Monday, January 20, 2014

The Perfect Sports Diet for 2014

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to shape up your eating, please keep reading…
I have a lot of clients who set the goal of eating the perfect sports diet (no sugar, white flour, red meat, processed foods, etc.). These are the same folks who get mad at themselves for “cheating” if they eat a cookie or consider themselves “being bad” if they sneak a French fry. Sometimes they let their bodies become ravenously hungry because “there was nothing healthy to eat.”

As you make your New Year’s Nutrition Resolutions, I suggest you think about enjoying a sports diet that balances out to be about 90% “quality calories” and 10% “whatever.” That is, some days “whatever” might be an apple, and another day “whatever” might be apple pie with ice cream. Though you may deem pie to be a “bad food,” it can still be part of a good diet (and is actually quite delicious!)

Please remember: You need not eat a perfect diet to have a good diet. And also remember: eating anything is better than letting your body become too hungry because you were confronted with only “junk food” and ate nothing. On that day when you get stuck without any healthy food options, you’d be better off enjoying a candy bar for a mid-afternoon snack than abusing your body with lack of fuel. (Yes, living “too hungry” is abusive. Please don’t do that!)

With best wishes for a 2014 filled with enjoyable meals and balanced food choices.

Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD
Sports nutrition counselor, consultant, speaker (Philly 1/24; Pitt. 2/7; online 24-7) (books, handouts, PowerPoint talks)

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook NEW Fifth Edition
Food guides for soccer, new runners, marathoners, cyclists   iPhone app: Recipes for Athletes