|Working hard with no results? Here’s a nutrition secret… There are people who train for a fitness lifestyle, and there are those striving for the ultimate physique. Yet so many receive only a limited amount of improvement resulting in discouragement and eventually abandonment.|
“I work so hard at the gym …why am I not seeing results?”
By IFBB Joseph Palumbo
Following a training program is a great start. Not following through with the proper nutrition is the biggest mistake people make. Follow any training program, in all honesty, is nothing without proper nutrition. If your goal is strength, endurance, toning, or losing weight, training and nutrition play a 50/50 role. Healthy eating is the backbone of a true fitness lifestyle, and without proper nutrition, you’re likely to fail.
This is the most over looked part of any type of physical training program. Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance. Training breaks down muscle tissue. In order to properly repair and recover, your body need’s essential nutrients. Without them, you will not see results.
Feeding your body the right way is a simple matter of repetition and dedication. Learning and developing the kinds of dietary habits that improve your metabolism.
Metabolism can be simply defined as the set of biochemical processes that occur to sustain life. It can then be divided into two categories, processes that break down (catabolic) and processes that build up (anabolic). In a catabolic state, muscles are “broken down” for energy, essentially robbing you and your muscles of previous growth accomplishments. The easiest way to ensure an anabolic response to training is through a proper and consistent scheduling of nutritionally balanced meals.
Nutrition Secret: Protein builds, maintains and repairs muscle tissue. The compounds classed as amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Unlike the two other basic nutrients- sugars and fatty acids, amino acids contain nitrogen. In order to be able to repair muscle tissue, a protein must have all the essential amino acids present at the same time, this is known as a complete protein. Complete proteins come from animal sources, such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Because of the vital functions of nutrients, great care should be taken to ensure that sufficient amounts are supplied by the body in either dietary form, or if needed by supplementation. The government RDA (recommend daily allowance) for protein is 50 grams based on 2000-calorie intake; this should be considered rockbottom and without any physical activity. The amount of protein your body needs varies depending on the type of training regiment. Hard core athletes, bodybuilder or power lifters try and stay within a range of 2 grams of quality protein per pound of body weight. Studies show the recommended protein for endurance athlete such as a distance runner is 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per body weight.
Nutrition Secret: Carbohydrates supply the body with the energy it needs to function. They are the main source of blood glucose, which is the major fuel for all the body’s cells and the only source for the brain and red blood cells. Glucose can be obtained and stored easily in the body. When your body is depleted of carbs, glucose can be made from protein, because proteins can be converted to carbohydrates. Proteins and fat are vital building components for body tissue and cells, and thus it could be considered advisable not to deplete such resources by necessitating their use in energy production. If you’re not eating enough carbohydrates your body will start to break down precious muscle tissue for glucose.
Carbohydrates come in two forms: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates contain naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in fruit (fructose.) The sugars that make up simple carbohydrates also include table sugar (sucrose). Simple carbohydrates are rapidly converted into glucose and enter the bloodstream very soon after consumption ex: energy drinks.
Complex carbohydrates are present in most grain products, vegetable and potatoes. Unlike simple carbohydrates, complex carbs are digested at a much slower rate. Carbohydrates in general are not normally a problem. It’s the quality and quantity of carbohydrates that should be taken into account. Generally speaking there is no exact number of carb a person should take. There are too many variables. The best advice I can give you, listen to your body and test yourself to see what works FOR YOU. I do recommend consuming all your carbs during the day; or when you are most active.
Nutrition Secret: Much attention has been focused on the need to reduce dietary fat, however the body does need fat. The main purpose of fats in the body is to serve as a storage system and a reserve energy supply. During periods of low food consumption, fat reserves in the body can be mobilized and broken to release energy. Now if your body fat percentage is low, the body will turn to muscle for energy (explained in the carb section). Fats are used in the production of hormones that help regulate proper growth and maintenance of body tissue.
Fats can be classified as either saturated or unsaturated. The consumption of saturated fats carries some health risks in that they have been linked to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart disease. Unsaturated fats can be either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. Research suggests that the healthiest of the fats in human diet are the monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil. Polyunsaturated also has health benefits, they are found in soybean, sunflower oil and certain fish. Just as important, your total calories from fat should not constitute more than 20 to 25 percent of calories.
VITAMINS & MINERALS
Nutrition Secret: Vitamins and minerals are essential to life in general. They are therefore considered nutrients, and are often referred to as micronutrients simply because they are needed in relatively small amount compared with the three basic nutrients. Micronutrients do not themselves provide energy. Carbohydrates, fats, and protein do that but only when there are sufficient micronutrients to release them. People who are active and exercise need a higher than normal amount of micronutrients.
Some studies show that athletes taking vitamins and mineral supplement higher than the Recommend Daily Allowance could indeed perform better, and had fewer minor muscles injured, and the recovery time was faster.
Nutrition Secret: Personally I believe they are the great. We live in a society where people have no time. I can not explain this any other way, all I hear is “I don’t have time.” Meal replacements fit right in with people who have no time.
The best thing you can do for your body before and after a workout is have a meal replacement. It is better than food because it will supply the body with all the essential amino acids at the same time, and importantly, meal replacements are designed to go from the stomach to the blood stream in a short amount to time. This is exactly what your body needs to repair, recover and grow. Everyone has different training goals, when choosing a product make sure you read the labels and chose the right one for your needs.
Nutrition Secret Tips
You must have a sufficient amount of carbohydrates before and after training. For endurance activity, use slow burning carbs before, and fast burning carbohydrates after.
Consuming a pre training protein/carbohydrate drink before exercise can help increase muscle protein synthesis.
A post training meal or drink immediately after training (recovery period), produces bigger gains in muscle fiber thickness.
There are four commonly used proteins in sports supplement protein shakes; whey, casein, egg and soy. Whey is considered to be the fastest to digested.
Space meals through out the day, making them smaller but more frequent.
Preparing meals in advance or have a meal replacement shake on-hand. This will help you the convenience of fast food or simply making the wrong food choice. This is especially important for those people that are always on the run and are trying to stay in shape.
In today’s world everyone is concerned about physical fitness, knowing all the facts puts you one-step closer to achieving your goal.