I am a 5"0 female competitive synchronized swimmer (and I trains up to nine hours each day, so my metabolism is relatively forgiving). About a year ago, I implemented several dietary changes in attempt to maximize my performance energy. I did not want to lose weight (at the time, I was under 100lbs. Now I am just above that, but it is muscle weight), so I made a set of rules for eating as follows:
---Eat 3-5 times each day (to keep my blood sugar from fluxuating too much, and to compensate for energy expenditure at practice)
---Eat between 2000 and 3000 calories each day, averaging about 2500.
---All meals must contain at least one decent protein source. Daily protein intake must always exceed 50 grams, preferably much more. (Realistically, I consume more calories from protein than calories from fat on many days.)
---No more than four different significant sources of fat may be consumed each day. No more than 25% of the saturated fat RDA may be consumed in a single meal.
---Seek foods low in refined sugar and low in fat (because the excess calories aren't needed.)
---When in doubt, pick fruit, especially that which has antioxidants.
---Watch the calcium and iron. It stinks to be deprived of both at once.
In addition, I have a simple "ban" list for processed foods containing these ingredients:
---Hydrogenated oils, or shortening, or any form of artificial trans fat.
---Artificial food dyes. (Red 40, Yellow 5, etc.)
---Sugar alcohols (phenalkalene/aspartame, sucrulose, etc.)
---"Natural flavor" from a potentially nonkosher source (because at least that way I know I'm not eating anything too weird)
I also have a "severely restrict" (where essentially I don't eat them, but at some point I may indulge in a spoonful), for stuff with:
---Added fructose, especially HFCS
---Anything I can't pronounce or define.
So my question is whether I am on the right track with this. Are there ways in which I may modify it to further optimize my performance and health? Am I missing things that should be on these lists? Or is my dietary experimentation a dangerous mistake with other considerations that must be made?