Any dumbass knows that the nutrition and diets for Muay Thai fighters are almost completely different than the eating habits of everyday people.
Having a solid nutrition plan for your training camp can mean the difference between winning and losing your next fight!
It is way too common for people to underestimate the importance of eating healthy.
Are you one of them?
If you are, then my advice, tips and guidelines will help you develop healthy eating habits that will give your mind and body the energy and focus it needs to compete at it’s highest level.
If you are already on top of your shit and know all about dieting, cutting weight and eating right, I’d still recommend reading through the tips to see if there is anything you can add to make your Muay Thai nutrition even better!
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” -La Rochefaucauld
Top 7 Muay Thai Nutrition Tips
1. Don’t Diet!
A diet implies that your only doing it for a certain amount of time – therefore dieting never works if you plan on taking Muay Thai seriously. In order to be a successful athlete in an area, especially Muay Thai, you have to adopt healthy eating habits throughout your everyday life.
Now don’t get me wrong, some diets have good concepts and tips on eating healthy, but ultimately you want to develop long, healthy, smart eating habits that work for you. When you are in the weight cutting phase of your training camp, then yes, you can start a diet plan, but your everyday eating habits NEED to be healthy and smart.
It’s vital that the types of foods you eat please your taste buds without sacrificing nutrition. Everyone is different so you have to experiment with certain types of foods to see how your body reacts to them!
2. Schedule Your Meals
To develop a great Muay Thai nutrition plan you have to plan ahead!
If you schedule your meals ahead of time that takes away the stress of thinking about what to eat and helps you make smarter, more health conscious decisions.
Personally I feel rushed into making a decision and usually end up making a poor, unhealthy choice for my meal if I don’t have it already planned.
One of the best things you can do to improve your nutrition is to stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthy foods! Having loads of healthy food and zero crap food will help you control those late night munchies. If you don’t have your house stocked with cookies and Twinkies (RIP), you don’t have to worry about binge eating unhealthy foods! This strategy will force you to make a salad or munch on a handful of fruits or vegetables.
What should you stock your fridge and pantry with?
Typically you want to shop using the perimeter of the grocery store – that’s where the healthiest ingredients and snacks are. The outer part of the store usually contains fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, frozen fruits and vegetables, spices and oils.
Also keep in mind to try and plan ahead by having foods and meals already cooked and ready to eat by cutting, dicing or grilling it! The easier it is to open the fridge and grab a healthy meal the better!
How else do you plan ahead?
Plan your meals on a daily, weekly or monthly basis!
What I tend to do is plan my meals every other day and cook enough so I have left overs for when I don’t have enough time to cook. Not to mention cooking your own meals saves a ton of money!
3. Make Slow, Gradual Changes
Don’t think you can follow these Muay Thaii nutritional guidelines and change your eating habits overnight. You have to start by slowly altering and changing your shitty eating habits to healthier ones day by day.
It’s like if you are new to Muay Thai, you’re not going to jump into the ring and fight in the first month you train because you’ll probably get knocked the fuck out… it’s the same idea with starting a brand new meal plan or diet.
You can’t expect overnight success with changing your eating habits.
Your best bet is to take small steps at a time, like eating a vegetable with every meal, or having a fruit with your breakfast. If you try to change everything at once you’ll be much more prone to binge eating.
Here’s one of the more important Muay Thai nutrition tips;
Don’t feel like you have to be perfect in order to eat healthy.
If you don’t splurge every once in awhile your going to drive yourself nuts. On the other hand you don’t want be all hormonal and eat crap food all the time when your in a bad mood or not concentrating on what your eating.
Don’t let your small mistakes get to you and make you want to go back to your old eating habits. Persevere and stay determined – remind yourself your trying to improve your nutrition for your training and every thing you put into your body is so you can become a better fighter/athlete.
People tend to believe they either have to eat healthy all the time or not at all. This all or nothing attitude is set up for failure.
Moderation is by far one of the most important Muay Thai nutrition tips on eating healthy because it will help you learn how to split up meals properly while simultaneously learning how to ration yourself little bits of your guilty pleasures. (For instance, I have a fetish for Oreo cookies that I can’t control.)
Try to split up your meals throughout the day and eat healthy snacks and meals with high nutritional value. Have 6-8 small meals a day and it will help speed up your metabolism, which in return will help you lose weight and gain energy. On the other hand if you eat 3 large meals a day your metabolism will slow down and your body will crash because you are overloading your body instead of gradually fueling it.
Try not to completely ban certain foods from eating either.
Now your thinking about Oreo Cookies, right? Well, try to stop thinking about them now…
I bet you can’t!
See, that’s my problem: Oreos are always on my mind. When I try really hard to forget about my Oreo addiction, it sticks in my mind longer and makes me salivate thinking about dunking that divine cookie in a glass of milk.
If you tell yourself your not going to eat a certain type of food or certain snack that you constantly crave, your mind is going to subconsciously make you want it even more and it’ll drive you crazy!!!
So go ahead, have an Oreo once in awhile… just moderate it and don’t eat the whole box like I do!
5. Eat Mindfully
How do you eat your food?
Are you somebody who sits in front of the TV when you eat?
Or are you somebody who isn’t completely socially awkward so you can actually eat with others?
Studies have shown that if you eat while you watch TV, you tend to overeat because your mind isn’t focused on eating.
It’s called mindless eating.
On the other hand, if you eat with others, it can benefit you socially, emotionally and allow you to be a model for eating healthy.
Most people tend to be involved in another activity while they eat so their mind tends to be at a different place. With a wondering mind you can’t concentrate on what type of food your putting into their bodies.
Take a step back and enjoy the food for once!
Savor every bite. Chew slowly. Enjoy the food you eat instead of shoving a whole piece of steak down your throat by lubing it up with A-1 sauce. It won’t work… I’ve tried.
Are you even hungry?
Listen to your body and ask yourself if you are actually hungry or if you are just craving a certain food. Having a glass of water is a great way to help figure out if your hungry or just thirsty.
6. Eat A Lot Of Fruits and Vegetables
Low in calories and dense in nutrition (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants), fruits and vegetables are vital for increasing energy, reducing the risk of various diseases and increasing your metabolism.
Green vegetables are generally filled with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and K and they help with strengthening the blood and respiratory systems. Sweet vegetables are great because they help curb your appetite and help reduce the cravings for sweets like cookies and chocolate.
Make sure to have a wide variety of fruits! Fruits are great breakfast foods because many of them contain fiber (which helps you poop and clear your system), vitamins and antioxidants.
There’s a good amount of fruits and vegetables that can help in your recovery as well due to the high volume of nutrients.
7. Avoid Shit Food
Processed, fatty and sugary foods are the worst if you are trying to build your body (and mind) up for a training camp or fight.
Like I was saying before, it’s OK to have that piece of crap food every once in awhile, but making it a part of your everyday diet is super detrimental to reaching your goals.
Frozen TV dinners, hamburger helpers, high sodium/canned foods are just a few of the shit food you should stay away from. Read the ingredients and the nutrition information on everything your eat!
Try to eat organic, natural foods as much as possible. All of your meals should include a healthy protein, carb and vegetable in order to fill your body with all the nutrients it needs to stay on top of it’s game!
Join our "Muay Thai Mondays" email newsletter for the latest updates on new videos, special events and everything Muay Thai!