Athletes competing in the upcoming summer games fuel their bodies with healthy food and diet habits that will help them perform at their best. Take inspiration from how these elite athletes eat so you can excel in your day-to day-perfomance in life.
We’re not suggesting you eat 10,000 calories as swimmer Michael Phelps reportedly does, but you can eat like an Olympian by following some of their healthy habits. If you do, you’ll feel more energized and may even find you trim down a little. Here are some ways to adjust your eating habits to be more like that of the world’s top athletes.
Eat enough protein
Protein helps muscles recover, so you can bet Summer Games athletes make sure they get enough protein on a regular basis. Try to ensure every meal and even your snacks include some protein. Protein helps you feel full too, so you’ll eat less each time and experience fewer cravings.
Consume enough iron
You can be sure athletes get enough iron from the foods they eat, as iron helps to transport oxygen to the muscles. But many women don’t get enough iron from their diets, so check that you’re getting your recommended daily allowance through such sources as dark, leafy greens (think kale and spinach) and red meat. If you find you aren’t consuming enough, you may want to take a supplement; talk to your doctor about your iron needs.
Include whole grains in your diet
Whole grains make you feel fuller and will help maintain level blood sugar levels, compared to white starches, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly, then crash, which will make you feel sluggish. Include whole grains such as quinoa and barley in your recipes, and switch to breads and pastas made with whole grains rather than the conventional varieties. If you’re not fond of the change, ease into it slowly; make a sandwich using one slice of whole grain bread and one slice of white bread until you become accustomed to the taste and texture.
Keep healthy snacks handy at all times
So you’re not tempted by fast food or other unhealthy choices that are so readily accessible when cravings strike, always have some healthy snacks around (make sure they include protein; see above). Keep some trail mix in your handbag, or bring some vegetables and hummus to work to have as a mid-afternoon snack. You’ll find you’ll be much less likely to head to the coffee shop to grab a doughnut.