“Ask the Coaches” Nutrition Series: Coach Pat
- What does “healthy eating” look like to you? Why do you define it this way?
When it comes to healthy eating, it can look very different from person to person. I believe that someone’s nutrition should reflect their goals. If you are looking to lose weight, then choosing healthier options and eating at a caloric deficit will help you achieve that. If you are looking to put on good weight, then you should be eating a higher quantity of quality foods. In either scenario, I am a big believer in eating in a wholistic fashion, meaning there is no reason to cut out an entire food group from your diet such as carbs or fats. Your body needs all food groups to function at its best level, and it just comes down to portioning each food group in a way that reflects your goals.
- What changes have you made to your eating habits & nutrition in 2018 and why?
My biggest change has been to the overall amount of food I have been eating. Graduating from college and the end to my football career allowed me to dial back the number of calories I was taking in. I made this change because there was no reason for me to eat upwards of 8000 calories per day. I was not competing in a sport that required me to maintain a 280-pound frame. I found that when I didn’t have to plan as many meals, I could get more creative with them. This allowed me to enjoy my food more than I did when I was just thinking all the time, “I have to put something down.”
- Do you struggle with a certain aspect of nutrition? What kind of strategies do you use to combat that struggle?
I still find that my biggest struggle is that I can still put down a good amount of food. Sometimes I will get these cravings to go and eat a lot of one thing. This could be something sweet like chocolate or something that isn’t healthy in large quantities, like fried chicken or pizza. There are times where I will give in to the urge, but they have become few and far between. My biggest strategy to help remedy this is to plan ahead and spread out my meals and snacks instead of eating a lot of my daily calories at once. Portioning it out allows me to still enjoy it and satisfy that urge without taking in too many calories at once.
- Do you have a favorite meal to make? Share the recipe!
I enjoy a simple omelet in the mornings. I use 2-3 eggs, some spinach, and shredded cheese, and I serve it with fruit on the side. To make the omelet, I whisk the eggs and spread them in the heated pan. I then add the cheese and spinach before folding the omelet. For the side I will either have some grapes, strawberries, or black berries.
- What is the most helpful piece of nutrition advise you can pass along to others?
My biggest advice for someone when it comes to nutrition is to eat in regards to your health goals and to find a way of eating that you will stick to. Completely cutting out something you enjoy because it is not “healthy” is not sustainable. Finding a relationship with food that is positive and sustainable will go so much further than dieting for a week or month.