BUILDING A PERFORMANCE PLATE

A Step-by-Step Guide


About Performance Plate

A simple approach to fueling


  • Applies to all 3 meals for the day

  • Matches portions of nutrients to training intensity/volume

  • Athletes require additional snacks

  • Needs & goals vary per person

Step 1: Match your plates to training intensity


Low Intensity Plate

  • Rest day/no practice

  • Light body weight training

  • Casual walks

  • Short jogs

  • Weight loss


Moderate Intensity Plate

  • Most practices

  • Most workouts

  • 1 hour strength training

  • 3-5 mile runs

  • Weight maintenance


Hard Intensity Plate

  • Game/competition days

  • Two-a-days

  • Pre-season

  • Tournaments

  • Weight gain

Step 2: Load your plate


Carb List:

Choose 100% whole wheat/grain options more often

  • Bread

  • English Muffins

  • Bagels

  • Dry Cereal

  • Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats)

  • Granola Bars (Kasha, Luna, Clif, LaraBar)

  • Waffles/pancakes

  • Tortillas/Wraps

  • Pita Bread

  • Pasta

  • Rice

  • Couscous

  • Quinoa

  • Potatoes (white/red/sweet)

  • Crackers (Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Graham Crackers)

  • Pretzels

  • Low-Fat Popcorn

  • Baked Chips

  • Fig Newtons


Protein List:

Choose lean protein sources most often

  • Eggs

  • Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless)

  • Turkey

  • Turkey products (sausage, bacon)

  • Lean Deli Meat

  • Lean Beef (90/10 or better)

  • Sirloin/Tenderloin

  • Fish (salmon, tilapia, cod...)

  • Shrimp

  • Tuna packets

  • Pork Tenderloin

  • Tofu

  • Milk (regular, chocolate milk)

  • Greek yogurt/yogurt

  • Cheese

  • String Cheese

  • Beans

  • Edamame

  • Lentils

  • Nuts/seeds

  • Beef or Turkey Jerky

  • Protein Bars

  • Protein Powders (always use a 3rd party tested product)

Color List:

Choose a variety of fresh, frozen, or canned fruits & vegetables.


Veggies:

  • Asparagus

  • Bagged salad

  • Broccoli

  • Bell peppers

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cauliflower

  • Celery

  • Cucumber

  • Carrots

  • Green beans

  • Kale

  • Lettuce

  • Mushrooms

  • Onions

  • Spinach

  • Squash

  • Tomato

  • Zucchini

Fruits:

  • Apples

  • Bananas

  • Berries

  • Grapefruit

  • Grapes

  • Kiwi

  • Lemon

  • Lime

  • Mandarin oranges

  • Mango

  • Melon

  • Orange

  • Peaches

  • Pears

  • Plums

  • Dried Fruits

  • Fruit cups (in own juice)

  • 100% fruit juice

Step 3: Plan Ahead

  • Look ahead to your week of training and decide what your plates will need to look like each day

  • Make a list of foods you like from each category

  • Build a grocery shopping list

  • Keep foods from each category on hand

  • Set timers/reminders to eat every 2-3 hours


More on Performance Plates

  • There are other components not covered here athletes should keep in mind when building plates - including dairy, healthy fats, & proper hydration

  • Variety through the week is important to get in a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, & minerals

  • Actual serving sizes vary per person based on needs and goals

  • Athletes with high fueling needs and body recomposition goals should work with a Registered Dietitian

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© 2020 by Jessica Isaacs, RD