A Comprehensive Diet Plan for Swimmers to Lose Weight
All humans need a balanced diet in order to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Diets that keep you on the health track, when done right, can boost your energy and keep you feeling sharp throughout the day. If you are a swimmer, this can be considered to be even more important for you. Before we talk about swimmers diet plan to lose weight, it is important to know what you absolutely need to keep around.As a swimmer you need a meal plan that can support your high levels of energy expenditure and physical activity. On top of taking enough in, you should also be mindful about what kinds of food you are eating to make sure they are the kinds that support muscle strength and endurance. Poor meal choices can not only hurt performance but can also depress your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to becoming sick and being thrown off your game for a few days.
What should a swimmer eat?
We can start off with the obvious before diving into specifics. Being that swimming, like any other sport, is something that strains your body it requires you to stay on top of your muscle health and overall strength. This means you have to be getting enough vitamins and minerals on a daily basis.A good one to start with is your B vitamins, since these are the ones that are mostly responsible for your energy production. Vitamin B also has a strong influence on your muscle and heart functions, all things athletes, as well as all human beings, count on regularly. Not getting enough B in your diet can cause muscle cramping and fatigue. Two things no swimmer is a huge fan of, especially in the middle of laps.Vitamin C is also extremely important; we have been told this since we were five years old for a reason. This is an antioxidant you never want to be short of. Getting enough Vitamin C helps your performance by keeping you healthy and carrying oxygen to the cells in your body. The easier and quicker oxygen can get to your cells, the better you will feel during performance and the longer you will be able to sustain a steady pace throughout a race.Vitamins are not the only things out there to keep your energy up. Carbohydrates are wonderful to keep in your plan considering they are responsible for providing your body with up to 50% of its energy, when exercising. The problem is, carbs are starting to get a bad reputation and are usually the first thing to get cut when individuals are looking to lose weight. This is not at all necessary if you have them mapped out in your meal plan in the correct way.The key is staying away from the refined options. Stick to whole grains that take longer to burn off so that you are making the most of what you take in. On average, athletes who desire endurance look to take in about 4.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. So don’t overdo it; stay within your required amounts. Cutting carbs out totally is not usually the best route to take, especially two to three days before races when you really want to be building up your body for lasting endurance and strength. In order to accomplish this your body needs stores to pull from.The last best thing to keep around is your protein. If you swim regularly, and in competitions, you need a good amount of protein intake to ensure your body’s ability to build new tissue. Recommendations are not as high as they are for carbs but you should still have an intake of about 0.6 grams per pound of your body weight.So the next question is really what foods are out there that can get you all of this stuff. Here’s a comprehensive swimmers diet plan to lose weight and stay fit.
This early meal is an important one. After a good night’s sleep, it’s easy for your glycogen levels to be running a little low. In other words, the fuel in the tank is running on empty. Start your day with something that will give fuel back to your muscles but not something that will go over what energy you plan on using throughout the early parts of your day.
- The popular items usually revolve around grains because they are easy and get the refueling done quickly. Since this is the case try to start out with a good bowl of oatmeal. Oats contain a lot of beneficial minerals including fiber, Vitamin E, and manganese. Manganese is a good mineral to have when you are trying to lose weight because it promotes your bone metabolism and helps get things stored properly throughout your body while increasing the overall health of your bone structure.
- If oatmeal does not fill you up throw in banana slices or have them on the side. Bananas are like an athlete’s superhero. They are not only an extremely healthy source of carbs; they are also packed with potassium which helps your body retain fluids, resulting in a reduced chance of getting cramp. Vitamin C is another benefit you get from this addition to your breakfast.
- The best kinds of food to avoid in the morning are the favorites. Stay away from bacon, sausage, and even from a large number of eggs. All of these are high in fats especially when they are cooked in butter or oils.
Although some would go against the suggestion of snacking, it can actually be good for you and help with your metabolism. Snacking can balance out your blood sugar throughout the day and keeps your metabolism running, which is helpful when you want to drop a few pounds.
- With this, do not run for the popcorn. There is a right way to do snacking. Try having portion-controlled servings of dried fruit, yogurt, nuts, or whole grains. In your day’s schedule try having snacks after times of large energy expenditure. For example, start your day with your recommended breakfast an hour or so before going to practice and have a small-portioned snack after you’ve burned off the intake from breakfast.
- Another good option for snacks is having a smoothie ready, preferably when you know it is going to be a late lunch. Keep your smoothies balanced and try to always include a vegetable with every fruit you add in. For instance, instead of having a mango, strawberry and blueberry smoothie try for mango, sweet potato, raspberry, and spinach. Watch what you add when adding dairy, and try substituting water for whole milk.
Lunch is a good time to get protein in your diet and again, refuel. If you are snacking between meals there is no need to go big, just have a reasonable portion to fill up on the nutrients your body may need after a day of exercise.
- Chicken is a great source of protein to add to a lunch and can easily be grilled and mixed into a salad. Chicken is a well known healthy choice for getting in your protein but is also high in B vitamins, specifically B6. Chicken holds high sources of phosphorus and calcium as well which are both good for bone health. If you can, try to go with breast meat which is usually the leanest, coming in with only 1g of fat.
- If chicken is not doing it for you every day, which will most likely be the case, do not hesitate to look towards something like vegetable soup or chili. Chili makes it easy to add in beans which are a super food and help keep up energy and health. With meal options like this it is beneficial to be able to make it yourself. This way you know what ingredients are going in. Getting these meals commercially usually results in absurdly high levels of sodium added and less healthy cooking preparation practices.
- To sum it up for lunch, try mixing white meat with leafy greens and see what you can come up with. Seafood options like tuna or salmon are also good sources to turn to if you’re looking for something different each day of the week.
This is the last meal of your day.Whatever it is you are eating, eat it with a big side of salad. Add in beans or berries or nuts or anything else that sounds like it would make a good addition; mix it up. Pair your salad with something that is going to be filling and is filled with necessary nutrients.
- Cook some shrimp with steamed vegetables. Shrimp gets some bad feedback because it can be high in cholesterol, but it also contains omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids without being at all high in calories. These omegas are not only good for your immune system but also for your brain function.
- If you are not into seafood stick with, again, lighter meats. Dark meats are not as healthy and are more fatty.
Regardless of what you are eating at each meal, remember portion control above everything else. Also, cheating every once in a while is okay when you are putting in so much work towards a sport and maintaining a physical lifestyle. If your caloric intake matches the energy you are expending, weight will not be a problem at all.Be sure to not over indulge or eat foods high in trans fats but rather stick to foods that will make your body happy and can be properly stored for later use rather than stored as a pocket of fat. Starting plans like this can be hard at first and there are a lot more seemingly convenient ways to find your meals; however, once the habit is started it will make you feel better inside while looking better on the outside. As an athlete you will see performance improvements and your active body will do nothing but thank you for giving it all the nutrients it needs to keep up with your lifestyle.If you are a vegetarian, you can look for a vegetarian swimmers diet plan to lose weight over here
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