When it comes to proper nutrition the path to success starts with the basics.
- Be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and fruit.
- Every meal should contain a lean protein source. Protein is crucial for building, maintaining and repairing muscle tissue. Examples: chicken, turkey, fish, whey protein, lean red meat, and egg whites
- Avoid foods that are fried, sauteed with oil and butter, or smothered in high fat and high sodium sauces.
- Excess sodium, simple sugars, saturated fats coupled with inadequate amounts of protein will confuse the body’s chemistry, lead to fatigue, poor performance, and fat storage. They will destroy your energy level and lean muscle growth and make you fat and disgusted.
- When preparing food you may steam, grill, bake, microwave or boil foods.
- Avoid dressings, seasonings, and products that are high in sodium, fat, or refined sugars
Everything that enters your body should benefit your body in building lean muscle tissue & burning fat…anything else should be considered pointless.
Building Lean Muscle and Losing Body-fat
The goal is to speed up your metabolism by feeding yourself frequently throughout the day. By doing so you will keep your body from burning up muscle tissue as a fuel source. It is important to divide your total calorie intake over 5 to 8 small meals each day. This will ensure a steady supply of nutrients flowing to your muscles and will elevate your metabolic rate. Multiple meals with protein provide you with a constant source of amino acids so your body doesn’t have to break down muscle tissue. As a result, your body will begin to tap into body fat storage for energy.
Protein builds lean muscle tissue. Protein sources are broken down by the body into amino acids. Amino acids are used by muscle tissue to stimulate muscle tissue growth and repair. The most common forms of protein come from animal sources such as: chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meat, eggs, and whey. Each protein source contains different types of amino acids, and it is best to have a variety of protein sources throughout the day. Multiple meals with protein provide will provide you with a constant supply of amino acids that help build and repair your muscles. 1 gram of protein = 4 calories.
Carbs are your primary source of energy. They supply fuel for working muscles and are very important for protecting hard earned muscle mass. A carb intake that is too low can cause your body to catabolize lean muscle for its energy needs. Oatmeal, rice, pasta, sweet potatoes and fruit are all examples of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are best eaten at breakfast, before and after weight training. Carbohydrates are identified as either simple or complex. 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories.
Simple Carbs are found in some fruits, fruit juice, honey, soda, candy, and doughnuts. Simple carbs are digested quickly, and give the body a quick burst of energy. However, they spike your blood glucose level giving you a quick rush of energy then leaving you feeling extremely fatigued or tired. The healthier simple carbs such as fruit are beneficial to a healthy diet. Other simple carbs such as doughnuts and candy have NO place in an effective diet. Higher glycemic carbs such as white potato, white rice, white bread, dextrose and maltodextrin can be eaten immediately after a weight training session as their fast absorption rates will aid in recovery. Other than post weight training these higher glycemic carbs should be avoided.
Complex Carbs are found in foods like whole grains, fresh vegetables, and green salads. These foods are generally full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Complex carbohydrates allow your body to digest protein more efficiently because they are digested slower than simple carbs. Complex carbs give you a steady flow of energy rather than the quick spike and crash of energy that comes from eating simple carbs.
Fat is an important nutrient, but can easily be over consumed and is best if it kept low. Fat intake should be predominantly non-saturated.Saturated fats are considered bad fats and much harder for the body to break down. Excess saturated fat can lead to excess body fat & heart disease. It should be limited to only what is in your animal sources of protein. 1 gram of fat = 9 calories.
Unsaturated fat can benefit your heart, metabolism and immune system; they are building blocks for certain hormones that control fat loss and storage. Unsaturated fats such as flaxseed oil, macadamia nut oil, and salmon oil tablets in the right amounts are necessary to lose the maximal amount of body fat and to build lean muscle.
All green vegetables and green salads are free foods and may be eaten at any or all meals. They are a very important part of a successful diet. They are full of vitamins and minerals, low in calories and help your body to digest the protein sources and reduce hunger.
The most important ingredient in your body is plain water. Fat burning requires ample amounts of water. Your muscles are 70% water therefore water should never be overlooked. It is essential to drink water throughout the entire day and especially during your workout.
It is also good to drink natural green tea through out the day. If you drink coffee limit it to 2 small cups a day. Fruit juices as well as alcohol, milk and sugary soft drinks can lead to fat storage. Alcohol will dehydrate your body and make your muscles soft. It is a unique carbohydrate that requires virtually no digestion. It has potential to immediately shut down the fat burning process. A good rule to keep your body fat down is “don’t drink carbs and calories” as these drinks can inhibit rapid blood sugar and insulin rise.
Drink at least 1 gallon of filtered water each day mainly between meals. Do not drink too much water during meals. It is good to carry around Poland spring bottles with quick tops and get in the habit of sipping on water throughout the day and especially when you are training.
HOW TO ORDER IN RESTAURANTS
- Always go somewhere that you will always be able to order chicken, turkey, fish or egg whites. Along with a good quality source of protein you should choose a carbohydrate like small side of rice or a baked potato.
- Stick to steamed vegetables in place of vegetables that are smothered in butter and oil. You can also start your meal with a large green salad consisting of lettuce, cucumbers, bean or alfalfa sprouts, green beans, and mushrooms. Use balsamic vinaigrette or any other low fat/low carbs dressings.
- When ordering a salad, ask for it to be void of croutons, cheese, and bacon bits. These additions can destroy your progress instantly.
- Always ask that your food be cooked without the addition of butter, oil or salt.
- If possible, have your food grilled or broiled. You can always enjoy a fresh piece of chicken or fish that has been cooked on a grill.
Your healthy restaurant meal will consist of a salad as an appetizer, a good source of protein, a carbohydrate such as rice, potato or sweet potato and a serving of steamed vegetables. You can eat a meal at a restaurant that is fit for a king and or queen and still lose fat and gain lean muscle.