How can athletes gain weight?

For an athlete struggling to gain weight, eating can be like a chore. But, gaining weight does not have to be hard or exhausting. Think of it as applying the same effort to proper fueling as you do for your training.

Test the things that you are doing daily. For example, track what you eat so you can know how many calories you are eating each day. It can happen that you are under-eating without even knowing. When you measure this, you can manage it, too.

You can gain weight only if you eat enough, or actually, more than enough calories because you need a calorie surplus. We prepared some tips and ideas for you that can help you gain weight.

Tips for athletes trying to gain weight

How to simply start your weight gain journey:

  • Identify how much you are eating and then add 300 to 500 calories per day to your food intake
  • Double up your portions if you can, or simply add liquid calories and stay consistent
  • Don`t discourage if it doesn`t happen fast, it can`t be done overnight
  • Sleep at least seven to nine hours per night because that can have an impact on recovery and synthesizing muscle
  • Do not skip your meals or snacks

For active individuals and competitive athletes, gaining weight might not be as easy as it seems. Eating more can get you there, but, there is more to it. You want to gain weight in a healthy way and have functional muscle mass so your performance can be better. Here are seven tips that can be helpful to you:

1.    Eat every two to three hours

When you eat more often that will make the increasing energy intake easier and it will allow your body to absorb and utilize a bigger amount of protein. Always have a snack before and after your training so you can use the muscle protein synthesis window.

2.    Concentrate on energy density

Eating more and having an energy surplus can be tough on your digestive system. But, choosing the right food and increasing the energy density of foods can help. For instance, you will get the same energy in eating fifteen rice cakes and in a bowl of oatmeal with banana and peanut butter. Additionally, it will be better if you choose avocado spread instead of mustard, whole instead of skim milk, or trail mix instead of crackers.

3.    Don`t forget a bedtime snack

Consuming protein before your sleep time will help you increase muscle protein synthesis. Protein-rich snacks are trail mix and milk, greek yogurt with berries and granola, cheese with grapes, and whole grain crackers. Make sure you have your snack.

4.    Watch out for appetite suppressants

Try to avoid overconsuming protein powders or protein shakes. Also, alcohol, tobacco, appetite suppressive medications, and stress when even possible. Likewise, over-training can also suppress the appetite and make it more difficult for you to gain weight. Whenever you can stay away from these things.

5.    Remember carbohydrates

If you overdo it with your protein intake, you will be too full and that will not increase the functional capacity of your muscles. However, carbohydrates fill your muscles with energy that becomes power, explosiveness, and speed. That is why the key is to focus on carbohydrates.

6.    Ask for support if you need it

Seek support from a professional, teammate, dietitian, or coach. Gaining weight is a unique process for every person and if you are struggling, you should ask for help. Many athletes use too much supplementation and they get no results because there are gaps in fueling foundation. Be strategic, and educate yourself about your weight gain plan from a reliable source.  They can understand your unique nutrition needs as an athlete and help you effectively and safely reach your goals.

7.    Gain weight during your off-season

If you want to increase your weight gradually, the off-season is the best time to do so. One of the reasons is that you have time to focus on that only, not thinking about important events, games, or competitions. During the off-season, you have time to commit to weight gain. Trained, slow growth with no more than two pounds a week, is the best.

 Healthy food weight gain tips

As we mentioned, eat frequently and have a snack right before bed. You can add to your vegetables, potatoes, or meat some olive, avocado, or coconut oil. One tablespoon has 120 calories.

To your sandwiches, meals, and smoothies add sliced avocado. To clarify, half of an avocado has 161 calories.

Nut butter and nuts are an easy snack and they are calorie dense. Peanut or almond butter is a good addition to toast or you can pair them with apples and bananas.

Choose higher protein or higher calorie granola and cereals that are low in added sugar. Have two servings with yogurt or milk. Avoid low-fat foods such as fat-free cheese, yogurt, milk, or granola bars.

To shakes and smoothies, you can add peanut butter and oats. One cup of oats has 300 calories and two tablespoons of peanut butter have 200 calories.

Use whole wheat bagels instead of bread when you are making a sandwich. Adds flaxseed, sunflower, or chia to yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, etc. Plan these, and keep healthy snacks in your locker, gym bag, or car. Make sure that you are always prepared for snacking.

Make sure that you are getting nutrients at breakfast. Eggs, toast, and peanut butter with whole-fat chocolate milk are high-calorie and quality options. Avocado egg toast is super easy to make and has a lot of calories. Greek yogurt with nut butter, fruit, and oats is a great idea, too.

Try to eat snacks that are high in calories every two hours. Set an email or alarm reminder on your phone so you will never forget to snack. Eat more energy-dense snacks and drinks without increasing the volume of food you are eating.

Why weight gain can be hard?

Gaining weight can sometimes be harder than losing it when an athlete is constantly training. The key is calorie surplus and making sure that you are getting more energy than you are burning.

Firstly, the training itself is an appetite suppressant. Usually, we are not hungry after an intense and long practice and the last thing we want to do is eat. That is because exercising suppresses appetite by moving our blood flow from our digestive tract and tricking our mind to think that it is not hungry. This last shortly, so we need to prioritize recovery nutrition to get the most out of every training session.

Secondly, some athletes may struggle to put on weight because they often forget to increase their energy intake when they increase their training. Additionally, besides physical activity, normal development and growth burn calories, too, the same as daily life stressors. To gain weight number of calories you consume must be bigger than the number of calories that you burn. It happens that without knowing you are under-fueling your body.

Summary

While trying to gain weight it is important to eat healthy food. Depending on several factors, including body size and activity level gaining weight can come differently for every individual.

Try to eat whole, minimally processed, or unprocessed foods, such as vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean proteins that should make up all of your diet, or at least the majority. Food like potato chips, bacon, cookies, candies, sugary drinks or sweetened cereals should be limited.

Every change is in some way hard, but be determined and you will reach your goal. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it. You can contact us for support, or talk to a dietitian or other professionals. Believe in yourself!

Guide to starting a plant-based meal plan for athletes

A lot of people say that a plant-based diet is more affordable and it doesn’t take a lot of time. They make food the priority, as, you will agree, it should be. The focus should be on simplicity and health and over time your body will adjust that healthy and simple food is the food that tastes good.

However, it might be difficult at the beginning, but that is nothing that we can`t help you with. When you start, you can set your diet so that you eat similar types of meals almost every day, but add some variety like mixing up nuts or fruits in the smoothie, or choosing different vegetables or dressing for the salad. It will reduce the stress of planning new meals all the time.

As you keep following the diet you will see all the benefits that it brings. Not just healthwise but also in your performance. It will get easier to plan your meals and to decide what food to choose. So, let`s read more about the plant-based athlete meal plan.

Tips for athletes who want to follow a plant-based diet

Whatever sport is yours, from martial arts, triathlon, or bodybuilding, you can do it by eating a plant-based diet. You will be able to perform at your best, and not just that. Additionally, you will be able to recover well so you can do it all again soon.

There are things you need to do so you can achieve that. Athletes or active individuals can use these tips so they can preserve the active lifestyle they love.

Eat colorful food as much as possible

As much as you can stick to the foods close to their natural state. As a result, you won`t have to worry about macro and micronutrient deficiencies. A variety of foods in many colors will ensure that you are getting plenty of minerals, phytonutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, protein, and essential amino acids.

Foods like brightly-colored vegetables, dark leafy greens, berries, dark-colored fruits, vegetables, and green tea will help you reduce the risk of disease. Additionally, they will speed physical recovery and protect your cellular health.

Loading up on a wide variety of vegetables is a good place to start. Eat at least one big, raw salad every day. Load up with as many veggies as you like and add a small amount of healthy fat such as avocado or hemp seed, protein if needed such as edamame or lentils, and then top it off with a homemade dressing.

Post-workout meal is great for recovery

At least a couple of hours after your training try to eat a good quality meal and you are good to go. You don`t have to worry too much about the post-workout window, and if you want some carbs and protein immediately after exercise that is great, too.

Eat a nutrient-dense, well-balanced meal within ninety minutes. That is probably the best idea. When you re-fuel appropriately you can recover faster and be able to train again soon. Pay attention to fluids, protein, and carbohydrate intake.

