When It's Time to Eat, Eat!
Article care of flexrx.com
by Rocco Boulay
Do you know that the easiest way to lose body fat is no big secret, yet -
it is the biggest hurdle everyone encounters when taking the blundering leap
into fitness. As a strength coach, I have witnessed the mistake(s) athletes and
everyday people make when trying to take inches off their waists and hips. I've
watched them doing endless sets of crunches and hips ab/adducting with the hope
of trying to tighten up those problem areas. The truth is, spot reduction is not
possible. So, what is the secret to toning up? Read on.
The secrets are calorie consumption, macronutrient proportions
and time schedule. Yes - just learn the simple little lesson from this
article and you will be on your way to a leaner, healthier body without buying
any money wasting gimmicks. Beware of products that bind fat in the digestive
system. These products do stop dietary fat from being digested. The biggest
problem is, they also inhibit the fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,&K) from
getting absorbed into the body as well. Consequently, there are the inevitable
maladies associated with vitamin deficiencies. Well, enough of the "bad
stuff", let's get to the good stuff!
Many times when people start on a nutrition program, they believe that they
have to decrease their caloric intake (consumption). Sometimes this is true -
but not always. There are people who consume too many calories (energy intake)
and store fat because they did not perform enough activity to balance the
calories used (energy output). There is also the situation where people reduce
their calorie consumption to the point where the body?s metabolic rate adjusts
itself to preserve what fat it has left. This is a survival mechanism built into
the organism (your body) -- great if you are stranded on a desert island but not
very effective when you are trying to lose fat.
Figuring out what is your proper calorie consumption is really quite simple.
First - for men - take your bodyweight, then add a zero on to the end of that
number, then add two hundred to that number (See table 1). For females - do the
same equation - only don't add two hundred. This is approximately your Basal
Metabolic Rate (BMR). BMR is the number of calories needed to sustain your
bodyweight if no physical activity is done. If you are under or overweight, you
could select a "desirable bodyweight" within twenty-pounds of your
objective. Change that number each time you attain your current goal, until
reaching your overall goal. Second, you must add calories to account for your
daily activities. Here is a basic rule of thumb. *If your activity level is low,
add 350 calories to your BMR number. If your activity is moderate to high add
500 and 750 calories respectively (See table 1).
Basal metabolic rate
*Activity Level (Calories)
Bodyweight add zero + 200
Low add 350
Bodyweight add zero
Moderate add 500
High add 750
Ex. Bodyweight male (BMR) = 165lbs. + 0 = 1650 + 200 = 1850 calories
Ex. Bodyweight female (BMR) = 130lbs. + 0 = 1300 calories
Now for the controversial macronutrient proportions. All this controversy
can become quite confusing but in actuality, it is not. Macronutrient
proportions are the amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates consumed that make
up the total caloric intake. You've heard all the fuss about low fat - high
protein, high fat - low carbohydrate, the Atkins diet, the Zone diet, etc. It
can all drive you mad! The truth is, each person metabolizes food differently.
This is where experimentation comes in.
From my experience and observations, I have noticed that people, who have a
tendency to put weight on easily, do well with a moderate amount of
carbohydrates in their diet (40-50% carbohydrates from total calories). For
those who find it hard to gain weight, 55-70% carbohydrates from total calories
is usually more appropriate. Proteins can range from 15-30% of the total caloric
intake. If resistance training were part of your fitness plan, closer to 30%
protein would be advisable because it is essential in muscle tissue repair.
Let's not forget the wonderful world of lipids (fats). Fats are an
important part of the total nutrition picture. Although they are needed in the
least amount of all the macronutrients, they perform many tasks essential to
life. The total amount of fat from the total calories can be anywhere between
10-20% fats with 10% or less coming from the saturated variety (ex. meats,
dairy, eggs, etc.). Unsaturated fats, fats that are of plant origin, are
preferred. Restricting fats from the diet can be detrimental. When the body
senses that fats are not in the diet, it will make adjustments to hold on to the
fat it has in its storage areas. Thus, restricting fats pretty much defeats the
"diet" purpose. A diet with a balance of all the macronutrients will
bring the best and healthiest results.
Last, but most important, let's talk about time schedules. The body's
metabolism will operate at an optimum level when it is fed on a regular
schedule. Usually, eating at three-hour intervals/six meals per day is vital to
keeping the metabolism burning at a high level. Hence, more calories of fat are
being metabolized in a twenty-four hour period. A consideration one might make
is to try to eat more carbohydrates in the early meals and to decrease them as
the day goes on. A sample schedule, if your total caloric intake were 2400
calories, could be divided by six meals which would give six four hundred
calorie meals or adjusted calories to have a smaller meal before bedtime (see
Table 2 below). Applying this information to your fitness plan will dramatically
change your physique forever.
7:00am 500 calories
10:00am 400 calories
1:00pm 500 calories
4:00pm 400 calories
7:00pm 400 calories
10:00pm 200 calories
Neither trulyhuge.com nor the authors of this publication
assume any liability for the information contained herein.
The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion
of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice.
Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed
health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you
begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.