In the previous three part of this 5 part blog series, we discussed the importance of setting up realist and goal oriented plan. Nutrition is integral part of any training program. Eating right and hydration are as important as doing the right exercise. As popular saying goes “bodies are built in the kitchen”.
- Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram.
- Proteins: 4 calories per gram.
- Fat: 9 calories per gram.
- Water, Vitamins and minerals: 0 calories.
There is no universally correct balance of daily nutrition intake. Depending on the individual and the lifestyle one leads the nutrition requirement would vary. As a reference point healthy diet should consist of the following:
- 60% carbohydrates
- 25% fat
- 15% proteins
So how much energy (calories) does one require?
Basic energy requirement or (BER) is the amount of energy you need to maintain your basic life processes, such as breathing and circulation. In addition to you BER, one needs energy to support once lifestyle. For example a person with a very physical line of work would require more calories than someone with a desk job.
You can use the following calculator to approximate you energy requirement.
Once you have come to a number using the equation, go to the lifestyle section pick the activity lever closest to your lifestyle and multiply the corresponding number by the result of the equation to get you energy requirement.
If you’re looking to lose weight, burn more calories than you take in and vice versa to gain weight, it’s that simple.
The holy grail of body sculpting, how to lose weight and gain muscle?
In order to accomplish this, one has to train and consider once nutrition at the same time. Neither training nor nutrition on its own will give you the desired results.
A common belief held by the scientific community is that one needs to consume roughly 300 calories above and beyond your daily calories requirement to gain weight, having said that it’s important to understand that the amount of lean muscle that one can put on is limited by the genetic makeup of the individual. The amount of lean muscle that one can put on varies between 3.5 to 8 kgs.
When it comes to strength training nutrition, no talk is complete without a discussion on the role of proteins.
One of the very first things that one must realize is that the human body does not store proteins. So consuming proteins over and beyond what is required will be excreted from the body.
How much protein is required by someone undergoing training?
It is know that our body can’t absorb more than 25-35 g of protein in a single siting. So if you consume a shake with 40g of protein, the excessive protein will be excreted and the extra calories will be converted to fat and stored by your body. While it might not be practical for some but a well-rounded diet every 3-4 hrs will be ideal in this respect.
The body stores the excessive calories as fat to be utilized at a stage when food is scanty. The excessive calories can be calculated by subtracting the amount of calories one burns from the calories consumed.
There another theory worth mentioning, it suggests that we are genetically programed to stay within roughly 12 kgs of our optimal weight. So if you drop below the 12 kg of you “optimal weight”, it would trigger the desire to eat. On the flip side if your weight increases beyond the 12 kg mark, food will seem increasingly unattractive.
Your body does not like change. It’s programed for what physiologist call “homeostasis” or put simply to maintain the current level. The more drastic change you impose on your body, the more your body will fight back. This is one of the primary reasons why crash diets do not work in the long run. When you try to loss a large amount of weight over a short period of time, your body will respond by slowing down your metabolic rate or (BMB). BMB is the amount of energy that you use while at rest. A slowdown in the BMB would mean that the amount of calories that you burn while your body is at rest will fall.
Drastic loss of weight is a bad idea for another reason; weight loss of over 1 kg per week will result in a far greater percentage of the loss coming from lean muscle tissue instead of fat. So even though you loss weight you will be retaining a lot of fat and losing lean muscle.
Body Mass index (BMI) is a measure of your body fat level
BMI = weight (in Kg)/ height2 (in m2)
Although BMI is a very popular method used to assess body fat levels, there is a problem with BMI as it does not distinguish between the weight of muscles and that of fat. Many bodybuilder and muscular athletes would be deemed obese according to BMI, as muscle tissue is denser and therefor heavier that fat. A skinfold caliper is a far more accurate way to measure once BMI. Any gym worth its weight in salt should have one.
Your weight loss strategy
Your weight loss strategy should be tailored to you particular needs. Depending on your age, gender and lifestyle your metabolic rate will vary and so should your weight loss strategy.
Important points to keep in mind
- Monitor your weight and body fat percentage.
- Asses you weight and body fat levels.
- Don’t get obsessed- weigh yourself no more than once or twice per week.
- Don’t get worries if you weight fluctuated by one or two kilograms.
Last but not least don’t forget the more muscle mass you have the more calories you’ll burn just to maintain it. So weight training could also help you loss body fat and keep it off.
Next week find out how to Plan your training.