Nutrition Tips for Athletes: Following a Meal Plan Difficulties to Consider

Nutrition Tips for Athletes: Following a Meal Plan Difficulties to Consider
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Put the fork down, and listen up, you don’t want to miss out on these valuable nutrition tips for athletes!

Sports Nutrition for Performance Fitness and Athletes

Out perform your competition in the kitchen and you will out perform them on the field!

To start things off, I would like to say that a lot of parents and athletes search for elaborate nutrition meal plans that promise optimal performance. For those of you that can follow these elaborate plans, weigh and measure your food, more power to you. I was not one of those athletes. Yes, I search, and signed up for at least a dozen meal plans that I was confident I could follow, and would become skinny, ripped, and faster! I can tell you right now that none of these things happened until I graduated college and saw the light of the Paleo Diet, but it was a little too late for my sports performance.

Why Didn’t Nutrition Plans for Athletes Work For Me?

The coaches and teammates I played with know how dedicated of an athlete I was. I loved to play, loved the team, but I always had issues with my weight. I was one of those YOYO dieters. Lose 10 gain some, lose some, repeat… I have used many trainers and even a nutrition coach or two, but for some reason I always fell off the wagon. Why?

My Excuses…I Mean Reasons:

I am a total foodie. I was raised in a family where nutrition was put second, well probably a distant third to taste.  My grandma was a cook at a local restaurant, but when my cousins and I were born she would baby-sit us daily. Now this was one hard working lady! Picture trying to feed five or more kids at a time, which were all active in sports. We needed to eat and eat fast. Short on time, and having to budget meals for five or more my grandma would make us our meals. Just like any other grandma she loved to make us happy, and always cooked our favorites, which often consisted of spaghetti, corn dogs, enchiladas, and other unhealthy meals.   Fast-forward a few years and you have an athlete who loves food, is on the road traveling non-stop for sports, and always in a hurry. Eating with nutrition in mind was not at the top of my family or my list, and only added to my list of bad eating habits.

The second reason I believe I failed at Athlete Nutrition Meal Plans is because they were unrealistic. I attempted to follow athlete meal plans that were much too strict for my personality and my maturity. As a teen I had specific food I didn’t like, and most of these athlete meal plans were built to optimize performance, which means you have to eat the Brussels sprouts! Looking back I have found that the plans I failed at were customized to my goals and body, but not to my personality or habits. How could they ignore such an important part making me successful? This is why it is so important when choosing an athlete diet plan that you choose wisely, and consider the following:

Nutrition Tips for Athletes to Consider When Following a Meal Plan

  • Your Personality

What are your strengths and weakness’s and how do they affect what you eat? A great example of this is I found that I ate when I was alone and bored, why? Because I am an extrovert and get love to be around people, and groups of people. When I am alone, I get lonely and bored so I pass the time by eating. Now I am able to differentiate between hunger and boredom.

  • Your Habits

What good and bad habits have you created? Do you snack and eat late at night? How will you prepare for those snack attacks and make the healthiest choices? If you are someone who binges when you are starving then don’t let yourself get to the point of starving, snack and snack often to keep your blood sugar balanced.

  • Your Schedule

A good nutrition plan for athletes requires you to eat on every couple of hours, this will require you to plan ahead, pack snacks, and plan meals ahead of time. While this takes some forethought, it really is one of the most helpful nutrition tips I can offer.

If you have found this blog to be helpful, or know someone who could benefit from it, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…

Thank you for taking the time to read a little about my story,

Natasha Hawkins


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A little more about Natasha Hawkins...

Experience: Division 1 Fastpitch Softball player at San Jose State. Degree: B.S in Marketing and Advertising Certifications: Certified Level 1 CrossFit Trainer Interests: She loves the way the brain works and how personalities and attitude can create a warrior of an athlete that will always persevere and make success for themselves. While she is not a certified nutritionist she studies and practices the Paleo diet and Zone eating. Quirk: I am an avid archer and hunter. Yup, it's true. I have shot archery since I could walk, and hunted with my Dad since I was born. I also have a sister (Cheridan Hawkins) who is a stud pitcher for the Oregon Ducks Softball Team and is on the Junior Olympic Team. My youngest sister Charli Hawkins trains with me at CrossFit and is also a catcher on the 12U California Grapettes. Follow Natasha on Twitter: @NatashaBHawkins