potatoes
√ Baked Russet Potatoes
√ French Bread
√ French Fries
√ Golden Grahams √ Cheerios
√ Cream of Wheat √ Mashed Potatoes √ Melba Toast
√ Split Peas
√ Navy Beans
√ Hamburger Bun
√ Unsweetened Fruit √ Whole Grain Bread √ Fruit Cocktail
√ Water Crackers
√ Wheat Crackers
√ Whole Wheat Flour
√ Sweetened Drinks √ Total Cereal
√ White Bread
HABIT #5: DRINK HEALTHIER
Along with making better choices with carbohydrates, drinking fluids also has an important role in achieving better health and performance. Drinking different types of beverages throughout the day can either speed up the rate at which body-fat is lost or gained. It can also speed up the rate at which muscle is gained. Having the ability to gain muscle does not give free reign to eat or drink whatever is available. Remember, we are what we eat or drink. Drinking and eating unhealthy, sloppy, ineffective foods and beverages will leave us looking and feeling unhealthy, sloppy and ineffective.
Stick to drinking mostly water throughout the day. By eliminating calorie filled drinks like milk, juice, and soda, we are slowly sneaking out calories which ultimately contribute to how much body-fat we will lose. Because most of these beverages are filled with unnecessary refined sugary carbohydrates, our ability to burn fat will be dependent on how less of these we are ingesting on a daily basis. Our body is made up of almost 70% water; why not focus on giving it exactly that?
Teas, coffees and diet drinks can be used in moderation but should never replace regular water. Remove extra creams, sugars, syrups and toppings.
Sports drinks such as Gatorade ® should be drunk based on our specific eating plan. Some plans may allow each athlete to drink these types of drinks during the day, while others try and limit them to periods of physical activity. Either way, these sports drinks contain many sugars, which should be managed appropriately to gain muscle and lose fat.
Power Shakes are actually “Liquid Foods” and can be drunk throughout the day.
How Much Water Should We Drink Per Day?
As a general guide, we should aim to drink half our bodyweight in ounces per day.
Bodyweight: 200 pounds
Amount of water: 200 pounds/2= 100 ounces (about 3⁄4 of a gallon)
This can vary due to activity levels, temperature, food intake and rate of sweating. In order to make sure we are staying hydrated throughout the day, our urine should look like lemonade, not apple juice. Check the appendix for a visual guide to have an idea of what to look for.
HABIT #6: EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS
Eating fat does not make us fat.Fat intake is crucial for hormone production for fat loss and muscle growth, vitamin absorption, balance and structure and integrity of the cells in the body. It provides a very large energy source and helps provide a feeling of fullness during meals. Why wouldn’t we want to eat it?
Like carbohydrates, there are different types of fats:
Saturated fats: found in animal fats such as cheese, eggs and meat
Mono-unsaturated fats: found in products such as olive oil and nuts
Poly-unsaturated fats: found in products such as vegetable oils and nuts
Artificial trans-fats: usually listed as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”
Balanced intakes of each healthy fat (about 1/3 from each) can actually reduce pain in the body and improve how we feel physically and emotionally. NSF certified supplements such as fish and flax oil have been shown to decrease inflammation, decrease risk of depression, and improve brain development and immune system functioning, as well as decreasing body-fat levels.
How Much Healthy Fat Should We Eat During the Day?
Just focus on adding a few servings of mixed nuts, vegetable/fish oils and olives or avocados per day. Depending on activity levels and specific eating plan, this can range anywhere from 1-5 servings per day. How Big is a Serving of Healthy Fat?