Ideally, the post-workout ratio of carbs to protein at this meal is something like four grams of carbohydrates for every gram of protein. But, experiment with different meals and check what works best for you. This is a very important aspect of your nutrition plan because if you fail to replace depleted protein, carbs, or fluid after a workout that can decrease performance in the following days.

Any whole food within half an hour or an hour is a great place to start. Carbs, a decent amount of protein, antioxidants, and a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids to support a reduction in inflammation are an ideal combination.

Always think of hydration

Staying hydrated is something that is important to everyone. The reason for that is that our bodies can`t function to their full potential if we are dehydrated. If we are dehydrated, that can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased performance
  • Cramping
  • And also affect our health in many different ways.

 

Always make sure that you are not dehydrated. In another word, drink enough water, not only while you are exercising, but during the whole day. We have to be hydrated constantly, it is not something that we can catch up on.

Maybe getting the water bottle you like will remind you how hydration is important. Buy one and carry it everywhere. If you are at home, always keep a big glass or bottle next to you as a reminder. If it is close and you see it, you will drink it.

 

Before anything else in the morning, before you drink anything else or eat – drink water first. It will improve your energy and wake you up at least a little bit. You can add lemon, lime, and a bit of apple cider vinegar if you prefer.

Think about using hydrating sports drink if you are exercising intensely for a long time. Electrolyte drinks like coconut water can replenish the electrolytes that we lose through sweat. Likewise, it is a good alternative to high-sugar sports drinks. But, the other commercial sports drinks can do the trick, too.

Consider taking supplements

Supplementation is not something that is required but it can be considered in addition to whole food plant-based diet. If your food and sleep quality is at a good level, you are hydrating regularly, and using methods to reduce stress, then you might consider supplements.

Supplements are not going to make a big difference but they will keep you at a great level. They all depend on your goals, activity level,  and diet. Check with a nutritionist or other professional about what is something that can be the best match for you.

In the ideal world, we should get all the minerals, nutrients, and vitamins through the food we eat. We need to include beans, almonds, and dark leafy greens in our diet for calcium. For iron, on the other hand, we need to include kale, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, apricots, and molasses. Therefore, for essential fats, we need chia, hemp, and flax seeds.

You can consider taking B12, creatine, protein powder, vitamin D, omega-3, and magnesium, but nothing is as powerful as a whole food plant-based diet. First, start there and then consider supplements to fill in the gaps if needed.

Eat more veggies

This is of great importance. Make veggies the base of your meal plan like this:

  • Add vegetables to all your main dishes
  • Snack on lots of raw vegetables
  • Eat big salads every day
  • Put some nutrient-dense greens like kale or spinach into your smoothies

Eat big amounts of vegetables, and then eat some more. A big portion of your daily carbohydrate needs should come exactly from them. Choose a lot of non-starchy veggies during the day and then get starchy veggies like squash or sweet potato around your training.

For the number of calories vegetables contain, they are very high in key antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. That is why they are a nutrient-dense food. Pay attention to green vegetables such as spinach, chard, kale, and different kinds of lettuce. You need mineral-rich and fibrous veggies like carrots, zucchini, asparagus, celery, broccoli, and beets. Rotate your veggies weekly and increase your intake of nutrients.

Make sure you are eating enough calories

If you are training hard, you need to make sure you take the additional energy requirements into consideration. A lot of plant-based foods do not have many calories, so be sure to think of that as well and reach for nutrient-dense foods if needed. You need to find the balance because you don`t want to eat too little to perform. However, you don`t want to eat too much either. That can cause weight gain.

Include a variety of seeds, nuts, whole grains, and legumes to increase the number of quality calories you are getting in order to support your exercise. In another word, you won`t have the energy to train and you won`t feel great if you just eat fruits and vegetables.

Prepare your meals ahead

Being prepared is the key to following a plant-based diet the right way. Take time to prepare your meals. The night before, make your lunch for the following day. Make sure that you have a healthy lunch and snacks ready to go.

Put some extra fruit and nuts in your lunch bag in case you need additional fuel at some point throughout the day. Weekend meal prep can be a lifesaver if the busy week is coming.

Keep a food journal

It can be tricky to find the right balance of macronutrients at the right amount of calories needed for weight maintenance, loss, or gain as well as performance. It can help if you write down everything you eat for a week or two. Write down how you felt when you ate those foods and how your workouts went.

In short, this will help you figure out what balance of fats, carbohydrates, and protein works best for you. You will also be able to determine how many calories you need to have energy for everything you do, and also achieve any weight goals you may have. If needed, do that every few months so you check if there is something that you need to adjust.

Meals to include in your meal plan

Snacks for pre-workout

  • Sweet potato with blueberries
  • Half an apple and whole grain toast with chia seed jam
  • Banana, overnight oats with protein powder
  • Granola with blueberries and almond milk
  • Mashed squash with vanilla protein and berries

Breakfast

  • Coconut apple oatmeal
  • Banana oatmeal
  • Carrot, pumpkin, zucchini oatmeal
  • Sweet potato breakfast burritos

Lunch

  • Broccoli, wild rice, salad
  • Chickpea salad
  • Chopped salad with peanut sauce and tofu
  • Roasted vegetable lentil salad
  • Lemon tahini salad with chickpea

Dinner

  • Bbq tofu bowl
  • Roasted potato, avocado bowl
  • Brown rice and baked tempeh
  • Sweet potato tofu bowl
  • Brown rice and baked tempeh
  • Spaghetti squash noodles

Snacks

  • Apple and almond butter
  • Berries
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Homemade hummus and veggies
  • Roasted veggies with tahini
  • Protein bar

The final word

More and more athletes are switching to plant-based diets so there are new products available all time to help support this kind of meal plan. There are many studies that say that this diet has positive effects on athletes` performance and overall health.

The only thing you need to switch to a plant-based diet is to understand the foods you should eat so you can have a balanced diet. Start your journey by planning your meals and making a habit out of that so you can achieve your goal.

If you considered switching to this kind of diet to improve your athletic performance, you are already on the right path in making good choices regarding food and improving your quality of life. We are here if you need help or you have questions or concerns.

Whole foods grocery list (and meal prep)

There are many different arguments about which diet should we choose, or which one is the best for us. However, wellness and health communities agree that when we emphasize whole, fresh ingredients and minimize processed foods, we are doing a great thing for ourselves.

This diet focuses specifically on plants, but minimally processed foods, too. It is an effective way to stimulate weight loss and improve health.  Also, this diet can vary depending on how many animal products people want to include in their diet.

For some people this is not necessarily a diet, usually, it is a lifestyle. Therefore, in this text, we will talk a little bit about whole foods diet, meal prepping whole food dishes, and a grocery list that can be helpful when you go to the store.

Whole-food diet

As we previously mentioned, a whole-food diet primarily focuses on unprocessed foods. Additionally, frozen fruit and vegetables, or canned beans can be also included because they are minimally processed.

Whole legumes, grains, fresh fruits, nuts, and veggies are the base of a healthy whole-food or plant-based diet. That said, here is the basic principle of this diet:

  • Limits or avoids animal products
  • It bases on minimally processed and whole foods
  • The focus is on plants, veggies, fruits, whole grains, seeds, and nuts, which should make the majority of the food we eat
  • Attention is on food quality, it can be focused on local, organic food whenever that is possible
  • Excluding refined foods like white flour, processed oils, and added sugars

For these reasons, this diet often gets confused with vegan or vegetarian diets. They have some similarities, but, these diets are not the same.

To clarify, a whole-food diet is flexible. People who are following it eat mostly plants, but animal products are allowed, too. Some people following this diet may eat small amounts of eggs, poultry, meat, seafood, or dairy.

Studies showed that this diet has a high fiber content and less processed food which is a winning combination for weight loss. As a result, the weight is not coming back, so it is good for the long run, too. Also, there is a lower risk and reduced symptoms of chronic diseases, and some people call it heart-friendly.

Grocery list for followers of a whole-food diet

A great way to start any diet is by making a new grocery list. However, sometimes changing your diet can seem a little bit overwhelming or stressful. That is why the right shopping list can do miracles.

When you have a list of the things you need to buy, your fridge and pantry will be full of the right things. Therefore, you will have everything you need to stick with your diet. In the other words, this shopping list will provide you with that.

Fruits

Citrus fruits

Pears

Berries

Peaches

Bananas

Pineapple, etc.

Starchy vegetables

Sweet potatoes

Potatoes

Butternut squash, etc.

Vegetables

Kale

Broccoli

Carrots

Cauliflower

Asparagus

Spinach

Tomatoes

Peppers, etc.

Healthy fats

Olive oil

Unsweetened coconut

Avocados, etc.

Whole grains

Rolled oats

Quinoa

Brown rice

Farro

Barley

Brown rice pasta, etc.

Legumes

Chickpeas

Lentils

Peanuts

Peas

Black beans, etc.

Nuts, nut butter, and seeds

Cashews

Almonds

Macadamia nuts

Pumpkin seeds

Natural peanut butter

Tahini, etc.

Herbs, spices, seasonings

Rosemary

Turmeric

Basil

Curry

Salt

Black pepper, etc.

Plant-based milk without added sugar

Almond milk

Cashew milk

Coconut milk, etc.

Plant-based protein

Tempeh

Tofu

Plant-based protein sources or powders without artificial ingredients or added sugar

Condiments

Mustard

Nutritional yeast

Salsa

Vinegar

Soy sauce

Lemon juice, etc.

Beverages

Tea

Sparkling water

Coffee, etc.

If you are supplementing your whole-food diet with animal products, try to choose quality products in grocery stores, or, even better, buy them from local farms. Whenever possible try to get these:

  • Beef and pork – grass-fed or pastured
  • Eggs – pasture raised
  • Seafood – wild-caught from fisheries
  • Poultry – organic, free-range
  • Dairy – organic products from pasture-raised animals

Foods to eat, avoid and minimize on a whole-foods diet

Most meals for many people are focused around eggs and bacon for breakfast or steak for dinner. So, when you what to change your diet, and try whole foods, your meals should center around plant-based food.

If you eat animal foods, you should do that in smaller amounts and you need to pay attention to the quality. Dairy, poultry, eggs, seafood, or meat that you eat need to be something that complements your plant-based meal, not the main point of it.

 

Food to minimize, or avoid if it is possible

This diet focuses on consuming foods in their natural form. So,  heavily processed foods are excluded. When you purchase groceries, try to focus on fresh foods. If you are buying foods with labels, go for items with the least possible ingredients. Try to avoid:

  • Food with added sugar or sweets – soda, juice, pastries, cookies, table sugar, candy, sugary cereals, sweet tea, etc.
  • Fast food – cheeseburgers, french fries, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, etc.
  • Refined grains – white bread, white pasta, white rice, bagels, etc.
  • Processed vegan-friendly foods – plant-based meats like tofurkey, vegan butter, faux cheeses, etc.
  • Convenience or packed foods – crackers, cereal bars, chips, frozen dinners, etc.
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Processes animal products – lunch meats, sausage, beef jerky, bacon, etc.

Food that you should minimize if you can`t completely avoid

These foods should also be excluded whenever possible:

  • Pork
  • Sheep
  • Game meats
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Dairy

 

Whole foods meal prep

Meal prepping for this kind of diet is similar to meal prepping for any diet. You need enough containers, meal plans, a shopping list, and maybe an hour once or twice a week. The better thing about prepping meals for whole foods diet is that you will spend even less time cooking.

Make sure to stick to your meal plan, prepare your groceries and start washing, chopping, baking, and boiling. You just need to decide how many meals you what to prep a day, and how many days a week. You can put the whole meals together or just prepare the ingredients and assemble them right before the meal.

Try to include five food groups in your meals for nutrition and a healthy diet. That way you will have all you need for an energetic day. Your every food container should be full of these important vitamins.

If you are baking vegetables, bake more so you can put them in a few containers for a few days of the week. Put nuts, berries, seeds, or similar foods in separate smaller containers so they do not mix up with other watery foods. Wash your vegetables for a salad, but don`t mix them with other ingredients before the meal because they can get soggy.

Meal prep is just something that can save you time during the week. It is easier when you have a plan and you don`t have to worry about what you are going to eat. Use the grocery list to help you assemble your tasty dishes.

Summary

To summarize and repeat – a whole-food healthy diet focuses on plant foods like fruit, veggies, legumes, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. If you eat animal products you should eat them in smaller quantities.

When you follow this diet you can get a lot of benefits, some of which are reduced risks of developing cancers, heart disease, cognitive decline, or diabetes. Additionally, it helps protect the environment, too.

Only by deciding to start a whole-food diet, you are doing a great thing for your body.  If needed, we are here for all your questions and additional information. You have all the tools like a grocery list, food to avoid, and meal prep tips.  Using these tools is a great start to a way to success.

Meal plan for better athletic performance

The way of feeling the best, having energy, and looking great is a balanced diet with regular activity. When you choose nutritious food, you will get the most out of it. All of this is, of course, the key to optimal performance.

It is something that you can accomplish if you plan your meals and think about the five food groups on the way. Make sure that half of your dish is colorful vegetables and fruits and you are at a good start. 

Find out your daily nutritional needs. They are based on your basal metabolic state. That is the number of calories that you burn regularly just doing your everyday activities. It also depends on the intensity and frequency of your exercise program.

We have some ideas and suggestions that can help you make your meal plan for great athletic performance. They can make your meal planning easier and help you know what you need to pay attention to. But, if you need more assistance, you can always let us know.

9 things that can help you level up performance

1.    Make sure to always eat breakfast

Everyone should consume the first meal around thirty to sixty minutes after waking up. Most importantly, lean, high-quality protein should always be on the menu, especially for athletes. Try to eat organic. Whenever possible eat organic choices. You can build a power breakfast from lean breakfast meats, like turkey sausage, low-fat organic dairy, whole grains, omega three rich eggs, or egg whites.

2.    Eat frequent, not large meals

Fuel your body every four hours. When you have a regular meal schedule you can prevent fatigue and reduces the risk of injury. Provide your body with the necessary calories and macronutrients for your daily activities. During high-activity periods, proper nutrition is something that can help you reduce muscle damage, avoid glycogen depletion, speed up muscle recovery and increase your immune function.

3.    Plan your meals

Olympic athletes` daily meals plan usually has 20-30 % of quality fats, such as nuts, nut butter, seeds, olive oil, and avocados. Secondly, 55-60 % carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Lastly, 15-25 % lean proteins, poultry, beans, fish, and low-fat dairy. When you plan your meals you can save money, calories, and time. At least the night before, try to create a meal plan for the next day. Use a list when you go grocery shopping, and buy things for the next several days or even a whole week. This way there will be no impulse buying.

4.    Use vitamins and supplements if needed

Make up for nutrients that food can`t supply. Figure out what vitamins that can help you feel better and what your body is missing. This will help you stay healthy, and feel great and it will reduce stress. By getting all the important vitamins and minerals you will feel more energetic, too.

5.    Find what works for you

Meals that provide enough nutrients and help you with your performance and energy level, don`t need to change it. However, you can change it a little so you can feel even better, but not big changes, because if it works there is no need to fix it. It can happen that you will feel less comfortable when you change your meal plan a lot.

6.    Eat food that helps you with your activities

Different sports, training, and activities will require different meal plans. You need to make sure that a higher carbohydrate intake will ensure adequate fuel for hours of training. High protein needs will support muscle mass. Make sure that your meal plan is appropriate for your needs. That way food will work for you before and after exercising.

7.    Eat after exercising

It is important to add more nutrients to your body not later than thirty minutes after training. If your responsibilities are different, and you can have a meal, try to find some other alternative. Something like shake or nut snacks might do the work.

8.    Remember that food needs to be flavorful

It is great to have a meal plan that will help with your performance. But, make sure that those dishes are also delicious. When you have tasty meals you will more likely stick to your meal plan and you will look forward to every meal with a smile on your face.

9.    Make sure that you drink enough water

It is different for everyone, but if you wait to get thirsty to drink something, you are already late to hydrate. Water is the way to hydrate, but, sometimes herbal teas or natural juices can do the trick. Make sure to have just enough, not too little, not too much. This way you will be hydrated, but it will not be a problem.

Food and performance

Good nutrition and meal plans can make your sporting performance better. When you plan it well, your diet will meet most of your mineral and vitamin needs, you will have enough protein to help your muscles repair and grow.

Food that can provide this will be rich in unrefined carbohydrates. For example, wholegrain cereals and bread can be the basis for your diet. If you are following a keto meal plan for athletes, you should choose more meat and fat, of course. It is up to you to try and decide which meal plan will work best.

Athletic meal plans should be individualized for every athlete. That is because everyone has specific sports, food preferences, goals, and challenges. It is always best to have something that is just yours and that you can be sure will help you.

Good nutrition and good health are connected. It doesn`t matter if you are a weekend sports player, daily exerciser, or competing athlete if you have an adequate diet that will help you with your performance.

When we intake carbohydrates, they are broken down into sugars, or glucose, and that is our body`s primary energy source. After that glucose is converted to glycogen and we store it in the muscle tissue or liver. That is when we can use it as an essential energy source during training to give our muscle tissue and other body systems fuel.

Daily diet and training need

The basic diet should have these benefits for an athlete:

  • It should provide enough nutrients and energy for exercise and training
  • Must include a variety of foods like vegetables, lean meat, fruit, low-fat dairy products, and whole grain bread, so long-term behavior, and nutrition habits can be established
  • Recovery and adaptation between training sessions should be faster with the diet
  • Athletes will be able to achieve optimal body fat levels and body weight for their performance
  • Adequate fluids should be provided to ensure maximum hydration, after, during, and before training
  • It needs to provide long-term health to athletes

Healthy weight

When we talk about ideal body weight we have to mention that is the weight that your body naturally settles into when you eat nutritiously, you are physically active and you balance your calories. Health, having enough energy, and feeling good is the main goal, not a specific body size, weight, or shape. When you achieve and maintain that as a part of your lifestyle you will be at your best and you will be able to compete to your potential.

It takes around twenty to thirty minutes for our stomach to tell us it’s full, so we need to slow down and give it time to process. If we learn to listen to the cues that can help us maintain a healthy body weight. So, let your stomach guide you, and pay attention before and as you eat.

A healthy body is a key to athletic success. Performance, sleep, immune system, and recovery will tell you about the health of your body. Each person is special and unique, so you should just focus on your health, not on the scale and numbers.

Final words

When you want to achieve the best athletic performance, always include the five food groups in your diet. Emphasizing one food group might lead to not getting vital nutrients that your body needs. Chose a variety of nutrient-rich foods for your peak performance and you will feel great, have enough energy, look good, and of course, you will be healthy.

Before choosing the meal plan, consider what you need to improve in your sporting performance. Always start with training, diet, and lifestyle changes for optimal results.

Specific meal plans will provide what you eat, and when, and give you great and delicious options to eat every day. An important part of good nutrition is that works for you on daily basis and it helps you improve and develop your habits.

Are prepared meals healthy?

You don’t have to eat fast food or convenience food if you don’t have time to prepare a meal. Use a healthy prepared meal delivery service to start eating well or to lose weight without damaging your health!

When moms were in charge of the kitchen, everyone sat down to eat and catch up with family at lunch or supper. However, a lot of individuals today operate in a different manner.

It might be difficult to plan meals, purchase goods, prepare, and cook a proper dinner because of people’s fast-paced lifestyles or simply because everyone is engaged in doing something.

Consequently, one of the most well-liked ways to enjoy hot, delectable, and nutritious meals is through prepared meal delivery. But then again, not all prepared meal delivery services are made equal, thus the quality and nutritional value of the food vary depending on where you get it.

However, are prepared meals nutritious?

We say that they could be. Everything depends on where you get your food.

So, if you’re uncertain about your prepared meal delivery service and concerned that the food you’re eating doesn’t contain enough nutrients, you’ve come to the perfect spot.

Here, we’ll discuss the many fast food alternatives and how to add excitement and nutrition to every meal.

Service Types for Delivering Prepared Meals

Services that deliver meals that have been prepared often fall into one of two categories:

  • Ready-to-cook ingredients: Preparing the numerous components of a dish is one of the most time-consuming parts of cooking a meal. This kind of food delivery service would offer all the components, pre-cut and cleaned, ready for you to cook anytime you choose, for instance, if you were going to make chicken and vegetable soup.
  • Meals that you just heat and eat: Many prepared meal delivery businesses provide heat-and-eat meals that are delivered right to your door. Due to its ability to provide the speed and convenience that many individuals need, this is typically the chosen meal delivery service. The service frequently takes the form of an ongoing subscription. If you choose one, the provider will make sure that all meals are freshly made and catered to your calorie needs and portion control requirements while also taking into account your preferences for flavors or ingredients.

Therefore, it could be beneficial to contact healthy prepared meal delivery services like Jet Fuel meals in order to avoid reaching for what might be a high-fat, high-sodium, and sugary frozen supper in your freezer.

What Prepared Meals Are Healthiest?

Home-cooked meals often have a better overall nutritional profile than restaurant food. Again, though, not everyone in today’s world has the luxury of time to shop for, prepare, and cook meals.

Delivery services for nutritious prepared meals would be the next best thing.

The healthiest prepared meals are:

  • Nutritionally complete: In order to satisfy some if not all of your daily needs, the food your selected prepared meal delivery service supplies should ideally include a balanced combination of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, etc.).
  • Fresh and sustainably grown ingredients are often used in the preparation of your cuisine by reputable, healthy-prepared meal delivery services. Food is more flavorful and nutrient-dense when it is consumed right away. You also know that the food you’re eating is free of toxins and chemical byproducts from the fertilizers and pesticides used in normal farming when the produce the meal provider uses is sustainably sourced or farmed.
  • Proper portioning: One of the drawbacks of modern eating is that most of the food that is offered, whether it be at fast-food and casual dining establishments or frozen dinners, is typically prepared for more than one person. In other words, if you buy a 500-gram frozen casserole, thaw it in the microwave, and then consume it all, you could be eating a two-serving dish. If you’re attempting to lose weight, this might be an issue. Therefore, verify with your food supplier and let them know you especially want one-person servings only to prevent overeating. Additionally, you may modify serving sizes to suit your tastes.
  • Delicious and filling: Food must be enticing to you, the consumer so that you will enjoy it and feel full after eating it. After a meal, you won’t feel the need to go for a bag of chips or a tub of ice cream to feel satisfied.

The Benefits of Prepared Food

First of all, they are practical.

Their main selling point maybe this. The majority of us could use some time savings because we are all so busy.

Ready-made meals go above and above to eliminate the cooking and preparation time required to prepare a fresh meal from scratch.

Similarly, you don’t need to buy as many different types of food.

There are several ways you may incorporate prepared meals into a balanced, nutritious diet.

Ready-made meals are adaptable and may be included in a balanced diet in a number of ways:

You may purchase them from the store and essentially consume them immediately. Either when you return to work or if you leave immediately for home. The majority of the time, all you need is access to a microwave.

You have a ready-made dinner alternative if you need to stay late at work because you can store them in the refrigerator for a few days. Similar to this, some days simply get hectic and calendars get full. You might not have time to prepare because of your own athletic or social commitments.

As an alternative, you may store them in the freezer. The ability to choose from a variety of foods on days when you don’t feel like cooking is a huge benefit. You’re less inclined to choose takeout, which is typically less nutrient-dense.

Some businesses can transport prepared meals right to your door, as was previously described. Many provide flexible weekly meal plans that you may choose from. They may be tailored to your nutritional choices as well as your goals for nutrition, exercise, and overall health.

Ready-made meal brands and producers might have different portion sizes.

It is challenging to estimate your consumption due to this. Having said that, it gets a little bit simpler if you know what calorie and macronutrient intakes are effective for you. There is a huge variety of pre-made meals available, and they all have different energy intakes and calorie counts. It will assist to be aware of your needs and having a general idea of your daily consumption.

For your goals, some solutions might not offer enough of a certain macronutrient. Your performance will decrease if you exercise hard but don’t consume enough carbs. not only in the gym. You’ll probably also notice lapses in focus at work.

Additionally, the quantity of veggies in prepared meals is sometimes lower than what we would put in our own meals. Reduced quantities of fruits and vegetables may affect your intake of fiber and vitamins.

Jet Fuel Meals offers Prepared Meals that are Fresh, Healthy, and Delicious

We should all be able to eat wholesome, freshly prepared meals every day.

