This article is a sample chapter of Trainer in a Book, written by Ben Wisan.
How to speed up your fitness goals through proper nutrition.
In this article we will look at the concept of eating healthier to prolong your life and speed up your fitness goals Remember, a well-planned food and nutritional intake can help you achieve your fitness goals 50-70% faster. Contrary to opinion, you can’t out-train a poor diet. If you have a good food plan as well as workout regimen, you will achieve your goals much quicker!
The first step is to find a good caloric range for yourself. Since your daily allotment of calories is based upon age, height, and weight, it is impossible to just say a magic, broad number of suggested caloric
intake. Below are some options to help you create a personalized nutritional program. Most of the online options shown here are very useful. They are also free and have apps for smart phones as well. I recommend them to all my clients!
- Local Nutritionist
- Online Free Calorie Counters: acaloriecounter.com, myfitnesspal.com, my-calorie-counter.com
Next, we need to you to understand the three basic food groups and to understand the break-down on what each group does. Some of the information is from the “My food Pyramid” website and from the information provided by American Council on Exercise. This information works only if a person adheres to the servings and specifications that are listed for their body, weight, age, and height which are found from the above listed websites and nutritionist experts.
In the food world there are three categories that most foods fall into: Fats/Oils, Proteins and Carbohydrates. Each of these three groups have very specific uses for the body.
Fats are used as the last source of energy and give you the extra boost when your body has already metabolized the carbohydrates and proteins for energy. There are multiple types of fats and one that should be avoided at al costs, is saturated fats. The average person is recommend to have no more than 10 grams of saturated fat per day, and for those of us trying to lose body fat, saturated fat should be greatly reduced in your diets.
What’s So Bad About Saturated Fat?
Here’s the skinny: Saturated fats on the molecular level are too dense to be broken down instantly. This means that instead of being used for energy instantly, they are instead stored as fat.
“At the molecular level, saturated fats have hydrogen bound to every free location on the carbon chain. This prevents it from forming double bonds and creating kinks in the carbon chain. Therefore, unlike unsaturated fats which are liquids at room temperature, the saturated fats can be stacked and stored neatly at room temperature, and in your body.”
-Blake Spitzer UCSD Human Biology
As well as adding body weight, saturated fat increases risk of cancers and heart diseases, (World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research in 2007).
Choose from the healthy fats listed below, but still keep healthy fat intake low, as fat has twice as many calories as proteins and carbohydrates.
|Avocado||Most non-lean meats|
|Flax seed Oil||Most non-Fruit desserts|
|Skim milk and 0% fat dairy products|
If I could make one recommendation in the carb department, it would be to switch all of your carbs to whole wheat and whole grain. White carbs, or bleached flower, besides having questionable overall health benefits, are purely simple carbs (high in sugar). As a result, they will raise your blood-insulin levels. This is undesirable for two reasons:
First, body fat is stored on your body in the presence of high sugar-insulin levels, so more fat is stored instead of being burned.
Second, foods that are high on the glycemic index like white bread, greatly increase your blood-glucose levels. This causes blood to rush to your head, resulting in energy reduction and food comas.
With these things in mind, it is best to switch to what are called complex carbs. These are foods like brown rice, oats, whole wheat bread, whole wheat flour, whole wheat pancakes, etc. These carbs are higher in fiber (most scientists agree that high fiber diets decrease chances of heart disease) and give your blood a more consistent dose of glucose as opposed to a quick sugar-insulin spike.
|Whole wheat products: Bread, Pancakes, pasta etc||Products with white or bleached flower: White bread, pancakes, pasta, potatoes|
|Mufti-Grain Bread||Most chips|
|Brown Rice||Pizza dough|
|High fiber cereal||Hamburger buns|
|Most grains and wheats||White rice|
Proteins that are lean will always be the best thing for you: fish, chicken breast, turkey, etc. In other words, meat with less animal fat is much better for you.
There are many studies out there that show that animal fat is a huge factor in many types of cancers and heart disease (World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research in 2007).
Protein should be taken, but in moderation. One of the biggest myths that circulates throughout body-building communities is the amount of protein that should be consumed. Studies done by the American Council of Exercise show that a much smaller amount of protein is needed than previously thought. These studies also suggest that the excess protein gets stored as fat.
Instead of quitting all your bad eating habits “cold-turkey”, ease into healthy eating. This makes for more consistency in the long run. Also, learning how to read food labels will go hand-in-hand with healthy eating habits.
|Most lean meats||Hot dogs|
|Chicken breasts||Any fried meat|
|Turkey breast||All non-lean meats|
|Lean beef||Chicken thighs, drumsticks and wings|
|Low fat, low sugar protein powders||Most processed meats|
|Lean ground turkey/chicken|
This concludes our article on Eating for a Lifetime. Remember if you are trying to lose weight, the nutritional secret is simply calorie-counting and limiting fat intake. If you are trying to gain weight, from a nutritional stand-point, eating much more food and more lean protein is your ticket. Always eat from each of the three food groups and remember to always combine a good cardio and weights program with proper nutrition.
Finally don’t forget that Proper nutrition can make or break your fitness goals and should never be taken for granted: you can’t out-train bad diet.
About the Author
Ben Wisan is based in San Diego, California and has a Personal Training Certification through American Council on Exercise. You can reach him at [email protected] or grab a copy of Trainer in a Book at TrainerInaBook.com.