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Richard Chessor: Rugby Qs answered

  1. Should I stop eating carbs after 6pm?
    • No. Why should there be an absolute timeline put on the consumption of a single nutrient?
    • Carbohydrate intake should be based around training. If you have an evening training session then carbs should be consumed both before and after.
    • However, if you are not training in the evening, have consumed a suitable recovery and adaptation meal after your last training session and are resting in the evening then it may be beneficial to decrease your carbohydrate intake around this time. This is to maximise nutrient efficiency – don’t eat a large amount of carbs at a time when they are not going to be used.
    • Carbs: Use them or Earn them.
  1. What fat loss supplements should I take?
    • None. Most have very little impact on energy expenditure but are excellent at keeping you awake at night.
    • The only potential supplement which may support fat loss is omega-3 fatty acids.
  1. I have cut out carbs because I want to lose weight but feel like I am struggling to train in the 2nd session of the day, what should I do?
    • Firstly, I am not surprised.
    • Carbohydrate should not be restricted in the pre- or post-training window.
    • Increase the carbohydrate portion at breakfast, lunch and afternoon recovery snack.
    • Energy restriction should focus more around rest windows than training windows.
  1. I am trying to gain weight so the quality of what I eat doesn’t matter – it’s the quantity that counts isn’t it?
    • No. Weight gain periods are not an excuse for a slack diet.
    • The quality of what we eat will partly dictate the balance of weight that we gain – fat or muscle.
    • The quality of what we eat also plays a major role in our ability to train and recover optimally.
  1. What should I have for an afternoon snack?
    • This will depend on your training schedule but if this is your first big meal after completing training for the day then it should be a big feed with an even balance of protein, carbohydrate and veggies.
    • It can be a quick and easy meal like beans, ham and avocado on toast or chicken and noodle stir fry or it can be a dish more commonly associated with the evening meal like steak, sweet potato and greens or salmon, quinoa and roasted vegetables.
  1. What should I have for a pre-bed snack?
    • Dairy foods are an excellent source of pre-bed protein and honey or berries are great late night carbs.
    • So, Greek yoghurt with blueberries or a casein shake with honey would be ideal.
  1. I don’t have enough time to eat more than cereal for breakfast.
    • Firstly, get up a little earlier.
    • Secondly, do your prep the night before. Grill some quick fry steaks, freeze mini omelettes, soak your oats in milk and yoghurt, get your equipment ready and plan what you are going to have. Breakfast can be the quickest meal of the day if you are prepared.
  1. What can I eat for breakfast other than eggs to meet my protein needs?
    • To meet your protein needs at breakfast think less about ‘breakfast foods’ and more about ‘protein foods’.
    • Quick fry steaks, smoked salmon, mackerel, ham, chicken, beans and pulses are all great protein sources but not commonly associated with breakfast. But with a little planning and preparation they can easily be turned into a breakfast meal.
    • In addition to these look to milk and yoghurt for quick protein solutions.
  1. I haven’t been able to run – that’s the reason why I am not meeting my weight loss / body composition targets.
    • No, you haven’t suitably modified your eating habits – that’s the reason whey you are not meeting your weight loss / body composition targets.
    • Energy expenditure is just one side of the equation and if weight loss is required during a reduced training period then a further reduction in energy intake is required to maintain an energy deficit.
  1. Eating healthily is just too expensive.
    • No its not, eating badly is very cheap!
    • Eating well doesn’t not have to mean buying the most expensive ingredients. Often, the cheaper ingredients (especially fruit and vegetables) cost less not because of a reduced nutritional quality but because they are not considered the perfect shape or colour.
    • Also, buy shopping to a list or plan you will save money as you only buy what you need.
    • Its often much cheaper to cook or prepare meals from basic raw ingredients instead of buying pre-prepared alternatives e.g. Bolognese sauce using tinned tomatoes and a few herbs and spices instead of a ready-made jar.