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Sweet treats and fried foods are plenty appetizing, but when it comes to your performance menu, consume them in moderation. Sports nutritionist Dawn Weatherwax-Fall says that high-sugar foods (e.g., candy, soda, donuts) and high-fat items (like nachos and Buffalo wings) are low in nutrients and do little to help your body build muscle and maintain energy.
Such “freebie foods” are certainly tempting, and Weatherwax-Fall recognizes that it’s unrealistic to expect athletes to cut them out of their diets entirely. Instead, she recommends limiting them to one a day, a total of seven per week.
New Orleans Saints sports dietitian Tavis Piattoly agrees that you should eat sugary and fatty foods in moderation. “Eat clean 90% of the time and treat yourself the other 10%,” he says.
Weatherwax-Fall suggests keeping nutritious portable snacks handy to steer your appetite in a healthy direction. Low-fat crackers and cheese, fruit or protein bars are easy options, as are baked chips, dry cereal and sandwiches.
Want more tips on how to keep freebie foods in check and your performance on the rise? Go to Dawn’s newsletter for advice.