Eating a balanced diet

The key to optimum health and recovery is balance. In this lesson you will learn how to eat a balanced diet to ensure maximun performance and recovery.

The key to optimum health and recovery is balance.

We put so many hours into the training aspect of our sport yet we often fall short with our nutrition.

By not ensuring a balance between carbohydrates, protein and fat means we are not giving our body the tools to perform or recover to the best of its ability.

The following plate is a visual to help guide you as to what a balanced meal should look like.

Your goal for the week

Make sure your main meals are balanced – you’re looking for a serve of protein, one to two serves of carbohydrates depending on training, a small amount of fat.

Don’t forget your vegetables for added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Are you getting all the nutrition that your body needs?

Do you have at least three servings of vegetables every day?

A serving is roughly a handful.

Do you have at least two servings of fruit each day?

A serving is 1 apple, 2 small apricots, 1 cup fresh fruit salad or _ cup stewed fruit in juice.

Do you include at least 6 servings of bread and cereal each day?

A serving is 1 slice of bread/small roll, _ cup muesli/cooked porridge, 1 cup cooked pasta/rice/cassava or 1 cup of a light/flaky cereal. Whole grains are the best choice and include plain oats, brown rice, corn, barley, whole-wheat pasta, grainy bread varieties, wholegrain breakfast cereals.

Do you have at least 2 servings of dairy or milk products each day?

A serving is 1 pottle yoghurt (150g), 1 cup of milk (250mls), 2 slices of reduced-fat cheese (40g).

Do you include at least one serving of meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, tofu or legumes once a day?

A serving is 100-120g cooked meat/chicken/fish, 1 egg, _ cup cooked beans.

Do you include seafood in your diet at least twice a week?

This includes fresh, frozen or canned varieties.

Do you have nuts, seeds, unsaturated oils (e.g. olive or canola) or avocado every day?

Do you drink at least eight glasses of fluid a day?

This includes water, tea, coffee, fruit juice and milk.

If you answered NO to any of these questions, you are likely to be missing out on valuable nutrition and/or hydration.

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