While exercise is important, you may not have realized that your diet and nutrition have a huge impact on your results with your training and fitness. No matter what your goal is, whether it’s to lose weight, or to build muscle, or to maintain - what you eat, how much you eat and even how often you eat can impact your results.
Let’s start with the basics – what to eat.
There are three main macronutrients that categorize our food: Fat, Protein and Carbs. Everything you eat is either one of these or is a combination of these macronutrients. For example, chicken is a protein, but has fatty tissue surrounding it that is considered a fat source.
Your body needs all these nutrients to function properly – YES that right, your body needs fat, and your body needs carbs. But adjusting how much you get of each can affect your results differently.
For example, reducing your carbs slightly and increasing your protein and fats can support you in weight loss efforts. On the other hand, increasing your carbs and protein with low/moderate amounts of fat may support you in building muscle size.
Another important thing to note here, is that eating whole foods versus processed foods greatly affects your results. Whenever possible, get your macronutrients from whole foods!
Now that you have an idea on what to eat, let’s move to how much to eat.
There are many different approaches to how much one person eats versus how another person eats, but at the end of the day, a few basic rules apply. If you eat more calories than you expend, you will gain weight – and if you’re trying to build muscle mass, pairing this concept with the right macro ratios and exercise will help you to do this effectively. If you are looking to lose weight, you will want to burn more calories than you consume, while still paying attention to WHAT you eat.
Many people can fall into the trap of simply eating less. Although this isn’t always effective, because they end up losing muscle versus fat. You don’t want that. If you drop your calories, you body is going to lose weight, either from muscle, fat or water. Eating the right macronutrients while dropping your calories help to preserve your metabolic boosting muscle. Eating a good amount of protein while dropping your calories can help to preserve your muscle while your body turns its attention to burning fat.
I hope this is making sense – if you need more clarification, simply ask on of our FitCoaches! For now, I’m going to touch lightly on when to eat.
There are MANY different styles when it comes to the timing of your meals. In my experience, finding what works best for you is what works best. I personally like to snack on small meals every couple hours through the day. Others do really well with eating just three meals a day, while other people are really into intermittent fasting. There are so many options, and there is no “right” one, you’re just going to have to try it on for size and see how it works for you!
Before I wrap up this fun little nutrition information session, I feel that it’s necessary that I also touch on other key aspects of “what to eat”. I come from a holistic health background, where we (Holistic Coaches like me) see everything in our lives as something we are consuming to some degree.
For me personally, I view nutrition as more than just the food I eat. I think about things like how much water I consume; how much sleep I consume; the supplements like vitamins and minerals I consume; how much TV I consume; what thoughts I consume; the list goes on.
For me, all these things play a part in my health and how I feel in my body on a day to day basis, and that’s why I place an emphasis on making sure I get quality sleep every night, in the right amount for me. I also keep track of my water consumption and media time (FYI - it’s really hard to keep the media under wraps when your job and your business is centered around media). It’s also make sure to take a good quality daily multivitamin and mineral, because I know we all can fall short on our nutrition here and there, and I like to make sure I’m filling the gaps. I also start every day with some sort of positive note, I keep a gratitude journal and practice positive affirmations; it may sound cheesy but when I start my day with these feel good actions, it sets the rest of my day up for more healthy actions and habits.
Have a Healthy March!