A serving size is approximately the following:
1⁄4 cup of mixed nuts/cheese, or size of an egg
2 tablespoons of oil or butter, or of a golf ball
This includes oils such as olive, vegetable, coconut, etc. and butters such as nut “peanut/cashew/almond” butters and real butter
Cotton seed Oil
Sunflower Seeds (raw) Walnuts
HABIT #7: PLAN AND PREPARE
It’s extremely common to make bad food choices because we are unprepared. If we don’t have a meal or snack already prepared, we tend to reach for the most satisfying item in the cupboard, refrigerator or off the dollar menu. Rarely will this choice help us achieve our nutrition goals. It never really comes down to deciphering exactly what are good foods and what are bad foods. It’s never about exact percentages, ratios and cooking techniques either. The hardest part is having a plan AND sticking to it. When it comes down to the actual framework of any type of diet or nutrition plan, it’s less about the foods and more about making sure the food is available when it’s time to eat! In order to combat this, food preparation and planning strategies need to be implemented on a consistent basis. If we didn’t have to do any of the work preparing food, whether it be cooking, storing, shopping or portioning, it would incredibly easy to have the results we wanted. In a perfect situation, it would be like having a personal chef or going out to eat for every meal. We expect coaches to have a game plan and schedule ready when it’s time to start a new week, right? Why wouldn’t we expect to have food schedule and plan ready when it’s time to eat? Strategies such as designing a daily/weekly menu, chopping and storing ingredients for future meals and shopping ahead a time are just a few of the strategies listed in the Preparation and Planning section of the manual. Having a reliable system of strategies will allow us to make better choices more consistently, which will ultimately turn into better results over time.
Meal Preparation Strategies
Diets often fail because they require us to eat the same foods on a continuous basis. There is little change or variety of food types which causes boredom and lack of compliance. By creating a schedule to use when preparing our meals, whether it be choosing, preparing or cooking them, we are better prepared to stick to a plan that doesn’t leave us with unanswered questions and an unsatisfied stomach. There are three main types of meal strategies or PREP HABITS that are used to ensure we aren’t faced with a situation where we don’t know what or when we should eat. In order to remain compliant throughout the week, it’s vital that we have a time during the week to get ready. Think of this as PRE-GAME.
PREP HABIT #1: The Once-A-Week Ritual
Set aside about three hours once a week (usually a day off from work) and write out a menu for the week, shop for the ingredients and prepare our meals for the week. This may seem like a lot of time at first, but preparing everything at once saves us a large amount of time throughout the week when we are too busy. Cook our meat in large batches. Outdoor grills, ovens and George Foreman ® grills are great options to help us with this. Chop all of our vegetables and fruits that we will put inside dishes, salads and full meals. Portion out serving sizes into Tupperware containers or plastic baggies for quick and easy grab and go options.
Measure out what we need for starches, breads, pastas, and grains into containers. Place back into the pantry or cupboard until we are ready to eat. Cook and store our food in the
refrigerator for the first half of the week. Any meals for the second half of the week, we
can throw into the freezer and defrost as we get closer to eating them. Simply reheat the meals in a few minutes when ready to eat!
PREP HABIT #3: The Once-A-Day Ritual (Breakfast/Dinner)
Instead of preparing for an entire week, simply prepare for the current or future day’s meals.
During breakfast, take time to portion out and cook what we will be eating for snacks, shakes, lunch and dinner for that particular day.
During dinner, take the time to portion out and cook what we will be eating for snacks, shakes, and meals for the following day. If we have a hard time making breakfast each morning, simply make it the night before and reheat it when we wake up.
Quick Tips to Gain Weight
Keeping weight on can be a challenge. Eating enough calories can become a chore as well as tiresome. Maximize your efforts by “sneaking” in extra calories, adding shakes or drinks and choosing calorically dense foods. Work in the weight room will assure that you add lean muscle mass – eating extra calories without lifting---------fat only!
Try adding wheat germ and/or evaporated milk to soup, gravies, cooked foods,
potatoes, shakes, etc. This will increase the calories, yet hardly alter the taste of
Sauté (not fry) foods using a little olive oil or other unsaturated vegetable oil.
Add nuts, seeds, croutons and/or raisins to salad, rice, pasta or other dishes.
Add margarine, jam, peanut butter and/or other types of spread to breads
(remember that additional calories should come from low-fat foods).
Add, coat or top food with breadcrumbs before baking.
Add beans, corn and/or potatoes to soups, entrees and side dishes.
