AARON CHALMERS is being fuelled with a 3,000 calories a day diet as he prepares to move from MMA to professional boxing.
The Geordie Shore star leaves the cage with a 5-2 record and will enter the ring with two knockouts to his name.
Helping him in his journey is the team of chef Omar Meziane and sports nutritionist Mike Naylor, who together own meal prep provider Tweakd.
Meziane and Naylor work with Chalmers‘ gym-mates Josh Kelly and Michael Conlan.
And there they formed a partnership with the ex-reality TV favourite, who stresses the importance of a healthy and strict nutrition plan.
Chalmers, 33, said: “Diet is crucial towards my training.
“Eating the right foods, at the right time ensures that I have enough energy to not only get me through my session, but also to support with my recovery.
“It’s more than just healthy eating – it’s eating appropriately at the right time.
“You can eat all the salads in the world, but that won’t help you build muscle or in the run up to a fight when you need slow releasing energy to see you through.”
A regular day will see Chalmers consume bircher muesli for breakfast with a watermelon juice to wash it down.
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And for lunch, Oregano roasted chicken with milanese sauce, pasta and lentils with vegetables is usually on the menu.
A post-workout snack is normally Chicken gyoza with soy or Thai chicken kebab skewers with dip.
Dinner comes in the form of chargrill steak with hot potato salad and vegetables as well as banana bread for a snack.
Naylor, an undergrad in sports nutrition and science, recommends eating three hours before training, with a snack 60 minutes before the session.
He explained: “Before training you want a bit of time for your food to digest.
“We want to actually fuel the training to get the most out of it, with carbohydrates to maximize the amount of fuel to get the most out of your training.
“But we want to provide them in an easily digestible format, so they’re not just sitting on your stomach for a long period of time.”
The calorie count for any fighter can vary on weight, but also on their type of training schedule.
Naylor said: “We’ll usually periodise the amount of calories and carbohydrates to go with the training.
“But it can range from anywhere from the likes of 1,600 calories a day ranging up to the big training days which will go closer to 3,000 calories.
“So it might not be as big as some of the heavier clients we feed which is 5,000 calories, but still you’re looking at around 3,000 calories on some of the more intense training days.”
Despite Aaron switching codes, a diet plan is not one-size-fits-all for each sport, instead changing depending on the person.
Naylor added: “It’s not necessarily between the sports, it’s between the individuals.
“And when you look at the people you work with, and their preference on flavour and taste, that’s where a lot of the differences come in, rather than the actual sport they compete in.”
Naylor and Meziane, who has a cook book with James Haskell, met 12 years ago while working for London Wasps rugby side.
Now, they cater to 30 different athletes, in football, rugby, rowing, athletics, as well as F1 and even travelled to the World Cup with England in 2018.
They say their most popular dish is a crispy chilli Chinese dish and Meziane opens up on the secrets to making the takeaway meal fighter-friendly.
He revealed: “Rather than deep frying it, like you’d get in a Chinese restaurant, we bake it until it becomes really, really crispy.
“Then we have an incredible homemade chilli jam that we make and we coat it in that with loads of fresh chilli and ginger.
“And that’s kind of everyone’s go-to at the moment.”
With fighters confronted with gruelling hours in the gym, rest and recovery is another vital part of their regime.
Meaning having the luxury of their meals being taken care of gives them one less thing to think about while in training camp.
Chalmers said: “Tweakd have been brilliant for me. They provide me with weekly meal programmes which are tailored to my training and goals.
“The food is absolutely delicious and is a much better size than anything I have had before.
“Mike and Omar really get my needs and the food is spot on for my goals.”