“Keep an eye on the calories in condiments,” advises exercise physiologist Dr Stewart Laing. “Switching to vinaigrette dressings for salads and even swapping mayo for mustard is one way to reduce calorie intake.”
Toast »scrambled eggs
“Instead of a high-carb, white bread toast at breakfast I suggest players up their protein with scrambled eggs,” says Mayur Ranchordas, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Sheffield Hallam University.
More after the break
“Off-season pasta is a carb load that players don’t really need,” says Ranchordas, “Instead, couscous offers a flavour and texture variety with more protein than potatoes or rice.”
White potatoes »sweet potatoes
“Sweet potatoes are rich in fibre and have a lower glycaemic index score than white potatoes, meaning they’ll provide slow-release energy,” says Ranchordas. “Because you can boil, roast and mash them, they’re ideal.”
Muesli » high bran cereal
“Swapping from granola or muesli to a cereal high in fibre will continue to provide a solid small meal and aid the function of your digestive system, but won’t prompt your body to store excess energy,” says Laing.
Bananas » blackberries
“Footballers eat bananas for snacks and accompany breakfast with fruit juice,” says Laing. “To keep an eye on the carbs and maintain a healthy balance, swap to seasonal summer fruits which are lower in sugar.”
“Keep back two slices of your regular pizza and so reduce the size of your main meal portion,” suggests Laing. “Instead, substitute it with a health side salad with a low-fat vinaigrette dressing to cut calories.”