Whether you’re getting breakfast at a coffee shop, ordering lunch at the club, grabbing a snack at the turn or having dinner out on the town, there are healthier ways to enjoy yourself without compromising your health or game. Golf is a difficult sport as it is, the last thing you need are the sugar shanks or a beer belly killing your performance potential.
Golf is the ultimate lifestyle activity. When coaching participants through our MTT LEAN 18 nutrition program, our goal is always to use the game to activate a positive change that impacts all aspects of a person’s daily performance. In addition to the tips in the video below, here are five LEAN 18 eating essentials guaranteed to give you a leg up on the competition.
1. Plan Ahead
Look at the menu beforehand to make sure there are healthy options. Most establishments have their menu posted online for easy access. If you know you can’t resist getting a pasta dish or having a dessert, pick your dining out day as a “cheat meal.” We encourage our clients to allow themselves two cheat meals per week to help satisfy cravings without going overboard.
2. Drink Water
Stick with water as your main beverage. Unsweetened drinks such as sparkling water, iced/hot tea, and coffee can also be good options. Limit caffeine intake to two cups daily and avoid using caffeine as a replacement for sleep or food.
3. Load up on Veggies
Eating vegetables leaves less room for refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, chips, and french fries. Go for green vegetables first, such as spinach, broccoli or asparagus. Starchy vegetables, such as red potatoes and sweet potatoes, can be healthier and more nutrient-dense alternatives to refined carbs such as bread, white rice, flour tortillas or pasta. When you hit the 19th hole, substitute the common sides for one of these options and you’ll be taking a huge step in the right direction.
4. Add Protein
Add protein to your meal to maximize nutrients, provide satiation, and reduce cravings. Best options are “wild” fish, “grass-fed” meats and “free-range” poultry/eggs for extra nutritional benefits. These choices won’t always be available, but a lot of restaurants are moving towards providing these healthier items.
5. Get the Right Fat
Choose natural fats such as avocados, organic butter, olives, olive oil, nuts, seeds, cheese, cottage cheese, or sour cream. Fat provides essential nutrients, keeps you full, and reduces appetite. Most restaurant sauces and dressings, especially “low-fat” ones, have added sugar. Enjoy sugary dips and dressings sparingly or ask for olive oil and vinegar instead. Lastly, this goes without saying, but avoid anything deep-fried.
Sample Clubhouse Orders
- I’ll have two fried eggs with applewood smoked bacon and rosemary redskin potatoes. Hold the toast and jam. Add a side of sautéed spinach and bell peppers.
- I’ll have a french dip sandwich with sautéed onions and a mushroom jus for dipping. Hold the soft roll and french fries or potato chips. Add sourdough bread and a side of fresh fruit.
- I’ll have a beef/turkey burger. Hold the cheese and burger bun. Add lettuce (for lettuce wrap), sliced avocado, tomato and onions. Add a side of freshly steamed veggies.
Eating better is all about building new habits. Try incorporating some of these healthier eating tips and you can count this week’s challenge as complete.
Cate Ritter is the Director of THE LEAN 18 Nutrition program at MTT Performance. MTT Performance. The program operates out of Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, CA. Follow MTT on Twitter at @mttgolf