Being on a healthy diet is not about being hungry or deprived, it’s about nourishing yourself with whole foods so you feel satisfied, energised and able to live life to the fullest.
Why nutrition is important when exercising?
In order to get the most out of your workouts and progress towards your goals, you have to focus on nutrition intake as a primary fitness goal. Eating the right types of food and getting the correct amount of macros and micronutrients into your body allows us to have more energy throughout the day, reduce overall body fat, gain muscle mass and strength and look and feel more confident.
Carbohydrates are essential and provide the body with the energy source it requires to carry out your daily tasks as well as providing essential vitamins and minerals.
However, not all carbohydrates have the same effect on the body as others
Here is a list of carbohydrates that are most beneficial to the human body to provide you with high amounts of fibre to keep you fuller for longer
- Root Vegetables
- Wholegrains – bread, pasta, rice, oats
- Legumes – lentils, beans, peas
- Sweet potatoes
- All fruit sources
Protein is an essential component for muscles growth and development and is a key ingredient for increased strength and muscle power.
By implementing the right amount of protein into your nutrition plan it will:
- Increase recovery rate after exercise
- Promote growth and repair
- Improve bone and skin health
- Increase enzyme and hormone production
- Promote lean muscle and reduce muscle loss
- Control hunger
Most people perceive meat as being the most valuable source of protein; this is in fact only partially true. Here is a list of protein sources:
- Lean meats 5% and under, poultry and fish
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut butters
- Dairy sources – milk, low-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese
- Soya products such as tofu & tempeh
You may wonder isn’t fat bad for you, but your body needs some fat from food.
Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some vitamins and minerals, reduce inflammation and improve muscle movement and cell structure.
Healthy source of fats include the following:
- Oily fish – salmon, kippers, trout, mackerel
- nuts – almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts
- olive oil, rapeseed oil, coconut oil
- chia seeds
- dark chocolate
How much should I eat for my fitness goal?
Everyone has there own fitness goal in mind, and everyone wants to know what they should and shouldn’t eat to get them heading in the right direction. The only way your going to reach your goal is by being consistent and following these simple rules.
Calories Deficit = Weight Loss
Calorie surplus = Weight Gained
Your ultimate goal is to figure out exactly how many calories to eat daily to lose/maintain/gain weight without sabotaging your training. To do that you need to figure out how many calories you burn daily without exercises also called your Basal Metabolic Rate. This is then multiplied by how active you are daily to give you your daily required calories to maintain weight.
Basal Metabolic Rate Calculation
66.5 + (13.75 x weight in kgs) + ( 5 x height in cm) – (6.75 x age in years)
655 + (9.56 x weight in kgs) + ( 1.85 x height in cm) – (4.67 x age in years)
- Sedentary = BMR x 1.2
- Lightly Active = BMR x 1.4
- Active = BMR x 1.6
- Very Active = BMR x 1.8
Example for a 25 year old female weighting 60kg at 160cm who is active 3 time a week
655 + (9.56 x 60) + (1.85 x 160) – (4.67 x 25) = 1,640 Kcal
1,640kcal x 1.4 = 2,296kcal per day
Now that you have worked out your daily calories required to maintain weight, the simple method now is to -500kcal for weight loss and +500kcal for weight gain.