Athletes today have longer careers thanks in part to advances in medicine, such as surgeries to repair previously career-ending injuries.

But more importantly, it is the player’s commitment to a healthier diet and lifestyle, which has had a greater impact on the athlete’s longevity. Advances in diet have helped certain athletes defy aging by preserving their body, and the physical abilities necessary to remain competitive on an elite level.

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I discovered the Steve Nash Diet when I noticed how he was able to play at an MVP level for the Suns year after year, even while approaching his late 30’s. Typically, NBA point guards tend to fall in production at an exponential rate in their late 20’s and early 30’s, as their loss of speed and agility make their efforts futile against a new crop of younger, faster, and stronger point guards.

Steve Nash has religiously followed his diet throughout his career, and it has given him the competitive edge to remain an All-Star caliber player at 39 years old.

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What Steve Eats:

Breakfast:

  • Gluten and wheat free cereal, almonds in almond or rice milk
  • Whole fruit smoothie or an apple, banana or orange
  • Green tea

Lunch: 

  • Salad with grilled chicken or fish
  • Vegetables
  • Raw nuts and dried fruit
  • Fruit for dessert

Dinner: 

  • Grilled or baked chicken or fish
  • Vegetables
  • Brown rice

Snacks:

  • dried fruit
  • raw almonds or cashews
  • raw food energy bars
  • raw veggies (carrots and celery)
  • whole fruit
  • whole fruit smoothies

Other Rules:

  • No sugar
  • No soda or juice
  • No pasta
  • No processed foods
  • Shoot for 6 smaller meals a day vs. 3 large meals
  • Treat breakfast as the most important meal of the day, followed by lunch, then dinner.

I like the Steve Nash Diet because it doesn’t involve any “dieting”. We share similar views towards using food as a way to get ahead and improve the body without losing connection with the pleasure of eating. He is also realistic in that he knows that he can’t be perfect in and so he allows room to “cheat” a little. According to teammates, Steve is able to stick with his diet about 90% of the time.

I like to call this the 90/10% rule.

90% of the time he eats all of his meals, snacks, and drinks to follow his preplanned diet.

10% of the time, when food choices are out of his control (probably on road trips or weekends out with friends), he adjusts and cheats a bit. I would imagine however, that his cheat day is very different from the average dieter’s cheat day. I’m sure he would eat the healthiest option available rather than indulging in a bucket of fried chicken and a hamburger with Krispy Kreme buns.

brunchburger

CHALLENGE:

Implement your own version of the 90/10% rule.

  • Start with a 4 day/3 day rule or a Work Week/Weekend rule.
  • Cook all dinners at home Monday-Thursday.
  • Tupperware the leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Pack healthy snacks to work
  • Drink 3L of water and tea throughout the day and cut out soda and juice.
  • Enjoy a weekend out with friends, and still be slowly getting ahead.

In my first year out of college, I worked at a large accounting firm in downtown San Francisco. Eating out everyday got expensive, and the food selection there wasn’t even that appetizing. Even though I thought that packing my lunch everyday would isolate me and ruin my networking opportunities, I did most of the time. Surprisingly, this move actually changed the culture at work. My coworkers caught on and decided that they too wanted to eat healthier and save money. Pretty soon sack lunches became our thing and it all worked out.

You can get ahead and stick with your health goals even when at work. Actually, it’s probably more important to make the best health conscious decisions during the workweek since most people sit in front of a computer with minimal physical activity for the majority of the day.

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The Nash Diet by Steve Nash:

https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=91414362951

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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