Add honey, chocolate powder or syrup, bananas, wheat germ or low-fat yogurt to
skim milk for a healthy calorically dense snack.
Try to familiarize yourself with the calorie counts of some foods that you choose
from the higher calorie option in your selections.
Choose calorically dense breakfast cereals like granola or grape-nuts. Try adding
sliced fruit or raisins and try adding jam, peanut butter, etc to toast or bagels.
Add slivered almonds or grated cheese to steamed vegetables.
Eat desserts that retain some nutritious value like oatmeal cookies, Fig-Newton’s,
fruit cobblers, pudding, pies and frozen yogurt.
Use carbohydrate / protein supplements as a snack.
You must eat 6 to 8 meals per day.
Keep fat intake low – no more than 10% to 18% of total caloric intake.
Make sure you are getting the proper amount of protein each day.
Supplement your diet with quality supplements.
Maintain aerobic exercise because it helps to burn fat and increases blood flow to
YOU MUST WEIGHT TRAIN!!!!
Losing Weight the Right Way
Weight loss is simply expending more calories throughout the day than you take in. Any food in excess, good or bad, is stored in the body as fat.
Drink water instead of soft drinks or other beverages containing a lot of sugar.
As soon as you wake up drink 16 ounces of chilled water.
Eat 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to 2-3 large meals.
Never skip breakfast. – Easy way to over eat later on in the day. BAD.
Avoid eating after dinner.
Avoid simple sugars. Get your carbs from high fiber foods such as whole wheat bread
Avoid all fried foods. These foods are high in saturated fat and calories.
Avoid high fat dairy products. Use skim milk, egg whites, and low-fat cottage cheese
Bake or grill your lean meat instead of frying it.
Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol is high in calories and provides no nutritional value.
Eat fruit in place of ice cream, cake, or other sugary desserts.
Quick Tips for Staying Lean
Never skip breakfast
Never skip meals.
Any food in excess (good- [fruit] or bad- [fried food]) is stored as fat.
Portion control is one of the most important keys to dietary success. DON’T STUFF
Try not to eat after 7:00pm. If you have to, eat fruit, protein snack
Get 8-9 hours of sleep per night
Consume a post workout meal or shake. Your second most important meal of the day
and it should be taken within 30 minutes after your training has ended.
Increase consumption of lean protein, such as skinless poultry, fish, and game meats and
lean cuts of red meat. Cuts with the words round or loin in the name usually are lean.
Avoid high-fat dairy and fatty, salty processed meats such as bacon, sausage, and deli
Post workout stretch/massage This helps the body return to normal quicker and speeds up
the recovery process. Stretching and massage on off days, or later in the day after
training, also help speed recovery.
As soon as you wake up drink 16 ounces of chilled water. Make this a habit every
You have to EAT something before you train! Your body needs some fuel for it to
function. If there is none available your bloodstream is going to rob muscle and other areas to find energy. Try to eat a small bowl of good cereal, protein bar, liquid supplements, fruit or a small sandwich.
Grocery Shopping Basics First things first:
Start with a list. Create it according to food group, store layout or your menu plan.
Incorporate sale items into your menu; be flexible. Check coupons and specials from the
newspaper before you create your menu plan for the week.
Of course, DON’T SHOP HUNGRY!
Shop the perimeter first. Food groups and “whole” foods are located here.
Be smart regarding eye catching areas. The first few aisles of a store and the checkout
counters often display “impulse buys”. These trigger foods are also strategically located at eye level throughout the store. Ask yourself: Was the item on my list? Is it healthy? Is it really a better deal than similar products elsewhere in the store?
Become a label reader. Check serving size, total calories per serving, total fat per serving, and saturated fat per serving. It can also be enlightening to notice grams of sugar and fiber per serving. And remember, ingredients are listed on the label in order by weight from most to least.
Be careful of being tempted by “low fat” or “low sugar” items throughout the store. do they really have fewer calories than their counterparts? Are they “junk” anyway?
Load up! Fresh, frozen, or canned depending on budget, tastes and season. We need to be eating 8-10 servings from this area every day. A serving size is approximately the size of a small fist.
