Finding yourself looking in the fridge out of boredom in lockdown? Or maybe you’re grazing on snacks all day rather than sitting down to regular meals? Something as simple as planning your meals ahead of time can not only help you with what to eat and when, but also with structuring the rest of your day. So, if you’re struggling with your nutrition during lockdown, then this is the article for you. We’ve put together some really simple tips to help keep your mealtime routine in place to keep you on top of your nutrition.
By definition, this is the meal that “breaks the fast”. You probably haven’t eaten anything for about 12 hours now, so your body will be getting low on energy and you might find yourself heading straight for the snack cupboard midmorning if you skip breakfast. Starting the day with a healthy and nutritious breakfast can be a great way to set you up for the day ahead. Not everyone eats breakfast though. So, if that’s you, make sure you drink plenty as soon as you wake up to stay hydrated and know what you’re going to have for your mid-morning snack when the hunger kicks in.
Instead of heading for the crisp packets and chocolate bars, focus your snacks around a good source of protein. This will keep you feeling fuller for longer and having a high protein intake spread throughout the day is essential for maintaining muscle mass in athletes. Low fat dairy’s like milk and cheese are great options or try some fruit and yoghurt instead. Take a look at our recent blog for perfect snack ideas for youth athletes!
If you’re used to having your lunch at a set time at school or college, then try to stick to this time to keep your routine up. Again, plan ahead as to what you’re going to have so that you’re not left staring into the fridge for inspiration and base your meal around a good source of protein and carbs. If you’ve got a busy day planned then keep this to a packed lunch that you’ve made the night before. For some ideas of perfect lunches to grab on the go, take a look at our blog!
If you’ve not nailed your nutrition throughout the day, then you might end up overeating at dinner time and going to bed feeling stuffed. Plan your evening meal to be roughly 4-5 hours after your lunch and if it’s going to be longer than that, plan in a high protein afternoon snack, just like in the morning. Remember to base your meal around protein, carbs and plenty of fruit and veg.
Eating slow-release proteins in the evening before bed can be a great way for athletes to maintain muscle protein synthesis (building new muscle) overnight . Choose foods high in the protein casein, as this is a slower releasing protein. Dairy foods like cottage cheese, milk and yoghurt are good sources of casein.
Making time to sit down and enjoy your meals is really important and will help to keep a sense of normality to your days. Plan your meals ahead as much as possible to take away some of your daily stresses and help to keep you on track. For more tips and ideas for lockdown nutrition, check out the rest of our blogs.
- Res, P.T. et al. (2012). Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44, 1560- 1569.