5 rules of champions, or why you need to eat everything

Healthy lifestyle

5 rules of champions, or why you need to eat everything

5 october 2017

9,317 views

Matt Fitzgerald, author of books on sports and sports nutrition, has studied for many years how the best endurance athletes around the world eat. He found that they all adhere to five general rules and laid out them in his book “The Diet of Champions”. You will say “Well, then – outstanding athletes, but what have I got to do with it?” But believe it or not, outstanding athletes are people too.

Whether you are cycling, running, going to the gym, or simply taking care of your health, Mat’s simple and straightforward nutritional system will help you feel great and achieve better athletic performance.

Five essential rules

The Champions Diet includes five key habits that are common to nearly all athletes. These habits can be formulated as rules.

1. Eat everything.

2. Eat quality food.

3. Eat more carbs.

4. Eat enough.

5. Eat according to individual preferences.

A source.

Rule 1: eat everything

There are six main groups of natural whole foods: vegetables (including legumes); fruits; nuts, seeds and natural oils; unprocessed meat, fish and seafood; whole grains; dairy products. The vast majority of professional athletes regularly consume all six of these quality foods. A varied, balanced and rich diet is essential to provide the body with the nutrients that will help you withstand stress and get the most out of your work.

There are four other low-quality groups: refined oils, sweets, processed meats, and fried foods. Most professionals allow themselves to consume very small amounts of products from this group. In a sense, it even turns out to be useful, because it helps to diversify the diet.

Rule 1: eat everything
A source.

Rule 2: eat quality

The first rule does not mean that you can eat the same amount of healthy and unhealthy foods. The diet should be dominated by high-quality foods: they are significantly more nutrient-dense (that is, richer in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) and less energy (that is, calories). The emphasis on these foods allows athletes to get more nutrients while consuming fewer calories. This, in turn, enables them to maintain a high level of endurance while maintaining their optimal competitive weight.

Rule 2: eat quality
A source.

Rule 3: eat more carbs

Professional athletes tend to eat a lot of high quality carbohydrate-rich foods such as whole grains and fruits. As you can imagine, these products can be very different. Ethiopian runners eat far more grains like teff (grains) than Chilean cyclists, who eat far more potatoes than Chinese swimmers, who eat more rice than Danish skiers. However, all of these foods are high in carbohydrates, and all of these athletes are guided by a diet rich in them.

Overall, carbohydrates provide 60 to 80% of the calories consumed by endurance sports professionals. As the main source of energy in the diet of these athletes, carbohydrates allow them to endure high sports loads with less stress for the body and more benefits for the training process.

Rule 3: eat more carbs
A source.

Rule 4: eat enough

Professional athletes usually do not consciously limit the amount of food they eat, resorting to counting calories or setting portion limits, as many lovers and adherents of various diets do. However, they do not overeat mindlessly, as most people in our today’s wealthy society do. Instead, professional athletes listen very closely to the body signals that they are hungry or full, and allow these signals to determine the amount of food consumed. This is the only sure way to eat enough without overeating. That is, enough to meet the needs of the body during training, and in order to prevent excess fat from appearing in the body.

Rule 4: eat enough
A source.

Rule 5: eat according to your personality

Professional athletes are attentive to themselves and take into account not only the signals of their own appetite, but also the general nutritional needs. After all, each of them is a unique individual in a unique situation. A diet that is good for one athlete may not be perfect for another. For example, even though carbohydrates are central to the diet of athletes, there are those who perform better when they get this serving of carbohydrates from non-cereals.

Rule 5: eat according to your personality
A source.

Nutrition correction

We all have some kind of eating habits. Not all athletes have eaten right from childhood, but they have adjusted their diet in accordance with the rules described above. For example, Russian triathlete Dmitry Polyansky, who finished the 2014 season 7th in the world, grew up on a typical Russian diet. These are porridge filled with butter, rich soups, pickles, preserves, bread, pancakes, potatoes. But when he joined the national team and saw how his colleagues ate in international training camps, he radically changed the diet by adding carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta to the diet. Dmitry has found that a carbohydrate-based diet gives him more energy and strength for training and competition.

Nutrition correction
A source.

Watch your body, listen to it and take care of it. Even if you have no plans to become an ultramarathon runner, we all need endurance and energy every day.

Based on the book “Diet of Champions”.

Cover photo: pixabay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *