Top 3 MUST-DO Nutritional Recommendations

**Some of your may disagree with this, but this is what I personally recommend for my clients trying to change their body composition.  This is not for every single person.  If you are interested in a nutrition consultation, please contact me here. **

 

Let’s begin with calories. What are calories? They are a unit of measurement of energy. If you consume all of this energy and you do not expend it, what happens to it? It gets stored. It can get stored as muscle or it can get get stored as fat.

 

Well you need to know how many calories you burn in a day. You burn calories being alive, then you burn more calories through daily activity, then you burn even more calories exercising. And, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn on top of that because muscle requires more than fat does to keep it on you. You can get a better understanding of how many calories you burn in a day here.

 

Theoretically, a 3500 calorie expenditure will cause you to lose one pound. But this is not just black and white. And if it were 100% the case, then you are losing one pound of what? Muscle or fat? Probably both.

 

Let’s say to make this really easy you calculate your daily energy expenditure including exercise and daily activity and you burn 2000 calories a day. You expend 2000 calories worth of energy. But you only consume 1500 calories worth of energy. Does this mean in seven days you will have gone from weighing 140 pounds to 139 on the nose?

 

How many times have you gone through this exact scenario and it doesn’t work exactly this way week in and week out? Don’t expect it to. There are too many things that cause a lot of variation here.
Now that I’ve said that, let’s really begin…

 

As a starting point, 30 – 40% of your calories should come from protein, 30 – 40% from carbs and about 30% from fat. So at each meal try to have about 4 ounces of lean protein, a cup or so of veggies/ fruit/ starch or maybe both, and a teaspoon or so of a healthy fat. That should put you on track for getting to 40/30/30.
Eating 4 – 6 meals a day is also a great starting point.  All the rumors you have heard about small portions throughout the day are true – it does keep your metabolism roaring all day.  Think of it as a fire.  You must continuously add wood to keep the flame burning.  So never ever ever skip breakfast.  Your body needs something to get the flames burning!!
Your body definitely needs something in it to burn (and keep your blood sugar levels up) while exercising, so never workout on empty.  And your body needs to be refueled after a workout.  At this point it will be completely depleted of sugar so you will need a simple sugar like fruit or starch, to be digested quickly to get your blood sugar level back up to normal.  And it also needs a fast digesting protein to help your muscles recuperate.
Protein is your friend.
We need protein to help build muscle in our body.  This does not mean bulk up.  Let go of that theory.  If you feel like you are larger form weight training, it can simply be a swelling affect from lactic acid, which is temporary.  Otherwise, as your increase muscle, you will decrease fat, thus making your overall size smaller.  Your body needs the protein to recover from the weight training we do, which breaks down the muscle.
Don’t fall for the anti-carb rumors.
Your body needs carbohydrates to function!  But not all carbohydrates are the same.  The rate at which they are digested is extremely important here.  Simple sugars are digested the fastest, which are honey and fruit.  Double sugar, which is table sugar, comes second fastest.  And the slowest digested sugar is found in vegetables and starches form whole grains.  This also includes lentils and beans.

When you hear about the Glycemic Index (GI) this is what I’m talking about.  Fruits/ honey will be high high high!  And veggies, oats, beans, etc will be lower.  As you can imagine, this is where I want you to be most of the time.  It is good to have a mix of the two, but veggies should be the bulk of your daily carb intake.  This will also keep your fiber intake up, which will keep you regular (beat the bloat!) if you know what I mean!
Fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat.
Our bodies still needs fat in our systems.  We need monounsaturated fats  (found in olive oil or coconut oil for example) and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3’s found in fish and eggs) to prevent heart disease, hypertension, cancer and arthritis.  Fat is digested slowly which is important to you.  If you feel hungry all the time check the amount of fat in your diet.  It may need to be increased to help sustain fullness.
Chug! Chug! Chug!
Your water that is!  This will help you from retaining fluid (your body is trying to help you survive, so if you are feeling bloated from the time of the month or from altitude changes for example) water will help your body flush itself naturally.  It helps your bodies organs to function properly, which we definitely need while increasing our protein intake.  This will help decrease our appetite, improves metabolism, regulates body temperature and blood volume.  Seriously, if your pee isn’t clear, drink more water.  8 – 12 cups is MINIMUM but I recommend a gallon a day, especially if you are exercising.  Consume 16 ounces 2 hours before exercise, and an additional 20 – 40 ounces for every hour of exercise.
Bringing it all together.
I recommend using a food tracker, at least at first to get an idea of where you are at.  I use MyFitnessPal (username is KyraWilliamsCF – add me!) because at the end of the day I can get the macronutrient breakdown.
First, detirmine your BMR and TDEE as instructed here: http://kyrawilliamsfitness.com/how-many-calories-do-i-burn-in-a-day/
Then figure out your macro nutrient breakdown (protein/ carbs/fat).
Then asses, how is your weekend nutrition? What’s your alcohol intake like? How could this be better?
Remember that our bodies try to store fat to survive so we have to trick them into letting it go or use the energy to build muscle!!! Just stay strong.. keep going..eventually it will pay off!!
My hands down recommendations:
*Avoid alcohol and sugar
* Chug water
*Eat every 2 – 3 hours
*Lean protein = chicken breast, turkey breast, any fish/ crustacean, lean beef/ steak, eggs, egg whites, greek yogurt (plain), cottage cheese, protein powders.
*Starches = sweet potato, whole wheat pasta, Ezekiel bread, squash, oats, brown rice, quinoa.
*Fat = Oils, nuts, nut butters, fish, eggs.
Your Coach,

Kyra

 

P.S. Do you want to learn more about how to set up your meal plan?

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