The best course of action would be to choose a healthy prepared meal delivery service like Jet Fuel Meals if you’re often strapped for time or want to simplify your life.

Every customer at Jet Fuel Meals receives a fresh, nutritious, and tasty meal that is balanced, properly sized, and ultimately fulfilling.

Is keto diet plan free?

The ketogenic diet is free since you can find the guidelines for keto eating with a quick Google search. You can easily discover thousands of free keto recipes as well as information on keto macros and keto meal lists in books or blog articles. A keto diet is considered a “free” diet because it doesn’t charge a membership fee, unlike Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. It goes without saying that the high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb foods you consume while on the keto diet are not free, but there are methods to do so.

Please continue reading for the inside scoop on how to start the keto diet for nothing, where to discover free keto meal plans, which keto items are reasonably priced, and what foods are allowed on the keto diet without restriction.

The keto diet is free, as is sometimes questioned. There are no membership fees, monthly weigh-ins, or required purchases of specially packaged foods labeled “diet.” Online resources or a keto “how to” manual from your local library both make it simple to learn the fundamentals of keto. We have put up a simple guide to finding free meal plans and recipes for the keto diet.

How to begin the keto diet for free

You must first comprehend the keto guidelines in order to start the keto diet for free. A ketogenic diet consists of a low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. As a general rule, swap out fat for carbohydrates.

Most keto diets advise keeping daily carbohydrate intake between 20 and 50 grams. This maintains your carb intake low enough so that you enter a metabolic state known as ketosis, in which your body burns fat for energy very effectively. Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet Improves Immune Function.

However, knowing that you should tightly restrict carbohydrates while increasing fat is insufficient knowledge. We really feel that before beginning a ketogenic diet, you should comprehend the WHY behind the items you select to eat.

What does the ketogenic diet cost?

Since the keto diet does not require membership like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, it is free to follow. The only expenses related to a ketogenic diet are the cost of your food and a book or guide to eating keto (or utilizing one of the free learning resources mentioned above).

When compared to the typical American diet, which frequently includes loads of (cheap) carbohydrates like rice, pasta, bread, and potatoes, many people believe that keto is more costly. However, eating keto involves more than ribeye steaks, aged cheddar, and exotic avocados.

Since the protein in a keto diet is modest, you won’t need to consume a lot of pricey cuts or enormous servings of meat or fish.

You may get non-starchy vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, and onions fresh, frozen, or canned at a reasonable price.

Despite the high-fat content of the ketogenic diet, you won’t be chugging coconut oil or serving bacon with every meal.

Compared to takeout or pre-made keto meals from the grocery store, cooking at home will drastically save your food expenditures.

Weighed the price of an example daily food for a ketogenic diet against a similar menu’s cost for a “regular,” higher-carb diet for weight reduction. The average daily cost for the keto diet was $10.50, compared to $15.00 for the day with more carbs.

The cost of the keto diet ultimately depends on how much time and money you want to spend studying about it, purchasing apps or diaries to keep track of your macronutrients and planning your food budget. Keto does not always entail higher food costs.

What are the cheapest ketogenic foods?

You may spend more money on Wagyu meat, expensive Parmigiano-Reggiano, or chef-prepared keto meals when you consume a ketogenic diet. But you’re not required to. Eating a ketogenic diet on a budget is feasible.

Cheap keto meal options:

  • Eggs
  • vegetables without grains (think in season, often frozen are cheaper than fresh)
  • Cheese (purchase in quantity, such huge bags of shredded cheese or blocks of cheese) (buy in bulk, like large bags of shredded cheese or blocks of cheese)
  • Whole chicken or skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (use bones to make inexpensive bone broth after roasting)
  • When ground beef is on sale, buy a lot and freeze it.
  • Greek yogurt with added fat. Purchase in 1-quart tubs to use as a basis for dips or in berry parfaits.
  • Lamb chops

How to cut costs on the keto diet while buying food

Always check your local food store fliers or check their internet deals, even if they may seem dated. Normally, only purchase meat, poultry, and seafood during sales. If it’s a wonderful offer, buy a lot and keep it in the freezer.

Even organic manufacturers of salad mixtures and leafy greens sometimes offer to buy one, get one free deal.

Buy extra berries while they’re on sale and freeze them, or buy frozen berries.

When purchasing nuts and nut butters, search for discounts or buy in quantity.

An excellent approach to cutting costs is to order your groceries online or using the shop app. You’ll be able to monitor the current total and refrain from impulsive purchases.

Being on a tight keto budget also involves watching what you AVOID buying

Spend your money on avocados, a KC Strip Steak that is now on sale, and premium extra-virgin olive oil rather than pre-packaged keto convenience items. The location for pricey keto foods is while traveling or if you truly desire them. Grass-fed beef jerky, packaged cheese crisps, protein bars, and artificially sweetened keto sweets should all be avoided.

How to track your macros on the keto diet for nothing

When you first start the keto diet and occasionally when you need to take a little reality check if you aren’t seeing the results you want, tracking your macros is crucial.

Here are several unpaid macro-tracking applications:

What foods qualify as “free” on the keto diet?

Foods that are “free” for keto are a special kind of free.

They are things that you can consume indefinitely without worrying about ruining your macros or slipping out of ketosis.

Foods that are “free” or “unlimited” on the keto diet are also known as “zero carbs” foods.

Several ketogenic meals are:

  • Bone bouillon
  • poultry, including beef, lamb, pig, chicken, and turkey, that has not been processed
  • Eggs
  • such as lobster, cod, salmon, tuna, and shrimp. (Sorry, no k-rab or fake crab!)
  • spices, herbs, and seasonings such as salt, black pepper, and chili flakes. Simply avoid using spice combinations that could have sugar added
  • Oils, lard, and butter
  • water, unsweetened tea, and coffee, among other beverages

Totally free keto recipes for newbies

With just a quick internet search, you can easily find zillions of free keto recipes online. If you enjoy browsing images of mouthwatering keto dishes, you may also browse Pinterest.

Keto cookbooks make up a large portion of the free keto books in the area above.

What should athletes eat?

Every athlete knows that physical health is an important part of an active lifestyle. They depend on skill, endurance, and strength whether you are making a final push across the finish line, going for the ball, or lifting weights.

When you want to be the best at something that takes time, patience, and training. That said, you must take special attention to getting enough vitamins, calories, and other nutrients to help you have enough energy.

Usually, an athlete`s diet is not much different than that of any person who wants and tries to be and eat healthily. Choices from each food group need to be included in the diet. In this text, you can read about the food that athletes should eat so they can reach their goals.

athletes-diet

Things that you need to know about athlete`s diet

Athletes may need to eat more or less of certain food depending on different factors, such as:

  • The amount of training
  • Path to improved health
  • Type of sport
  • Time spent in training

Every person has different needs. The amount of food you might need depends on your height, weight, age, activity level, and of course, sport. However, you always need to replace the number of calories that you burn during the day.

Calories are the energy that we get from the food we eat. Most people need somewhere around 1.500 and 2.000 calories per day. On the other hand, athletes may need around 2.000 and 3.000 calories.

If you are not sure about a healthy daily calorie intake, always consult with your doctor or other professional. Together, you can determine what are your nutrition needs and healthy daily calorie count. For sure, over time, you will easily learn to make a balance between your calorie intake and spending so you will avoid extreme weight loss or gain.

Calories and important nutrients

Like everyone else, athletes need vitamins and minerals. To stay healthy, a nutrient-rich and balanced diet is very important. The food that you eat should be full of iron, potassium, fiber, and calcium. Vitamins, such as E, C, and A should be in your diet, too.

Try to stay out of junk food. They are an empty source of calories. That is why you should focus on whole grains, a mixture of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. They will help you fuel your body in a healthy way.

It is important to know that calories come in different forms. The main types of calories come from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Fat

This is an important source of calories. When taken in small amounts fat is an important fuel source. It helps other functions, such as supporting hair and skin. You should not replace carbs with fats in your diet. That can slow you down because your body will need to work harder to burn that fat for energy.

Fats should be no more than thirty percent of daily calories. Whenever you can, try to choose unsaturated fats, like nuts or olive oil. They are better for your health. That said, too many of the wrong types of fats can cause health problems. They can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease or type two diabetes.