Bright and deep colored produce items are full of antioxidants, fiber and nutrients. (We need approximately 25 grams of fiber per day.) These foods are also naturally low in calories.
Purchase local produce whenever possible. Time, heat and water are the three things that
destroy valuable nutrients. The closer you can eat “to the source” the more nutritious
your food will be.
Produce is often freshest at the end of the work week.
Organic can be great, but it usually costs more and isn’t ALWAYS the most nutritious.
Frozen vegetables are very nutritious and really easy. You can add them to any meal and
don’t have to do any prep work. What fits your lifestyle?
Make sure juices are 100% pure juice. And remember, they have no fiber.
A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Four ounces of raw meat becomes three ounces of cooked meat.
Select meat has the lowest amount of fat, followed by choice and prime.
The color of meat indicates freshness. Pork should be a grayish pink; beef should be
bright red with no grayish areas. Raw meat does not last long in the fridge, so use it or
freeze it immediately.
Double bag raw meat. Don’t let it touch other groceries, especially produce.
Consider all other protein sources as well. Legumes (beans) are an excellent source as are
nuts and seeds. Dairy foods also contain protein.
Eggs are an exceptional protein source. If large eggs are more than 7 cents more than the
next smaller size, get the next smaller size.
Regular burger can be cooked, then rinsed with hot water (use your salad colander) and it
becomes as lean as chicken breast. Do this with family packs of burger when they are on sale, then season some as taco meat (add a can of black beans!), some as spaghetti sauce (add extra chopped veggies in the sauce!) and some as Sloppy Joe mix (again, chop vegetables very fine and throw them in with the meat and seasoning!). Freeze in baggies and use throughout the next few weeks.
Fish is very good for us, although it can be expensive. It should not smell fishy when you purchase it. Eat wild fish whenever possible. Mercury is a concern, but currently the benefits of eating fish are thought to far outweigh the mercury consumption concerns. Try to eat two servings per week.
We need the protein, calcium and other nutrients provided by this group. Two to four servings per day are recommended. Other calcium and protein sources can be found if a person does not want to eat dairy.
Soy milk and rice milk are options; make sure they are calcium fortified and shake them vigorously each time you have some.
Go for low fat or no fat milks, cheeses and yogurts whenever possible. A good goal is less than 3 grams of fat per 8 ounce serving of dairy food. (Or any food, for that matter.)
Ice milk, fat free ice cream and sherbet have less fat than regular ice cream but more sugar.
Sharp cheeses have intense flavors. Use less of them than regular cheese and still get great tasting dishes.
Hint: mustard enhances the flavor of cheese. In appropriate recipes add a dash of mustard powder and you will be able to use less cheese without compromising flavor.
Always check the “sell by” and “use by” dates on packages. Grains/Starches Section:
Our diets should contain 6-11 servings from this area. Make as many of them whole grain as possible. Look at labels of breads, cereals, etc. and make sure the first ingredient on the list is a WHOLE grain. (Not refined, not enriched; the first word needs to be WHOLE!)
Bakery goods are usually freshest at the end of the work week.
Watch your serving sizes, especially with items like muffins and bagels. With our
“super-size me” culture, these items are often actually worth about 3 or 4 grain servings
Great sources of complex carbohydrate to satisfy the needs from this food group are: rice,
whole grains, potatoes, pastas (perhaps try whole grain pasta mixed with regular pasta to see if the family likes the taste), whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, whole grain tortillas, and whole grain crackers.
Make your own trail mix with healthy nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Add a favorite healthy cereal to balance it out. It’s the perfect blend of protein, carbohydrate and heart healthy fat.
Whole grains are delicious and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Here’s a chance to purchase different kinds of grains in small quantities to see what your palette enjoys. Try mixing half of your usual white rice with half bulgur wheat, brown rice, quinoa, or barley. Experiment to see what you and your family like.
Legumes (beans) are excellent for us as well. Many kinds of dried beans can be found in the bulk section. Make soups, taco toppings, casseroles, etc. inexpensively with these wonderful protein and fiber sources.
