Sunday, September 6, 2015
Here’s the thing.
Eating quote/unquote “healthy” foods is awesome. More vegies in particular, more fruit too... all manner of nutrient dense foods. It means you’re sure to be getting an abundance of vitamins and minerals that your body will thrive upon, and you’re probably pretty unlikely to go into excess energy intake.
Getting lots of micronutrients and not being in excess energy intake is exactly what you want. HOWEVER, particularly for active people participating in sports and/or training... an otherwise healthy diet that falls short of an adequate level of energy provision will (at best) fail to ensure great performance and results from training, and (at worst, and quite likely) actually be detrimental to health and wellbeing.
We’re encouraged to see calories / energy intake as something to be minimised. This is highly problematic. Obviously we do not want to be in the habit of exceeding our requirements, but we must at the very least meet an adequate energy provision, and as athletes we should try to push closer to an optimal level of total energy intake to facilitate best performance, recovery and results from training.
Now some people do manage to achieve a suitable energy intake while still “eating clean”. More power to them, but to me this seems like a difficult and unnecessary task.
It is entirely fine to include some foods in your plan solely for energy provision, even if they fall short of the mark on other nutritional resources. You’ll be getting those elsewhere anyway from all the healthy fruit and vegetables and whole grains you’re eating.
For me personally, a couple of thin rice cakes with raspberry jam is the perfect post-training recovery snack. Immediately after training, your energy levels are depleted, but you probably don't really want a substantial meal that requires much to digest. I find a couple of these hits the spot nicely, and I'm ready for my shake a little while later.
Shakes are another, not so secret, secret weapon.
Now, there's nothing magical about a protein shake that will ensure great results merely by adding it to some random eating habits that add up to some random amount of energy and macronutrient provision. However, when you're working to appropriate sports nutrition or Flexible Dieting guidelines, a shake can be an easy way to boost your total energy and your protein intake closer to optimal levels.
Personally my requirements are quite high, so I like to add a banana and a scoop of dessicated coconut to my shake as well as the Whey Protein Concentrate.
This is mostly all about "hitting my macros". There's a new page I've just set up with my recommendations of certain delicious foods you might want to include for their micronutrient content, with properties that are particularly beneficial for good health and for recovery from training.
That's some more great free information you can sign up for that at the top right of the this page, or click here.
The name of the game here is "stack the deck in your favour" with a plan that not only meets all of your requirements, but does so in a way that is enjoyable and not a chore. This means it is conducive to long term adherence and long term results.