Eat Like An Athlete is a book for active people who want to optimise their performance through healthy eating habits.
Simone Austin is an advanced sports dietitian and an accredited practising dietitian. She has been the president of Sports Dietitians Australia (SDA) for many years and has worked with multiple sports teams in her home state of Victoria, Australia. She is also a media spokesperson for Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA).
I’ve listened to Simone at many DAA and SDA conferences and I have spoken to her a few times. She is energetic, approachable and eloquent and this comes across in her writing.
Eat Like An Athlete
The author summarises the gist of the book at the end beautifully: “Eating like an athlete is about fuelling yourself optimally for any activity life presents”. This means you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from the guidelines presented by Simone.
The book’s approach takes a food first approach, which is the default among sports dietitians in Australia. Therefore, don’t expect this book to tell you which 10 mass-gaining shredding performance-enhancing supplements you need to take daily.
Section 1: Food and your body
The book starts with the first steps toward eating for performance, including the importance of healthy eating as opposed to dieting or restrictive eating. It also emphasises the need of customising your diet to your needs and health conditions. This is why it is important to work with the guidance of an accredited dietitian instead of blindly following generic recommendations or, even worse, what someone else is doing.
It moves on to talk about each macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein, fat), fluid and hydration, alcohol and salt. Other important topics are immune and gut health as they relate to athletic performance. The final chapter in this section addresses the so-called superfoods, which includes this quote I love “your ‘acai smoothie bowl’ might actually be a maltodextrin bowl with just a splash of acai berry in the powder.”
Section 2: Eating for performance and recovery
This section deals details how to implement a performance-based eating regime. This includes what to eat pre- during and post- exercise and how nutrient requirements change for different age groups.
Section 3: Strategies for healthy eating
This is the practical section that contains all of Simone’s knowledge gained with her experience of being a mother and working with sports teams. You can expect tips on how to make lifestyle changes, making it easier to cook, quick meal ideas, and what to eat when going out, during celebrations and when travelling.
Below are a couple of quotes I found extremely useful from this final part of the book:
- “provide a supportive environment, making healthy choices the easy choices.”
- “It’s much easier to carry on the good habits you have grown up with than to establish new one.”
To learn more about Simone and her work, visit her website