General Nutrition Guide:
Although nutritional requirements will vary based on activity level, here are a few basic guidelines for losing weight. In a nutshell: Exercise 3-5x/week for thirty to forty minutes, eat 5-6 meals a day, limit fat intake to 10 to 20% of total calorie intake, drink plenty of water, eat low glycemic carbohydrates and lean proteins, and limit simple sugars.
Proper nutrition can prevent various health problems. Cholesterol levels tend to be lower in individuals who exercise regularly and eat low amounts of saturated fats. Those with tendencies towards high cholesterol levels should avoid saturated fats that are found in animal products. Regular exercise can prevent or reduce high blood pressure. Heart and lungs are also beneficiaries of regulated physical exertion.
Solid nutrition, like good training, is simple – learn the basics and practice them consistently. A little knowledge and a lot of discipline is the secret. Apply yourself diligently – don’t look back and don’t look for shortcuts, there simply are not any.
Health and fitness has climbed to the top of America’s popularity list and has become big business. As you’ve surely noticed, there is a gym on every corner and a slew of diet and bodybuilding formulas to pack on muscle and burn off fat. The competition is fierce, the promises are bizarre and most people are all confused, suspicious, and numb to it all. We are bombarded with a billion ways to diet, eat, and approach a life of looking and feeling our best. Let’s clear the air and put a few things in order…
Rule #1 - Stay away from fatty foods (especially animal fats), excessive salt and simple sugars. This eliminates 98% of the fast foods, munchies and soft drinks. Who needs them? In a few short weeks, you won’t want them, wonder why you ate them, and feel sick if you do!
Rule #2 – Eat a basic breakfast of low glycemic carbohydrates and protein to set up your metabolism for the day and to provide fuel and muscle building ingredients. Basically, protein builds muscle and carbohydrate supplies fuel for our body and brain. Breakfast can be an easy to prepare meal from a quality protein shake to a bowl of oatmeal, scoop of cottage cheese, fruit and coffee. Remember, if you don’t feed yourself a small wholesome meal in the morning, your body will draw on your muscle tissue as a source of energy (catabolize and break it down), putting you in a slump and in muscle deficit. Add a good multi vitamin/mineral supplement each morning to put order and efficiency in your body chemistry as a compliment.
Rule #3 – With whatever effort it takes, feed yourself every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day with each meal consisting again of protein and lower glycemic carbohydrates. Any combination of the following is great: Tuna/brown rice, lean meat/red baked potato, cottage cheese/berries, chicken/whole grain pasta, lean ground turkey with salsa &spinach/small apple, etc.
Rule #4 – In plain English, to gain weight, eat more and eat more often. Be ready for solid bulk weight – lean muscle comes slowly but surely. To lose weight, eat less, still as often, consuming the more of your calories and carbohydrates in the first half of your day. Eating a source of protein at night is a good thing. Scale back on the carbohydrates as your day is coming to an end.
Rule #5 – Lean toward an even balance of protein to carbohydrate intake to build and maintain a lean body. Though contrary to popular opinion, many health enthusiasts, bodybuilders and fitness competitors agree. Emphasize protein.
Rule #6 – Between meal snacking is ok if the snack is truly nutritious – NO junk! Don’t let them be a substitute for a meal or become a habit. Good snacks are fruits or vegetables, protein bars, whole grain bagels, cottage cheese, small protein shake (RTD’s), etc.
Rule #7 – Simple carbohydrates (sugar) provide us with a quick pickup but let us down just as quickly. Excessive sugars wreck havoc with our insulin and blood glucose levels flying up and down and leads to fatigue and fat storage. Not good.
Rule #8 – Fuel up before your workout. Eat a small meal 30-60 minutes before you train. With lower glycemic carbohydrates in your system, you’ll train harder, longer and with more enthusiasm. You won’t experience low blood sugar jitters, nausea, or dizziness. After a good workout, protein shakes and BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) are king.
Rule #9 – Similarly, you need to eat a hearty protein meal with plenty of carbs within 45 minutes of completing your workout. This is necessary to provide the building materials to repair depleted and broken down muscle tissue and begin the process of building new muscle.
Rule #10 – The most important thing to consume in your body is water! The quality of your tissue, their performance and their resistance to injury is absolutely dependent on the quality and quantity of the water you drink. Our bodies also need it to help excrete waist out of our bodies as well. Drink it up during your day and especially during your workout.
Rule #11 – Sleep, rest and relaxation are of prime importance. It’s during periods of sound sleep that our bodies recuperate and repair.
Practicing these basic rules in conjunction with a regular schedule of exercise and proper hormonal balance will put you on the road to feeling and looking your absolute best!
Call or email me today to get started on a program that will take the guesswork out of health and fitness and to set your results on fire!
-Roger Bowman, CPT