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Nutrition for beginners part 2

Ernährung für Anfänge Teil 2

The first part of this article series included a description of the three macronutrients in combination with some very useful information about fatty acids, cortisol and basal metabolic rate. This article also talked about which foods you should eat and which you should avoid.

The second part of this series of articles covers 13 nutritional gems and gives you some concrete advice on how to achieve just about any body development goal you're after.

Why didn't I have something like this when I started training?

Nutritional gold nuggets

Here are some additional nutritional guidelines that are applicable in most circumstances. These simple things will allow you to better understand this whole nutrition thing and achieve optimal results in your body transformation.

1 - Measure everything and write everything down - at least in the beginning

A good nutrition program is all about quality and quantity. You should eat a certain amount of food to meet your needs and build a great body. If you eat drastically too little, you risk losing muscle and strength. If you eat too much, you will gain more fat than muscle. If your goal is to build muscle, then you need to eat enough to stimulate maximum growth, but not so much that you get fat. If you prefer to get hard and defined, then you need a large enough calorie deficit so that your body has to draw on its fat reserves to meet its energy needs, but you also shouldn't eat so little that you end up losing muscle.

In both cases, there is one constant: you need to eat a certain amount of calories within a certain range to get the results you want. How can you do this if you don't even know how many calories and how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat you're eating? You may think you're eating 3000 kcal a day when in reality you're only eating 2000 kcal or less (or you could be doing the opposite and drastically underestimating your calorie intake).

If you don't have a good idea of where you are, how can you tell where you need to be? This is the reason you need to keep a record of the food you eat each day and calculate your calorie intake. In an ideal world, you would always calculate your food intake to know exactly what you are getting. If you do this, then it's quite easy to make quick adjustments. I can understand if you don't want to do this all year round as it gets boring after a while and there are only so many hours in the day. However, you should at least do it during the first month of your "body composition nutrition phase". This will at least give you a pretty good idea of how many calories and nutrients your favorite foods contain.

2. use the 10-20 rule

If you are on a fat loss phase, you should eat between 10 and 20% fewer calories than you consume (a higher deficit will lead to muscle loss). If you are on a mass-building phase, you should eat between 10 and 20% more calories than you consume (you don't need more than that to build muscle and more will lead to more fat gain than muscle gain). So if your calorie consumption is 3000 kcal, then you should eat between 2400 and 2700 kcal per day if you are trying to lose fat and 3300 to 3600 kcal if you are trying to build muscle.

3. the less body fat you carry around, the more carbohydrates you can eat without gaining fat

Leaner people have better insulin sensitivity, which is why they don't tend to store carbohydrates as easily as fatter people in the form of fat. Carbohydrate intake should remain at the lower end of the spectrum as long as your body fat percentage is not below 10%. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't eat carbohydrates at all (although this is a very effective way to eat for fat loss purposes), but you should at least minimize your carbohydrate intake.

If you decide to keep carbohydrates in your diet, then you should make sure that you only eat "good carbohydrates" (vegetables and some fruit, especially berries. Carbohydrates after training in the form of a shake are also acceptable). Make sure you eat these carbohydrates at the appropriate times. As mentioned earlier, the 'safest' times to eat carbohydrates are breakfast and immediately after training. At these times, your muscles are naturally more sensitive to insulin, which means that these carbohydrates are more likely to be stored as muscle glycogen instead of fat.

4. favor whole foods

The closer a food is to its natural state, the better it is for you. This is true for both health and body composition purposes. In most circumstances, if it comes out of a box, you shouldn't eat it.

5. cheat meals

When you start a "muscle friendly" diet, you should wait 14 to 21 days until your first cheat meal. It will take at least that long for you to get used to a new eating pattern. If you cheat too often, you will stick to your old habits. Maintaining a good diet will always seem like a chore that requires discipline and brings a sense of deprivation, rather than a way of life that is enjoyable.

6. loading/cheating

Once you have established good eating habits, depending on your body fat percentage, you should plan a "loading/cheat phase" that can last from one meal to a full day every 5 to 14 days. If you are fat (by body composition standards) and have a body fat percentage of 15% or more, then you should limit yourself to 1 to 3 cheat meals (half a day) every 10 to 14 days. If your body fat percentage is between 10 and 15% then you can plan a half cheat day every 7 days and if your body fat percentage is below 10% then you can plan a full cheat day every 7 days or a half cheat day every 5 days.