The bulk candy and snack section gives us an opportunity to buy ourselves a small treat rather than purchasing a big bag of goodies. Portion control will already be taken care of when you arrive home for your treat.
Seasonings are one of the best things about the bulk section! So many different herbs and spices are available at such a little cost; it allows us to experiment and branch out with our cooking.
Walking Those Middle Aisles:
Many of these aisles are danger areas, full of foods with very little nutritional value. These foods are often also binge foods and foods that we wish we hadn’t consumed once we are finished with them. Totally avoid aisles such as the potato chip aisle, candy aisle and soda pop aisle if you know you cannot resist these foods. Out of sight, out of pantry, out of mind and out of diet!
The canned goods aisles can be really healthy and are great on the budget. Just add a bag of frozen veggies and some seasoning to a can of soup. Have a whole can of green beans with your dinner. Toss a couple of cans of drained garbanzo beans, some minced garlic and approximately 1⁄2 teaspoonful of sesame oil for quick and delicious hummus. Blend 2 cans of drained black beans with cumin or other favorite ethnic seasoning to make an awesome bean dip for veggies and quesadillas. Rinse canned fruit for use if it is on sale.
NEVER buy bulging cans.
Buy in “family size” containers only if you can store and will use the product.
Generic products usually have smaller pieces than name brand products. They will also
usually be located lower on the shelf, leaving the eye level shelves for name brand items. Generic products are safe and usually taste the same as their counterparts. In what areas of your pantry could you go generic to save a few dollars?
Your best oils are canola and olive oils. Keep them in a cool dark place (the fridge would be great if there is room). Time and heat play a role in the quality of these products.
Beware trans fats! Beware saturated fats! Beware high sodium! Beware high sugar! Bottom Line:
Aim for whole foods, more natural foods, foods that are less processed. Learn to play with spices and herbs and new foods to satisfy your cravings and your palates. Learn to compare labels and prices so that you are purchasing the groceries that best fit your needs and your budget every time you go to the store.
Get involved with your food supply. Food is our fuel, we can’t run without it and we run best on high grade formulas. Decisions made in the aisles last for the rest of the week and affect our entire life. Let’s commit to making good nutrition our lifestyle. The benefits with be well worth the efforts!
Whenever your body is short of water performance drops. Exercise increases body temperature in direct proportion to the exercise load. Your body tries to maintain its resting temperature of 98.6o F by moving the extra heat to the skin via the blood. There it dissipates into the air, mainly by evaporation of sweat. Your blood must also carry oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and remove the wastes of muscle metabolism. Available blood is shared between all these tasks. The higher your core temperature rises the more blood is used for cooling and less is available for muscles. The cooler you stay during exercise, short of being cold, the better your muscles will function.
Outside the narrow range of 98o-100o F, your body will always sacrifice muscle function for temperature regulation. A decline in muscle function, even to the point of complete immobility, is not life threatening. If core body temperature rises a mere 9oF normal biochemistry ceases, which results in death.
Heavy exercise (equivalent to sports of more than about one hour of continuous duration) can increase heat production in muscles to 20 times their normal resting rate. Even with optimum hydration and a cool environment, this heat load can raise your core temperature to 103oF within 15 minutes. Studies show that you can still perform well at this temperature, although you probably will not be at your best.
How do we combat the above metabolism? Drink all liquids as cold as you can stand them to give a reservoir of cold in the gut. Cold water, below 50o F, is absorbed faster than room temperature water. As a bonus it supplies a reservoir of cold in the stomach that will absorb considerable body heat. Sip the water, do not gulp it down. Gulping swallows air, which disturbs stomach function and slows absorption.
The same applies to carbonated drinks; the gas slows absorption. Avoid them whenever you can. Almost anything added to water slows absorption. The walls of your intestines are semi-permeable membranes like very fine mesh. Water passes through easily but most particles do not. Pure water containing no particles is absorbed rapidly. As soon as you dissolve anything in water, absorption slows.
