Eating for Exercise: Get Inspired by the Olympians

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Healthy Tips, February 16, 2010

Food for Exercise
Whether you’re heading to Vancouver or tuning in from your living room, the Olympic spirit is in the air. Most of us aren’t professional athletes, but we are trying to stay in shape. Get inspired by the international athletes and follow these quick tips to help make the most of your diet and exercise routine.

Have a Game Plan
Most of us don’t exercise for a living or spend hours every day in the gym. Achieving a successful diet and exercise routine is all about time management. Too often people try the “all or nothing” approach and find it too hard to maintain. Two sensible tactics are:

  1. Plan your meals and snacks for the week ahead of time
  2. Set realistic exercise goals — be honest about how often you can exercise. You don’t have workout seven days a week.

Go for the Real Deal, Not the Bottle
Don’t rely on supplements to the nutrition or energy boost that you need (many supplements are actually off-limits to professional athletes). Our bodies always absorb nutrients better when they come from food. Plus, you don’t have to worry about many of the dangers associated with overdosing on vitamin and mineral pills. Sometimes you might fall short in some of the harder-to-get nutrients (like omega-3 fats or vitamin D). That’s the time to talk to a registered dietitian or doctor, who will provide sensible vitamin recommendations to go along with your healthy diet (that’s why they’re called “supplements”).

Drink Up
One of the leading causes of fatigue during exercise is dehydration. Avoid a workout slump by carrying a water bottle (preferably a reusable one) with you at all times.

If water’s not exciting enough, check out our tips for flavoring up your water, and find out how much water you really need in a day.

Stretch It Out
Eating only three large meals a day can lead to peaks and valleys in your blood sugar and energy levels (and can also lead to over eating). Many athletes keep their metabolism firing and energy levels high throughout the day by eating small meals and snacks. Aim to eat something every three to four hours.

Don’t Be Carb-Phobic
Athletes know they’d never be able to keep up with their exercise regimen if it wasn’t for energy-producing carbohydrates. While most folks don’t need as many carbs as Olympians such as Lindsey Vonn and Apolo Ohno, make sure about half of your daily calories come from whole grains, fruits and veggies.

TELL US: What are your winning diet and exercise strategies?

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Comments (9)

  1. janice says:

    You need to have motivation- mine is twofold- my nephew is getting married in March and I want to look fabulous in a knock-out dress. My husband and I are on the outs and I have decided that I want to look sexy so he realizes what he will be giving up! Works for me!

  2. Johnny says:

    It helps when you have some one to woke out with, that way when you try to skip a work out you know that your going to get crap about it and you think twice.

  3. Kyra Rivers says:

    Make sure to eat something at least thirty minutes after you work out. You're not going to die if you don't, but eating something small — and something with protein, preferably — is good enough to let your body know it's not going to starve, so you can develop the muscles you just worked out for.

  4. westqb000 says:

    It really helps me as a college student to stick to a consistent routine each week for exercising. It keeps my body and mind feeling great, and I don't have to worry about getting to the gym at different times in the day. When I go in the morning before class (6AM four days a week!), I am not taking up any of the time that I could be studying, so it is a guilt free and perfect time for me to work out!

  5. Georgia Balmir says:

    Exercising is a lifestyle that I have adapted to. It keeps me motivated and full of energy. Most of all I feel great. I exercise 4 times a week for 140 min. which includes cario, aerobics and strength training as well as running once or twice a week. In addition to my workout regimen, I eat sound foods that are balanced and proportionate. Its a commitment that I made for my health and happiness in the long run.

  6. Usha Rutski says:

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.Keep working ,great job!

  7. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day.

  8. im_pinoy says:

    Inspiring! For me My winning exercise strategies is to have someone who really wants to work out with you. Someone who is more likely to be like you that is so eager also to either gain weight / or lose weight . You will never get bored or you wont be lazy or getting tired to work out if you have someone to work out with you.

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