Rest Day Diet
Most of our nutrition focus goes into what to eat for our workouts and fueling our bodies to perform well. But what about on your day off?
Do you find yourself wondering what you should be eating on a rest day? Should you eat less because you're body isn't burning calories? Should you eat whatever you want to get the most enjoyment and relaxation from your day off?
Think of your rest day as a continuation of your training. You do not suddenly become a non-athlete from one day (or several days) of rest. You need to treat these days as an essential part of your training routine; taking rest helps in the long run to provide a mental break, strengthen muscles, and re-focus workouts. If you end up binge eating junk food, or just over consuming sweets/treats on your rest day, this is essentially setting yourself up for a harder transition back to training. You'll go back sluggish, feeling fat, and likely regretting your indulgence. However, if you restrict intake too much because you know your calorie burn is way lower on a rest day, you're also doing your body a disservice. Rest days allow your body to heal and the healing process requires calories.
You need to think of your rest day as an important day for a solid diet just as you would a typical training day.
If an athlete's diet is really on point and dialed in, the big differences should only really be lack of sport/training specific foods. This will create the appropriate decrease in calories and simple sugars. The rest of the day should be balanced and rich in nutrients. To boost your rest day even more, decreases 'extras' (sauces, snacks) and increase the diet's complexity (more beans, hearty grains, greens, veg...).