7. try not to compensate for an unplanned gluttony by skipping meals

A lot of people will eat an unplanned meal, feel guilty and then either not eat for the rest of the day or be extra restrictive the next day. Even worse is when they feel like eating junk food later in the day and therefore don't eat anything at all beforehand (and basically fast for most of the day), thinking that this will prevent fat gain. This is stupid. In fact, these two mistakes are worse than the unplanned feasting itself. Not eating for an extended period of time before a big junk food meal (and starving yourself for 10 hours) will put your body into fat storage mode and you will be more likely to put on that junk food as body fat than if you hadn't fasted beforehand. In addition, if you were starving before, you are likely to eat even more junk because you are hungrier than if you had eaten your normal meals.

Skipping meals after an unplanned binge is no better, which is especially true if you choose to fast the day after the binge to make up for the binge. This can easily lead to a vicious cycle: by starving yourself you increase the feeling of hunger and you will develop huge cravings for junk food. You may then give in to these cravings by bingeing again, after which you will feel guilty again, causing you to starve again, and so on. After an unplanned cheat meal, you should immediately go back to your regular diet. Accept your mistake, live with it and do your best to prevent it from happening again. Don't make a mistake worse by trying to make up for it with another mistake.

8 - Poliquin's axiom

Some time ago, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by trainer Charles Poliquin, where he spoke about nutrition. He explained his basic nutritional principle: "If it doesn't fly, swim or run, or isn't a green vegetable, don't eat it." One silly listener asked "And what about bagels?" Even though I thought the coach was about to burst a blood vessel in his head, he simply replied, "Do bagels fly? Do they run or swim? Are they green? No? Well, then don't eat them!".

9 It's important to eat a wide variety of foods

If you eat a specific food too often - e.g. chicken four times a day, every day - then you will eventually develop an allergy or intolerance to that food. A few years ago, I coached a weightlifting team at the Quebec Games. This event was held in a remote part of the province and we were stuck at the competition site for a week. They gave us 5 food tickets for each cafeteria meal (3 per day). For each ticket we got one of the available food items. For most people, this would have been a drink, a main dish (usually pasta), a side dish (vegetable, sauce), a dessert, and a piece of fruit.

Hardly any of these foods contained protein, so for a week I subsisted on 5 packs of milk three times a day to get my protein. By the end of the week, I had developed a serious lactose intolerance.

You may not develop a full-blown food allergy, but even a mild one (that you may not even feel) can have negative effects on your body. If you have even a mild intolerance to a food, then eating that food is stressful for your body. So if you eat that food, your cortisol levels will rise. And as you may remember, cortisol can lead to catabolism (muscle breakdown and loss) and also promote the storage of fat in the abdominal area. This is doubly bad.

For this reason, you should rotate your food choices. This is especially true for protein sources, as different foods have different amino acid profiles. Don't limit yourself to cooked chicken breast: eat beef, pork, salmon, buffalo, ostrich, kangaroo, etc.... I think you know what I'm getting at.

10. small regular meals are better than big irregular meals

I really thought most people knew this today, but when I talk to new clients, I'm always amazed that they don't know it. It's quite simple, really. Your body can absorb nutrients better if you eat them in small, regular portions. This also promotes positive nutrient partitioning (more nutrients are stored in muscle and fewer nutrients are stored in fat tissue).

Eating smaller, more regular meals prevents fluctuations and dips in blood sugar and ensures more even blood sugar levels, prevents feeling bloated after large meals and prevents cravings that occur when you haven't eaten for a while. The bottom line is that for body composition purposes and health, smaller, more frequent meals (5 to 8 meals per day) are the way to go.

11. eat protein at every meal

Protein is the building block that makes up your muscles. The more protein you consume and use, the more muscle you will build. A regular protein intake will allow for optimal protein absorption. It will also optimize your muscle building by ensuring a constant supply of amino acids. If protein is not available, the muscle building process comes to a standstill. To maximize muscle growth, make sure you eat at least some protein every time you eat.

