10 Tips to Help You Transition With Ease Through the Off-Season
Have a year-round nutrition plan to support your health, training and to improve your performance. Adjust intake to match energy expenditure. Enjoy small frequent meals (six to eight meals/snacks) spread out over the course of the day to provide you with sustained energy, curb hunger and to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Address your eating behaviour. Slow down when eating. Eat your meal and wait 20 minutes to determine if you are still hungry before going back for a second helping. Remember to stay well hydrated. Dehydration can mimic hunger. Start with little changes in your eating program that will improve your overall health such as increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables that you eat, switching to whole grains, cutting out sodas or limiting unhealthy fats. Burn more free calories. The calories you can burn in your normal day outside of training can be referred to as free calories. Taking more steps, parking further away from buildings, making more trips to the water fountain and taking stairs all add up to burning more calories. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps. 10,000 steps burns 500 kcal per day. Choose plant-based foods most often. Choosing to eat closer to the earth will provide you with foods rich in antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells throughout the body. Keep your immune system strong this winter by choosing foods rich in beta- carotene (carrots, sweet potatoes), Vitamin C (oranges, grapefruit, kiwis), Vitamin E (nuts and leafy greens) and Zinc (oysters, red meat, poultry, whole grains and dairy). Create a food journal to determine where opportunities may exist to cut unnecessary calories. Keep it fun. Experiment with new foods and homemade recipes. Remember to eat something before heading out to parties so that you are not starving by the time you arrive. Try sampling small portions from a variety of dishes, choose most often fresh vegetables and fruits, drink plenty of water, and do lots of mingling.