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nutritional guidelines

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 Nutritional Guidelines.

 

The most important aspect of any exercise programme is your diet.

 

It does not matter how much training you are doing if you are not refueling your body properly. Yes you will get away with it for a while, some longer than others, but it will catch up with you in the form of colds, injury or just plain tired all the time.

There is no point in doing all the hard work if you are not giving yourself a real chance and get the results that you desire.

 

What follows are guidelines which if you stick to WILL transform your dietary habits and make achieving your goals so much easier and allow results to be attained quicker.

 

Now, before you go any further, you are not expected to take all of these points on board at the same time, we all need to walk before we can run, so add one or two a week, but commit yourself to keeping these promises. If you do, well, you will have a nutrition plan for life.

 

FOOD IS OUR FUEL

 

       Have breakfast. Never start the day without having your breakfast. Main reason is that it turns on your metabolism and keeps it running which will help burn more calories later in the morning than you consumed in the first place. If you don’t, exercise first thing in the morning as it has the same effect. I know which one most of you will pick! (If you do train first thing, have your breakfast afterwards – don’t starve the engine)

       Never eat after 7pm. Any carbohydrates not used before you go to bed will be stored as fat. If you do feel hungry have a small piece of fruit and some water which should get rid of your hunger until breakfast.

       Eat small meals and often. You have to think of your body as a furnace which needs fuel every few hours.(What happens if you don’t put fuel into a fire regularly?)

       Regard each time you eat as a meal. All meals should be adequate so that you feel hungry still or full, just satisfied.

       Eat five meals a day. Every 2/3 hours a day e.g. 9am, 11am 1pm 4pm 7pm. The main reason for this is that your body will keep your metabolism running at an even rate all day as its energy requirements are being meet. This in turn stops the body from saving calories in your body (fat stores) because you have stopped starving it during the day. The body is not very clever that way, it doesn’t know that your having dinner late today, it just knows that it needs fuel and it is not getting what it requires so it shuts down your metabolism. If your metabolism is not running your not burning calories, which means that you will not loose that extra weight, or repair that tired exercised muscle.

       Drink water. Lots of it. 2 to 3 liters of it a day. Sounds like a lot, but if you break it down over that whole day it is only a glass every hour. This is the minimum though. After training you will need more. For every kilogram of weight lost after training requires a liter of water to replace what you have sweated out. (Understand? No? OK, well before you go training weight yourself with minimal clothing. Afterwards repeat. If you have been sweating alot there will be a difference in the two figures. The difference is the minimum you should drink. Aim for twice that figure)

       Avoid ALL fried food. Grill, boil or bake as much as you can. If you must, use a tissue a few time to soak up the excess.

       Don’t eat ready to eat meals, as they are usually very high in saturated fat and other chemicals, which you don’t want in your body.

       Cut out butter and any margarine if you can. Again the fat thing. Try a spread which, is high in Unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat. I’m not mentioning any brands.

       Reduce to a minimum if not completely, the amount of cakes, biscuits, sweets and chocolate that you eat. The main reason is because of the saturated fats. Why? They hold THREE times the amount of calories per gram in comparison to carbohydrates.

       Same with mayonnaise, coleslaw and potato salad which are also high in fat.

       Consume more fish as these are a good source of good fats (Omega 3 & 6) that the body require for good nerve and hormonal function. These can be taken as a supplement in the form of Cod liver oil or evening primrose oil. But don’t exceed recommended amount which is on all packs.

       Eat a good carbohydrate meal 1 –2 hours before training.

       Start to check the nutritional information on everything you consume. Look for the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and the proportion that they are in. 3:2:1 ratio is ideal. i.e. 16% max for the fat content.

       With each meal try to have a portion of carbohydrate and a portion of protein (See list). Protein is needed for muscle repair and carbohydrates are needed for energy. To be very exact you require 7 – 10g of carbohydrate per Kg of body weight and 1 – 2 g of Protein per Kg of body weight, depending on the amount of training your doing. More training the more you will need.

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       Include plenty of vegetables (don’t boil them to death, just steam them for 3 – 4 minutes. It keeps the vitamins and minerals in them.) In meals and vary what you have. (Broccoli, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Carrots, Peas, Green beans Mushrooms, brussel sprouts, Cabbage, onions, peppers ……)

       A portion of food is the amount of food that would be approx the size of the palm of your hand or your clenched fist. (2 Slices of bread; Large potato; Hand full of pasta, rice or breakfast cereal; half a tin of beans; One piece of fruit)

       Don’t give out to yourself too much if you can’t do all of this all of the time. I know I can’t. It’s hard. But try all the same. It will be worth it.

 

All foods listed here do have carbohydrates, and proteins in them, that is, they are a better source for one of them than the other.

 

Also the higher up on the list the better the source.

This is not meant to be a full list but just a starting point.

 

Protein                                             Carbohydrates

 

Chicken Breast                                Potatoes

Turkey Breast                                  Rice

Haddock/Tuna/Crab                        Pasta (Wholegrain)

Salmon/mackerel/trout                   Breads (Wholegrain)            

Cod/whiting                                     Low fat Yogurt

Lean Ham                                         Apples/ Oranges

Egg Whites                                      Bananas    

Vegetarian Burgers                         Beans/ Pulces     

Pork                                                  Green Vegetables

Lamb/ Beef                                     

 

 

There is a lot more that can be done. This is just a pointer to the direction that you should be going in and can be elaborated on further if you require it. Just ask. Most of it is common sense and if you are already doing everything listed here then you are well on the way in becoming an International Athlete that you want to be.

 

Enjoy it, and remember those goals that you have set for yourself, it is up to you to make them come true.

 

Nothing worth achieving is easy.