Managing your diet is like managing a game or match. Game management is constantly emphasized at meetings and camps. Most officials would agree that the those who work the postseason are likely the individuals who have the skills to manage the game.

A family that is used to eating fast food five times a week and suddenly tries to change its routine diet to home-cooked meals doesn’t do it overnight. However, with the five Cs — consistency, courage, cooperation, communication and confidence — you can better manage your game and diet with favorable results.

1. Consistency

When officials are consistent the game goes smoother. The teams are more relaxed and they know what to expect because the pattern of the official is the same every time he or she steps onto the court or field. As far as nutrition, a healthy diet is training ourselves daily to be consistent with our food intake. To stay on track, it’s important to stick with a plan or routine we can tolerate and enjoy. Consistency in a game or diet is not temporary. It is a permanent practice and lifestyle change. Being open-minded to accepting all types of food, not skipping meals, eating portion amounts based on your level of fitness and drinking plenty of water are all helpful tips to stay consistent in managing your diet.

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2. Courage

It comes into play on the field or the court when an official has to make tough calls. Character, integrity and ethics are displayed in those situations. Officials who have courage are honest, content with themselves and not afraid to take chances. Having the courage to change or improve your diet is not easy. It takes hard work, desire, determination and a willingness to go out of your comfort zone into trying something new, and overcoming any obstacles by not giving up.

3. Cooperation

As an official, part of game management is being patient. In most situations, officials observe the entire play from start to finish before making a judgment decision. When it comes to losing weight, most people want fast results. The realization is 3,500 calories are equivalent to one pound of weight. That takes cooperation, patience and time to burn off. If weight is lost quickly it is unsafe and will come back on fast. Also, the weight loss will be water or muscle as opposed to fat. Losing muscle decreases the metabolism. According to Kathleen Goodwin, RD (registered dietitian) of The Diet Channel, “Fat loss is best achieved when weight is lost slowly. Strive for a weight loss of no more than one to two pounds per week.”

With weight loss, we must allow time for permanent change while still enjoying life throughout the process.

4. Communication

Great game managers are officials with excellent communication skills. They know how to keep the game under control by using communication to prevent problems from occurring and resolving issues if they arise. When it comes to a consistent diet, it takes time to plan meals, shop, prep, cook and clean. Knowing how to communicate, be flexible and act as a team with family and friends can better serve us.

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5. Confidence

Officials that manage the game well are confident and have a take-charge attitude. Their leadership is looked upon for knowledge and assistance. They are credible, valued and respected. Officials who are superior in managing the game are consistent, have courage, cooperate with patience and know how to effectively communicate. It is a very similar connection with a diet.

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Developing a consistent routine on food intake, having the courage to change, cooperating by not getting discouraged with the results and communicating to plan accordingly combine to help you take charge and referee your diet.

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Note: This article is archival in nature. Rules, interpretations, mechanics, philosophies and other information may or may not be correct for the current year.

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