I DON’T have a particular philosophy, I just eat clean and drink lots of water. My dad helps me and Callum [super-middleweight prospect and Liam’s younger brother], he sorts out our food every day. We use MuscleFood [sports nutrition company] now, so every morning my dad will ask us what we want out to defrost and he’ll get our dinner and tea sorted. He gets our meals ready for us for when we’re done in the gym.
Although Liam suggests he hasn’t got a philosophy, the fact that he orders his food from a reputable company as well as having his dad take the lead in his food preparation already suggests he has good habits. Having said that, keeping a log of food intake alongside quality of training and rates of weight-loss could help to fine-tune his strategy.
It depends on what we’re doing that day, usually we just have porridge. We don’t have a set meal for breakfast every day, sometimes it will just be a protein drink and a protein bar, but it’s mainly porridge. Me and Callum will eat before training because it takes us about half an hour in the car to get to the gym so that gives us time to digest it.
Porridge is a perfect breakfast given it is a good choice of carbohydrate though depending on whether he has it with milk or water, he could be lacking in protein at breakfast. This is important as our muscles need protein after overnight fasting and also to provide some amino acids for the morning training session. A whey protein drink is a useful addition though consuming three eggs (as an omelette, poached or scrambled etc) is also a convenient way of providing some vitamins and minerals.
On our way home we’ll call my dad and he’ll start cooking once we’re on the motorway. It can be a range of things for lunch. It used to just be chicken or fish but now we have things like ostrich steak with baby potatoes and some spinach. It will be things like salmon steak, tuna steak or poached chicken.
These foods sound perfect to promote recovery from the gym and are a healthy blend of protein, carbohydrate, fat and vegetables.
IT’S very similar to lunch, and it changes every day. It’s usually some sort of steak with some vegetables, like asparagus. It’s usually meat and vegetables. But sometimes I’ll have pasta as well. Sometimes we’ll also have a small bag of rice as well or a teacup of pasta with the meal. The amount of times we train changes each day, we usually do two sessions but sometimes it’s one or three and we have days off, so our meals and the portion sizes are tailored around that.
Again, these dinner options sound perfect and its great to see that Liam is aware of the importance of changing his carbohydrate intake in his evening meal according to the training demands of his day. This is often where many fighters make mistakes. Depending on the magnitude of weight-loss required, it may be beneficial to limit red meat to two-three times per week (given that it is higher in fat) and stick to chicken, turkey or white fish in the evening meal.
We have protein bars or protein cookies, little things you can snack on. Sometimes we’ll have snacks with us to have after a session in the gym. Like I said, we have a half-hour drive from the gym, me and Callum, so we’ve got about 40 minutes from the time we finish until we’re home and can eat.
We have recovery drinks which fill you up until you get home.
These snacks are appropriate though you could also experiment with some home-made smoothies such as Greek yoghurt, mixed berries and mixed nuts. This would also provide a high-protein, moderate-fat and low-carbohydrate snack. A protein drink can be useful for after a workout at the gym, especially when the access to whole food may be delayed. Depending on magnitude of weight-loss required, this could be a protein-only drink as delaying carbohydrate for another hour or so will help to prolong fat-burning on the way home.
I just use CNP Pro Recover, a recovery shake. Two scoops of the protein with 500ml of water, but it’s not just protein in the drink, it has carbohydrates as well. I have that straight after training.
As above, I tend to use protein-based drinks only as opposed to carbohydrate and protein-based drinks, but the latter can work for many fighters depending on the timescale required to make weight. Other supplements that could be useful include beta-alanine, fish oils, HMB and vitamin D. There are hundreds of supplements out there but none can replace a well-formulated diet and it is great to see Liam basing his approach on real foods.