Nutrition is the most crucial part of dieting. Whether you are aiming to lose weight or gain muscle tissue, what you eat IS going to be the determining factor in whether or not you succeed. Please stick to the parameters that you have been provided (whether this is a set diet or a number of cals/protein to aim for).
The ONLY determining factor in whether we lose or gain weight is CALORIES. If you are burning more calories than you consume you will get smaller, if you consume more calories than you burn you will get bigger and if the two numbers are evenly matched then you will maintain at a constant weight.
THE 3 MACRONUTRIENTS
Protein will determine whether, when we are losing weight, we hold onto or lose muscle tissue. If you are not eating enough protein alongside a training plan, this will result in you becoming catabolic meaning that muscle tissue will waste. This is typically why people end up with what is known as a ‘skinny-fat’ look.
Carbs provide energy and promote recovery. This is really important alongside training as having enough energy for a work out means we are able to put more into it and burn more calories throughout it. Having more effective recovery means that we are able to perform better the next time we are in the gym which again means a better calorie burn as we are not held back by muscle soreness etc. CARBS ARE NOT THE ENEMY.
Fats are hugely important for brain function and health and should ideally make up 20% of your daily caloric intake. However, fat has 9 calories per gram (protein and carbs both have only 4 calories per gram) so this tends to happen naturally.
All of the three macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats) are important for health. However, only calories and protein determine changes in our body composition and the rest seems to slot nicely into place. For this reason you will ONLY NEED TO TRACK YOUR CALORIES AND PROTEIN.
When we are dehydrated we retain water – this means we hold onto weight and gives the illusion that we are holding more fat than we really are. The more hydrated we are the less water we hold and the more smooth, taut and toned our skin appears! Water also helps the body to shuttle the nutrients we consume into the cells appropriately. This is particularly important when limiting calories as obviously this will also mean limited nutrients. Water is liquid gold! DRINK IT.
Alcohol stops our body from being able to effectively turn protein into muscle as well as having calories in it itself so it’s best to try to avoid it where possible. However, dieting whilst drinking CAN be done. If you have enrolled for a Tactical Nutrition chat then we will go through how alcohol can be included whilst still working towards making progress. (If you would like to book this, please contact me).
It’s okay for you to drink zero calorie fizzy drinks like pepsi max or coke zero without tracking these. However, they will not count to your 4 litre water target. If you choose to consume full sugar versions of these drinks then you must track the calories from these. P.S Diet coke will not give you cancer.
You are welcome to have as many caffeinated drinks as you like however you must only use unsweetened almond milk and 0-1 cal sweetener unless you want to track milk and sugar.
Tips for nutrition
- Do not get hung up on meal timings – you can have any meals or snacks whenever you like. Don’t worry about the supposed “anabolic window“, just eat what you want, when you want just as long as it fits your calorie and protein goal – do what works for YOU.
- 2. By allowing ourselves the things we enjoy, diets are better stuck to (and thus more successful) because there’s no need to go off track! Remember, there are no bad foods in the context of a good, healthy diet so don’t feel guilty for eating anything and don’t feel like you need to “eat clean” all the time. Aim for 80% good, whole foods and 20% stuff that keeps you sane/on track!
- 3. Everything on your diet plan can be steamed/boiled/microwaved/grilled/oven baked or fried (If fried, use the fry light 1 cal spray unless you track the calories).
- 4. With each meal, have a drink of water, it helps with digestion.
- 5. As the saying goes ‘If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail’. So if you ‘prep’ your food twice a week, this will be less likely to happen!
- 6. IT IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT YOU WILL NEED A ‘CHEAT MEAL’ OR A ‘REFEED’ WHILST ON THIS PLAN.
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