Pig-out or Maintain Healthy Habits?
So the wrestling season has come to an end and it’s your plan to eat everything you were deprived of while maintaining your weight during the season and you are going to eat it all day, every day, right? Bad idea! With the recent trend in youth athletics for year-round training and competition it as important as ever to maintain the healthy eating habits you have learned during the season. That does not mean that you need to continue to restrict your diet to tuna, bagels and bananas, but rather remain mindful of what you are putting in your body. The occasional double bacon cheeseburger, slab of ribs, meat lover’s pizza or trip to the all you can eat buffet is certainly okay, you must remember a few things. One, you are not burning the same numbers of calories during the off-season. While you will regain weight at the season’s end, studies suggest as much as 13-15 pounds, consuming foods high in fat and refined carbohydrates frequently are going to pack on extra unwanted pounds quickly. While you might “bump up” a weight class for offseason competition, you probably do not want to move up two or three classes. Two, these types of foods will continue to reduce the level at which you are going to be able to compete. Even if you do not plan on competing as often as you were during the season, with the increase in competitive opportunities during the off-season in Georgia, hopefully you will continue to practice and compete. These “pig-out” foods will continue to negatively affect your level of performance whatever your new workout load. Three, eating a healthy diet is a lifestyle that is important for your lifetime. Even if you do not plan on competing beyond the current level of wrestling you are at now, healthy eat habits will contribute to your future health. The United States is among the leaders in the world in obesity rates and the health problems like diabetes and heart disease related to obesity. Using the tools about healthful diets and the effects they have on your body you have learned during your wrestling career will help to ensure you avoid these types of problems later in life. Whether you plan to maintain a high-level offseason training and competition regimen, you are moving on to another sport’s season, you plan on a reduced amount of workouts or you never plan to wrestle again continuing to eat with “common sense” will be to your benefit. Some things you might want to consider when making your dietary choices in the future include; choosing a grilled chicken sandwich every once in a while when at your favorite burger place, occasionally order a cheese or veggie pizza instead of one with meat toppings, mix in turkey bacon or sausage to your breakfast choices or trying the occasional zero calorie soda or unsweetened tea as your beverage option. Using these practices, with time, will become habit and be beneficial for your lifetime. The saying in wrestling goes, “Offseason training makes champions”, it’s important to include offseason nutrition in this equation. Your road to becoming a champion, while never easy will be eased when you maintain proper eating habits. Train hard! Eat smart! Good luck!