(for the original source, visit USA Triathlon multisport zone)
Create a very simple lifestyle log to plan your day. The diet mentality is to log your day as or after it happened and this often doesn't initiate change but instead guilt, control and self-defeat. Instead, create a plan for yourself. When you think about what you will eat before or after workouts, for your three meals and then snacking with a purpose, you have a better opportunity to set yourself up for success. Not only do you have a plan for staying nourished and satisfied but you are now forced to make sure you have those food items available which reduces the risk for overeating later in the day as well as going long hours without eating (or eating on a whim). This also helps the athlete fuel better so that pre- and post-workout nutrition isn't an afterthought.
I'm all about a plant strong plate. You can pick your protein choice. Fill up your plate with fresh foods, packed with vitamins and minerals. Your plate should never limit fats, carbs or protein so find a way to create that beautiful plate that leaves you satisfied and feeling great about your meals. If you can't do this on your own, have a dietitian who specializes in sport nutrition help you plan your diet to support your active lifestyle and health goals.
Do I even need to give you a reason as to why you should cook more? Don't find the time to cook, make the time.
Don't expect to change everything overnight. Focus on a few changes every one to two weeks so you can make that lifestyle change. Be sure to have a strong, supportive team around you who will keep you motivated and inspired to learn how to eat for fuel and for health. Also keep in mind that even though you may find yourself questioning your new or improved eating habits, your diet is created by you and for you. You have your reason for your dietary changes and you are making these changes for the right reasons. You are not chasing a body image or wanting a quick fix but instead, you are taking the time to make a lifestyle change. Enjoy this wonderful journey that you are taking your body on as you learn how to eat for fuel and for health and how to develop a great relationship with food and your body.