How to make a nutrition program:

4 Steps to Creating Your Best Performance Meal Plan…

4 Steps to Creating Your Best Performance Meal Plan…

Whether you are heading into your off-season, starting up the new season, or in the midst of your playoff run, you will benefit from a well thought out nutrition plan. Announcing the Your Hockey Family is Eating for Performance Nutrition Challenge. This is a nutrition program that is condensed into a 4 step challenge you to make a professional meal plan that supports achievement of your biggest hockey goals. This challenge is meant to be completed in 4 days but you can complete all the steps at once if you are ready!

DAY 2: 12 week plans that include sports nutrition for hockey.  

When are you going to need more energy?

Realistically you need to be thinking about eating energy-rich foods and body building materials every day. Yet, there will be some time periods when you should eat more energy or less energy and there are some time periods when you will want more muscle building materials. If you have a body composition goal such as losing weight or gaining muscle then you need to be matching your energy and building material intake with this goal.

Your training program could be a classic program designed with a trainer, it could be the combination of all your sports and activities you do with friends and family. What is important is that you do activities that support your goals. When you know your training schedule you can note which sessions will make you work harder and which ones will be more leisure. The difference will be important to complete the next step.

A simple strategy to target eating for performance.

First, get a blank 12 week planner or download the one that goes with this article. Each week you will note the times when you will be doing functional training, time when you will be in camps, the weeks or days when you will be off on a vacation, and time when you will be in other active sports.

Functional training is usually sport specific and improves your abilities in a sport. You often see functional training programs. A training program can have phases built into the program. Some weeks may be heavier lifting weeks when you will be asking your muscles to become stronger. Some weeks may include more sprinting when you will be asking your body to become faster.

What matters week to week is how much energy you are needing to do everything. If you simply put a + sign next to every hour of training session, sport and other activity and added up all your + signs you could get an idea of how energized you will need to be that week. Weeks with more + signs mean you should eat more energy!

Where does nutrition fit into 12 week training programs?


Now comes the nutrition part (it took a second to get here right!). I keep it simple. Target eating from the Eat 4 Performance Foods List. Target eating from the E4P foods list 90% of the time. These foods will give you energy, build your immune system, improve your reaction time, and build up your strength.

This list is divided into 3 categories to keep things even simpler:


these are energy-rich foods such as whole grains and starch vegetables


these are protein-rich foods such as legumes, meats, fish, and dairy


these are the rainbow of plant foods that nourish cells and run the body systems

How to calculate your energy needs the intuitive way.

I can give you very specific amounts of energy to eat based on your body weight, muscle mass, minutes spent in activity, and your goals for body composition. This is what sports dietitian do for their athletes. We are advanced calorie calculators and carb counters! If you are looking for the information on what those calculations are then get on my nutrition professionals email list and I will send you all of them. For the vast majority of us we do not need nutrition jargon OR highly calculated meal plans to effect huge changes in performance. This is where intuitive eating comes in. Trust me when I say most of us are already REALLY good at intuitive eating.

When it comes to energy you can use the activity you just did to help you realize what foods your body will intuitively need more of. If you put more + symbols on 1 day or 1 week make sure you eat more ENERGIZERS.

Energizers energize your muscles during intense activity. Simply, if you move more you should eat more energizers.

How to plan for maximum muscle build and metabolism boosting.

Again, we can calculate out your muscle building material needed daily and at each moment of the day for your activity level and goals. However, the majority of people (athletes or not) would do well to eat or drink muscle building materials at each main meal and at 1 to 3 snacks. This means eating a decent quantity but not too much (think ¼ dinner plate full) of muscle builders 4 to 6 times per day spread out all throughout your day.

Muscle builders build muscle tissue and support all body functions.

Where food superpowers lie and how to include them.

Superfoods are the magical foods that light up our lives, colour our plates, and continually surprise us with their super properties. If you or a family member is a picky eater when it comes to eating veggies then they are missing a huge performance enhancer… check out the 4 strategies you can use to reduce or eliminate picky eating.

What ways do you use to eat for performance intuitively?

Share them in the comments. 

This article is written in 4 steps. Find your next step here.





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