Jun 18, 2011 by Tatianna
I always do a lot of research on Nutrition, and it is definitely a very conflicting science. In this post I will share some of my own knowledge about this subject and what I do to stay lean and healthy. I changed my approach a little bit more in the past month or so. With this new approach I’ve been seeing a lot of great improvements in my energy levels as well as body composition.
Basic Rules Of Nutrition
1. Always eat 5 or 6 times a day, more depending on how you workout. Two or three meals or one big meal is just not enough. You can have 3 meals and 3 healthy snacks, every 2.5 or 3 hours. This will keep your blood sugar and insulin at balanced levels. This way you will not feel deprived or hungry.
2. Plan each meal with a ratio of 1 part fat, 2 part protein and 3 part carbohydrates, except for dinner. Keep your carbs lower at dinner time, especially simple carbs such as rice, pasta, bread etc. Instead you can load up on any veggie you like, preferable raw or lightly steamed. This ratio is for an average person, you can consume more carbohydrates if you perform Intensive Training such as HIIT. Without doing any calculations just take a look at your plate.
3. Before you make your plate think about what you are going to do in the next few hours, eat according to that.
4. On the days that you workout eat more protein. Especially if you are doing resistance training. Your body needs to rebuild and recover, protein provides the building blocks your body needs. An average person should consume 1g of protein per pound of body weight. If you do a lot of physical lifting, or HIIT you would increase that amount to 1.2 or 1.5 or even 2 g depending on the workload.
5. Eat at least 25 g of Fiber per day. Fiber is what gives you the feeling of being full. Most people get a lot less fiber than they think. A cup of oatmeal contains only 10 g of fiber, 3 bananas has also only 10 g, these are just examples. This way you can have an idea of how much fiber to eat.
6. Supplements and Multi Vitamins are vital to our daily life. Even if you eat a perfect diet – you still cook most of your food. Not only that but it is also not always fresh from the garden, plus the pollution we live in, stress, physical demands etc, all of these things take a huge toll on our system.
This is also just for an average person. If you workout on a regular basis, especially if you are trying to loose weight, your body will be more depleted of nutrients, this is why it’s so crucial to take supplements.
When we are depleted of nutrients these are the signs: feeling tired all the time, unable to sleep through the night, headaches, mood swings, getting a cold or a flue, allergies and everything else that makes us feel like something is wrong.
The Right Approach to Loosing Weight and Keeping it Off
When people are trying to lose weight, most of the time they cut down on their calories. In the beginning, this approach works and you will start seeing results, but then you hit plateau in weight loss. This is where people get stuck and frustrated. It happens because you are not using the right approach to Fat Loss, when you just cut down on calories you begin to lose muscle mass more than you loose fat. With that you are also completely killing your Basal Metabolic Rate ( number of calories burned over 24 hours while laying down, but not sleeping ). People with high BMR burn calories even after they stopped exercising, people with low BMR burn a lot less.
The right way is decreasing body fat, while building more muscle and adjusting your BMR.
Since I don’t like to count calories I find it extremely dreadful, I use a different approach:
To lose overall body weight while losing fat and gaining muscle - for 4 days a week, all of your meals should be lean ( but still containing good fat ), with the right ratio of simple carbohydrates, such as brown rice, whole grain bread, potatoes etc, always included with complex carbs such as veggies. For the remaining 3 days a week, you will only eat complex carbs ( any veggies or fruits ) but no simple carbs. And you will keep going back and forth. This way your BMR can adjust to a healthier weight.
Resistance training is also very important, because muscle burns fat. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR will be, the faster you will loose body fat. If you are just dieting alone you will keep loosing muscle and your BMR will keep dropping.
When you lose the weight you wanted, you don’t have to eat as lean as before, but still rotate simple and complex carbs days, with only complex carb days.
The methods of rotating carbs has been working really well for me, what I noticed and got surprised by the most, is how much more energy I had on the days when I didn’t’ eat simple carbs. But I eat an insane amount of fruit, ( I’m pretty sure that’s where I’ve been getting all my energy ).
I never really care too much about pastas or bread unless it’s homemade bread, but fruit – I’m a junkie!
You have to remember once you are at your goal weight, and you lost it the right way, maintaining it is quite simple. As long as you don’t crash diet and workout 3 – 4 days a week, you will keep your metabolism burning at high rates all the time.
How to start liking healthy food
I use to hate broccoli and cauliflower, now I love it! And I crave it all the time. Five years ago, if you would of told me I am going to like broccoli some day, I would of slapped you. So how do you do it?
You slowly add healthy foods to every meal, add the same food over and over again ( just close your eyes if you have to, just eat it ). Don’t change your diet drastically, just add things such as any veggies to every meal. This is the first step to changing your eating habits.
As you introduce this food to your diet, your body’s physical composition will begin to change ( you will begin to become what you eat ). The body develops taste for this foods and begins to crave what you are eating on a regular basis.
Example: If you eat chips every day, you will always have cravings for chips, if you eat french fries every day you will have french fries cravings all the time, if you begin to eat watermelon every day you will begin craving watermelon all the time.
The more healthy foods you introduce little by little, the more you will start losing the taste for junk food – there is a whole science behind this method, but I just wanted to make it as simple as possible.
What I eat on an average day:
In the morning I always have a big bottle of Iced water ( 30 fl oz ) right after I wake up.
Followed by a handful of Goji Berries , and 3 table spoons of Bee Pollen.
Then I always eat 3 eggs, and a banana or a homemade slice of bread.
Sometimes I add chicken breast and make my eggs into an omelet ( then I only use 2 eggs ) . After I drink one cup of black coffee.
If I don’t feel like cooking, I will make a quick Whey Isolate Protein shake, with lots of spinach, Raw Cacao and a banana. This fills me up right away.
About 3 hours later or 2.5 hours, I always have a filling snack, such a Raw Protein Bar, or a Low Glycemic Bar with a glass of Almond Milk. In one of my earlier posts I wrote about other Healthy Snacks.
In my third meal, I would eat lean chicken, or steak, sometimes salmon, either with brown rice, quinoa, or a sweet potato and of course some kind of fruit, usually it’s apples, watermelon, papaya, or cherries.
An hour before my workout I have a Whey Isolate Protein Shake, a handful of Mulberries and a cup of Yerba Mate. ( This combination gives me some crazy amount of energy ) .
After my workout I have another Whey Isolate Protein Shake and a big bottle of water.
For dinner I would make chicken or turkey and big salad, with fruit for dessert.
I don’t eat 5-6 hours before I go to sleep.
I know this post is a bit long but Nutrition is serious business
As you can see, I don’t count calories, but the approach I use keeps me very lean and healthy year round.