The more Rugby Muscle gains popularity, the more people we have ask for meal plans…
If only it was that simple
Unfortunately we are all different – well this is only unfortunate in an organisational sense it is actually a very good thing really when you think if we were all like Alex, we’d all be half-bald midgets despising upper-body exercises and having to live life with 6 fingers on each hand.
Digression aside, all us rugby players are different and just like we have to adapt our training to fit our needs, we also need to do the same with diet. There are however 3 things that we can all do to make our eating habits that much easier.
1. Cook In Bulk
Nearly every professional player that I know / work with has food given to him at the canteen, this means that when he’s finished training (and when he arrives before training) he has a set meal ready for him to eat.
If we don’t have this luxury we can come close to it by cooking in bulk. That way you’re always going to have some good food ready to eat.
If you finish training/work/school and then have to come home AND then cook… “ugh”…. it get’s too much and you either snack on shit or skip the meal… both options are far from ideal!
Nobody wants to wait half an hour for chicken or potatoes or whatever to cook… it’s just effort and stress that you can so without.
It’s much easier to just come home and eat, or heat & eat. What I like to do is cook my rice and vegetables in bulk, then also cook my chicken in bulk, when I get home I just combine a portion of each in the pan to heat up and gorge.
Whilst I wouldn’t eat ALL of my meals in bulk (I’ll explain why later), this is a great strategy for reducing the stress that comes with dieting.
2. Don’t Eat Boring Food
Now this is where people go massively wrong with food prep, it blows my mind how many people get bored shitless with their diet because all they’re eating is tuna, broccoli and rice.
I don’t know about you, but meals like this don’t get me hyped for eating 3500+ calories a day… I’d even go as far as saying I’d sooner be skinny! (don’t hold me to that)
The idea of preparing meals ahead of time in bulk is that you get to have food on hand that you enjoy, if it’s really dull food (I repeat, tuna and rice) then the chances are that you’re going to not want to eat it anyway, even if it’s been put on a plate for you… literally.
Learn to use herbs, spices and sauces to jazz up your meals (or get your wench to do so), enjoy your food and enjoy the process of fuelling your body with enjoyable foods.
Shameless Plug: Did we mention that we have a monthly cookbook for our Academy? These meals are really easy to cook and give you exact nutrient details of what you’re eating… oh and they are delicious!
3. Get Your Variety In
This blends elements from both of the other points together and is crucial for both the mental part of dieting and general health.
As I mentioned above I don’t cook all of my meals in bulk, because then it doesn’t matter how good they were on Monday… by Thursday and Friday I’m going to get bored of them (2 weeks ago I got bored of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food FroYo…).
Because of this I will ALWAYS keep one meal open to either eat out with friends/family or just have something different (a “cheeky” Nandos anyone).
Then there’s also the health benefits of diet variety – two general rules of thumb are:
- The more variety you get in your diet, the healthier you are.
- The healthier you are, the better you will perform.
No doubt some of you jokers will say “I will vary my diet by switching between KFC, McDonalds and Pizza Hut”, well ha! I beat ya to it, it wasn’t as funny as it was in your head anyway.
If you eat the same things day in, day out, then over time you will build up a deficiency with certain vitamins and minerals. Take broccoli for example as it seems to be my scapegoat for the day – yes, it is healthy but lacks B vitamins, Calcium and a bunch of other micronutrients, as well as all important fat.
The point here is that no single food, or set of foods, will cover all your bases, so get a good bit of diversity in your diet.
3 simple tips, but 3 very useful ones. The battle to diet well starts again every day and the better you prepare yourself for it, the better your chance of success.
I’d add in a bonus tip now as a reward for sticking to the end… use frozen fruit and veg to help take out preparation time and make cooking even less stressful!
If you want 5 more diet tips, read this article here for 5 more nutrition tips for rugby players.
I’ve also put a number of videos of my daily diet on our youtube channel if you want some ideas.
I’m off to go eat broccoli, tuna and brown rice… and then hang myself.