5 Tips For Eating After Athletic Retirement
When I was competing in college sports, my problem was not being able to consume enough calories. It was hard for me to hit the number of calories my body needed to function at its highest level. Once I retired from competing, I underwent a major mental change.
I discovered this very quickly after my last game was played. I didn’t think about the effects of overeating eating on my less active body. The problem was, I didn’t recognize that I was overeating. The amount of food I was consuming was normal because of my years of high level training.
Needless to say my waistline saw a big difference, and getting the food craving monster to settle down was not a quick process. I found a few tips to pass on to those who might be experiencing the same thing. Here are a few tricks to toss into your daily routine without having to eat kale and seaweed for every meal.
1) Portion Size
The first area I started to focus on was portion size. My body no longer needed the amount of calories it once did. Cutting back on my portions was a way to continue eating the foods I enjoyed. One easy way to cut down portion size is by using a smaller plate, it is a great measuring tool because it can only hold so much. There’s always an option to go back for seconds, but being aware of when you are satisfied, as opposed to full is a great tool.
2) Eat Less, More Frequently
As I started cutting down on my portion size, my body craved more food because of how I had previously trained. A good key to promote healthy portions, is to eat less in one sitting. This means, eat more frequently. Meal prepping is an easy way to plan your meals for the week.
3) Drink Water
We all know from our years of training that water is queen. Beyond how amazing water is for the body, I also discovered how I was able to use it to help myself feel more full. Drinking a cup of water before each meal helped my stomach to feel full and in turn, eat less. I might not be carrying my gallon jug of water anymore, (thankfully) but I still try to keep water in my life.
4) Take Less to Begin a Meal
My eyes have always been bigger than my stomach. I had to actively keep this in mind. Just because I could eat a whole Chipotle burrito in one sitting... doesn't mean that I should (no matter how much my friends dared me to). I started with less food on my plate, and after finishing it, I would wait 10-15 min before going back for seconds. I found most of the time I wasn’t even hungry, and would forgo the seconds. To my own surprise I started to go back for seconds less and less... as my stomach started to shrink.
Accepting that my body no longer needed a heaping plate of food was key. Just the awareness of how many less calories my body needed during this new chapter in life was huge. With this acceptance, I was able to make the necessary adjustments to my daily eating habits.
None of this was an overnight process, so I encourage everyone to stick with it and start at a place that will be sustainable. I know you will enjoy seeing the changes as well as how much money you are going to save from consuming less.
We would love to hear from you about your own eating transition, submit your story and what you do below or to: firstname.lastname@example.org