This week, we are pleased to welcome a new guest collaborator, Jordan Fuller of Golf Influence, who will be sharing diet and lifestyle tips and tricks to help keep you performing at and feeling your best!
What’s in a sports enthusiasts diet? Here are the best foods for you to eat if you want to stay fit, healthy, and supercharge your sporting performance.
What’s the biggest difference between a fit, muscular, healthy person and someone who’s unhealthy and overweight? You may be tempted to say exercise, but the truth is that diet is the most crucial part of any health journey.
The good news is that that doesn’t mean you need to leave behind every food you’ve ever loved. With a bit of planning and discipline, you can be healthy and fit without restricting your eating.
So what’s in a sports enthusiast’s diet? Here are the best foods for you to eat if you want to be healthy but still happy!
Proteins are chock full of amino acids and help you feel fuller for longer. They’re also essential for building muscle. More muscle means a faster metabolism, so getting your fill of protein every day is crucial!
Chicken is the leanest protein, as well as the most versatile. It’s a staple in a sports enthusiast’s diet, and can be eaten in many different ways. Make sure to vary your protein so you get the fullest range of healthy vitamins and minerals from it.
Beef (steak, mince), fish (salmon, tuna, hake, trout), and pork are good options. Lamb can be high in calories and fat, and lower in protein. Non-meat options include eggs (specifically egg whites), tofu and vegetables like beans.
Carbohydrates give you energy. Vegetables and fruits are your lowest-calorie, highest nutritional value and easiest-to-cook carbohydrates. Other options include pasta, rice, wheat and starches.
We highly recommend choosing carbohydrates that are fresh, whole foods and not processed carbs. By that we mean fresh fruit instead of dried fruit; brown rice instead of white rice; and wholegrain pasta, flour and breads instead of processed white pasta or flour.
Processed carbohydrates often have less nutritional value and are absorbed much quicker, leading to you feeling hungry again sooner.
There’s no need to go on a low-carb diet if you stick to these principles! The carbs we do recommend limiting are sugar, soft drinks and alcohol, as these can have many detrimental effects if consumed in high amounts.
Consuming fats doesn’t make you fat. In fact, they’re an essential nutrient that your body needs to function optimally. The best way to make sure that you’re eating healthy fats and not unhealthy ones is to avoid buying fatty foods.
Instead, cook your own food with healthy olive oil. Foods like meat and fish have healthy fat in them too, although ideally one should remove the strip of fat found on steaks and chops.
Processed foods are often high in saturated fats. Rather, stick to healthy, natural fats.
What About Cheat Meals?
You don’t have to give up everything you love. Mostly, you need to control your portions (use a calorie counting app if it’s easier) and make sure you’re eating the healthiest, most nutrient-dense foods possible.
But you can cheat once in a while. 80 percent of your diet should be whole, healthy foods, while 20 percent can be tasty “cheat” foods.
Just have them in moderation and in decent portion sizes. About once a week is a good time frame. Consistency is key, so keep going and you’ll see a difference!
Whether you want to be a professional sportsman using your best golf clubs or you just cart your Sunday golf bag around the course on a weekend, eating right is necessary to give you the strength and energy to perform at your best.
As long as you eat a well-rounded diet that contains your main macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates and fat—you should notice your health improving. If you need to lose weight, it’s advisable to use a calorie calculator to see how many calories you burn, and commit to a caloric deficit of 300 calories per day.
Remember the 80/20 rule. Enjoy what you eat and be consistent!
Jordan Fuller has been playing golf his whole life. He’s passionate about teaching others all about the game, the benefits, and how sport can change your life. He writes about all things golf over at Golf Influence. www.golfinfluence.com