As with any training programme, the most important of aspect of your training will be the ‘exercise’ you do when pushing a shopping trolley around the supermarket.
Food shopping is your window of opportunity, your chance to get the right amount of the right food and ensure you remain adequately fuelled, reduce the chance of injury and maximise your chances of recovering quickly after cycling or a hard yard in the gym.
To help you out, here are our top 10 tips on how to shop for food as a cyclist:
Prepare a list of everything you want to buy before walking into the shop and ensure this list is based on a weekly menu plan - this will help avoid temptation in the store.
Don’t shop when hungry - again, this will help you avoid poor food choices.
Ensure you include healthy, ‘appropriate’ snacks in your shop - see here for our suggested cyclist-friendly snacks.
Spend most of your time in the fruit and vegetable aisle - this simple but effective tip should help you fill your trolley with a rainbow of fruit and vegetables.
Buy frozen vegetables - although fresh vegetables are preferable, it is a good idea to have a healthy reserve of frozen vegetables for when the only other choice is something unhealthy.
Stay clear of sugary breakfast cereals. They lack any form of quality nutrition and represent an incredibly poor way to start the day - see here for our suggested cyclist-friendly breakfasts.
Focus on purchasing whole foods that have a single ingredient (or as few ingredients as possible) and make a real effort to eliminate processed foods from your diet.
Try to buy food based on what you know it contains, rather than what you are told it does for you. If a food is screaming advice at you like “can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet”, question why the company feels the need to state this - would a packet of turkey breasts or a head of broccoli carry the same advice?
Remember to refer back to the quality online resources, such as cycleforcharity.com!, and in particular the Diet and Nutrition category for further tips and support.
ENJOY! Food should be enjoyed and the process of buying the building blocks to your meals and hence your body should also be enjoyed.