- Eat at least 5 meals per day (this includes snacks). By eating approximately every three waking hours, you will ensure steady blood sugar levels, regular protein availability for muscle growth and repair, and less fat storage. Time your meals around your training or competition schedule.
- Eat a macronutrient ratio of 1:2:3 of fat to protein to carbs, respectively. Carbs should predominate since this macronutrient is the body's immediate and primary energy source. Protein consumption should be at least 0.8g per pound bodyweight to maintain muscle mass. Athletes may need as much as 2g per pound bodyweight. Try to get about 40g of protein in each meal. This ratio is variable depending on your training intensity.
- Eat carbs based on your anticipated activity level (e.g., napping, interval training). Be sure to eat low-glycemic carbs (e.g., oatmeal, banana, sweet potato, pasta) before your training or event and high-glycemic carbs (e.g., baked potato, rice cakes, pretzels) after your event.
- Eat a caloric intake based on your fitness goal (e.g., lean out, gain muscle). This means you reduce your caloric intake each week to reduce bodyfat and increase your weekly caloric intake to gain muscle mass.
- Use supplements as needed. Remember, only take supplements to fill in the gaps in terms of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that may be missing from your daily meals.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."