Many commercial sports drinks contain high levels of glucose, sucrose, or other similar simple sugars. These sugars inhibit absorption; do not use them during exercise. Soft drinks and sodas are even worse due to the fact that most are over 10% simple sugars. If you drink 12 ounces of plain water, 8 ounces will empty from your stomach within 15 minutes. If you drink 12 ounces of a 10% sugar solution, less than 1% will empty in the same time period.
However, a lesser level of sugar can be helpful. Simple glucose at a 1%-5% solution hardly inhibits stomach emptying and does prove a boost to blood glucose levels. Fructose at 2% enhances stomach emptying, causes less insulin burst, and helps restore liver glycogen.
How do you get your body back to normal after a tough workout (exercise or sports that last longer than 1 hour in duration)? First we must look at what has happened to the body during
the exercise bout. The body is dehydrated, your stomach is in a highly acidic condition and almost empty, your muscles are loaded with debris from metabolism, your glycogen stores are depleted and you are in electrolyte overload because the percentage of body water lost is much greater than the percentage of body minerals lost.
Re-hydrate immediately by drinking plain cold water. Coax yourself to drink because the thirst response is still inhibited after performance. Avoid juices, especially citrus juices, which inhibit re-hydration because of their high sugar content and only add to stomach acidity. This promotes cramping and nausea. Plain water is always the best.
Do not sit down or lie down right after an event no matter how tough it was. Muscle cramps and post-event injuries often occur because insufficient blood gets to the fatigued muscles to remove wastes. During an active cool-down, the muscles of the body act as pumps, which prevents blood pooling and helps flush waste from building up in the fatigued muscles.
Until you reach four 8 ounce glasses of water, avoid any food to ensure quick water absorption. Once your stomach is bathed with water, food is fair game. Every athlete should concentrate on eating high levels of protein and Complex Carbohydrates – not sodas, beer or candy bars – 45-60 minutes following any bout of heavy exercise. Complex carbohydrates are foods like whole grain breads, oatmeal, pasta, fruits or vegetables. After digestion, carbohydrates are converted to glycogen and used to replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles and liver. Water plays a key role in this process as well. In order to store one gram of glycogen, the body also has to use 2.7 grams of water.
For example, in a 150 pound athlete, if total glycogen increases from 400 grams (14 oz.) to about 800 grams (28 oz.) over a particular time period, the extra glycogen pulls in 36 ounces of extra water (400 x 2.7 grams of water), or more than 2 pints.
Every athlete must consume 1-1.5 gallons of water per day, over a 12-14 hour time period. A common problem among many athletes is chronic partial dehydration: the athlete never drinks enough to completely and properly re-hydrate. This is a serious problem due to the fact that most muscle pulls, strains and cramps occur due to partial to complete dehydration.
Effects of Dehydration:
Possible Outcomes from Dehydration include:
Muscle pulls, muscle strains, muscle tears, muscle cramps, joint pain, an increase in the amount of time it takes to recover from each workout or practice, decreased performance, fatigue, nausea, increased soreness, susceptibility to colds and the flu, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and death.
Guide to Eating Out
Eating out does not have to be an excuse for poor eating. You can, eat very nutritious and healthy meals while eating out. Choose a restaurant that offers a wide range of choices such as low-fat options, grilled or baked items and nutritious side dishes. As a rule of thumb, remember
that when ordering anything from a menu do not be afraid to ask for substitutions or deletions of items such as butter, mayonnaise, etc. Ask for dressings on the side. Be a high maintenance eater!
Food should be freshly prepared throughout the entire day. Foods that are prepared well ahead of time and stored under heat lamps lose much of their nutritious value.
Salad items that sit out exposed to air and light for extended periods of time will lose much of their nutritious value. Try to eat at restaurants that prepare salads from fresh ingredients.
Choose vegetables without cheese or cream toppings and ones that are raw or steamed.
Avoid fried or breaded foods. Instead, choose grilled, baked, or broiled entrees.
Choose potatoes baked instead of French fried, Au Gratin, scalloped, or with heavy
cheese or cream toppings. Avoid or go lightly on toppings for baked potatoes – try
Avoid adding salt or sugar to foods.
