7 Academy Diet Tips for CopsSep 01, 2022
It is no secret that being away from home and away from your own routine, your own grocery store, your kitchen, and your gym, seems like the perfect storm to allow your diet/clean healthy eating habits to go by the wayside. However, it does not need to be like this. With a little bit of planning, motivation, and structure you can stay on track for your time away.
Most academies do not feed recruits the best high quality food. When I was in the academy, we had worse-than-high-school-cafeteria food that was made by the inmates of the prison next door. You were not allowed to keep a cooler or any food in our rooms and only had food available at the three meals a day.
There are still academies that are the same way where you have to eat your meals with your class in a structured fashion with the food that they feed you. However, even with that, the addition of protein shakes, bars, some homemade healthy snacks that you can make on the weekend and keep in a cooler in your room can carry you through to supplement yourself. Then making sure to eat clean while home on the weekends.
Tip #1: Add in additional protein shakes, bars, and snacks.
Tip #2: Eat clean while you're home on the weekends (if applicable).
View this post on Instagram
Some academies are daytime within driving distance and allow recruits to go home every night (if this is you, good for you). This is the best situation to be in as far as diet is concerned. Not much will change for you. You just need to plan out and prep a good light breakfast that will still fuel you through to lunch. Either eat it on the way or after your morning PT session with a protein/creatine shake.
Tip #3: If you get to go home after the academy each day, eat as you normally would.
Tip #4: Be sure to eat a big enough breakfast to get you through until lunch!
My favorite on the go breakfast are egg white muffins. If you can bring your own lunch, awesome. If not, be ok with this meal not being the greatest, but you know that you will be back home for a good supper. Plan out high protein meals with a good amount of carbs to carry you through the next day of PT. As with everything, proper planning is the number one thing that will get you through this time.
Tip #5: Eat solid dinners with plenty of protein and carbohydrates to fuel you for the next day.
For the academies that are still live at during the week and home on the weekends, but are a little less restrictive, bring a cooler and small microwave if possible. Spend a few hours on your weekends planning and making meals for the week. If you have the option to not eat in the cafeteria with your class, do it. Go to your room for lunch and supper and eat your meal that you brought. Or go heat it up, or grab it if it doesn’t need to be heated, and bring it back to the cafeteria so that you can still sit with your class and be part of the team.
Tip #6: If you can bring your own lunch, still eat with the class for team building purposes.
Find a way to set yourself up for success.
Keep a stash of protein bars, egg white muffins, trail mix, protein powder, and some apples etc. for snacks and breakfast. Having these will keep you away from the vending machine at night while studying and keep you on track. *For a discount on quality supps, click here.*
Tip #7: Use supplements and snacks to your advantage so you stay away from the vending machine snacks!
No matter what style academy that you attend, planning is the number one solution to figuring out how to stay on track. It is hard, no doubt about that, but it can be done. Get creative with your meals and snacks!
If you are unsure what and how much to eat, please see our previous blog, Simplifying Macros for Law Enforcement Professionals. Enjoy a free macronutrient calculator available in that article!
It doesn’t have to be fancy or hard, it just needs to be effective.
Remember, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.