Every time Olympic season rolls around, fans around the globe set up camp in front of their televisions to root for their countries of choice. But if you spend all that time on the couch with a bag of potato chips, you’re not going to feel very much like an Olympian by the time the last medals have been handed out.
So how can you avoid getting a muffin top while watching your favorite athletes compete in varying degrees of spandex? Aside from exercising daily, your diet is key to reaching a healthy physique. Here are 5 ways you can eat like an Olympian:
1. Don’t skip breakfast. When you’re rushing out of the house in the morning, stopping to grab food might be the last thing on your mind. But skipping breakfast is a huge no-no for a healthy diet, and so is grabbing a donut at the gas station. Breakfast should be your most important meal of the day, so plan ahead or get up earlier so you have time to prepare something legitimate. Pick a meal that consists of whole grains, eggs, fruit, yogurt, etc. A healthy smoothie is a great way to kick off the day. Just don’t add any sugar!
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! No matter what your activity level is, it is crucial to any diet and lifestyle to drink enough water. Staying well hydrated keeps your energy levels up, prevents illness, works wonders on complexion, etc. If you’re highly active, you need to drink even more water than the average person. And skip the soda — it actually makes dehydration worse! Supplement your hydration with sports drinks to replenish with electrolytes, but the majority of your intake should come from water.
3. Get snacking. Rather than the typical 3-meals-a-day approach, it’s actually healthier for your body to eat several smaller meals throughout the day. Especially if you’re about to exercise or just completed a workout, your body needs fuel! Choose snacks that are high in carbs and low in protein and saturated fat. Good choices include bananas or any other fruit, light sandwiches or whole-grain crackers. Energy bars can be a good choice, but check the labels carefully to review the ingredients and amount of sugar.
4. Carbs are your friend. Low-carb or carb-free diets are all the rage, but athletes know they shouldn’t skip out on carbs. Carbs give your body fuel, which is crucial if you’re going to be exercising.
5. Protein does a body good. Protein intake is a good choice right after working out. Protein replenishes muscles and is best consumed within an hour after working out. You can get protein from a variety of natural sources, but protein shakes are also a popular choice right now. Just like with energy bars, be sure to review the ingredients of any shake you choose to eat.
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