Traditional families are used to enjoying a hearty breakfast, lunch (at noon) and dinner (in the evening). And when women entered the workforce, eating habits changed and we started eating lighter breakfasts and lunches, with larger family-oriented dinners.
Fast forward to 2021, youth sports and the hustle and bustle of life totally disrupt dinner hours. Structured meals get lost in the shuffle.
As a result, many athletes feel confused and / or uncomfortable about their diet:
“On weekends I sleep until 11:00 am Should I have breakfast or lunch when I wake up? “
“I tend to graze instead of eating meals. I feel like I’m hungry all the time … “
“My eating habits are weird. How should I eat – what is a “normal” diet? “
The point here is to remind you how to eat “like you did when you were a young child – not to diet, not to eat“ clean ”, not to judge food as good or bad, not to starve and to starve. of frenzy. But to enjoy food as one of the pleasures in life, as well as the fuel for your active lifestyle.
I turn to authority Ellyn Satter, author of Secrets to Feeding a Healthy Family. Here’s what she has to say:
What is a normal diet?
Eating normally means going to the table hungry and eating until you are full. It’s being able to choose the food you love, eat it, and really get enough of it – not stopping eating just because you think you should.
That is, did you stop having breakfast today because the oatmeal in your bowl was completely gone? Or were you really full? At the end of lunch, did you stop at your allotment of a sandwich, even though you wanted more?
If you are “still hungry” you are probably hungry; your body demands more fuel. Trust him. You will end up eating sooner or later, so please honor that hunger and eat more now.
Eating normally means being able to think through your food choices in order to get nutritious food, but not being overly suspicious and restrictive to the point of running out of pleasant food.
That is, have you put yourself in a food prison and banned “fun foods” like cookies, cupcakes, and fries for fear of overeating them? Ideally, your daily food intake is 85-90% quality foods, with 10-15% fun foods to choose from.
You don’t have to eat a perfect diet to have a great diet
Eating normally means allowing yourself to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or simply because it feels good.
A bowl of ice cream won’t ruin your waistline or your health forever. That said, regularly abusing ice cream to distract yourself from the pain of life won’t solve any problems.
The normal diet consists mainly of three meals a day, or four or five, or it may be snacking along the way.
Most athletes need fuel at least every 3 to 4 hours. If you stop eating because you think you should, and not because you are full, you will feel the urge to graze. Solutions for unwanted grazing:
- Eat the rest of your breakfast calories for a mid-morning snack
- Eat lunch earlier
- Give yourself permission to eat enough for breakfast.
Living hungry all the time slows down your quality of life, it affects athletic performance.
Eating normally is leaving cookies on the plate because you know you can have them again tomorrow, or eating more now because they taste so wonderful.
Denying yourself permission to eat a few cookies increases the urge to eat the whole plate. I call it “last chance to eat”. You know, “last chance to have cookies because tomorrow I’m going back to my cookie-free diet.” Going without cookies leads to a binge eating. Try to plan for prohibited foods every day. They will soon lose their power.
Eating normally is sometimes overeating, feeling drunk and uncomfortable. And he can sometimes be malnourished and wish you had more. Eating normally is trusting your body to fix your mistakes while eating.
Yes, even normal eaters eat too much. It’s okay to have too much birthday cake, too much Sunday brunch, too much ice cream. When competent eaters overeat, they listen to their body’s signals and notice that it takes longer for them to feel hungry again. In other words, if you have a heavy brunch, you will be less hungry that night.
Trust your body
Hunger is how your body tells you it has burned what you gave it, and now it’s ready for more fuel.
Normal eating takes some of your time and attention, but remains an important area of your life.
If you spend 90 percent of your time thinking about food, you’re probably hungry all the time. If you eat until you are full, you will stop thinking about food all the time. That said, thoughts of food can be a way to distract yourself from things you don’t want to think about. In this case, speaking with an advisor can be helpful. Smothering your feelings with chocolate won’t solve any of your problems.
In short, the normal diet is flexible. It varies depending on your hunger, your schedule, how close you are to food, and how you feel.
Many athletes eat the exact same foods every day. A sports nutritionist can help add variety (more nutrients), flexibility, and more joy. Food should be one of the pleasures of life, whether in training or not. To find your local sports nutritionist, registered dietitian (RD), and certified sports dietitian (CSSD), use the referral network at www.EatRight.org.