is very important to monitor the effect of diet and/or
exercise on muscle tissue and fat. Research has shown
that when a person goes on a typical health-fad diet (ie.
Atkins, low-carb), with
little exercise, they lose as much or more muscle tissue
than fat. (Scales will not tell a person this is
happening). When this person goes off the diet and
gains the weight back, they gain more fat back than they
lost and less muscle tissue than they lost. Men
generally put this fat back on around the waist and
midsection, while women store the fat around the hips and
thighs. Either way, the result
is more fat and less muscle than before the
down-up cycle and the person is worse off than before the diet.
A healthy diet balances nutrient intake for
optimum benefit and functionality.
are 6 primary nutrients that are essential
to a person engaging in an exercise program. These
nutrients are carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals,
vitamins, and water. Each nutrient is imperative for
optimal physical fitness. Intensive training programs will
deplete these nutrients, which is why a scientific nutrition
plan is important. When you lack these nutrients, your
performance will suffer.
provide the most efficient form of energy during exercise.
Carbohydrates fuel the central nervous system and muscles
during physical activity. Carbohydrates should
compromise approximately 50-60% of your nutritional intake.
Complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides) provide the most
efficient fuel and prolonged energy to maximize performance
and achieve optimal gains.
should comprise approximately 10% of your overall food
intake. Fat is a secondary source of energy
(particularly for aerobic activity). If you consume
excess quantities of fat, it will quickly store in the body.
Fat contains 9 calories per gram, while protein and
carbohydrates contain only 4 calories per gram. This
is why excess fat consumption causes a more rapid weight
gain than protein or carbohydrates.
builds muscle. Protein is extremely important to
efficiently repair damaged muscle tissue. A resistance
training program will break down muscle fiber so that it can
be rebuilt into a more explosive and powerful system.
Protein facilitates this recovery process. Failure to
supply the body with adequate levels of protein will
compromise your ability to repair and rebuild muscles.
Your diet should consist of approximately 30% protein.
During intense training, you should consume .7-.9 grams
of protein per pound of body weight.
requirements = (bodyweight / 2.2) x .8
are organic chemical compounds that the body needs for
growth, metabolism, and health. You need vitamins to
make enzymes and hormones required for the chemical
reactions necessary for survival. Vitamins convert
food to energy. (vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6,
Biotin, B-12, Choline, C, D, E, Folic Acid, K)
are inorganic substances not produced by the body.
They are required for proper bodily function.
(calcium, copper, chromium, iodine, iron, magnesium,
manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, boron.)
is the most plentiful substance in the body, comprising
approximately 70% of your bodyweight. As you lose
water, your blood thickens. When your blood thickens,
it becomes more difficult to deliver oxygen to the brain and
muscles. Water is essential for energy production.
If you lack water, glucose remains in the blood stream until
it reaches your liver. Rather than using this glucose
for enery, it is then stored as fat. When you eat a
large carbohydrate meal, it is important to drink plenty of
water. A 5% drop in body water can reduce physical
performance by as much as 30%. A 10% drop will make
you ill. A 20% drop can kill you. It is
important to consume water approximately 20 minutes before
exercise as well as drink moderate levels of water
throughout the day (8-10 glasses).
good rule of thumb is to consume 1 part fat, 2 parts
protein, and 4 or 5 parts carbohydrates, leaving you with
plenty of energy and enough protein to foster recovery.
It is best to consume a small carbohydrate meal (along with
water) approximately 2 hours prior to a workout as well as a
protein meal with carbohydrates (and more water) shortly
after your workout. This promotes muscle growth and
recovery as well as refueling your gas tank for energy.
you are looking to lose
weight body fat,
I'm sure that there are plenty of "unnecessary"
things that you can cut out of your diet, so start by being
smart and evaluating what makes sense. Make sure that
it is a healthy nutrition program that you can stick with
and you will be surprised by the results that you will
addition, you can check out the fat
loss tips published
on todayfitness.net or
read the Dietary
Guidelines for Americans
published by the USDA.