A huge part of MMA training is the fighter’s diet. If he or she doesn’t follow a healthy diet, then the body won’t reach its full potential no matter how hard they tear through their hand protection for MMA at the gym. To help you follow a strict and disciplined diet we present you a list of 7 tips that have the purpose of aiding you during this process, so check it out here, in the following lines.
Get rid of the unhealthy food
Most pantries and refrigerators are filled with food that is not entirely healthy. If you, as an MMA fighter, plan to start a diet to help you during your training, you absolutely have to throw all the junk food to the trash or get rid of it by giving it to someone else. As long as there is unhealthy food in your house, you will most likely end up eating it.
This happens because, let’s face it, bad food for your body tastes great most of the times. You have to get rid of sweets, sweet drinks, fast food, frozen food, and processed food. Your kitchen should be free of sodas, candies, chocolate, cookies, potato chips, crackers, ice cream, frozen meals, alcohol and anything of this sort.
Following a strict healthy diet is not easy, especially when you combine this lifestyle with a tough training program. This is the main reason why you should get rid of all the culinary temptations first.
Stock up on healthy food
Once you have eliminated all the junk food mentioned above, it’s now time to refill your pantry and kitchen with food that actually brings nutritional benefits to your body. At the beginning of each week, you must go grocery shopping, buy natural ingredients and start cooking. Many fighters say that they don’t know how to cook, but that is just a lame excuse.
You don’t have to spend money and hire a personal nutritionist or cook to prepare simple dishes for you. If you can manage to win octagon fights, you can manage to cook some meals and snacks to last you through the week. Nutrition is a necessity and if you plan your meals at the beginning of a week, you will always be prepared and ready to fuel your body with nutrients.
Don’t be afraid to buy ingredients in large quantities as your body will burn calories faster during training. Buying in bulk helps you save money and time as your trips to the grocery won’t be as frequent.
Start keeping a food log
If asked, most people would say that their eating habits are okay. However, the truth is that the consumed food and the way it’s eaten can safely be described as chaotic both in the US as well as through the rest of the world. Obesity and other disease rates are higher than ever before. As a training athlete, you must be aware of everything involving your personal nutrition.
The best way of learning more about your eating habits and correcting them as necessary is to keep a food log. This is nothing more than a table where you write information about what food you eat. For a start, you should keep this table as simple as possible with only two columns: what you eat and what time during the day you eat that food.
If you need more detailed information you can research more about those foods and add more columns, such as nutritional values, number of calories, etc. However, even by keeping the simplest food log version, people become conscious that their way of eating is not healthy and quickly change it in a short time.
Control the portions
If you prepare your own food, then this is not a problem. However, sometimes you may visit a restaurant and receive more than you need to eat. You never have to feel obliged to eat everything. Those portions are calculated by other standards, not by yours. Although an athlete eats more meals during the day, each of his meals is smaller in quantity.
If you really want to respect your diet and regime, you must not only be aware of what you eat but also of how much you eat.
Protein powder is extremely popular among athletes and MMA fighters as it’s a lot cheaper than the protein equivalent you would gain from buying meat. However, you must take care when consuming it. Remember that this is a supplement and doesn’t completely replace the protein you gain from your usual diet.
Over consuming protein powder in an attempt to rapidly gain muscle weight may be dangerous for your health. Depending on the product you consume, you should ingest between 0.6 and 1.2 grams of protein powder for every pound you weigh.
Drink plenty of water
We could write entire books about the benefits of water, but as these books already exist we’ll just say that by drinking plenty of water you will feel fewer aches and pain, you will be able to concentrate harder and your muscle growth will be increased.
Most people start their morning with coffee, then drink sodas and end their day with alcohol. This terribly dehydrates the body as the liver is constantly working to break down all those previously mentioned substances. Water brings benefits both to the body and to the mind, helps you recover faster from injuries and improves our focus.
As an MMA fighter, you should drink even more water than regular people to compensate for the lost water under the form of sweat.
Take a break
Depending on your training regime and whether or not an important match is coming, you should allow yourself a couple of cheat meals, as they are commonly known, during the week. This means that you can eat some foods that are usually not allowed for an athlete in training.
This gives you a psychological boost and some few extra carbs. Make the most of these cheat meals and go out on a date or meet your friends at a barbeque.