Protein

It should be around ten to fifteen percent of daily calories. Foods like eggs, milk, beans, meat, nuts, and meat. Some athletes think that they should eat a large amount of protein because it builds muscle. But, high doses will not help bulk up. Over time, too much protein can be bad for your health. If you take too much for a long time, it can lead to problems with the kidneys or liver.

Carbohydrates

Carbs are our body`s biggest source of calories. Carbs like milk, fruits, and vegetables are easier for our bodies to break down. They will give us a quick energy burst. Whole grain products have the most nutritious carbs. You can find them in whole-grain bread, brown rice, oatmeal, potatoes, and kidney beans. Fifty-five to sixty percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates.

Athletes should know when to eat and hydrate

Athletes need to know when to eat and rehydrate. It is crucial to know what but also when to eat. For example, if you have an important game, try to eat your pre-event meal two to four hours before. If you have a face, dinner, the night before is a good choice.

A good meal before an important event has a lot of complex carbs and less protein or sugar. You should avoid greasy and rich foods. They can be hard to digest and your stomach might get upset. Avoid food an hour before the event. Digestion uses our energy.

One of the most important things is also staying hydrated. Especially on a game day. Our body is made of almost sixty percent of water. When we work out, we lose fluid when we sweat. One sign of dehydration is thirst. Drinking water before we feel thirsty is the best way to stay hydrated. Don`t drink a lot because you will feel full, but try to drink small amounts every 15-20 minutes.

Water is the best to help you rehydrate. If you are attending the event in under an hour, water will replace what you lose when sweating. If the events are longer, you may use sports drinks. They provide carbohydrates and electrolytes.

Some experts also recommend chocolate milk after exercising. Muscle recovery will come faster because of the protein in milk. Usually, it has less sugar than energy or sports drinks, and it is rich in minerals and vitamins. Maybe you should stay away from drinks that have caffeine. They might dehydrate you more or make you feel jittery or anxious.

Something more you should consider

As an athlete, you need a lot of nutrients and energy to stay in shape. A strict diet plan might be bad for your ability or harmful to your health. You may not have enough strength without calories from fat, protein, and carbs. Not eating enough is not a good choice. Be sure to talk to a professional to help you build a good meal plan that will work well with your goals and needs.

Don`t overestimate the number of calories you burn when you train. Don`t take more energy than you will lose by exercising. Also, don`t exercise on an empty stomach. Of course, every individual is different.

Consider how long before working out is good for you to eat. What is the right amount for you, do you need to lose or gain weight so your performance can be better, be sure to do that safely.

Food that athletes should eat

Here you can find some ideas that can help you stay on track and find the food that will provide you with enough energy. The type of food an athlete eats is important for sports performance and health. When you include these foods in your eating plan, you will feel well and fuel yourself better.

  1. Cold or ready-to-eat cereal – Cereal has nutrients like iron, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins E and A and that is why they are healthy and a great part of your diet. You can have them for snacks, breakfast, or dinner, but choose a cereal with less than eight or nine grams of sugar per serving.
  2. Beans – They are full of protein, fiber, zinc, iron, and magnesium, which is why you should include them in your diet plan. They can be in your salad, burrito, pasta dish, or crunchy snack.
  3. Yogurt – It is a great source of vitamin D, potassium, calcium, and protein. Greek varieties have extra protein if that is what you need. Also, you can eat yogurt as a snack, part of a meal, or dessert.
  4. Nuts – They are full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamin E, and magnesium. Grab a handful on the way to training or put them on top of yogurt or cereal. Small bags of almonds, cashews, or peanuts are a tasty and quick snack.
  5. Seeds – Seeds are full of healthy fats, magnesium, vitamin E, and fiber, similar to nuts. You can eat them in the same way, too. They are a good substitute for athletes allergic to nuts.
  6. Cheese – It has potassium, protein, and calcium. This is an easy and quick snack. Especially if it is packed in blocks or sticks. You can eat cheese in casseroles, sandwiches, or pasta.
  7. Orange juice – Only one hundred present orange juice, of course. You will get vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin C, and calcium. Try not to have more than one cup per day, because it can be a significant source of calories.

Additionally, these food groups are the most important

1. Dairy

This food group has complete proteins, potassium, carbohydrates, calcium, and more. This provides crucial components for bone strength, energy production, and muscle recovery. 2-3 cups of low-fat dairy a day, cow`s milk, plant-based beverages, cheese, or yogurt, are very important for an athlete.

2. Grains

Whole grains have a lot of minerals, fiber, and vitamins. That is why they should be prioritized in the diet. These nutrients will be great resources for intensive activities and recovery, too. These high-starch foods should be consumed based on a physical activity level, and not more than one or two fists at each meal.

3. Proteins

Protein sources include all of the most important amino acids for our body. They are crucial for muscle maintenance, chemical reactions, and cell structure. Animal proteins are complete sources for these actions, but other proteins can also provide great amounts of amino acids as well. Fish and poultry should be prioritized in the diet in about a quarter of a plate portion.

4. and 5. Fruits and vegetables

Together, they are two essential food groups and they should be about half of the plate or fifty percent of each meal. They provide us with vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, antioxidants, and water and they work together to give us hydration, energy, digestion, and injury/recovery prevention. When we talk about starchy vegetables, such as peas, corn, potatoes,  or fruit, the serving size should be about a fist or two.

Final word

Good nutrition should be flexible and individualized to athletes` preferences, tastes, and lifestyles. You should combine the food groups previously mentioned. Listen to your body and how it responds to them, so you can mend your approach if that is necessary.

As often as you can, choose foods that can help you get enough protein, carbohydrates, healthy fat, and protein and implement them in your meals and snacks. A balanced diet is essential to give you enough energy for growth and activity.

An eating plan is something that should help you reach your goal and it should match your physical demands. It can help you be better that your competition and complement your training.

What do athletes eat in a day?

We all know that athletes are in a good shape. It is their job to train and exercise and they sure do it well. Even if you are not competing or you are not an athlete, you can still want to be in a good shape.

A big part of their life is a healthy diet, and there are similar things in every athlete`s diet. Because of competitions and exhausting training, they depend on food to give them energy.

They have a busy schedule and a lot of things they have to do during the day. They eat carbs, and proteins, they have snacks, and many other things that people on strict diets can`t do. But their bodies lose a lot of energy so they need more fuel.

In this text, we will pay attention to the food that athletes eat in a day and also about some ideas on what you can try. However, always try to find what works for you for the best results.

8 things that athletes pay attention to when it comes to their daily diet

1.    For having energy, a high-protein diet is very important.

Breakfast should include something like eggs on toast, or a smoothie. Depending on the time you have in the morning. Both of these are protein-based, and athletes need a lot of protein. You can try to have seventy grams of protein so you can add it to every meal, whenever you can.

2.    You don`t have to obsessively count calories.

It is enough to weigh your food. It is important to get grams of proteins and grams of carbs each day. This way you will have a nutritious, healthy diet. However, it is not good to have a lot but find what is enough, or the right amount for yourself.

3.    Carbs are good for you because of the training.

If you train five or six days a week, you don`t have to turn down all kinds of bread, all the time. You can even have a quick sandwich if you don`t have time to make something else. Just not all the time. If you have a lot of training you don`t have to cut down on a lot of carbs. Everything in moderation is a good choice. And, you can`t cut out a major food group.

4.    Balance is the most important

It is okay to have some vice. If you are a crisp person, it will not make a problem if you have them from time to time. Therefore, maybe it would be a good idea to avoid them until the off-season. Balance in your diet is essential for athletes. It will happen that you have cravings for some food, so sometimes just enjoy them so you don`t get unnecessary stress.

5.    Nutrients are something that you need

Get enough minerals and vitamins, to make sure that you are getting all that your body needs. It will prevent sickness. You want to be at your optimum when you have important games or competitions and nothing should hold you back.

6.    Snacking is not a bad thing

It is good to snack, just make sure that it is on the right stuff. You can snack before or after a training session. When you have a heavy day, you can snack on fruit like bananas or cereal before training. Afterward, try to get the protein back in. You can have some peanut butter with an apple or a protein shake or bar. Something that can make sure you recover properly.

