Articles Tagged: caloric intake

The Road to 215, Week #3

Continuing from last week’s discussion of my supplementation, this week I want to talk about nutrition. I consider nutrition to be the most important factor of any fitness program. Whether aiming to gain or lose weight, your food choices account for 75% to 85% of your results.

All the exercise in the world isn’t going to make you lose weight if you aren’t eating fewer calories than you burn each day, and likewise, you can lift weights all day but won’t gain an ounce of muscle if you aren’t eating enough to fuel the repair and construction of lean tissue.

As such, my nutritional strategy is going to be a critical factor if I want to successfully reach my goals. Using the Katch-McArdle formula (since I know my body fat percentage I can use this more accurate method) to calculate my daily energy expenditure, I know I burn approximately 3,000 calories per day, including my exercise. Continue Reading The Road to 215, Week #3 »

The Road to 215, Week #2

Last week I introduced my 12 week plan to gain 25 lbs. This week I am going to expand a bit on my strategy, including some information on my supplementation plan I will be using to maximize my results.

Before I continue, I want to clarify the reason that I am using supplements—I do NOT consider supplementation a necessary addition to the average person’s fitness regimen, particularly if their diet isn’t completely in check and they are not 100% committed to their workouts. Anything less, and supplementation is completely pointless and a waste of money.

As both my diet and training schedule are completely inline with my goal, I like to add in a few key supplements that make my journey that much easier. Something I will say is that I never make a goal that I don’t think I could accomplish WITHOUT using supplements… in other words, I could go off of my supplements right now and still achieve my goal just fine. Continue Reading The Road to 215, Week #2 »

The Road to 215, Week #1

I believe it’s significantly easier to work towards a goal than it is to “maintain” a goal you’ve already accomplished. In terms of fitness, I find this is the case two-fold. For me personally, this means that every year I make new fitness goals and work towards them in an effort to remain ever-improving. Sometimes the goals are performance-related, sometimes they are related to aesthetics and sometimes it’s a combination of both.

This year I’ve decided to increase the overall lean body mass that my body carries. As a more advanced exerciser, it is not possible for me to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously, and instead I have to pick one or the other. What this typically means is that when I am gaining muscle, I am inevitably going to gain fat along with it. When I cut the fat down at a later time, I will inevitably lose some muscle with it as well. Continue Reading The Road to 215, Week #1 »

Top Tips to Control Your Appetite

Dieting is often considered the bane of our existence. Without a doubt, the hardest part of it all is dealing with the abrupt hunger spikes that can plague you at the most inopportune times, like when you’re rifling through all the junk food in your pantry for some healthy snacks. Before you know it, you’re neck-deep in a bag of Doritos instead of eating the handful of almonds that you had originally planned on!

In order to guarantee your dieting success, you need to keep three things in the front of your mind and ensure that you don’t slack on fulfilling each of their requirements each day. In order importance, these include your overall caloric intake, your macronutrient breakdown and the food choices you make. Thus, you need to limit the amount you eat and simultaneously ensure that what you ARE eating is appropriately proportioned between protein, carbohydrates and fat, and comes from natural, healthy sources. Continue Reading Top Tips to Control Your Appetite »

How to Eat Out at Restaurants Without Breaking Your Diet

One of the most difficult aspects of going on a stricter nutrition plan is that most people eat out frequently. Most simply accept this as meaning they’ll be forced to eat unhealthy, processed foods that are high in fat, sodium, sugars, etc and will have no way of tracking how many calories are being consumed. They accept that they will either have to forfeit eating out altogether (and consequently burn out on their diets quickly) or they’ll have free reign to eat whatever they want and chalk it up as a necessity since they were “eating out” and couldn’t help it. I’m here to tell you that it IS possible to both eat healthily and to track your consumption while at a restaurant, and with some willpower and forethought, can work fairly well in even a strict diet.

