Obviously we don’t want our athletes to fail at sports nutrition, and the truth is the only way to fail is to stop trying. Many athletes get their hearts set, create goals, and look to lose pounds or gain muscle. But what happens when you fall off the bandwagon, and you feel like you just keep heading in the wrong direction?
Sports nutrition is tricky, one meal plan might work for a fellow player, but if you try to fit your personality, cravings, wants, and desires into their little box you might find yourself failing. Sports nutrition plans must be customized to fit each individual athlete. Not sure how to start this journey to a healthier you? We can help; here are 3 steps to a healthier, fitter you.
Before choosing a sports nutrition plan you should ask yourself these questions:
1. What are your goals?
I know this sounds cheesy, but there is a reason almost every sports nutrition and fitness magazine will tell you to write to set your goals, write them down, give them dates and deadlines. It works! How can you get to work on yourself if you haven’t set your personal fitness goals? It’s almost impossible. Sports goals and fitness goals will help you measure your nutrition plan’s success, and give you little cues that can help you adapt your plan as you grow.
Examples of goals:
– Lose 10 pounds by December 1, 2014
– Lose 5% body fat by December 10, 2014
– Gain 10 pounds of muscle by December 5, 2015
– Lose 4 inches on waist by December 2, 2014
2. What are your sport specific goals that relate to your fitness?
Depending on, your sport, position, and even age you might have different goals. This is why it is important that you set goals specific to your sport that relies on you getting healthier and fitter. Your vertical jump could be tied to you losing weight, and gaining more muscle. Another great example is setting a big goal like a 5k, if your current level of fitness keeps you from running, and that is your big weakness then set a goal that challenges this weakness, and will drive you to success.
Examples of sport specific goals include:
– Running a 20 yard sprint faster
– Jumping x amount of inches higher
– Lifting x amount of pounds on your deadlift
– Completing a 5k in under x amount of time
– Increase of x stolen bases a game
These goals should be specific and smart! Make sure you add deadlines, and add specific times limits, weight factors, etc.
3. Are you willing to change your lifestyle to be a better athlete?
Many athletes don’t realize that sports nutrition is just another name for a lifestyle. There is no magic pill, no wish from a Jeanie, and no magic wand from Hogwarts that is going to give you a six pack and calves. You have to put in the work, and you have to have discipline. Not for 10 days, or a month, but for life. As soon as you ditch the ideas of fad diets, and adopt a new lifestyle that promotes clean eating your mindset will change.
Research has shown that 95% of those who lose weight eventually gain it back within three years. Beyond three years that failure rate is even worse!
These stats are staggering, and daunting, but it’s the truth. Diets just aren’t making the cut. You have to change your mindset and lifestyle to really make any weight loss stick. Sorry we forgot the powdered sugar on this post, but we really want to be clear and honest with our athletes that this is an uphill battle. In fact most athletes find it harder then actually playing their sport. However, the return is worth it. Eating clean, and staying fit can help you prevent injuries, and improve an athlete’s quality of life after sports.
Here is the good news, we are behind you. Our team of nutritionists, trainers, and coaches have been there, and done the sports nutrition struggle. We can help answer your questions, and even make meal plans that are custom to your sports, personality, and goals. So what are you waiting for, don’t be a statistic, get fit, be competitive, and do work!