Keeping a good clean diet alongside an effective training plan will help you to achieve your goals much faster and make that summer body maintainable all year round. Here are some tips to make the most of your summer and keep your body ready for the challenges of the hot weather.
1. Eat correctly to maintain and support your training plan
Carbohydrate is the main energy source within our diet; if we train more, we use more energy and therefore need to replace that energy by eating good quality carbs (rice, bread, pasta, fruit and potatoes). If you have a hard training day, then you should think about eating a slightly higher carbohydrate diet on these days. On rest days, you should reduce carbohydrate intake and eat larger portions of protein (lean meat, fish, nuts, yogurt, milk, eggs) with your meals and within snacks to help you feel fuller for longer.
2. Post workout energy replenishment is essential
Our muscles are most responsive to taking up carbohydrates (energy) within the 30 minute period following exercise. You should aim to consume your highest carbohydrate meal / snack of the day within this time to give yourself the best chance of recovery but also reduce the chance of excess carbohydrate being turned into fat.
3. Try keeping a food diary for accuracy
Record an honest and accurate food diary which reflects your average diet. Ask a friend or nutritionist to look over it and pick out a few healthy changes you could make and goals you could set yourself for the month ahead. This could include changes such as, having only 1 unhealthy pudding per week rather than 5, or swapping a fizzy drink for sparkling water with sugar-free squash.
4. Meal preparation is vital
Before you do a food shop, plan healthy meal/snack options for the week and write a shopping list so you aren’t tempted to buy food items that you don’t need or shouldn’t be eating. If you have time, batch cook a simple healthy meal such as lean mince bolognese and freeze it so that time restraints do not hinder your new, healthy eating regime. We all know how easy it is to snack on sugary treats whilst preparing our main meal.
5. Always stay hydrated
Highly trained athletes, exercising at a high intensity for more than 60 mins per day, may need to consider sports drinks to help replace energy used, electrolytes and fluid lost in sweat. However, if you are fairly sedentary throughout the day, your main hydration fluid should be water. This will help you to stay alert and focused throughout the day and enable you to feel your best when exercising.