The 5 most important nutrition rules for optimum work out

Nutrition is key, whether you work out or not. I have some simple truths about eating and exercise that people overlook. These rules apply to everyone: sedentary or active, young or old, in or out of shape.

RULE ONE: Always eat at least 5 times a day. 2 or 3 meals are simply not enough. The two ‘extra’ meals can be regarded as snacks provided they contain sufficient calories to get you to your next meal, and they are comprised of the appropriate ratio of macronutrients as I will describe in Rule two. Your blood sugar and insulin levels will be controlled (thus also your energy level), you will get protein in small amounts throughout the day to support growth and recovery, and importantly body fat will not be stored, but instead obliged as an energy source. When you eat infrequently, your body recognizes a “famine” situation and your endocrine system is thrown for a loop. Then, too much of the food you consume is stored as body fat in preparation for the “famine” to come.

RULE TWO: In planning each of your daily meals (or snacks), a caloric ratio of approximately 1 part fat, 2 parts protein, 3 parts carbohydrates is a good place to begin. Depending on the severity of your daily work routine and training protocol, you may need more or less carbohydrates for energy. Fat is essential for maintaining good health and it is needed to manufacture many important hormones in your body, so don’t eliminate fat from your diet! Keep saturated fat (from animal sources) low and unsaturated fat (olive oil, canola oil etc) high. Consume enough protein to aid growth and recovery. When choosing carbohydrates choose low GI ones, which are converted to blood sugar slowly so you can control your insulin levels.

RULE THREE: What you are going to do before you eat should really determine what you eat. Ask yourself,”what am I going to do for the next 2-3 hours.” Depending on the activity for  example if you are going to sit and watch a movie, eat fewer carbohydrate foods; if your plan is to hit the gym or go for a run, adjust your carbs up or down depending on the intensity of the activity you are going to perform. Note, your pre-workout carbohydrates should be low glycemic.

RULE FOUR: To lose fat quickly and efficiently you must be in a negative calorie balance: taking in fewer calories than you are burning. Neither can you gain muscle tissue quickly and efficiently unless you are in a positive calorie balance: taking in more calories than you would need to maintain your current weight.

I am sure you are asking yourself right now how can you lose fat and gain muscle, at the same time? You cannot lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, so it is suggested that you alternate periods of negative calorie balance with periods of positive calorie balance. This 1). readjusts your BMR upwards, making it easier to keep fat off, and 2). Support recovery and lean tissue building through insulin and glucagon control.

RULE FIVE: Getting all nutrients your body needs from food alone is almost impossible, especially if you are on a diet. Supplementation is important, supplement with vitamins and minerals and other carefully selected substances to ensure maximum progress towards your fitness goals, health, muscle-building and fat-loss goals.

Additional tips on sound nutrition

  • Eliminate junk food: Fat, sodium and sugar(usually simple sugars). None of these items is beneficial to any athlete. Consuming these foods does little for your energy, except promote a rise and then subsequent drop in your blood sugar levels.
  • Drink 8 – 10 glasses of water each day: This helps with replace fluids lost during exercise. Do not wait until you are dehydrated, drink this all throughout the month.
  • Determine your daily protein requirements: Protein is important for growth and recovery, small amounts of protein should be available to you throughout the day to help with this. Proteins that contain the essential amino acids are of utmost importance.
  • Consume high-fiber foods: Fiber not only helps reduce cholesterol, it also lowers the glycemic response of your meals and promotes efficient digestion.
  • Increase your lean body weight through resistance training: The more lean weight you have, the more efficient your body moves and the higher your metabolism becomes. Bones become denser, muscles, tendons and ligaments strengthen. Bigger muscles burn more calories than little ones.