You are what you eat, is our motto. In the last 7 years as a Diet Consultant to badminton, cricket, tennis players and athletes we have struggled to teach the secrete of keeping fit year round.
The problem is that in sport there are times when you are off competitive tours or training for some weeks or months. These are certain diet principles you have to keep even during those days, if you want to keep your performance high year round.
1). Never skip a meal. Whether you are playing a match or not your body requires certain basic nutrients every single day, 365 days of the year. This can never be given in one or 2 big meals. You simply have to eat 3 properly balanced meals daily. Even if you have a rest day and you wake up late you need to eat breakfast at 11 a.m or 12, delay the lunch a little 2.30 3.30 p.m and then eat dinner by 8.30 or 9 pm, but you must eat all 3 meals.
2). The second rule is to see that all meals are carbohydrate, protein balanced. Only fruits for breakfast or only a big salad and soup or big bowl of boiled veggies for dinner or lunch is completely wrong. All players, even those who have to loose weight require a basic amount of complex carbohydrate like whole wheat bread, cereals like cornflakes or oats, whole wheat (atta) rotis or rice, etc. in every meal to meet the basic energy requirements and keep your basal metabolic rate (BMR) high. When ever you skip a meal or eat a meal with out bread/rice, etc. (i.e. skip carbs) then your BMR goes down and your tendency to put on weight goes up. Also players require more protein than normal, so every meal must contain protein foods along with the carbs. Every meal must contain some form of protein got from skimmed milk or yoghurt, egg white, dhal or channa, rajma, moong, etc., chicken or fish.
3). Reduce fatty food intake to a minimum or avoid completely.
A All fried food and all nuts.
B - Butter, cream, ghee, etc.
C - Chocolates, ice creams, cookies, cakes, desserts and all sweets.
Most players are trying to loose weight or reduce fat percent in their bodies.
Please be very sure that this is not achieved by skipping meals or substituting meals with only soup, salad or fruits. If you want to remove excess fat from your body then you simply have to completely stop putting the above mentioned fatty foods into your mouth. If you eat balanced meals, and cut out these fatty foods completely for 1 month, you can lose 3 kgs in a month and even bring your fat percentage down by 3% in one month.
Regular cardiovascular exercise like a 20- 30 minutes jog or treadmill walk, 6-7 days a week does wonders for reducing fat in the body.