Many people ask me how I eat so I have posted it here for your information. The following are nutritional guidelines for a normal healthy adult engaging in a endurance / resistance training program and in no way should be taken over the advise of your Physician, Dietitian or Nutritionist.
Be sure to eat 300 calories less than your maintenance calories (see below). This will help minimize the amount of muscle tissue lost and will be a safe and slow way to lose weight. Another thing to keep in mind is to fluctuate your daily calories, one day higher another day lower, but have a weekly goal total. Remember, the faster you lose weight, the more muscle you lose and lean muscle drives your metabolism! A good rule of thumb when trying to lose weight is to eat foods that are not calorie dense. For example, divide the total weight of the food in grams per serving by the total calories. If the number is .8 or greater, it's not a calorie dense food.
Generally you can calculate your Basal Metabolism by taking your body weight in Kilograms and multiplying it by 24. Multiply that number by .10 (Sedentary)-.20 (Moderately active) or .30 (Heavily activity). Combine the two and that is roughly how many calories a day you burn to maintain your current weight.
(or use the formula below)
Estimating Total Calories Needed:
The calorie calculations are a rough estimate or starting point and should be adjusted to lose only 1-2 lbs per week.
Sedentary - No exercise and you sit at work all day.
Lightly Active - No exercise but you are very active at work or walk a lot.
Moderately Active - Job has some work and you exercise 3 hours or less a week.
Very Active - Active at work and you workout 6-9 hours a week.
Extremely Active - Involved in a highly active competitive sport.
Another thing to keep in mind is to be sure you're consuming the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats. To determine this value your total calories should consist of the following percentages according to what your exercise goals are:
- 1.2 g/Kg/BW- PROTEIN
- 55% CARBO
- 30% FAT
- 1.4 g/Kg/BW - PROTEIN
- 65% CARBO
- 20% FAT
- 1.8 g/Kg/BW - PROTEIN
- 55% CARBO
- 25% FAT
It's important to eat protein with every meal. This will prevent your body from eating muscle tissue and will ensure you have enough available at all times to repair muscle tissue and keep your system functioning at its best. It will also help you feel full longer because it takes more time to digest. Note: 1/3 of the calories in a gram of protein are used up during the digestion of it. This is mostly where the term "Thermic effect" of food comes from. It is a good idea when following a resistance program to include more protein in your diet. About .8 grams per pound of body weight. (See food quality for examples of the types recommended)
Be sure not to go more than 3 hours without food and try to have your largest meals early in the day or before the busiest part in your daily schedule. Eating every three hours helps keep your metabolism running high. Not eating this way will slow your body down because it wants to conserve energy. The total calories should then be spaced out over three meals and two snacks.
Before & After Workout Meals:
This is the only time I recommend separating your meals. Proteins require an acidic environment for digestion and carbohydrates require an alkaline environment.
Right after your workout consume complex or simple carbs. Within a 1/2 hour after that consume your protein meal.
- No sugar or refined carbohydrates. Choose foods with a low Glycemic Index - 55 or less. The glycemic index of food is used to measure how rapidly a particular carbohydrate source raises the blood sugar. White bread is the mean at 100 which all are measured from. Contrary to popular belief white or russet potatoes are near 100. Sweet potatoes are a much better choice.
- No Saturated fats or trans fats. Usually in many fast foods and processed meats.
When you see "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils on an ingredient list, the food contains trans fats. Like saturated fats, eating too many trans fats can raise cholesterol (LDL) and increase the risk of heart disease.
- No bread or white flour.
- No fried foods
- If you have oils choose olive, canola, corn, safflower, sesame, soybean and sunflower oils.
- If you have to have Starbucks, have a Café Misto- Skim. A much better choice than a Frappacino or the others.
- Eat a variety of proteins (Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Eggs (whites only) and Lean meats (98% Fat free) Soybeans are high in protein and excellent when combined with BROWN rice.
- Eat as many green vegetables as you wish and choose other "colors" as well but beware of carrots & beets- they have a higher glycemic index.
- Make your dairy the fat free version.
- Consume fruits consisting of a low glycemic index. Apples, Grapes, Kiwi, Cherries, Grapefruit, Oranges, Peaches, & Plums. No melons.
- Eat grains that consist of "Whole Grain" and not white flour. For example-
- Eat brown rice not white and have whole grain pasta instead of regular.
- Instead of cereal select oatmeal (Old Fashioned) or cream of wheat.
- If you must have breads, eat pumpernickel or Sour dough- ONLY on occasion.
I always recommend not salting your food and to be aware of food labels and how much sodium is in the product. Try to keep your sodium intake below 2300mg a day.
It is very important to drink a minimum of 64 oz. a/day. It will not only keep you healthy and hydrated but it will also aid in fat loss. When the kidneys don't get enough water they work harder and don't function at their best. The liver is forced to work harder to help out and "puts aside" its less important tasks, like burning fat for energy. One more important water fact. Try not to drink too much with a meal because it will dilute the digestive enzymes. Have it 45 minutes before or 45 minutes after. In general we should consume 1 oz water per kilogram of body weight. This should be evenly spaced throughout the day.
Vitamins & Supplements:
I am not a big believer in taking vitamins unless you have a poor diet or have been advised to use them by a Nutritionist, Dietician or Physician. Vitamins are needed in small amounts and minerals even less. Some vitamins if taken in excess such as Vitamins A, D, E & K are harmful to the liver. Too much Vit B6 (More than 600mg/day) can cause loss of sensation in peripheral nerves. Too much Vit D can cause excessive Calcium deposits.
If you live in a colder climate ask your physician to check your vitamin D levels. It is common for these populations to be deficient in vitamin D.
The above nutritional information is an opinion based on my experience as a San Diego personal trainer in the health and fitness industry. If you're under a nutritionist care or physicians follow their advice first. It is also intended for healthy individuals without a medical or nutritional disease or deficiency. As always please seek your physicians advice before beginning any nutritional program.
Good luck and I hope this helps