NUTRITION EXPLAINED IN A NUTSHELL
Its the start of January and everybody’s already lost and confused as to which diet works best… what to eat.. High carb low carb the list goes on on and on.
Looking back over the last 15 -20 years its not hard to see why the majority of people are lost as to what to do when it coms to nutrition and whats healthy and optimal for the body. We went through an era of avoid fats at all cost and stick to grains then came along the atkins which was avoid all carbs and veggies consuming a high fat high diet, and all the other ridiculous plans and systems in between thats caused more confusion but worse, damage to the body!
The question becomes what really constitutes to a healthy nutrition plan and what system can we create to lose fat and increase lean muscle optimally and healthy.
Food is energy and we use calories in food in conjunction with minerals and vitamins, the more calories you consume the more nutrients your body needs to assist in the energy conversion process.
Every cell in the human body requires energy to perform tasks such as digestion, detoxification, regeneration, repair, hormone synthesis the list goes on, every single thing you put in your mouth good or bad has a huge impact within the body, at the end of the day we are a product of what we absorb!
Im going to break down a few key elements and give you the tools to make the right decisions about how to eat and how certain food impact the body in a negative and positive way.
Carbs are the controversial player when it comes to fat loss and optimal health, WHY?
Well depending on where somebody’s actual body composition is.. Depends how much carbohydrates that individual person can tolerate and process.
Hence the word essential carbohydrates doest exsist – unlike “essential fats” and “essential protein” which the body cannot do without. The body can function optimally without carbs BUT not optimally without the other two.
As a rule of thumb the leaner you are the more carbs you can handle and tolerate, the fatter you are the less carbs you can tolerate hence you need, this is down to insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance.
All carbohydrates raise blood sugar which raises insulin levels, and when it comes to fat loss breaking the sugar cycle is paramount which means unless you are already very lean carbohydrates aren’t going to be your friend in your fat loss quest.
Sugar is the biggest culprit especially when it enters the blood stream as glucose its absorbed immediately, so for somebody thats already carrying excess weight this is not only going to be stored as body fat but this will cause more insulin resistance and damage!
Not only sugar but starchy carbohydrates can affect an individuals blood sugar considerably worse if its nutrient depleted grains!
So what do I do your thinking?!
Low starch vegetables want to be the foundation of your plan, these have a very high ratio of fibre and nutrients, moderate starch vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots are good to include but Id recommend having these post exercise ( weight training or HIIT) when insulin sensitivity is in a heightened state.
Low sugar / fructose are ok in moderation, as a rule of thumb 2 servings per day for most people, again this is general information as each and everybody reading this has different body composition, some people will benefit better by avoiding fructose all together.
Some gluten free grains could be acceptable again depending on an individuals current composition and there tolerance and ability to process carbs.
Proteins are foundation blocks for the human body the actual word protein is derived from the greek word “Proteios” Meaning primary and first, this is a great insight into the power and importance protein had on the greek spartans and greek gods 😉
Many foods from both animals and plant origin contain protein but not all protein is created equal, plant proteins have a weak amino acid profile meaning there ability to build lean muscle and maintain an anabolic state within the body is poor in comparison to animal proteins.
Getting high quality protein at each meal is important to not only stay anabolic but to supply your body with amino acids needed to not only repair and regenerate structural compounds but to also make enzymes and hormones.
The quality of your protein is also of high importance opting to choose protein from grass fed meats and wild fish / game over cheaper options will benefit you considerably.
Essential fats are of primary importance to the body for a long long list of reasons but ill keep this simple – short and sweet!
There are 3 types of fats you need to include in your nutrition plan, saturated, mono-saturated and poly-saturated fats, depending on your macronutrient ratios will depend on the amount of fats that need to be present in your diet.
Your current body composition will again tell you how much fats you want present, if your on a carb restriction plan you’ll ned to keep your fats on the higher end and include plenty of saturated and mono-saturated fats they’ll provide good energy for metabolism, poly unsaturated fats want to be on the lower end but are still important as they optimise cell function and inflammatory function.
Cook with coconut oil and grass fed butter don’t cook in poly-unsaturated oils they oxidase at high heats and become toxic to the body.
Fats are the optimal source of energy for the metabolism especially short chain fats, they also provide all the materials for sex hormones while keeping important hormones in balance.
Id recommend Including a good quality omega 3 supplement, this will help keep your omega 3-6-9 ratios in balance along side of a long list of health benefits like improving insulin sensitivity and helping the body utilise stored fat as an energy source which will help in your quest to get leaner.
YOUR NEXT STEPS
- Build your plan on a solid foundation of low starch high fibre vegetables making sure you include a wide array of colour
- Next comes animal protein, make sure this is of highest quality that your budget permits, pick wild and free range sources and makes sure you rotate your sources frequently
- Pick the highest quality fats and make sure you dont budget here quality is very important, fats enhance nutrient absorption from other foods and assist in every cellar function in the body
- Stay away from high sugar and high starch foods with the exception of around workouts if you can utilise and absorb them