Over the past couple months, I have been working on putting a nutrition program together that outlines personalized meal plans. This is sports nutrition, NOT medical nutrition therapy! It is based off of attaining ideal body weight/composition through nutrition and fitness, which is specific to the individual and their goals. This is scientific, not just a recommendation to ‘eat this, not that’ or to avoid food groups, or detox, or eat clean, or some other form of fad diet. Elaborating off of what I had to do in college and certification with the ISSN, this program utilizes equivalent measurements of different food choices to plan out a diet, making it flexible and easy to use. It is assumed that most will understand that the choices which are provided are of the best quality that is available (and affordable) to them. This is 100% guaranteed to work assuming it is followed and is meant to be flexible in order to create the least amount of stress. Noticeable and sustainable changes in body composition will happen over the course of two to four months, and sometimes in as little as one month.
Understanding what and when to put food into your body to achieve the best results is specific to the macro-nutrients involved. Not knowing those specifics is like trying to hit a target while blindfolded. Individuals with specific goals for performance and/or body composition will have different nutritional needs and recommendations. The problem with most fad diets, is that most people don’t stay with them usually because it affects other parts of their life whether it be sleep, not enough energy for exercise intensity, or the inability to maintain energy for the everyday stuff like work!
Many people I’ve worked with find that they are not eating enough, surprisingly. However, these same people are working out every day and trying to lose weight while for an extended period of time, consuming an already overly hypo-caloric diet. What tends to happen here is not only fat loss but, loss of muscle, energy, strength, and performance. Though total weight loss may occur, the percentage of lean body mass may not change much- a perfect way to attain that skinny-fat look.
The total caloric and macro-nutrient demands of an athlete or “hardcore exerciser” can be a bit daunting when people first look at the properly calculated needs. At around 1 gram of protein per pound of body-weight and 1-3 grams per pound of carbohydrates (depending on activity) it may seem like a lot of food! Therefore, meal frequency becomes important.
With the program I have written, each person would have a determined caloric intake based off of their goals and an appropriately plotted meal plan with specific measurements and food choices. Each food group or category contains most available foods and their serving sizes with macro-nutrient measurement. Once the appropriate intake is determined, it will be divided over three main meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner, and two snacks. Depending on the time that a client trains, special consideration will be taken for nutrient timing in order to properly fuel and recover from workouts. Each plan will include an outline for both training days and non-training days, as well as a food index.
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