MTK GLOBAL’S FITNESS & NUTRITION TIPS FOR 2022

Throughout January, Greg Marriott, MTK Global’s official nutritionist, will be providing helpful training and nutrition advice to help you get 2022 off to a positive start.


Regardless of whether you’re a fighter about to embark upon a training camp, or somebody who is simply looking to improve your fitness levels, help is at hand.

In the first instalment of a regular column, Marriott picks out some key foods, highlights the importance of preparation and discusses calorie counting…

COMBATING JUNK FOODS

If, like 99 percent of the population, you’ve over indulged during the festive period and enjoyed the vast array of food and alcohol which is so readily available over Christmas and New Year, January is the perfect time to make some positive changes.

In order to get your energy levels and digestion back on track, here are some go-to foods that will counter the impact of your recent binge:

  • Greek yoghurt

Go light for breakfast with Greek yoghurt topped with berries (which are rich in antioxidants) and slice a banana up in there.

Greek yoghurt naturally contains friendly fighting bacteria which reduces gut inflammation and helps your digestive system to run smoothly.

Bananas contain potassium which helps combat bloating from too much sodium, which is contained in salty snacks.

Eggs are high in both nutrition and protein, while containing a special amino acid which breaks down toxins from alcohol which can then be eliminated from the body.

So, ditch the bacon and cheese, and add some spinach and tomatoes as they are fibre rich, like all greens, and will aid digestion to help de-bloat the stomach.

The positives of drinking green tea are seemingly endless but one of the main benefits is its high antioxidant effects which help prevent cell damage, so be sure to give this a go.

Oatmeal is a great source of fibre and very gentle on the stomach, so it’s the perfect option if you’re feeling as though breakfast needs to be light.

COUNTING CALORIES

This is one of those subjects people can get hung up on a little too much.

Counting calories can be a useful tool for people who are looking to lead a normal healthy lifestyle and stay in the boundaries of your RDA (recommended daily allowance), but when you are wanting to achieve a calorie deficit, especially for an athlete needing to burn fat and cut weight, it’s a little more specific.

To achieve a calorie deficit, exercise is always the best option. Now, the exercise you do determines the fuel you need in order to get the maximum from the session, but also to refuel post- workout and still target fat loss without hitting the “wall” or burning into your body’s protein reserves. This, unfortunately, is easily done and can lead to people questioning whether or not diets actually work.

In a nutshell, everyone is different and fortunately we are all unique in how we burn calories. This can be determined through how your digestive system is running, your body type, the types of foods you eat, your sleep cycle and more importantly your stress management.

TRACKING CALORIES

I would advise people to track their calories and macros through a mobile app if possible.

There are a few out there (My Fitness Pal is good) that are totally free and are a great way to track your calories/macros and training.

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Just be aware that some apps, when scanning food barcodes or pre-loaded foods on the system, aren’t always completely accurate, but as a whole these are a great way to keep you balanced.

FUELLING CORRECTLY

Training can be morning or evening and, depending on the training you’re doing, can impact which types of foods you should be eating. For now, we will concentrate on basic hard training which predominantly constitutes to a boxing workout.

Pre-workout:

You should be topping up your energy stores pre-training with a meal which looks similar to either of the below options:

  • Chicken breast, boiled potatoes and always a side of vegetables or salad
  • Salmon fillet, wholewheat pasta and vegetables

These should be consumed roughly 2-4 hours before training with only snacks consumed in the hour leading up to the workout.

Snack options:

  • Fresh fruit – banana, apple
  • Low-fat granola bar
  • Jam on toast

During workout

If your session runs over 90 minutes, a carb gel should give you the extra boost if you feel the need, dependent upon the pre-workout meal and the timing of the window you have.

Post-workout

Recovery is crucial after workouts, and I personally advise a 30-45 minute window in which to refuel.

A recovery shake is best as liquid replenishes the body much quicker and should contain carbohydrates to replace lost glycogen stores, along with high protein content to create protein synthesis which prevents muscle damage.

PREPARATION IS KEY

Easy, go-to meals should always be thought about in advance as preparation beforehand makes life so much easier.

Prep the day’s food in advance the night before to ensure you’re not chasing the hunger and end up craving bad foods.

You can also use numerous food prep companies out there if your week is going to be a busy one, and have them tailor meals to your nutritional needs and calorie demands.

HYDRATION

The number one key to recovery and peak performance in athletes is water intake.

I get asked regularly about how much you should drink, and a good rule of thumb is half your body weight, so typically a person weighing 160 pounds should aim to drink 80 ounces of water per day, which works out to about 2.3 litres. This should be adjusted accordingly to the day’s activity level.

A good accompaniment to water is coconut water, which is naturally rich in essential minerals including potassium, sodium and magnesium, which can rapidly deplete through an athlete’s training schedule.

POSITIVE MINDSET

If anybody is struggling with trying to keep healthy eating habits, I recommend being realistic with the goals you set and not being too hard on yourself.

We all have the end goal in mind but to get from A-Z, there are a few more letters in between so I suggest setting small targets and don’t cut out your treats as long as you train hard and diet enough to deserve them.

Ensure your hard work pays off for a little treat at the weekend, but remember to stay inside your calorie intake as you will still be on track without feeling like you have failed.

The new year is now here, so take this opportunity to make a lifestyle change and set yourself realistic small targets, rather than a full year’s resolution, as small changes over time make big impacts.

Good luck to all.

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