Trim visible fat from meat.
Remove skin from chicken before eating.
Choose white chicken meat instead of dark meat.
If possible, choose meat patties that use 100% pure ground beef.
Choose beverages such as skim milk, unsweetened juices, tea or water.
Choose clear broth soups or chili in place of cream based soups.
Avoid heavy brown and cream gravies.
Choose red sauces instead of white sauces.
Avoid or go lightly on margarine, butter, sour cream and mayonnaise.
Avoid or go lightly on condiments such as ketchup and cream-based dressings.
Choose salad items such as raw vegetables, beans or peas, and dark green lettuce. Go
lightly on mayonnaise based salads. Use low fat or light dressings on salads.
Try breakfast foods such as bagels, low sugar cereals, pancakes, yogurt, turkey or
Canadian bacon, egg whites and oatmeal.
Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates such as pasta, breads, cereals, grains, beans, peas,
and rice. Choose pasta with tomato sauces. Choose whole wheat or dark breads. Try
crackers instead of white breads.
For dessert try fruit, low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt. Add fruit to each meal –
* Do your research – many restaurants, including fast food restaurants, provide detailed nutrition information and the ingredients on all of their menu items at the restaurant or on their website.
Eating on the Run and Between Meals
Planning your nutrition intake throughout the day will greatly increase recovery and will also help to avoid eating Red Light Foods. Snacking between meals is a good way to get the extra calories you need to recovery from training. Whether it is eating on the run or snacking between meals, the following list of foods are healthy, easy to prepare and will help you make nutritious food choices.
Apple Slices w/Peanut Butter Bagels with Peanut Butter Baked Lays
Banana Bread Breadsticks
Canned Chicken Packed in Water Dried Fruit
English Muffins with Peanut Butter Fig Bars
Fresh Fruit, Fruit Salad
Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits Graham Crackers, Animal Crackers Low Fat Beef Jerky
Low Fat Cottage Cheese and Fruit Low-Fat Granola Bars Low-Fat Yogurt Microwavable Oatmeal
Popcorn without Butter Pretzels
Raw Vegetables with Peanut Butter Sandwiches with Lean Lunch Meat Single Serving Apple Sauce Single Serving Cans of Fruit Single Servings Multi Grain Cereals Single Serving Low Fat Milk Sunflower Seeds
Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Wheatables Tuna (Canned/Bagged Packed Water) Uncrustables
Unsalted, Low Salt Nuts Peanut Butter Cracker Cheese and Cracker Packages
The Dangers of Alcohol
What is it? The type of alcohol is alcoholic beverages is known as ethanol, which in the human
body acts as a depressant. Ethanol is dense in calories and contains no nutritional value.
What does it do? Once alcohol enters the body it is quickly absorbed by the stomach and distributed throughout the body through the bloodstream. Brain cells are particularly sensitive to alcohol exposure, as immediate and drastic decreases in performance skills such as reaction time, balance, hand-eye coordination, and visual perception are seen. Alcohol molecules stay in blood for up to two weeks.
Good and Bad: There are no positive effects of alcohol use. The notion that alcohol has any positive effects on the health of a young athlete is simply a myth. Young people in no way receive health benefits from alcohol, and in fact increase their risk of death greatly. The immediate, short term, and long term effects of alcohol consumption by an athlete are extremely negative and numerous.
Immediate and short term effects of alcohol:
Lack of strength (as much as 5%) due to inflammation of muscle tissue.
Reduction in endurance.
Increase heart rate and blood pressure.
Impaired body temperature regulation.
Impaired glucose metabolism.
Promotion of body fat storage.
Increased muscle soreness.
Insomnia and loss of REM sleep.
A decrease in the body’s ability to fight infection.
Slower recovery times. Long term effects of alcohol:
An increase in the likelihood of developing numerous cancers.
An increase in the likelihood of developing diabetes.
An increase in the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.
A loss of brain cells and the ability to perform abstract thinking.
Recommendation: Avoid consuming alcohol in order to maximize your success as an athlete and to protect the health of yourself and others.