Crons Come Ready Talk
About the Author
Leslie J. Bonci, M.P.H., R.D, CSSD, LDN, is a registered dietitian, a board-certified sports dietetics specialist and a nutritionist. She is a nutrition consultant to the Pittsburgh Steelers and a number of other professional sports teams and has written the book "Sports Nutrition for Coaches."
Tis that time of year.
The basketball season is almost over, and tournament time is about to begin. On any given day, the underdog can beat the powerhouse- nothing is a guarantee. However- when it comes to setting eating and fitness goals, you are in control. I spend a lot of time with my collegiate basketball players teaching them how to play through, play strong and play on by proper fueling and hydrating.
So how can we apply that to our own health goals?
1) Getting into the bonus round.
Did you space your eating out over the course of the day instead of skipping meals? What about fluid? Did you include something to drink at every meal? You need to walk the talk or run the court- think it, own it and do it!
Did you color your plate with fruits, vegetables or fruit or vegetable juice as part of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack? Did you make an effort to do some movement every day? Stretching, yoga, resistance training, recreational sport or cardio activity? What about stress management? Did you factor in some chill out time every day?
3) Sweet Sixteen.
Ok 20 but who’s counting? 20 minutes- the amount of time to allow for a meal, instead of speed-eating. Did you put your fork or utensil down between bites? Did you chew well? Did you sit to eat, and pay attention to how much you ate, instead of being distracted by your computer, phone or television?
4) Elite Eight
Eight hours of sleep, at least 8 glasses of fluid a day and some of you may need more. For men- 38 grams of fiber a day, and 25 grams for women.
And how about an elite (ate) – take your eating up a notch. Change what is on the plate, try something new, a new spice, new preparation method or new item to take the boredom out of eating. Make sure to include at least 8, or more, different foods in your diet every day from your protein choices ( meat, poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy foods), carbs ( whole grain breads, cereal, rice, pasta, fruits, vegetables, beans) and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, nut and seed butters, olive oil and avocados.
5) Final Four.
Four kinds of eating each day–breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. At least 4 days of physical activity daily, although more is better.
What puts you into the championship round?
Come Ready by bringing your best every day- mentally, physically and nutritionally Think about each day as show time. What are you going to prove, how are you going to do it, and how can you keep it going.
Unlike the NCAA Tournament, your health goals are not done at the buzzer. Stay steady by establishing and practicing healthy habits so you can bring your ‘A’ game every day.
Leslie Bonci, MPH,RD,CSSD,LDN