7.    Try to eat immediately after training

Your mealtimes might be relaxed, which is alright, but try to eat at similar times every day. However, you must have the right meal after exercising. Ideally, you should eat within half an hour after finishing your training session, because you need to refuel your body as soon as possible.

8.    There is no need to complicate things

You don`t have to cook some complicated recipes. Just make sure that you are getting enough nutrients your body needs. For example, you can prepare chicken with noodles or rice. You can add a few vegetables like parsnips, broccoli, or carrots. Something that will provide all the things you need but will not take a lot of your precious time.

Ideas for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners

When we look at the big picture we notice that the best of the best eat similar things. What is important to remember about their diet is

  • They eat a lot of vegetables.
  • Athletes training at a high intensity consumes high-carb meals around exercising.
  • Most of the meals they eat are not on the go, they need to ensure proper digestion, presence, and rest with food.
  • They need a high-quality protein source.
  • Meals need to be there with intention, every plate includes fat, protein, and carbs.
  • Always focus on real food and then on bars, powders, or pills.

Let`s check some ideas for meals that can help you when you do not have inspiration on what to eat, make, or choose.

 Breakfasts

The first meal of the day is essential so some ideas that you can use are

  • Whole milk, apple, bell pepper, egg whites, oatmeal, spinach…
  • Mocha latte, macadamia nuts, instant oatmeal…
  • Ground beef, sweet potato, egg, cabbage, honey, steel-cut oats, RX bar, buttermilk pancake…
  • Raspberry jam, brown sugar, cinnamon butter spread, cinnamon raisin sprouted bread, zucchini, sweet potato, ground beef…

 

Lunches

For your meal in the middle of the day, you might choose

  • Chicken, mayonnaise, white rice, grapes, lettuce, cabbage, walnuts, sports drink…
  • Shrimp, basmati rice, reduced-fat bacon, guacamole…
  • Protein shake, frozen berries…
  • Chicken breast, sweet potato, avocado, green beans…

Dinners

For the last meal of the day, here are some ideas for you:

  • Shrimp, salmon, feta cheese, tomatoes, butternut squash, brown rice, carrot, cashews…
  • Shrimp, guacamole, reduced-fat bacon, yellow pepper, basmati rice, steak…
  • Cabbage, spinach, vinaigrette, honey, bacon crumbles, chicken breast, craisins, sunflower seeds…
  • Sweet potato, pineapple, cheese, zucchini, avocado, salsa, chicken breast…

Snacks and desserts

Snacks between meals can be a very good thing for athletes, even desserts after meals can not hurt, here are ideas for that:

  • Olive oil, sweet potato, Gatorade…
  • Orange, banana, berries…
  • Macadamia nuts, banana…
  • Blueberries, spinach, chocolate hazelnut spread…
  • Atlantic cod, cabbage, salad…
  • Honey, protein powder, rolled oats…
  • Choc chip moon bites, dark chocolate, peanut butter cups…
  • Orange juice, frozen berries, nonfat yogurt…

Nutrition is individualized, and these are just ideas that athletes eat during the day. But, you should find the athletic meal plan that works for you. Your diet should follow your schedule, desires, preferences, and needs. When you learn what works for you, you will find the key to your success.

 The right diet is the key to reaching goals

Healthy food is something that helps athletes be capable of truly remarkable things. These fuels are vital in keeping them at the top of their game. The eating habits of athletes can give the rest of us some valuable lessons on how to improve our health, fitness, or weight goals.

Whether you are a professional athlete or you are exercising a few times a week, the basic of sports nutrition is the same. In another word, the three principles that we need to think about are – eating to fuel our body, eating to be healthy, and eating to repair our body.

Some guidelines that a healthy athletic diet should include are:

  • Plenty of cereals(rice, pasta, noodles, bread), should be wholegrain preferably.
  • Vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
  • Poultry, meat, fish, or vegetarian alternatives like legumes or tofu daily for lunch and dinner.
  • Yogurt, milk, cheeses, or soy milk.
  • Drink a lot of water, hydration is important.
  • Limit cakes, soft drinks, alcohol, and take-away foods because they do not contribute a lot of nutrients.

As previously mentioned, athletes need a lot more fuel for long training sessions or additional protein for building muscle and they are getting that from the food they eat. It is important to understand this so you can have enough energy for recovery and performance.

Conclusion

Athletes eat based on their sport, size, or specific training goals. That is why an athletic diet should be individualized and needs to reach the goal of the specific person. You should always find what works for you and stick with that.

Never forget about post-workout eating, so you can feel better and recover faster. Snacks can come in handy, too. The energy you intake through food depends on your training and game demands.

Hydrate whenever you can pay attention to taking main food groups daily and the results in your performance will follow. Whenever you can choose healthy calories and that way you will get the necessary nutrients.

Fuel your body, take good care of it, and listen to it. If you have some questions about athletic diets or diet and meal plans in general, we are here to help you.

How athletes make meal plans

Between being aware of macronutrients and hydration, when you are an athlete there is a lot to consider. Optimizing your athletic performance with nutrition is for sure something that you would like to achieve.

Athletes’ bodies usually have to face a high level of stress, eating properly is incredibly important. When they want to achieve proper nutrition the easiest way is to focus on the five main groups of food.

Fruits, protein, grains, dairy, and of course vegetables are vital nutrients in the diet. Once you know that they have to become a habit, you should talk to a specialist to help you find the diet based on your needs and goals. We will give you some ideas and make your journey easier.

Why is a meal plan important?

It is important to create effective and realistic meal plans so athletes can have a good balance between food and sports performance. Meal plans are important and they provide great benefits. Athletes feel guided and supported to make the right decisions for their health.

A great meal plan is important because it helps athletes stay on track, they know the correct and proper portions and sizes and how to space out meals. Nutrient timing is crucial for great performance.

Meal plans sometimes take hours to prepare, but once you do it, they are worth it. It must follow the lifestyle or dietary preferences of the athlete, so they can follow it easier.

Another thing that people shouldn`t forget is that for athletes is very important that a meal plan supports their performance goals, and that there is the right level of macronutrients.

Tips for creating a meal plan for athletes

Besides hydration and macronutrients, athletes have a lot of things to think about. Some steps can help you reach your goals.

1.    Keep the big picture in mind

When creating a meal plan, things that should be closely examined are age, personal goals, and different sports. For example, soccer players need to up their carbohydrate intake, or weight lifters need to increase their creatine intake. The meal plan has to be right for each athlete and it has to be updated regularly, so you can be sure that nutrition helps enhance athletic goals.

2.    Always have a post-workout plan

This is crucial for recovery, so it is important to incorporate it into your meal plan. Athletes should consume 15-30g of protein and 15-90g of carbs post-workout so recovery can be faster, fuel stores will recharge faster, and muscles will have a synthesis. Always include hydration in your plan.

3.    Variety is of a great importance

Carbs, fat, and proteins are essential for an athlete’s meal plan, but it is also crucial to have a variety of foods to provide a surplus of nutrients. Adding vegetables and fruits will improve training and recovery time. In addition, it will make your immune system stronger. You will benefit from the high fiber content, so be encouraged to limit your consumption of refined grains and sugars, and power up on whole-grain sources instead.

4.    Stick to the familiar on a game day

Stick with your usual diet instead of trying something new when game day arrives. This way you won`t experience any negative physical effects and you will perform your best. If you are traveling for an away game, pack a variety of drinks and foods so you can have healthy options and not rely on the food provided there.

5.    Find what works for you

Listen and understand yourself, how you feel, what is working or not working, and what is your food preference. That way you can best optimize your meal plan. That said, your meal plan should evolve to fit your needs. That way you will perform your best.

Suggestions for better results

You need to make sure that you can stick to your plan. That is sometimes not easy. But, it is important to be persistent so the results can follow. Here is how to do so:

1.    Prepare your meals two, or three days in advance

When you train all the time, you might easily fall into unhealthy habits. That can be a problem because convenience will have an impact on the right nutrition. That said, it is important to plan. Before you go grocery shopping, make a list that will cover your nutritional needs. Stick to your list.

Depending on how many calories you consume daily and your needs, you should have:

  • 20-30 percent of your daily calories should come from fats, such as avocados, seeds, nuts, olive oils, and nut butter.
  • 50-60 percent should come from carbohydrates, such as fruits, whole grains, and vegetables.
  • 15-25 percent should come from proteins, such as poultry, beans, and fish.

