3 Quick Tips: Consistency, Energy, Balance

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When it comes to fueling your body, consistency is key. Often times athletes focus more on their training consistency and less on their nutrition consistency.

Yet the energy their body needs will come from the foods and beverages they take in. When food is an after thought, it can take a toll on the body overtime, especially when enough overall energy (calories) are not coming in.

Here are three quick tips to help you dial in your fueling plan:

1: Consistency

When you are routinely training hard, it is a must to fuel the body consistently. A lot of times athletes think more about what they are and are not eating on game or event days, yet the day to day is just as important. If fueling the body is neglected and not part of the focus, you will not get the maximum results out of your training. 

2: Energy

Although, there is a lot of complexity when it comes to the science of sports nutrition and fueling the body, first and foremost you must take in enough energy (calories) to match your training needs and goals. If you are looking to put on muscle but do not have enough overall calories coming in, it will be impossible to get the gains you are looking for. 

If you have no idea how many calories you need per day, work with a sports dietitian to get a custom plan designed to meet your training needs. Visit the SCAN (Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition Group) website to find a dietitian near you.

3: Balance

Fueling the body is all about balance, focus on getting most of your calories from nutrient-rich foods: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, yogurt, milk, whole grains, avocado, olive oil, etc. And having the occasional salty snack food or dessert is okay! Sports dietitian Molly Morgan suggests her athletes follow a 90/10 rule... 90% of the time choosing the nutrient-rich choices and 10% of the time for the 'extras'".

Click here to download this great Fuel2Win overview handout for quick tips and guidance to boosting your overall eating routine.

Tips: Moving the Scale

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When it comes to meeting weight goals, Fuel2Win founder and sports dietitian, Molly Morgan finds herself spending a lot of time helping athletes, especially early in their career gain weight. 

"In working with pro athletes, the demands that their training puts on their calorie needs for their body is incredible", explains Morgan. Getting enough calories in each day is like a balancing act. Here are tips that Molly shares with her pro athletes:

1. Have a Plan - "Most athletes I work with need between 3000 - 4000+ calories per day and it can be done but when an athlete doesn't have a plan, it almost a certainty that the player will struggle with keeping their weight where they want it", states Morgan.

She suggests athletes work with a sports dietitian to establish their energy need goals and this number will change and should change depending on training demands. A sports dietitian can develop a custom meal plan and meal suggestions that can help get an athlete to their desired weight. 

2. Fuel Routinely - To get enough calories in Molly explains, athletes must have at least 5 - 6 meals and snacks per day. This helps to split up the calories and fuel and refuel the body. She finds that when athletes are trying to rely on just 3 meals, it is nearly impossible to get enough energy in to meet their energy/calorie goals.

3. Focus on Nutrient-Rich calories - Molly notes that she often sees athletes just adding in calories from anything from milk shakes to butter or Alfredo sauce. Although those will all help to increase calorie intake overall, it is best to meet calorie needs with nutrient-rich foods like: avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butter, olive oil, whole grains, yogurt, kefir, etc. These foods will also deliver important healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, etc. 

Checkout these quick calorie boost snacks and additions to add to your intake:

- Add 1/2 an avocado to a meal or mash with salsa for a quick guacamole: Adds approximately 150 calories

- Have a handful (about 1 oz/28 g) of dried fruit and nut trail mix for snack: Adds approximately 130 - 160 calories

- Snack on a banana (large banana) + 2 tbsp (30 ml) peanut butter: Adds 310 calories

- Snack on cottage cheese (1 cup/240 ml) + cubed fresh pineapple (1 cup/240 ml): Adds about 300 calories

- Drizzle 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil on foods at meals: Adds about 120 calories

Download the latest Moving the Scale handout for more tips and snack ideas!