Written by Chris Roe , Nutrition intern working with Rebecca Dent, High Performance Dietitian
20 June 2021
Last modified on
04 July 2021
Yeh! Back in the great outdoors and loving it. Welcome back!
It's been a turbulent time for the past 18 months. The global pandemic that is Covid-19 has had a personal, financial and physical effect on everyone. Now we are having vaccines and hoping for normality and freedom to return, and this too could prove to be a daunting time with uncertainty never far away.
Have you struggled with keeping your good nutrition practices during covid and has it impacted your eating habits? We are here to give you some useful nutrition tips and guidance to help you get back on track, back to fuelling your adventures and getting into a good routine with your food.
But it's not all been bad, we’ve found that some people have had more time at home, so they have improved; cooking skills, meal planning, there’s been less food wastage and have paid more attention on eating healthier.
On the not so positive, due to increased stress, some people were consuming more alcohol and had a tendency to over eat. We’ve all been a bit closer to the kitchen than we usually are to snack! This is completely understandable in uncertain times. Now let's get you back on the trails and in good shape.
Competitor enjoying the race experience of the Tor des Geants Ultra Trail event held each year in Italy
To get you into shape we asked Rebecca Dent, High Performance Dietitian for a few nutrition recommendations below:
CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE
Write a list of all the positive food and drink changes that you have made in the last 18 months. Try to keep these up and build on this going forward.
Keep a food diary so you can can track eating habits, this will provide you with some insight and accountability as to when and why you eat and can help you manage unnecessary snacking. One step at a time!
Take 30 mins at the weekend to plan your weekly food shop and write a shopping list so that you can keep up good habits. It's alright to buy 'treats' and alcohol but if you are someone who tends to just eat what's in the cupboard then reduce how often you purchase these items. With alcohol we recommend aiming for at least 4 nights a week of alcohol free days and ideally these days need to be consecutive along with limiting your alcohol days to one or two drinks.
Mindful eating using a hunger scale. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being starving and 10 being stuffed full. The aim is to be ready to eat a meal at around a 3 or 4 (not starving) and finish eating at 6 or 7, satisfied but not full or stuffed. Just because it is a mealtime, you don't need to fill your plate. If you are reaching for a treat or snack – are you hungry or is this a habit / craving? Maybe think what would be a more healthier choice of snack and make sure you have some in the house, such as fruit, rice cakes, apple and nut butter, dark chocolate (>80% cocoa), boiled eggs + raw carrots, high protein yoghurt.
What's on your plate? Plan your meal around protein, whether this is fish, meat, beans, lentils or eggs. The portion size of this should be the size of your palm. Taking this approach will help you plan a balanced meal. It's important to have a good mix of vegetables and greens with each meal, this should take up half of your plate. Your carbohydrate portion, for example, sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa should be the size of one of your fists on the plate. For healthy fats, each meal choose for example, some nuts or seeds, a drizzle of olive oil. This should be the size of your thumb.
Hiking in glorious Switzerland and enjoying finally getting back to the mountains
improvement not perfection
If you can make a few positive changes and aim for small improvements, not perfection, this is a great way to keep going. Pick an easy change that you know you can make on a daily basis e.g. a glass of water with each meal, swop biscuits for rice cakes, piece of fruit or square of dark chocolate.
We know you are all keen to get out onto trails and travel again. Fresh air, exercise and new views! We are looking forward to seeing you out there!
For information about high performance nutrition you can contact Rebecca Dent here. Rebecca is specialised in the area of sport nutrition and has many years of evidence-based practice in health, sport and adventure.