Nutrition

Your health and well being is nearly 100% dependent on your nutrition. Setting your sights on the body of your dreams should begin in the kitchen, not the gym. In order to maximize your results, we have listed some general information to help you along your journey to a new you.

Your body identifies carbohydrates and fats as energy sources. Your body would rather use carbs for energy first but if there are no carbs in your bloodstream, your body will go for your fat stores for energy. In order to understand certain foods you have to understand the power of each type of nutrient and its reaction in the body.

The Macro Nutrient Break Down

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are divided into two categories: complex and simple. Complex carbs are often loaded with fiber and many nutrients that promote health. Recommended complex carbs include green vegetables, rice, potatoes, oats, quinoa, pumpkin, squash, beans, and lentils. Simple carbs are comprised of mostly sugar. Examples of simple carbs are table sugar, honey, fruit, candy, and most processed foods that come in a box. Most of these types of carbs offer zero nutritional benefits. It is highly recommended to steer clear of simple carbs and focus on consuming complex carbs.

 

Carbohydrates play a major role in the way your body looks, feels, and performs. Physiologically, your body breaks all carbs down into sugar and expels them into your bloodstream as insulin. Your goal should be to consistently fuel your body throughout the day while keeping your blood sugar levels under control. When insulin is released into your bloodstream, it signals your body to store fat. It’s basically telling your body that it has enough energy in the bloodstream and it can go into energy storage mode, basically storing as fat.

 

Complex carbs break down slowly and will give you consistent energy, like an eyedropper that gradually adds sugar to your blood stream. Simple sugars break down quickly like a bucket of sugar being dumped into your blood stream. Slowly adding sugar to your blood stream will allow you to metabolize sugars without storing them as fat. When you quickly add sugars to your bloodstream, you will have an overflow of sugar that your body won’t be able to utilize immediately, so it will be forced to store the excess as fat. You will have immediate energy followed by a crash shortly after.

 

Utilizing the cleanest versions of carbs is the most efficient way to “cleanse” your body of toxins that are caused from processed/simple carbs. Clean carbs also lower internal inflammation and irritation. They are also lower on the glycemic index, so you will be less likely to store fat. Carbs lower on the glycemic index will digest slower offering more controlled energy throughout the day keeping you satisfied longer.

 

Fruit is one of the most commonly ingested forms of sugar that have been confused with a “healthy” snack. Although some sources contain great amounts of fiber, it is still sugar in a natural state. You do not need to completely give up fruit, but you should minimize your consumption. Limit yourself to ingesting fruit in the morning or after a workout. These are the two times throughout the day that insulin levels are in a depleted state.

Proteins

Proteins are the building blocks for muscle. You cannot obtain a lean body without consuming protein at every meal. Even if becoming a bodybuilder isn’t on your goal list, building muscle should be one of your top goals. The more muscle you have on your body, the more fat you will burn AT REST. The more fat you can burn at rest, the less exercise you have to do. Sounds amazing, right? Refer to the strength training portion for more information on this topic.

 

Essential amino acids are the “building blocks” of muscle tissue. Proteins derived from animal sources are the best sources of protein because they offer complete essential amino acid chains. Proteins found in non animal sources of food are called incomplete proteins because the lack 1 or more of the essential amino acids.

 

When the body doesn’t have a sufficient amount of amino acids, self catabolism is promoted in order to survive. Catabolism refers to the body breaking down it’s own muscle cells. A diet sufficient in complete protein sources will utilize the ingested proteins and become more anabolic or muscle building. Why destroy what you are working so hard to build? It’s simple: EAT PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL! Suggested protein sources include lean meats such as chicken, turkey, eggs, lean red meats, whey protein supplements, and branch chain amino acid supplements.

Vegetarians and Proteins

Vegetarianism is the practice of eating a meatless diet. There are many types of vegetarians along the spectrum that differ in their avoidance of meat, animal products, or commercial products such as leather, fur, etc. The greatest concern in a vegetarian diet is the sufficient intake of protein. Since the majority of the proteins ingested are incomplete, supplementation is a must in order to avoid a catabolic state. Research and consultation with a physician or nutritionist is recommended before choosing this lifestyle. If some flexibility is utilized and fish or whey is ingested, make use of nutrient timing in order to feed your muscles. Breakfast, pre-workout, and post-workout are the most important times to consume complete proteins. If meat sources are out of the question, utilize branch chain amino acid supplements at these times in order to keep muscle-wasting to a minimum.

