If you've taken up a fitness challenge, eat healthy and train hard with nutritionist Kim Pearson's expert tips
Whether it’s a marathon, mountain climb or cycle expedition, embarking on an extreme challenge can really help achieve your fitness goals. But if you’re not eating adequate quantities of food to supplement an intense exercise regime, you'll lack the energy needed to succeed.
Nutritionist Kim Pearson hosted a recent Expert clinic for Zest online. Read her top tips to ensure you maintain a healthy diet and max your performance:
1. Don’t resort to eating empty calories as these are totally nutrient deficient. Aim to increase your intake of healthy foods, which supply you with nutrients as well as calories.
Eat to fuel your run
2. Eat good fats: plenty of omega-3 rich fish, nuts, seeds and nut butters (not peanut). Make dressings with olive oil, rapeseed oil or flax seed oil.
Learn to sort the good fats from the bad
3. It's essential to get enough protein in order to repair muscles and to ensure the body isn't breaking down muscle to use as fuel. Aim to eat quality protein - even at breakfast. Try organic meat and eggs, fish, seafood, tofu. The World Health Organisation recommends women eat 1.2g of protein per kg of body weight each day (based on ideal body weight). Many people get nowhere near this and you may well require even more given the level of exercise you're doing.
Eat protein for energy
4. After exercise, drink a good quality protein shake if you need to (I like the Spiru-tien range as they are dairy free).
Eat like an Olympian: try protein shakes
5. Don't forget to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and low glycaemic fruit; aim for two portions of fruit and seven portions of vegetables per day. It sounds a lot but it's really important to get optimal levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
The superhero vegetables
6. I suggest taking a good quality multivitamin, mineral and omega-3 supplement as your body’s need for nutrients increases when you're exercising more. I like BioCare's One a Day Plus and their OmegaBerry fish oil.
Your guide to supplements
7. Work out how many extra calories you are burning. There are lots of online tools you can use to input your activity and calculate how many calories you're consuming.
Use our calorie calculator to see what you're burning
8. I would suggest keeping a record of how much you are eating in a food diary to ensure it’s enough. My Fitness Pal is a great mobile app for this.
Best fitness apps
Read more advice from nutritionist Kim Pearson in the Zest online expert clinic
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