High carbohydrate breakfasts

               Cereals - try some whole grain varieties for a change e.g. branflakes, shredded wheat, porridge, weetabix, muesli etc. Add chopped banana, or other fresh and dried fruits to increase the carbohydrate content. Use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, or yoghurt with the cereal. Do not stick to the same one every day, and don't always go for a sweetened cereal (e.g. Frosties). Note that nut based cereals have a higher fat content due to the nuts. However, nuts are a great source of essential fatty acids, vitamin E protein and fibre, so they are OK!

               Toast - try raisin bread, three seed bread or tomato and herb for a change. Always go for thick sliced bread. Take care not to smother it in high fat spreads, use a low fat alternative such as honey or jam.

               Porridge sweetened with honey, raisins and dried apricots.

               Scotch pancakes with syrup

               Toasted crumpets/teacakes with a little butter

               English muffins and marmite

               Bagels with jam/honey

               Low fat milkshake with banana/fresh fruit/low fat yoghurt

               Fresh fruit and yoghurts

               Beans on toast

               Boiled egg and toast (remember the carbohydrate is in the toast, not the egg)


Light meals and snacks

               Filled sandwiches (thick sliced), rolls, pitta breads, baps, ciabatta, baguettes, cheese scones. Choose fillings such as cottage cheese, peanut butter, banana, salad, honey, marmite, tuna, chicken, turkey, ham or combinations of these (e.g. ham salad)

               Thick vegetable/pulse based soups and crackers

               Rice or pasta salad

               Beans or scrambled/poached eggs on toast

               Toasted sandwiches - again thick sliced with one of the fillings listed above. If you want cheese, go for a lower fat option such as Edam.

               Pizza slice (thick base) with a tomato based topping

               Jacket potato and filling - again opt for low fat options such as tuna (no mayonnaise), cottage cheese, rather than cheese


               Tinned spaghetti in a tomato sauce

               Pasta with a light tomato based sauce. Thick creamy sauces or cheese-based sauces are very high fat and so should not be chosen on a regular basis.


Snacks on the run

               Sandwiches as described above

               Low fat yoghurt and fromage frais

               Fresh fruit (apples, bananas, nectarines, oranges, grapes, kiwi fruits)

               English muffins, scones, crumpets, potato cakes (no butter or margarine!)

               Scotch pancakes (no butter or margarine!)

               Dried fruit (raisins, apricots, bananas, figs, prunes)

               Cereal bars

               Fruit juice and diluted squash

               Nuts and dried fruit combinations

               Rice cakes, crackers and dry breakfast cereals


Main meals

Basically, anything goes! All you have to remember is that you should look at your plate and see that it is approximately three-quarters covered with carbohydrate based foods. Then just keep a check on the fat content. Add to your meal by eating bread with it, or drinking fruit juice. This will boost your carbohydrate content.

Low fat puddings should be eaten afterwards. This could be fresh fruit, yoghurts, rice pudding, pancakes, baked apples, fruit salad, muffins, home made fruit cake, angel delight etc.


If you are lucky enough (rich enough!!) to eat out, then always follow the principles above. The healthier options are outlined below:

                Indian - chicken tikka, tandoori chicken, dahl, channa dahl, rice, naan bread, chappati, vegetable curries

                Chinese - chicken, vegetable or prawn chop suey, stir fry vegetables, seafood or chicken rice, noodles (steer clear of sweet and sour, fried dishes and duck)

                Mexican - Bean burrito, tortillas with beans/vegetable chilli, fajitas with chicken or vegetables

                Italian - Grissini, ciabatta, pasta with tomato, vegetable or seafood sauces (neopolitan, primavera), gnocchi, grilled chicken or fish, pasta filled with spinach or ricotta

                Pizzeria - Deep pan pizza, with tomato, vegetable, ham, spicy chicken or seafood toppings. Add side salads.

                Steak house - Grilled steak, salads, jacket potatoes, fruit, grilled fish (avoid anything fried or in batter, garlic bread, and steak with creamy sauces)

                Burgers - if you do have to eat a burger, avoid large burgers, fries, doughnuts and apple pies. Go for plain grilled hamburgers, or flame grilled chicken.


Competition meals and snacks

Your pre-competition meal should be:

1.                  High in carbohydrate

2.                  Low in fat, protein and fibre

3.                  Not too bulky

4.                  Enjoyable and familiar

5.                  Easy to digest

6.                  Accompanied by a drink


Suitable meals and snacks are:

                     Breakfast cereals with low fat milk

                     Toast or bread with jam or honey

                     Sandwiches or rolls with banana, honey or jam

                     Pasta or rice with low fat sauce

                     Buns and muffins

                     Rice cakes or crackers with banana or jam

                     Baked potatoes with a low fat filling (not cheese, and avoid mayonnaise)

                     Fruit - bananas, oranges, grapes, raisins

                     Energy bars

                     Carbohydrate drinks


Many of these can be eaten between events on the poolside to help you keep up your energy levels between events. Swimmers should not eat chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks as part of their competition diet. Any little "treats" can be saved for after the competition has ended. If you are competing over two or more days, then leave these for the end of the last day (and not in the evening between days of competition).