 

Essential amino acids are the “building blocks” of muscle tissue. Proteins derived from animal sources are the best sources of protein because they offer complete essential amino acid chains. Proteins found in non animal sources of food are called incomplete proteins because the lack 1 or more of the essential amino acids.

 

When the body doesn’t have a sufficient amount of amino acids, self catabolism is promoted in order to survive. Catabolism refers to the body breaking down it’s own muscle cells. A diet sufficient in complete protein sources will utilize the ingested proteins and become more anabolic or muscle building. Why destroy what you are working so hard to build? It’s simple: EAT PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL! Suggested protein sources include lean meats such as chicken, turkey, eggs, lean red meats, whey protein supplements, and branch chain amino acid supplements.

Fats

Dietary fats have always gotten a bad rap. Eating fat does not make you store fat, if you choose the correct types. Fats are the most concentrated source of energy. Essential fatty acids are not produced within the body, therefore, they need to be ingested. Brain health, organ function, blood health, skin appearance, and fat cell size are all greatly affected by fatty acids. Steer clear of saturated fats and trans fats and focus more on unsaturated fats as well as omega threes, omega sixes and omega nines produced in the proper ratio. Digestion takes around 4-6 hours, so ingestion of fats creates a longer sensation of fullness after a meal. Suggested fats include those that naturally occur in animal proteins, essential fatty acid supplements, coconut oil, olive oil, grass fed butter, avocado, almonds, and walnuts.

Liquids/Hydration

Often overlooked, proper hydration plays HUGE roll in the way a person looks and feels. Dehydration can cause a “chubby” look, even for the leanest person.  The reason is that hydration can alter the way your body retains or expels water. Our bodies are designed to take care of themselves. When the body feels dehydrated, it actually stores more water to protect itself. This can be disastrous to your fitness goals! Low water levels in your body will cause a watery subcutaneous film that will give muscle tone a fuzzy look. So, if you want to look your best, drink up!

 

How much water does it take? Most people should aim for 1 gallon of water per day. Yes, this is a LOT of water. There will be an adjustment period, but after about one week, the increase gets easier. If you are not already consuming ½ gallon per day, increase slowly by 1/4 gallon per week.  Crystal light, Mio, or BCAAs can be used as flavor, but use them in moderation. Although they are zero or low calorie, they all contain forms of artificial sugars for flavor and color. Artificial sugar substitutes can cause an internal inflammatory affect that can cause bloating and malabsorption of nutrients. So, use sparingly!

 

Tea and coffee are good additions to your nutrition program if they are consumed in their natural state. Add ins such as sugar, sugar substitutes, honey, creamer, milk, or other items can also cause internal inflammation as well as add extra calories. Utilizing almond milk in stead of milk is acceptable. Again, sugar substitutes should be used sparingly.

 

Keep a water bottle handy at all times and know how much water you’ve consumed at any given time during the day. Large Nutrishop water bottles are 64oz. Refilling smaller water bottles can get confusing. Find a method that works best for you!

Tips for Success

  • Eat every 3 ½ to 4 hours to keep insulin levels from plummeting.
  • Always combine a carbohydrate with a protein. . This will slow digestion time, keeping you fuller longer.
  • Do not skip breakfast, even if you’re not hungry. You have to teach your body to be hungry at breakfast by eating breakfast.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Never work out on an empty stomach. This practice increases your risk of wasting muscle.
  • Choose clean carbohydrate sources, animal protein sources, and essential fatty acids at throughout the day.
  • Never eat carbs before bed. Choosing a bedtime snack of proteins and some fats will set your body up for burning fat while you sleep.
  • Don’t get caught without food or a plan of action. If you are out and about, pack a protein shake.
  • If you are eating out at a restaurant, communicate with the wait staff how you want your food prepared and pick options that fit your plan. Sauces, dressings, gravies, and pasta dishes are disastrous!
  • IF YOU FAIL TO PREPARE, PREPARE TO FAIL. Cook in bulk on the weekend, prepare and pack foods the night before, always have food, and always set yourself up for success.
  • Consistency is the name of the game! When it comes to your health, you need to follow these rules to maximize your efforts. Bites and tastes can add up. It’s the little things that separate average results from great results. Do everything it takes and you’re going to be greater than average, I promise!