As a registered dietitian, sports dietitian and the sports dietitian for the Kansas City Chiefs, I am all about being an ath-vocate, making sure my athletes respect, not neglect their bodies by treating it right.
There is a lot of misinformation online about what to and what not to eat, food blaming and body shaming. I want you to think about what works for you. No one can eat for you or move for you. Self-health is key to be your best in the classroom as well as in sport.
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and your ability to be your best is NOT determined by a number on the scale or the size of your jeans. The goal is to be fit, fed, fearless and foodies not feudies.
So what gets in the way of us being our best?
Negative self-talk- just shut it down. Focus on what your body allows you to do.
Skipping meals or restricting food – this makes you weak, slow, and fatigued and can have a negative impact on your ability to learn and train as it leads to energy drain. You need to eat enough to satisfy your basic needs and help you succeed in sports.
Not getting enough sleep- this is the time for our body to restore so we can do more. Make an effort to get in your zzzs!
Labeling foods as good or bad- the only bad foods are ones that you are allergic to, intolerant to or the food is spoiled.
Consuming too much caffeine as coffee, energy drinks or other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine is a stimulant, not a source of energy and can make you so wired that you don’t feel tired, and when you are trying to sleep your body cannot get the rest it needs to recover and restore so you can do more.
Choosing a supplement over food- supplements are a complement to what we eat, not a replacement for the food we choose. Sometimes we need to take supplements to correct a deficiency, but a supplement is not a meal!
What helps us to be our best?
Positive self-talk- what do you say to yourself every day? You should be your own best cheerleader.
Getting enough rest
Taking time to chill and unplug
Taking a break from negative social media- unfollow what makes you mad or sad
Fueling not fooling your body
Showing up for practices and competition fueled and hydrated
Being consistent with fueling and hydration every day
Seeking professional help if trying to make changes to one’s body such as working with a registered dietitian.
Surrounding yourself with those who support you- family, friends, teammates, health care professionals
Find ways to nourish and nurture yourself every day in every way