Alcohol is pure, empty calories that will stop fat burning in its tracks.
While nutrition is a very individual topic depending on goals and needs, there are some general guidelines. To start: you need to know about macronutrients:
Protiens: 4 Calories/Gram
Protein has many roles in the body. It is responsible for growth and maintenance of muscle and other tissues, hormone and immune system functioning, regulation of fluid and electrolyte balances, among other duties.
Sources of protein include: meats, dairy products, eggs, nuts, and supplemental protein. We recommend 20-25% of your calories come from protein.
Carbohydrates: 4 Calories/Gram
Carbohydrates are the main fuel source for the brain and central nervous system, as well as the preferred fuel source for the body. Your carbohydrate staples should include fibrous carbs like whole grains, vegetables and fruits, as well as low glycemic starches such as unprocessed rice, pasta, and potatoes.
35-45% of your calories should come from starchy carbs and simple sugars, while approximately 20% will come from fibrous carbohydrates.
Fats: 9 Calories/Gram
Although some fat intake is absolutely necessary to promote a healthy environment in your body, the addition of most fats (with the exception of essential fatty acids) is not. Saturated fats are considered “bad” fats. They can generally be identified as any fat which is solid at room temperature. Saturated fats are closely related to plaque build up on arteries that can lead to a number of medical conditions.
Unsaturated fats are those which are liquid at room temperature, such as vegetable oils and fish fats.
20% of your calories will come from fats in the foods you are consuming and the recommended supplemental additions (flax seed oil, fish oils).
Again, there may be individual changes to supplementation depending on unique circumstances.
A good multi vitamin/mineral supplement is the foundation of a healthy body. It is your insurance against any vitamin/mineral deficiency. Taking a multi vitamin guarantees that along with a nutritious eating plan, you are getting all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy body.
B-Vitamins work in the body to convert nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) that we eat into energy. They also fortify the nerves to help the body deal with different kinds of stress. If you are an active person (physically) or live a stressful lifestyle, supplementing with a good B-Complex is essential. Being a water soluble nutrient the B vitamins need to be replenished twice daily.
Calcium and Magnesium work together as a very important team. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium helps calcium to be absorbed by the body. Calcium and magnesium are responsible for proper muscle contractions, have a calming effect on the body and are necessary for the absorption of many different nutrients.
Flax Seed Oil (Essential Fat)
"Essential" fats are needed because our body cannot produce them. They can only be obtained through our diet. Essential fats are very important for the health of our immune system and adrenal glands, skin, hormonal balance, brain function, maintaining our weight, and may help with fat loss. When given "essential" fats, our body is less likely to hold (store) bad fats.
Whey Protein Powder
Protein is needed for the repair and recovery of muscles. It is needed to maintain or build muscle mass. Protein after a workout is recommended to immediately begin the repair process, before bedtime it helps muscle tissue repair while at rest. Whey protein powders are a quick and convenient way to increase your daily protein requirement
Healthy Eating Strategies
CHOOSE QUALITY: Eat a nutrient rich diet consisting of quality protein, carbohydrates, and essential fats.
CHOOSE QUANTITY: Portion size is critically important. A protein portion is the size of the palm of your hand, carbohydrate portion is the size of your clenched fist, and a vegetable portion is the cupped palms of your hands.
COMBINE CORRECTLY: Choose quality protein and carbohydrates at every meal. At least two meals should contain vegetables.
Proper food combinations ease cravings and feed muscles by providing amino acids from proteins and carbohydrates, which help transport protein into the cells. Combining protein and carbohydrates at each meal is based on sound research published in the “Journal or Nutrition” that found that balancing the two stabilized blood sugar and insulin and tended to decrease body fat, cholesterol, and reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. It benefits not only your muscles but also your mind, improving cognitive/mental performance. Eating a balance of protein and carbs at each meal results in increased energy levels and decreased levels of fatigue. Finally, it helps digestion and absorption of nutrients and increases “thermic effect” (fat-burning effect) from each meal.
CHOOSE YOUR TIME: Eat small portions frequently; five to six times per day. Aim to eat every 2 ½ to 3 hours never allowing more than four hours to pass without eating (exception is while you are sleeping). Eating frequently creates a “metabolic environment” that supports your energy and muscle metabolism, while helping you burn bodyfat. The metabolic rate is the pace at which your body burns fat and food energy to keep you going strong. Eating more often allows you to burn fat more efficiently. Eating 5-6 times per day permits you to maintain lean muscle, which helps you look leaner and makes your body more metabolically active. Muscle burns calories even when you are doing absolutely nothing; fat does not.
BUILD YOUR FOUNDATION: Take a good quality Multi Vitamin/Mineral that includes a high B-Vitamin complex. Include an EFA (essential fatty acid) supplement and a Whey or Soy protein powder supplement daily.
HYDRATE: 2 ½ to 4 litres daily.
Basal Metabolic Rate
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state (meaning that the digestive system is inactive, which requires about twelve hours of fasting).
The release of energy in this state is sufficient only for the functioning of the vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, brain and the rest of the nervous system, liver, kidneys, sex organs, muscles and skin. BMR decreases with age and with the loss of lean body mass. Increasing muscle mass increases BMR.
Lean Body Mass
The objective of The Cooper Endurance Test (Dr. Kenneth Cooper, author of "Aerobics") is to help you determine VO2 Max with reasonable accuracy, and without the need of expensive equipment. A more accurate test might cost you hundreds of dollars, and this is good enough for the purpose of determining roughly in how good shape is your oxygen processing capacity.
VO2 Max is defined as the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can take in, deliver, and use in one minute. It is limited both by the amount of oxygenated blood the lungs and circulatory system can process, and by the amount of oxygen the muscles can extract from the blood. It is estimated that VO2 Max decreases about 1% per year.