Although she had neither an academic background in fitness, nor an applied background of serious training in the gym, Tiffiany Moore made a spur-of-the-moment decision to participate in a figure competition, and it ultimately changed her professional life. After learning the ins and outs of fitness and nutrition, Tiffiany placed respectfully in her competition, and has gone on to turn her passion for fitness into her profession.
Today, Tiffiany is a certified personal trainer, and she interacts with clients both in person, and through her website at www.TrainerTiff.com, providing them with advice on proper diet and exercise. In the event that athletes happen to ask Trainer Tiff questions about how to select foods to best prepare themselves for battle, here are the five things she is most likely to tell them.
1. Avoid refined carbohydrates
Since carbohydrates are the form of food most readily converted into energy by your body, any type of carbohydrate is fine, right? Not so fast. If you want to avoid an energy crash during your workout, Tiffiany urges you to avoid the refined carbohydrates that will give you quick energy, but will make you pay a price for it later.
“Candy, cakes, cookies and other junk food, but also white bread, pastas, crackers; they cause an insulin spike,” Tiffiany explained. “When your body is losing* more insulin, it creates an environment where your body is prone to store more fat. Avoiding these foods will keep your blood glucose level even and cause you not to store fat.”
2. Consume complex carbohydrates
So, since you can’t eat refined carbohydrates, you’re probably wondering what you should be eating instead. According to Tiffiany, the answer is found in complex carbohydrates. Yes, they will be stored in your system as fat if you consume them late at night, but during the day, they make for an ideal energy source.
“Whole grains, brown rice, sweet potatoes; these sorts of things break down in the body more slowly.” Tiffany said. “Because they break down slowly, this prevents an insulin spike and gives you sustained energy throughout the day. They’re also high in fiber, which helps you to stay fuller longer.”
3. Increase water intake
There are plenty of drink options that are marketed toward athletes in various stages of training, including energy drinks prior to training and sports drinks after training is in progress. However, for Tiffiany, there is no substitute for ordinary water, and to be on the safe side, you should be drinking lots of it.
“You want to make sure you’re replacing the water you lose while you exercise to avoid dehydration,” Tiffiany pointed out. “Water helps your body to flush out toxins and update your nutrient content by spreading the nutrients throughout your body. Also, dehydrated bodies tend to hold on to water, which results in water retention, so drinking more water helps to prevent water retention as well.”
4. Increase protein
Working out is a key first step to achieving an elite level of fitness, but unless those workouts are followed up with some kind of protein consumption, some of the potential strength and performance gains will go right down the drain. And, if you have to ask Tiffiany whether or not you’re getting enough protein, that means you’re probably not.
“My clients want to lose fat and tone up, and they have problems gaining muscle, and then they tell me they’re only having 20 grams of protein every day, and that’s just not enough,” Tiffiany explained. “There are a lot of different opinions on the exact amounts of protein you should eat. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight for strength athletes and 1.2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight for endurance athletes. Some bodybuilders go a gram per pound of bodyweight. But the whole idea is that you want to increase your protein, because most people simply don’t get enough.”
5. Eat continuously throughout the day
Eating meals throughout the day may sound like a surefire recipe for obesity, but Tiffiany is quick to point out that eating more than the three traditional meals doesn’t necessarily mean you are eating a lot of food. In fact, if you are smart about it, eating throughout the day can actually go a long way toward keeping you satisfied while simultaneously reducing the amount of fat your body is storing.
“You need to make sure you’re getting an appropriate amount of calories without gorging yourself during one meal,” Tiffiany said. “This will also help you to better gauge whether or not you’re getting your carbohydrates in and your protein in. In between meals, your blood glucose levels can drop drastically low, and your body is also more prone to store fat. Eating throughout the day will help you to avoid that.”
The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a multi-sport, Olympic-style event(s) that welcome athletes regardless of age or ability level. The Games embody the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living.