5 Basic Nutrition Principles for Fat Loss
Posted on 21st April 2020 at 14:35
1) CALORIE BALANCE
How many calories you are consuming, relative to the amount you are burning. We want to consume less calories, than we are spending. Simple science. This is the king above all else. Think of it as an umbrella. Everything else we’ll discuss below come under this.
There are many ways you can manipulate your calorie balance, through the use of food, or the manipulation of training & exercise. Could you move more during the day or perform more gym sessions? The idea, isn’t to necessarily see it as training to burn calories, instead training to create an overall healthy lifestyle. Which let’s be honest, we all need to be aiming for, especially in today's climate.
2) MACRO AMOUNTS/RATIOS
Once calories have been accounted for, macro ratio are the next important factor which helps us determine changing & adjusting body composition. Macronutrients are split into 3 main nutrients that provide the vast majority of calories in a diet. These are know as protein, carbohydrates & fats. Alcohol & sugar alcohols also have calories, but for health & performance they constitute a small part of your caloric intake. However, I realise adherence is key & these factors need taking into consideration when starting a plan. The sooner you realise how you split your macros up, just isn’t that much of an issue, the better. Think of them as how much ink you have left in your pen, it isn’t going to matter until you’re running out?
3) NUTRIENT & MEAL TIMING
A question we get asked a lot is does meal timing matter, can I eat after a certain time, whens the best time to eat carbs. I like the fact people ask these detailed questions, however on the importance scale for dietary adherence, it only makes up a small % of what actually matters. Yes, meal timing & nutrient distribution in meals do play a role in many factors
Satiety (hunger levels)
We can look at it from the perspective of creating the fullness through the day by spreading meals out evenly. This could look like 5/6 meals. However I know this isn’t always achievable due to many factors, how busy you are, timing, school run, work, social life. It seems to be the more often figure I see is 3/4. The only down side to this is the amount of time In between meals are quite stretched which could lead to poor adherence to overall calories due to hunger levels increasing, or the thought that you’re hungrier. What we do find that is important is that protein intake is regularly placed in your meals through the day to help with satiety levels & also for muscle-specific functions. This could be aiming for around 1/4 of your daily intake being situated at each meal. When we talk about timing of carbohydrates through the day, I like to utilise them more towards the ‘performance’ side of things. So in & around your training windows. You’ll find I like to opt for a lower carb day on none training days, not to lower calories, but to instead focus on using carbs more towards the most energy required parts of your day & week. There are parts in your day that you will obviously require more energy, this can be your day to day activities, it could be exercise routines, right up to the point you’re going to bed. All things we should take into consideration when timing carbohydrates. Do you eat late at night? That’s fine, all I recommend with this is having a smaller portion of what you’re having to limit gut & digestion issues that may occur. Remember, we want to be relaxing for sleep, not making the digestive system work overtime. It could be advantageous for us to perhaps put a mixture of carbs fats & protein in a pre bed meal which will allow for a slower digestion rate due to the fats. Again, limiting foods that could cause gut irritation.
4) FOOD COMPOSITION
Food composition refers to a foods quality. It describes what other nutrition is obtained alongside the desired macronutrient and how the food is digested and utilised by the body. Digestibility, digestion, vitamin, mineral and fibre content are also what can determine the composition of a food. For obvious health reasons, food composition does play a larger role than it would for ‘performance’ and composition. You may have heard other terms of food composition such as ‘micronutrients’ These all under the vitamins and minerals charts. Overall, we should obviously aim to eat a well balance variety of macronutrients that hold high quality micronutrient properties. For composition, health and performance reasons. Think of it like this, imagine eating all of your daily calories worth of McDonalds. Tastes good I know, but from a reality perspective, how doable is that? It’s not. You won’t be satisfied you’ll need something sweet, you’ll feel bloated & full for a few hours then come the evening, you’ll be searching the kitchen cupboards!
The way I like to promote vitamin intake, is by purely exhausting your food intake first. This means prioritising food qualities & variety, with different colours and textures to hand. By extracting information from your consultation form, this will highlight any current vitamin intake, which either you take by your own choice or by prescription from a doctor. Some of you may not take any. Those vitamins KL Fitness promote and recommend are purely from experience, not by actually telling you what to take.
What vitamins do I need?
Vitamin choices come down to you and your needs. Two recommendations I like to promote are a Vitamin C & Omega 3 fish oil. I believe with a good variety of dietary foods; you will be able to get these vitamins from foods alone. However, I believe, adding in extra via supplementation won’t do you any harm. Vitamin C; broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, spinach & other leafy greens, sweet & white potato, tomatoes etc. These are easily achievable in your daily food intake using broths, salads, smoothies, roasts etc. Benefits; helps promote a healthy immune system, cell function & repair, reduce inflammation and much, much more. Vitamin C is not stored in the body, so overdosing does not need to be worried about due to excretion from the body, however an upper limit of 2000mg per day is recommended. If you were to take the supplement, 500/1000mg per day would be recommended, on top of your foods listed above. Omega 3; plant oils (flaxseed oil, soya bean oil), nuts & seeds (flax, chia, walnuts), oily fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines) Benefits can range from helping with anxiety and depression. Can promote brain health during pregnancy & early life. Reduce risk factors of heart disease. If you were to take the supplement, no more than 1500mg per day is recommended, but take foods into consideration too. Multi-Vitamin – again if you’re eating a variety of well balanced foods, you will be gaining all necessary vitamins.
To summarise, all of the above play a role in the aspects of nutrition, fat loss, performance & adherence. Where we choose to distribute our efforts determines the out come. If we’re focussing too much on the details of supplementation, meal timing, ‘what’ the foods are. We’re in for a long ride of not really getting anywhere.
We focus on the basics first, habits, amounts consumed, where, who with & when.
If you found this useful, get in contact about how we will help you on your next journey!
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