PART 2 NUTRITION
We seem to be obsessed with the idea that magic supplements and Fad Diets can miraculously cut fat loss and increase muscle mass. The truth is that there is no universal diet plan that works for everyone. We are all different. Differences in Metabolism, Lifestyle, Socio-Economic factors and Goals all have to be factored in when choosing a plan that works for you. I will go over a few of the basic fundamentals on Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats, in order to give you a base understanding of the role they play in Fat Loss.
Protein comes from the Greek word Proteus, which means “of primary importance “, they are the building blocks of life. Protein is measured by its ‘ Biological Value ‘ which is simply based on the amount of Protein consumed to the amount excreted. The two best sources of Protein and which have the highest ‘ BV ‘ are WHEY PROTEIN and EGGS. Whey Protein has a BV of 104 ( which means you actually get back more than you put in, how good is that ) and eggs which have a BV of 100.
Drinking your Protein in Smoothies is the best way to meet your daily Protein requirements and it also has the added benefit of giving your Digestive System that much needed break. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition 1.4 – 2.0g/kg/day is not only safe, but may also improve the training adaptation to training exercises. I make my Smoothies with 1 scoop of protein ( about 25 g protein ), a tablespoon of Natural Peanut Butter and 40-50 g of Steel Cut Oats.
It is key to consume your Protein at the appropriate times. Strategic Timing helps with recovery, immune function, cardiovascular function and the growth of new muscle. The best time to take your Smoothie is immediately after working out when the body is primed to absorb all the Nutrients. The second best time is before bed as this will allow for effective recovery and the building of new muscle. The third best time to take your smoothie is at breakfast. Research has shown that those individuals who consume a high protein breakfast, feel fuller throughout the day and burn more fat.
TOP TIP – When you are Protein deficient you will crave sweets, so next time you reach for that Snickers Bar, have a Protein Smoothie instead.
Carbohydrates provide us with Glucose, which we convert to energy to fuel our daily activities and are vitally important in helping to fuel your Fat Burning Workouts. Most of us are confused about the role Carbohydrates play in Fat Loss. One thing to remember is that it is much more important that you get your Carbs from Healthy Sources rather than following a strict diet limiting or counting calories. The mirror is the best place to judge how well your diet is going, not the scales. A diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, fruits and beans has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, prevent some types of cancer and lower the risk of digestive problems. Carbohydrates that are easily digested like white rice, white bread, soft drinks and pastries should be avoided as they can interfere with with Fat Loss, not to mention promote things like Diabetes and Heart disease. Im personally a big fan of Sweet Potato, Brown Rice and Couscous.
TOP TIP – Put down the potatoes and instead go for sweet potato, brown rice or whole wheat pasta – Eat whole fruit instead of drinking juice, 1 Orange has 2 times as much fibre and half the amount of sugar compared to a 12 ounce glass of Juice – Eat Beans, Beans are a great source of carbs and are slowly digested, as well as providing a great source of protein.
Fat undeservedly have been given a bad rap. When we talk about Fats, its the type of Fat we consume that is of vital importance. The key to a healthy diet is to substitute Good Fats for Bad Fats. Fats always seem to be misunderstood, however they are the most energetically dense nutrients that we consume. Lets separate them in to two groups GOOD and BAD.
GOOD FATS AND THEIR BENEFITS
Monounsaturated Fats – can be found in foods like nuts, avocado and olive oil. These fats help to improve your Cardiovascular system. Polyunsaturated Fats – can be found in vegetable oils, sunflower oil or cottonseed oils and some studies have shown them to protect against insulin resistance as compared to monounsaturated fats. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – are found most abundantly in cold water fish like Salmon and Mackerel. They help to reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of some cancers and improve cognitive functioning. Flax Seeds are also a wonderful source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. They also help with Degenerative Disease and a a whole host of skin problems.
TOP TIP – Remember, – although these ‘ GOOD FATS ‘ are beneficial, they will still cause in increase in weight gain if not used in moderation, given that fact that Fat contains 9 calories per gram as compared to 4 calories per gram for Protein and Carbohydrates respectively.
Saturated Fats – are found in animal products like meat and dairy. This fat is best to be avoided as it has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and increase cholesterol. They are also more easily stored as Body Fat when compared to the good fats, so avoid them at all cost when trying to lose Body Fat. Trans Fats – can be found in foods like fried chips, biscuits or other baked goods. They have been shown to be associated with heart disease, diabetes and many other chronic illnesses.
TOP TIP – The overall total amount of Fat you consume isn’t really linked to any disease, its the type of fat you consume that really matters – try cooking with plant-based oils like olive oil or Flax that are rich in healthy unsaturated fats – once a day eat a meal rich in Omega 3 Acids like Salmon or a handful of almonds.
Remember a healthy diet is built around a strong base of physical activity, which helps to keep all your calories in check. In Part 3 I will give you some of my own Fitness Programs I’ve used personally and also give to my players.
( 1 ) The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance
( 2 ) International Society of Sports Nutrition
( 3 ) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov > NCBI > Literature > PubMed Central ( PMC )
( 4 ) http://www.indi-info.pref.gifu.jp/sports/ ( Gifu Sports Science Training Centre Japan )