For some athletes that say they’ve “taken their diet to the next level,” this means that they’ve cut out all sugar, or they are “eating clean” with no processed foods, or no desserts.
It’s great to make changes towards eating more quality, nutritious foods, but going to the extreme with your food policy sometimes create unexpected problems. Nutrient deficiencies, nutrient overloads, constipation, diarrhea.
Don’t strive for a perfect diet, strive for a fantastically balanced diet. The athletes I work with, we work towards a diet that is sustainable. No quick fixes, no temporary solutions. Long-term success.
For athletes looking to take their diet to the next level, here are a few suggestions that I use with my clients:
Eat a hearty breakfast with 25-30 grams of protein. Most athletes don’t eat enough during the day and by the time the evening rolls around they have a tendency overeat and seek out the junk food.
At meals, aim for 3-4 food groups on your plate. The key to a healthy diet is variety so including that may food groups is going to be more satisfying and provides you with more nutrition.
At snacks, aim for 2-3 food groups. Use snacks to help with those between-meal hunger pangs or fueling 1-2 hours before your workout.
Put these into practice and you’ll be on your way at that next level.