Skinny Does Not Equal Healthy
I know in the world of figure skating we all want to look the part and we think that we have to be skinny to win. Truth is, we have to be strong. Getting into shape and making our bodies strong typically results in having a lower body fat percentage and a leaner body. So instead of focusing on your weight, focus on how you feel and in particular, how you feel when you eat certain foods. Our bodies are like a car, they need fuel to run. For athletes, our fuel is food.
Fuel Your Body to Optimize Training
Figure skating takes a great amount of energy and strength. What you eat can greatly affect your performance and is vital for your health and successful training. In order to find the right balance, choose foods that are nutrient-dense containing lots of vitamins and minerals. Many athletes prefer to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day rather than 3 larger meals but always listen to your body and do what works for you. Here are some of my top tips for fueling your body and optimizing your training.
- Eat carbohydrates that are easy to digest 30 minutes to 1 hour before your workout. Carbohydrates are what fuel your body and give you energy to exercise. Avoid only eating simple carbs that are full of sugars but instead eat complex carbs.
- Eat protein after your workout. Protein is what helps your muscles recover and grow stronger. A lack of protein can also result in feeling more fatigued.
- Avoid processed foods as much as you can. Focus on getting your nutrients through whole foods. This helps avoid added sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats, and health issues.
- Water, water, water. Hydration can make all the difference, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after training. Lack of hydration can lead to faster muscle fatigue risking potential injury.
- Don’t be afraid of fat. Fat helps to fuel low to moderate intensity workouts and helps to absorb nutrients into the body. Try to avoid eating lots of saturated fats and instead eat healthy fats.
Healthy Macronutrient Ideas
The Big-3 are macronutrients that should be incorporated into your daily meals. Carbs, proteins, and fats are what your body needs the most. A balanced ratio of all 3 can help you stay healthy and improve your body composition. Below are some examples of healthy macronutrients that are yummy and easy to find.
- Lean meat (chicken breast, turkey)
- Greek yogurt
- Hemp seeds
- Peanut butter/ almond butter
- Olive oil