12. eat your breakfast

When it comes to body composition, breakfast is the most important meal of the day (yes, I know you've heard that before). First of all, it's important to break your overnight fast: Depending on when you ate your last meal, when you wake up in the morning, you haven't eaten for 8 to 12 hours or more. This leads to a catabolic (muscle wasting) state or at least stops muscle building. To maximize your muscle building, you need to break this fast as soon as possible. This requires a good breakfast. If you don't eat breakfast, your muscle building process will stagnate and you may even experience muscle loss due to elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol (starvation is another form of stress on the body). Chronically elevated cortisol levels will make it virtually impossible to build muscle and will also cause fat to build up in the abdominal area. This is bad news.

When it comes to fat loss, skipping breakfast has another downside: it has been shown that those who skip breakfast tend to consume a greater amount of calories throughout the day. In other words, skipping breakfast stimulates hunger during the rest of the day, which can lead to overeating. On the other hand, eating a good breakfast drastically reduces hunger and food intake during the rest of the day.

The bottom line is: if you want to be lean and muscular, don't skip breakfast!

13 Don't neglect the anabolic window after training

The second most important meal of your muscle building day is the meal immediately after your workout. Simply put, no muscle growth can take place before the recovery process begins. To speed up the onset of this process, you need to supply your muscles with nutrients as quickly as possible. The faster the required nutrients are transported to the muscle, the faster you will recover and the more muscle you will build. Immediately after training you should therefore send protein and carbohydrates (more or less carbohydrates depending on your current nutritional phase) to your muscles with an express delivery so that they can grow immediately.

Even though solid food after training is better than nothing, it is not what your muscles need. Solid food needs to be digested, which is why it can take 2 or more hours before the nutrients it contains are transported to your muscles. Fast-absorbing nutrients in the form of a post-workout shake can be available for muscle building within 15 to 30 minutes. After training, we have a 45 to 60 minute anabolic window for increased muscle growth. Don't miss it. Always remember that real food is better than powder most of the time - apart from straight after training. So treat yourself to a post-workout shake.

The best diets for fat loss

There are three primary diet strategies for fat loss:

  • Carbohydrate-dominant diets, where fat intake is minimized
  • Fat-dominant diets that minimize carbohydrate intake

As a rule of thumb, fatter people and naturally endomorphic body types ("strong" people) will respond better to a low-carb approach, while leaner individuals and naturally ectomorphic body types ("skinny" people) will do better with a high-carb intake. Mesomorphic body types - people who are naturally lean and muscular - do well on all types of diets, but seem to respond best to a balanced approach.

The different diet types can look something like this:

Low carbohydrate

  • Calorie intake is set at 10 to 20% below calorie consumption
  • Protein intake is set at 2.7 to 3.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
  • Fat accounts for 90 to 100% of energy nutrients
  • Carbohydrates represent 10% of energy nutrients

If someone weighs 90 kilograms and has an energy requirement of 3000 kcal, this results in the following:

  • A calorie intake of 2400 to 2700 kcal
  • Approx. 250 to 300g protein (90 kilos x 2.7 to 3.3) = 1000 to 1200 kcal
  • He now has 1200 to 1500 left for energy nutrients (calorie intake minus protein calories)
  • The fat intake would be set at 1100 to 1400 kcal (122 to 155 grams)
  • Carbohydrate intake would be less than 30 grams

Low fat

  • Calorie intake would be set at 10 to 20% below calorie expenditure
  • Protein intake is set at 2.7 to 3.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
  • Fat accounts for around 10 to 20% of energy nutrients
  • Carbohydrates make up 80 to 90% of energy nutrients

If someone weighs 90 kilograms and has an energy requirement of 3000 kcal, this results in the following:

  • A calorie intake of 2400 to 2700 kcal
  • 250 to 300 grams of protein (90 kilos x 2.7 to 3.3) = 1000 to 1200 kcal
  • He now has 1200 to 1500 left for energy nutrients (calorie intake minus protein calories)
  • Carbohydrate intake would be set at 1000 to 1350 kcal (250 to 335 grams)
  • Fat intake would be set at 200 to 400 kcal (about 40 to 50 grams)