2.    Hydrate as much as you can

A hydration plan is also something important. When you have it you will get the most out of your training and recovery. Keep in mind the duration, intensity, fitness level, environmental conditions, and frequency of the training. Sometimes even a little bit of weight loss from sweat can harm your performance. Besides water, if your training session is long, fill up your electrolytes with low-sugar sports drinks.

3.    Mentally prepare for a big event

Every athlete, their coach, and everyone around them knows that nutrition has a great impact on the training process. Try to switch to food as fuel mentally, especially before a big event. Good performance comes from exercising, a winning mindset, and nutrition.

4.    Eat frequently and never skip breakfast

Eat around thirty to sixty minutes after you wake up. Find a good source of lean, quality protein for your power breakfast. Good choices are quinoa, turkey sausage, eggs, stell-cut oatmeal, and organic dairy. After breakfast, eat every four hours. Don`t wait long to have your meal. That way you will have the energy you need and you will minimize the risk of injury. Optimal muscle growth and repair will come from eating protein at regular intervals.

5.    Don`t forget the flavors

It is important to remember to have flavorful food. Unique spices and cultural dishes can provide delicious meals for you. It is always better to add spices instead of fat or salt.

6.    Eat your meals based on your sport

Nutritional needs will be different depending on your sport. If you are a runner, you will need higher carbs intake compared to weight lifters who will need more protein. Whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, and legumes are great sources of carbs and will provide you with the energy you need for your training.

7.    Boost your brainpower and energy with caffeine

Some athletes start their day with coffee. They say that it is an excellent mental boost. If you think that might work for you, try it for a while and check. Caffeine might provide long-term benefits to our memory and thinking skills. But, as with everything, be sure not to have too much.

8.    Use supplements and vitamins to fill in the gasps

Take vitamins that the food can`t provide for you. That way you will not worry about the necessary nutrients. Your body will always have enough vitamins to `work` properly.

9.    Eat to help your body

You need to replenish nutrients within thirty minutes of a long-distance bike ride or long run. One of the ways to do that fast is a nutritious shake that is easy to digest. Nut or soy milk can help you with that. Also, berries, bananas, peanut butter, plant-based protein powder, and similar options.

10.                   Don`t fix something that works

Last but not least, once you find the plan that worlds for you, stick with it. Of course, tailor it a little if needed, but don`t make big changes. If you are getting enough energy, have no digestive problems, and have no food intolerance – you are at the right place. So, stick with what you know that you are comfortable with.

Summary

Good nutrition is very important for athletes` performance and lifestyle. But, it can also be individualized and flexible depending on your taste. Follow your body first before you decide to follow a certain diet.

Choose healthy food, the food that gives you energy and makes you feel good. Even though athletes sometimes push their bodies to the limit, nutrition has a primary role in their success.

Eating like an athlete means that you will think about every bite you take in as something that gives your body nutrients and health. Find the balance that works for you and your mind and body will be fueled for excellent performance in all that you do.

Are prepared meals worth it?

Some people find cooking meditative and relaxing not to mention the joy we feel when we eat tasty homemade meals. But, not everyone loves blending, cooking, chopping, or other things that go before and after.

In this text, we will present some tips and benefits of prepared meals. No matter if you are more for prepping yourself or buying ready-to-eat meals. Let`s see if prepared meals are worth the effort.

Why should you get prepared meals?

When you buy prepared meals someone else does the cooking and grocery shopping, and you can still eat healthy and homemade meals. Cooking and eating are simpler when your meals are prepared for you. Getting prepared meals can:

  • help you learn the basics of cooking
  • explore new flavors and recipes
  • get exactly what you need without wasting food
  • help you stick with your nutrition goals
  • be healthier than takeout food
  • cut some expenses
  • give you more time to do other things besides cooking

Different types of meal prep services

Meal prep by yourself – You can decide about the recipes, prepare necessary ingredients, chop, prep, and cook them. It is good for those who like cooking, but still, prepare meals throughout the whole week. If you spend some time of the day making these meals, and you don`t mind eating leftovers and reheating, this is a great option for you.

In-house cooking – A nutritionist or chef will come to your house and create different meals customizes for your needs. It is great for those who want a personal approach from a professional with the necessary knowledge to make healthy meals. You will have more control over the ingredients that will be used in your food and the tools used to make it.

Delivery of full meals – You will get a fully cooked and prepared meal. You will only need to reheat it. If it is a salad and it doesn`t need reheating, it is ready to eat. It is good for those who do not like cooking but are okay with reheating.

Meal prep or meal kit delivery – You will receive a delivery of prepped and chopped ingredients that you need to make a full recipe. Cooking instructions will arrive, too, so you will have everything ready to make your meal. It is good for people who want to eat a fresh, hot meal and who are not fans of reheating or leftovers. If you enjoy cooking and don`t have time to prep and chop this option is for you.

What to consider when you want to have prepped meals?

If you are thinking about buying your meals from a meal prep service or getting a meal delivery there are a few things to consider:

Quality ingredients. Make sure that you are getting organic, fresh, sustainable, and local (if that is important to you). If you are not sure about the ingredients always ask. You want to be sure that meals are giving you enough nutrients and keeping you healthy.

Different types of recipes. Find a company that has a sample menu so you can see what meals you can get and enjoy. Check if the menu is changing after one week, two, or monthly. Also, is the menu plan set already or you can choose what you want for that day or week?

Cooking time. What amount of time will you need to cook the meal from beginning to end? Most companies provide straightforward and quick meals. However, if you don`t want to wait to have your lunch or dinner, you will need more pre-cooked meals ready.

Time for prep. Check how much prepping and chopping will you be required to do. Some companies will provide diced, sliced, and ready ingredients. But, some will need you to do light prep work.

Price. It can be pricier if you are ordering meals than when you are cooking by yourself. Calculate what is faster and more efficient for you. We need to count on time spend on getting groceries, gas for going to the store, and time for making prep meals. For sure, it is cheaper than ordering takeout or eating in a restaurant.

Portions. Make sure that the portion sizes are right for you. That said, they need to go well with your diet plan. This is something that you also need to make sure of before you decide to order meal prep delivery.

Dietary requirements. If you have allergies or restrictions, check what company has options for you. You will need to ask about cross-contamination in process of prepping.

Package. Services use a lot of packaging. Meals need to be wrapped and stored separately. The box that all meals arrive in is also there. Check if the packaging has eco-friendly material or plastic. When you prep at home you will use less packaging and your containers.

Commitment. Some companies will require you to commit to a certain number of meals per week. Some will let you order whenever you decide. Maybe you can pause the subscription if you are going away. You don`t want to make a commitment that can become a burden.

Meal prep by yourself

You are the only one who is deciding between a meal delivery service or meal prep by yourself. Choose the one that is better for your family, lifestyle, budget, and health. Maybe a good idea for you would be to try meal prepping before a delivery service, just be sure that you tried both.

If you have a budget limit, meal prep is something that can be very helpful. For a few hours, one day a week you can make your meals for the entire week. And, of course, money for groceries. It is cheaper to get groceries altogether and not buy meals throughout the week.

Even though this might not work for everyone, it is good for our wallets. In addition, you know exactly what you are eating. You decide what ingredient to put in your meals. Eat the food you enjoy and just grab it from the fridge.

The things that you will need to prepare are a shopping list and containers. Plan in advance, so you don`t have to waste your time in the supermarket. Prepare bowls and containers for your prepared meals. Most importantly, enough space in the fridge.

Meal prepping will reward you if you are doing it for health or fitness reasons. You will have portions that will help you stick to your diet. No more temptation of eating out. You will easily keep up with your diet plan.

The great thing about making your meals is that you can make recipes that you like. You will decide what to cook each week. This will help you to organize, learn new things, save time and money, and have fun.

Final thoughts

Getting a meal delivery service or making your meals by yourself is a great investment and the benefits are numerous. It will help you reach your goal. You will have plenty of time for other activities besides cooking. It will reduce the stress of meal planning.

However, you will need more space and a bowl, bottles, and containers to keep your food. But, you will have delicious, healthy meals and that is what matters the most. In conclusion, they are worth it. We hope you agree.

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