Theres an old adage around training circles that results are 20% training and 80% nutrition. This adage has stood the test of time because its true. If your diet is sub-optimal you will get sub-optimal results from your training.
1. High protein foods. Beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, tuna, salmon, tofu. Pretty much anything goes here. You should be aiming to consume between 1/1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight so you’re going to need to eat a fair amount of meat and fish. Don’t worry about avoiding the fattier cuts either, eating fat doesn’t make you fat but it has been shown to increase testosterone levels, which has numerous health benefits associated with it.
2. Low starch vegetables. This includes basically any vegetable, except potatoes and corn. These provide a myriad of micronutrients needed by your body to optimise everything from muscle repair and hormone levels to immune response and should form the largest part of most of your meals, especially if you are seeking fat loss.
3. Fruits. Fruits provide many of the benefits of low starch vegetables in terms of micronutrient consumption. However fruits also come with a higher level of sugars mostly in the form of glucose and fructose. This can be great if you need energy to get you through training or a long day on the course, but should be limited if on a fat loss diet.
4. Extra protein. As I said your going to need to eat a lot of protein. Protein is essential to maintaining and building muscle, it has also been shown to be very satiating, great if your looking for fat loss and are on a restricted calorie diet. Whey protein supplements are easy, convenient and cheap way to increase your protein intake.
5. Fats & Oils. Your body needs fats! Fats are essential for cell repair, optimising hormone levels and joint health. However this is not an excuse to head down to the nearest fast food restaurant and get everything deep fried, lets stick to good, natural, healthy sources of fats. Avocado, coconut, whole nuts, butter, olive oils and fish oils are great choices.
6. Dairy. Dairy gets a bad rap, but the fact is relatively few of us are actually intolerant and unable to digest dairy. Consume a pint of organic milk, a natural greek yoghurt, or a few slices of a good quality cheese and your getting the perfect ratio of carbs, fats and protein to repair and grow. After all, think how much babies grow and they only drink milk!?
7. Starchy foods. Think potato, pasta, rice, oatmeals, grains, etc. Keep them wholegrain and unprocessed and you have a great source of energy to support your training, your golf and everything in between throughout the day. High carb foods should however be limited on a fat loss diet, only at breakfast and post workout, or limiting yourself to 1 or 2 portions a day are good rules of thumb for most with body composition goals.
8. Vitamins & Probiotics. A good multi-vitamin and a probiotic, is the combination of supplements recommended by Mark Twight, trainer to superman and the cast of 300. The multi-vitamin is an insurance policy, plugging any holes in your micro nutrient intake left by your whole food diet. The probiotic helps breakdown the extra fat intake from the meat proteins, allowing the body to utilise this nutrient source more effectively.
9. Zinc & Magnesium. These two nutrients are of at low levels in the general population. Happily though, they are widely available in supplement form. Vital for recovery from resistance training they also aid in giving you a good nights sleep, which as we all know does wonders!
10. Creatine. Creatine has been the subject of more clinical trails than any other supplement in the history of sports supplements. It is safe and effective. Unless you are one of the rare non responders creatine will increase your lean muscle mass and make you stronger.