Gymnasts: Do you feel like there is so much nutrition information out there? Does it seem like every day there's another fad diet being talked about? Between coaches, parents, teammates, and social media, it's hard to determine fact from fiction.
Registered dietitians are the nutrition experts! So let me enlighten you a little on some of these "diets" I see gymnasts struggling with.
Keto. Atkins. Whole 30. Paleo. Carnivore. All In. F-Factor. Clean Eating. What I Eat In A Day. WW. Intermittent Fasting (IF). All are fad diets that make you fear foods.
Meal Replacement Shakes: Isogenix. Airbonne. Plexus. Juice Plus. All unregulated supplements that are meant to (again) demonize foods and replace your favorites.
Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Meant for people with diagnosed allergies, intolerances, or other medical conditions.
All of these are diets. Even under the guise of "health", "wellness", or "performance". And the consensus of the scientific literature shows that diets don't work. If there was a magic pill, don't you think we'd know by now?
Every body is unique. Just because you eat and train like someone doesn't mean you will magically have their body.
Diets are unrealistic, cause anxiety, and can actually make your mental and physical health worse. Of course it's impossible to stick to your "diet" when you're cutting out your favorite foods and hungry all the time. And it's not for lack of willpower. But instead, your body's deep down desire to survive and thrive, and adapt.
You have the choice to work with your body or to fight against it.
If you want to be your best in the gym, don't look to the newest "diet" as the magic solution. Instead:
Follow your athlete's plate: Use it as your blueprint to include your favorites from all the food groups (get the guide here!).
Eat on a schedule: Build in a fueling meal or snack every ~3 hours, especially around your workout.
Drink enough water: 1/2 your body weight in oz + more before, during, and after gym.
Include regular treats: Yes, you heard me - a dietitian, encouraging you to include your favorite foods (sweets and treats included) regularly. Break the restrict-binge cycle for good!
Respect your hunger and fullness signals: If your body is telling you it's physically hungry...EAT. Use the 3 hour mark as your guide: if you're hungry less than 3 hours after your last meal or snack, adjust to include more (more food, more fiber, more protein, more fat). When you feel satisfied with your meal or snack...STOP! There will always be another opportunity to eat again!
Want to ditch the diet mentality and learn to fuel success? I help gymnasts just like you fuel to make the most out of their training and crush their goals in the gym. Curious about how working together could improve your performance in the gym? Let's chat! Schedule a free discovery call with me today.