The first thing I will say is that you should NOT make eating out a regular occurrence. Continue Reading How to Eat Out at Restaurants Without Breaking Your Diet »

5 Excellent Sources of Healthy Dietary Fat

As discussed in a previous article, there are different types of healthy fats available in nature, and we must make an effort to consume these different types on a regular basis to realize the full spectrum of benefits. It is important to remember that dietary fat is not the enemy, and is not the same thing as body fat. In fact, a diet that includes a moderate amount of healthy fats can actually aid in the loss of body fat as long as calories are kept in check.

The best choice for fats are the unsaturated variety, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These fats have been shown to reduce total blood cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, which can lower the risk of heart disease. In particular, the Omega-3 type of polyunsaturated fatty acids has been shown to specifically lower the risk of coronary artery disease, irregular heart beats and high blood pressure (hypertension). Continue Reading 5 Excellent Sources of Healthy Dietary Fat »

Mental Projection

Do you ever sit and day dream of what you want to look like or be like? It’s all achievable; all you have to do is put those dreams into perspective. A dream board is one of the best ways to do this—find someone who you admire and inspire to be like. Put this person’s photo on your refrigerator or in a place that you look at often. For me this image gives me a goal. To achieve this goal you need a plan. A great plan is your blueprint for achieving your goal. Start by scheduling your days—what you’re going to eat that will supply your body with the fuel it needs to accomplish each task or mission you set forth. Everything in life needs in energy source to operate, so give your body the fuel(food) it needs to thrive.

Begin by laying out five small meals. The easiest way to do this is eat three whole meals that include all three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) in the proper proportions and supplement two protein shakes for a total of five meals. Continue Reading Mental Projection »

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss, Pt. 2

Now that we’ve identified that metabolism is the key to true fat loss (rather than simple “calories in vs. calories out”) the question becomes how to properly raise metabolism to most effectively support optimal fat loss while simultaneously reducing potential muscle loss.

As previously discussed, your metabolism is the amount of energy (in the form of calories) that your body uses on a daily basis. Other terms for this include “basal metabolic rate (BMR),” “resting metabolic rate (RMR),” and, when combined with the additional energy you use during your daily activities, “total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).”

Your TDEE is the most relevant value to focus on, because in order to raise your metabolism as high as possible, it is important to address both sides of the equation: your energy expenditure while “at rest,” and the activities you perform specifically to burn extra calories on a daily basis, such as cardio, athletics and resistance training. Continue Reading Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss, Pt. 2 »

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss, Pt. 1

Scales are often considered our worst enemies, due to the tendency for us to focus on our weight as a benchmark of our current health and fitness level. However, this view is somewhat misguided, because weight is really just an arbitrary number. What really matters is what you look like and how you feel. Would you rather weigh 105 lbs and be weak and “skinny fat,” or weigh 130 lbs and be lean, toned and healthy?

Consequently, it is important to understand the difference between “weight loss” and “fat loss.” Your goal in a weight-loss effort should always be to lose fat, not just to lose overall weight. Your body is made up of a mixture of fat and lean body mass (your muscles, bones, connective tissues, organs, etc). Thus, you are either going to lose weight from your fat stores, your lean body mass or some combination of both. Continue Reading Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss, Pt. 1 »

Essentials of Nutrition Series: Carbohydrates

In continuing our discussion of the three macronutrients contained in food (protein, carbohydrates and fat), we’ll now move on to carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the preferred form of macronutrients for conversion to glucose and glycogen, the two forms of sugar that our bodies use for immediate energy and stored energy, respectively. Since all carbohydrates are made up of one or more units of sugar, it makes sense that they would be the most efficient macronutrient to be used for this purpose.

Carbohydrates are probably the most-misunderstood macronutrient out of the three, in part because they have been unfairly demonized by “low carb” fad diets such as the Atkins, Zone and Go Lower diets. Proponents of these diets tend to ignore the benefits of carbohydrates and instead focus on the fact that eliminating carbohydrates from ones diet will often cause rapid weight loss. Continue Reading Essentials of Nutrition Series: Carbohydrates »