The festive season is here and it’s the most difficult time to manage the correct nutrition.
ADRIAN PENZHORN shares his plan for 2018.
The festive season madness is upon us and soon enough it will be the dawn of another new year, a new start and undoubtedly a list of goals and resolutions etched into the diary. These ambitions often fall by the roadside come February despite our best intentions. With a little more thought and planning let’s see them realised in 2018. Nutrition goals are often the most temperamental of the lot but choosing the right processes to match both your goal and your commitment is step one. List your goals for the year ahead and for each of these ask yourself: “What do I need to do to achieve this?” Your goal has to be realistic but additionally understanding the processes that allow it to happen are most crucial. You may need some help here from a coach, a doctor or a nutrition professional so reach out to better understand your needs. You may need to drop your calorie intake, perhaps you need to eat a little more, you may need to increase your fruit and veg consumption or maybe bump up your daily protein, or it could be you need to eat better on the bike. Now ask yourself: “How can I do that?” I would suggest focusing on one process goal at a time, addressing the “how” and working on it for two weeks until it starts to become habit. Keep a diary, rate your progress and be honest with the process. Some common process goals we see in practice quite regularly could help you achieve your outcome be it weight loss, better performance or better health. Focus on balance, not fads and quick fixes, for your day to day nutrition. Adjust your portions and proportions of foods to match your goals. Aim to have each meal consist of a combination of three elements; a source of protein (meat, fish, eggs, dairy or nuts and legumes for vegetarian options), a source of fibre (fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, starchy veg) and a source of fat (oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, cheese). Using this basic approach, we can adjust the proportions of any group to meet your goals. Dropping calories becomes easy with substituting energy dense fats or high carbohydrate fibre foods for extra vegetables. How? Cook some extra veg on Sunday to add to your weekday lunches. Increasing calories would mean bigger portions of protein, carbohydrate or fat rich foods. How? Keep a few tubs of yoghurt and some nut butter around to add to your morning smoothie. If you feel there is a need to boost your health, recovery and immune function increase the fibre rich portions of fruit and veg. How? Aim for one extra serving (half a cup) per day and build from there. Frozen berries or a bag of baby spinach in the fridge is an easy addition to that morning smoothie too. Sticking with the protein-fibre-fat mantra means you should be closer to your protein needs, often we miss this at breakfast or snacks. How? Boiling a couple eggs in the morning, keeping a quality protein powder in the cupboard or a bag of biltong in the cubbyhole are options to make this easier to achieve. For performance related goals some of the common issues I see revolve around poor fuelling and poor hydration. How do I fuel better? Use carbohydrate food and drink before or during at least one training session per week. Find the foods or drinks that you feel work for you and pick one session a week to practice your fuelling strategies. Build a hydration plan too. How? Weigh yourself before and after a few sessions to see how your fluid intake matches your losses and try to listen to your thirst cues too. Add a second bottle cage if needed and get used to drinking and eating on the go. Setting small, descriptive,
process driven goals might make the difference this year. Add some accountability or a way of measuring your process with weekly scores or target weight or target power numbers. This can keep things interesting. Achieving your goals is a journey, not a quick fix so try to avoid the crash diet or the well marketed pill on the shelf. Don’t diet and exercise, eat and train.
2018 STARTER MEAL PLAN
→ Pre-Workout for Quality Session 1 banana, small handful of muesli and a tub of plain yoghurt. 400 ml water or electrolyte drink. Or swop the muesli for oats and blend for a quick smoothie.
→ Weight check
→ Weight check, record fluids consumed
→ Post-Workout Breakfast 3 egg omelette with spinach and mushroom filling, slice of toast or a fruit if you need it OR ½ cup oats cooked in milk or water, 1 scoop protein powder and 1 Tbsp nut butter added after cooking
→ Lunch 1 tin tuna, 2 cups lettuce with flaked almonds, lemon juice and yoghurt dressing, sweet corn kernels and ½ cup chickpeas OR 1 small chicken breast shredded, on 1 slice bread with 1 – 2 cups mixed greens topping and a little avo
→ Afternoon snack if hungry 45 g biltong, handful berries, 1 thumb size cashew nuts OR a protein shake with water
→ Dinner Lean steak, roasted broccoli and mixed bell peppers in olive oil with one small or medium sweet potato if needed OR Sesame seed crusted fish fillet with stir fried
veg and brown rice
→ Drinks Water, tea, coffee or electrolyte tabs