Tips On Snacking Control: Sports Experts Weigh In

This week as part of AdvoCare’s 5 Pillars of Wellness series we’re focused on Nutrition. Additional pillars, resources and giveaways are found here, and download the entire 24-Day JumpStart® Transformation Guide PDF here.

With millions of Americans sheltering at home during the COVID – 19 pandemic, the internet is currently flooded with memes – like the people posting pictures of the signs on their refrigerators that read “YOU’RE NOT HUNGRY, YOU’RE BORED!” Exercising restraint and remaining mindful of our health goals has become even more challenging as many of us remain in seclusion.

Today members of AdvoCare’s Sports Advisory Council are weighing in with their tips on controlling, and benefitting from, mindful snacking. We’re wishing you all health and safety during this difficult time! Maintain social distance, and keep each other safe!

 

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Dean Miller – Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Medicine, Rice University

Mindful Eating

In an ideal world, we would all just eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full. However, there are always barriers to recognizing our normal appetite controls. Boredom, stress, lack of structure can all contribute to mindless eating.

Some of our basic nutrition goals remain the same to maintain a healthy weight during mild to moderate exercise routines. These include:

  • Eating three meals with protein at each meal. As a reminder, nuts and legumes are excellent protein saturated foods.
  • Snacking only when hungry
  • No sugar sweetened beverages which include juice, fruit punch, sweet tea, lemonade. No electrolyte drinks unless you are working hard outside
  • Hydration is always important. As the temperatures rise, it takes about 14 days to acclimate to the heat so make sure your first morning urine is pale yellow. Salt your food if you are exercising outside. You may consider half strength electrolyte drinks. ***Remember, being dehydrated/thirsty can change the way you perceive hunger (trick you to think).
  • Practice plate organization-we have focused on plate organization and focused on lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. A colorful plate is recommended.

 

Gene Coleman, Ed., D, CSCS*R, FACSM – Strength and Conditioning Consultant, Professional BaseballTips On Snacking Control: Sports Experts Weigh In

Plan Your Snacks

If you are working at home or in an office, you need to maintain your energy throughout the day, especially if you are planning to work out in the late afternoon. An effective way to do that is by consuming healthy mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. The following foods are called “performance foods” by many sports nutritionists because they provide a moderate amount of energy (150-250 calories per serving), help meet your carbohydrate, protein, vitamin and mineral needs, balance your energy intake and keep you hydrated. They require no refrigeration or special preparation so you can keep them at your desk or pack them in your gym bag.

  • Trail mix
  • Peanut butter
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Peanut butter and crackers
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, sunflower or pumpkin seeds)
  • Dried fruit
  • Pouches of tuna, salmon, turkey, chicken
  • Energy bars
  • Jerky
  • Dry cereals or granola
  • Sports drinks or sports drink powder
  • Nonfat dry milk powder
  • Cans of fruit and applesauce
  • Canned beans
  • Canned or dry soups
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Packets of oatmeal
  • Cups of soup mix
  • Cups of noodles, rice or beans that just require water to rehydrate
  • Bottled water

It’s OK to occasionally have a cookie, soft drink or a handful of chips, but if you limit your snacks to candy, soda, chips, donuts, etc., you are not going to perform at your highest level throughout the day or be 100% ready to work out later in the day. Plan your meals and snacks, because food is one of the few things that you can control.

 

Murphy Grant – Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Performance and Student Athlete Wellness, Wake Forest UniversityTips On Snacking Control: Sports Experts Weigh In 1

Create a Routine

Creating a routine during this time is very important. Break up your day into “snackable segments”. Making a daily routine helps us time-manage, stay motivated, and support us through uncertainty. Schedule time for meals/snacks, work/academics, physical activity, socializing, etc. Also, include time for stress-reducing activities and those that provide relief from the cultural and news overwhelm. 

    7:00a – 7:30a         Wake Up

    8:00a                      Breakfast

    8:30a – 10:00a       Study, Work, Homework

    10:00a – 10:15a      Snack Break & Short walk or stretch

    10:15a – 12:00p      Study, Work, Homework

    12:00p – 1:00p       Lunch

    1:00p – 3:30p          Study, Work, Homework

    3:30p – 3:45p         Snack Break & Short walk or stretch

    3:45p – 5:00p         Study, Work, Homework

    5:30p                      Workout

    6:30p – 7:30p          Dinner (**learn or try a new recipe)

    7:30p – 9:00p          Catch up with friends and family

    9:30p                      Snack

 

Mark Mauldin – Director of Executive Health, Hendrick MotorsportsTips On Snacking Control: Sports Experts Weigh In 2

Timing and Hydration

1) Watch your calories. Make sure that during this time of unusual schedules you are not consuming too many calories, especially empty ones. Have nutrient dense snacks between meals and after workouts. (Ex) fresh fruit, raw veggies, high quality bars, high quality protein. 

2) Use the 8×8 rule. Try to stay hydrated with 8, eight oz glasses of h2o spread throughout the day. One idea is to have a rehydrate before bed to help the body replace any deficiencies lost during the day. 

3) Try to have meals at regular times. With schedules being different it is easy to get out of synch with eating habits. A good rule to follow is to consume your evening meal at least 3hrs before bed. It takes a few hours for the stomach to empty a full meal and stomach acid can spill up into the esophagus causing reflux. Also, the metabolism slows and you don’t want to store the extra calories as fat. 

 

Kevin Yoxall – Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Dallas RenegadesTips On Snacking Control: Sports Experts Weigh In 3

Snacking For Your Workouts

  1. Do not overcomplicate pre, participation and post workout nutrition.
  2. Pre workout a small amount of caffeine (example – a Spark® Energy drink) is not a bad idea…..
  3. Try to plan ahead and ideally consume a pre workout snack 1 to 2 hours before training. This should be water and a balanced combination of carbs (for energy) and protein (for muscle recovery) with the carbs being slightly higher in quantity then the protein.
  4. If time is a factor (only 15 to 30 min before training) water and small amounts of carbs (banana or apple) are key more than protein. Carbs are generally faster to digest then protein.
  5. For training lasting under or only up to 1 hour water should be the only nutrition consumed. For training that lasts in excess of 1 and a half hour, periodic eating of small amounts of nuts, fruit slices or sipping on a premade carb/fat/protein drink is recommended.
  6. Post workout requires #1 – hydration that includes electrolytes. #2 Combination of proteins and carbs for muscle recovery and muscle building. #3 carbs for energy recovery.    

What snacking tips would you like to share?

 

Sports Advisory Council Members are compensation for their role. This information is for educational use only and represents the honest opinions of the authors. Check with your healthcare provider before changing your diet.