Nutrition & Supplements
Nutrition will be an essential factor in your progress. Your caloric intake (how much food you eat) and caloric expenditure (how many calories you burn), otherwise known as energy balance, dictates whether you lose, gain, or maintain your weight. While calories are the main factor, how nutritious your food is is just as important. I suggest your diet consists of 80 per cent healthier, whole, nutritious foods and the other 20 per cent consisting of any process, "less healthy" treatment options that you want to incorporate into your diet.
Note: Counting macros is not necessary or required to see progress! Ultimately, your energy balance will determine whether or not you gain, lose, or maintain weight. You can clean up your diet, watch your portions/serving sizes and still see progress. If you are brand new to macronutrients, I personally suggest calculating your macros and tracking every once in a while to make sure your calorie intake aligns with your goals.
You can easily be under-eating or overeating without even realizing it. If you prefer not to track or count calories that negatively affect your mental health, you do not need to track them. Our bodies are brilliant and work hard to keep us functioning efficiently.
Metabolic adaptation is the term used to explain the changes made in our metabolism under different caloric intake and expenditure. You might have heard people refer to this concept as "metabolic damage" or ruining your metabolism due to a deficit.
Your metabolism does not get damaged. It simply adjusts to your caloric intake and expenditure to keep you alive and well. If you are significantly undereating, your body can adjust to this intake and try to hold on to extra weight or fat for energy storage.
Your body is not being provided with enough calories and nutrients. Metabolic adaptation is important because this explains why your cat should be slow and steady!
As you gradually increase your caloric expenditure and decrease your caloric deficit, not only are you maintaining a healthy energy balance for a healthy functioning body, you are also preventing metabolic adaptation by leaving plenty of time for macro and cardio adjustments.
Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Each macro has its own role in your body and how it functions. Everyone's macronutrient needs vary greatly, and everyone responds differently to different macronutrients. These variables include height, weight, body composition, age, metabolism, activity level, etc.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and are used as the body's main source of fuel. They are also used for the function of the brain, kidneys, and heart. Carbohydrates help synthesize amino acids that are extremely important for your muscles (aka to get THICC). The most common forms of carbs include sugars, starches, and fibre. CARBS: 4 cal/g PROTEIN: 4 cal/g Protein is an important building block of all body, and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Protein is an essential macronutrient for the preservation of muscle, as well as growth. During heavy lifts, you cause micro-tears in your muscle that are repaired primarily by your nutrition, and amino acids are necessary for that repair. The muscle tears grow back even stronger, leading to hypertrophy or muscle growth.
Fats are also used to fuel your body, as well as: cell growth, absorbing nutrients, and producing hormones - which makes fat intake essential for women's health. There are 4 different types of fats: Saturated, Trans Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated should take up most of your fat intake, while saturated and trans fat should be minimized, NOT necessarily eliminated. Saturated/Trans Fat: butter, fatty meats, high-fat dairy, fried foods, Mono/Polyunsaturated: nuts, vegetable oils, nut butter, avocado, fatty fish.
Micronutrients are the essential vitamins, minerals, omega 3s, and amino acids needed for healthy bodily functions. They are needed in significantly smaller amounts than macronutrients, hence their name, micro. Micronutrients are incorporated into your diet by different types of foods, including vegetables, nuts, and animal products, predominantly whole foods, which is why they are so important!
FATS: whole eggs, cooking oils, dairy, avocados, chia seeds, nuts, nut
butter protein: lean meats, meat substitutes (Beyond Meat, Gardein), tofu, tempeh, fish, beans, legumes, egg whites, greek/skyr yoghurt, cottage
cheese, protein pancakes (Kodiak Cakes, Flap Jacked), protein powder
CARBS: oatmeal, brown rice, jasmine rice, rice cakes, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables, fruits.