Balanced

  • Calorie intake is set at 10 to 20% below calorie consumption
  • Protein intake is set at 2.7 to 3.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
  • Fats and carbohydrates both provide about 50% of energy nutrients
  • Fats and carbohydrates should never be combined in one meal (eat only protein + carbohydrate or protein + fat meals, usually three of each)

If someone weighs 90 kilos and has an energy requirement of 3000 kcal, this results in the following:

  • A calorie intake of 2400 to 2700 kcal
  • 250 to 300 grams of protein (90 kilos x 2.7 to 3.3) = 1000 to 1200 kcal
  • He now has 1200 to 1500 left for energy nutrients (calorie intake minus protein calories)
  • Carbohydrate intake would be set at 600 to 750 kcal or 150 to 185 grams
  • Fat intake would be set at around 600 to 750 kcal or 65 to 85 grams

Advice for building muscle

In my opinion, you will make the best gains if you eat a clean diet all year round. I find it idiotic when people stuff themselves with junk food during the bulking phase just to gain weight. When trying to build muscle, you should eat the same as if you were trying to lose fat, but increase your calorie intake to 10 to 20% above your calorie needs.

Let's take the same example as above (approx. 90 kilos weight and a daily calorie consumption of 3000 kcal).

Low carbohydrate

  • The calorie intake is set at 10 to 20% above the calorie consumption
  • Protein intake is set at 2.7 to 3.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
  • Fat accounts for 90 to 100% of energy nutrients
  • Carbohydrates represent 10% of energy nutrients

If someone weighs 90 kilograms and has an energy requirement of 3000 kcal, this results in the following:

  • A calorie intake of 3300 to 3600 kcal
  • 250 to 300 grams of protein (90 kilos x 2.7 to 3.3) = 1000 to 1200 kcal
  • 2000 to 2600 kcal in the form of energy nutrients (calorie intake minus protein calories)
  • The fat intake would be set at 1800 to 2600 kcal (200 to 290 grams)
  • Carbohydrate intake would be less than 30 grams

Low fat

  • Calorie intake would be set at 10 to 20% above calorie consumption
  • Protein intake is set at 2.7 to 3.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
  • Fat accounts for around 10 to 20% of energy nutrients
  • Carbohydrates make up 80 to 90% of energy nutrients

If someone weighs 90 kilograms and has an energy requirement of 3000 kcal, this results in the following:

  • A daily calorie intake of 3300 to 3600 kcal
  • 250 to 300 grams of protein (90 kilos x 2.7 to 3.3) = 1000 to 1200 kcal
  • 2000 to 2600 kcal in the form of energy nutrients (calorie intake minus protein calories)
  • Carbohydrate intake would be set at 1600 to 2300 kcal (400 to 575 grams)
  • Fat intake would be set at 500 to 600 kcal (about 60 to 70 grams)

Balanced

  • Calorie intake is set at 10 to 20% above calorie consumption
  • Protein intake is set at 2.7 to 3.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
  • Fats and carbohydrates both provide about 50% of energy nutrients
  • Fats and carbohydrates should never be combined in one meal (eat only protein + carbohydrate or protein + fat meals, usually three of each)

If someone weighs 90 kilos and has an energy requirement of 3000 kcal, this results in the following:

  • A calorie intake of 3300 to 3600 kcal
  • 250 to 300 grams of protein (90 kilos x 2.7 to 3.3) = 1000 to 1200 kcal
  • 2000 to 2600 kcal in the form of energy nutrients (calorie intake minus protein calories)
  • Carbohydrate intake would be set at 1000 to 1300 kcal (250 to 325 grams)
  • Fat intake would be set at around 1000 to 1300 kcal (110 to 145 grams)

Conclusion

Exercising is easy for us as it is our passion, but what separates those who are serious about their attempt to change their body from those who are not so serious is the quality of the nutrition program. Working out takes 3 to 5 hours of effort per week, while eating right turns the whole process into a full-time job. However, it is this amount of dedication that really shows us who the successful people will be. Will you be one of them?

By Christian Thibaudeau | 11/06/07
Source: https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/nutrition-for-newbies-2

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