Whereas breakfast is the most important meal of your training diet, lunch is the second most important. In fact, we encourages soccer athletes to eat TWO lunches and have healthy eating habits!
One lunch at about 11:00 A.M. (or at your break), when you first start to get hungry, then a second lunch at about 3:00 in the afternoon, say, after school, when the munchies strike and there’s still time to digest before you start soccer practice at 4:30 or 5:00 P.M. If you train in the morning, these lunches refuel your muscles.healthy eating habits If you train in the late afternoon, these lunches prepare you for a strong workout. If you train mid-afternoon, after school, you may want to divide your second lunch into a pre-exercise and a recovery snack. And in all cases, two lunches will curb your appetite so you are not ravenous at the end of the day.
Experiment with this two-lunch concept, especially those many players who seem to go to after-school practices “on empty.” you’ll find yourself looking forward to a second sandwich to boost your energy. Afraid that two lunches will be too much food? Fear not; a second lunch does not mean additional calories. You’ll simply be trading your afternoon cookies and evening ice cream for a wholesome afternoon meal. No longer will you crave evening snacks; you will have eaten them earlier (in the form of wholesome foods). And if you want to bulk up, the second lunch offers an opportunity to bolster your calorie intake.
What’s for Lunch?
Soccer players commonly have three options for lunch: pack your own, pick up some fast food, or enjoy a hot meal from the deli or cafeteria. You can eat healthfully in each of these scenarios; just remember to enjoy three kinds of wholesome food with each meal (e.g. bread+peanut butter+banana; pizza crust+tomato sauce+cheese; chicken+rice+vegetables) and at least 500 to 600 calories per meal (based on a 2,000 to 2,400 calorie food plan, the amount appropriate for weight-watchers; non-dieters can target about 600 to 800 calories per meal). Eating a larger hot meal in the middle of the day can make the evening easier if you train in the late afternoon. No longer will you arrive home ravenous, and if you want a smaller dinner,healthy eating habits you’ll be content to enjoy a simple soup-and-sandwich meal. (For hot lunch suggestions, see the later section on Dinner and Soccer.)
Packing your own lunch is a good way to save money, time, and oftentimes saturated fat and calories if you are organized enough to have the right foods on hand. Good nutrition certainly starts in the supermarket. One trick to packing your lunch is to schedule “food shopping.” A second trick is to make lunch the night before. Just as we encourage independence among young players (e.g. they should pack and carry their own soccer bag), they should be encouraged to take part in this process.healthy eating habits It is one of the many benefits of a great soccer education!
healthy habit foods
The following healthy eating tips suggestions can help you pack a super sports lunch and good food habits.
• To prevent sandwich bread from getting stale, keep in it the freezer and take out the slices as needed. Bread thaws in minutes at room temperature, or in seconds in the microwave oven.
• Make several sandwiches at one time, and then store them in the freezer. The frozen sandwich will be thawed—and fresh—by lunchtime. Sliced turkey, lean roast beef, peanut butter, and leftover pizza freeze nicely. (Don't freeze eggs, mayonnaise, jelly, lettuce, tomatoes, or raw veggies.)
• Instead of eating a dry sandwich with no mayonnaise,healthy eating habits add moistness using lettuce and tomato; low-fat mayonnaise; low-fat bottled salad dressings, such as ranch or creamy Italian; mustard or ketchup.
• Eat peanut butter (or other nut butters); it is a favorite of soccer players, and filled with health-protective fat that reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Enjoy peanut butter (or other nut butters) with sliced banana, raisins, dates, sunflower seeds, apple slices, and/or celery slices.
• Add zip to a cheese sandwich with oregano, Italian seasonings, green peppers, and/or tomatoes health and eating habits.
• Pack leftover soups, chili, and pasta dinners for the next day's lunch. You can either eat the leftovers cold, heat them in a microwave if available, have a healthy eating habits or pack them in thermal containers.
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