In the fitness community there is a lot of debate over nutrition. Everyone has a reason why their diet is the magic bullet that will help you get fit and solve all your problems. Although there are plenty of great diets out there, it all comes down to the one that fits your lifestyle the best. A healthy lifestyle starts with good solid nutrition. But this brings up an interesting question: what exactly is nutrition? Many think they understand it, and they have a very basic understanding. But there is so much more than meets the eye. Nutritional science is a complex subject, not something that can be mastered overnight. To understand it in any depth, you must devote years of research and study. Lucky for you, I have done so. So, I am going to present a general overview of nutrition. Nutrition starts with the three basic macronutrients. Macronutrients are the primary sources of fuel that we need for our body to sustain daily functions. Macronutrients play a role in absorption as well as digestion of food. Macronutrients also are critical in maintenance of an individual’s overall well-being. Body composition and metabolic properties also play a large role as well.
There are three basic macronutrients- They are:
Protein- 4 calories per gram- help build muscle tissue and prevent catabolic breakdown
Guidelines- .6-.8 grams per pound of lean body mass for general public
Athlete- need 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per lean body mass
Foods- lean red meat, bison, salmon, chicken, fish, low fat plain yogurt, Protein supplements (whey isolate)
Carbohydrates- 4 calories per gram- help with maintenance of muscle tissue, preservation, energy
Food choices- eat carbs higher in fiber- mixed beans, quinoa, white rice, sweet potatoes, whole oats
Fat- 9 calories per gram- energy needs, regulation of hormones, Transports vitamins and helps with regulation of functions in the body. Crucial for endurance athletes.
Sources- grass-fed butter, olive oil, nuts
If you are looking to improve body composition and overall health. Try these 5 nutritional habits.
- Eat Frequently every 2-4 hours
- Make protein a staple in your meals ( Lean beef , bison , fish , chicken , dairy etc )
- Add in veggies during each meal ( Carrots , broccoli , cauliflower , spinach etc ) Great for Colon health!
- The bulk of your Carbohydrates should be eaten post exercise ( Some People may need 30-40 grams pre workout , but for most individuals post workout carbohydrates are the way to go!) Examples potatoes , rice , pasta , whole grains etc.
- Don’t be afraid of FAT!! EAT FAT!!! There are different kinds of Fats and they all play crucial roles in your body!!! Polyunsaturated Fats – flaxseed , nuts , fish oil etc — monounsaturated — olive oil , olives -Saturated fat – coconut oil , butter (SOME IS OKAY!)
The most important thing you can remember out of all this is that nutrition is highly variable from person to person. Your nutrition needs to be based on your goals and should be adjusted to your body’s needs with time and experimentation. Just eating to eat isn’t going to line up with anyone’s goals. Having a macronutrient split with your calories based on goals, body type, and fitness level is extremely important! If you would like to discuss nutrition or you just need help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org