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Weight Loss Nutrition Tips
You are hereWeight Loss Nutrition Tips
Weight Loss Nutrition Tips
Want to drop a few pounds? Here are a few things to consider:
Quick note on vocabulary: catabolism is the breaking down of muscles by the body, and should be avoided. Anabolism is the building of muscles by the body, and is the ideal state.
Protein is one of the most important macronutrients. They are made up of amino acids and protein is needed for muscle synthesis. The protein is used to build the muscle and therefore you must supply your body with enough. If you don’t provide your body with enough protein it will go into a catabolic state, and start destroying its own muscles in order to try and repair the muscle fibers you just destroyed by lifting weights. At minimum, you want to provide your body with a minimum of 1g of protein per pound of body weight. The preferred amount is 1.5-2g of protein per pound of body weight. Personally 1.5g per pound of body weight works the best for me. Since I weigh 160 pounds as of writing this, that means I need to intake between 160-240g of protein a day. Since you’re going to be eating 5-8 times a day [covered later in this article] this is not really that hard to do. Here is a simple mathematical formula that applies to mass gain and weight loss:
Xgrams Protein + Xgrams Good Carbs = Your Ideal Body
Something to keep in mind is that you want to keep your protein sources clean. What I mean by this is low fat protein sources, such as tuna, chicken breasts, and fish. Although fish do contain a fair amount of fat, a lot of it is omega 3 fatty acids, which are great for you and worth taking in.
The variable. The unknown. The thing everyone says to avoid. Guess what, you don’t have to! Just eat the right ones at the right time; it’s that simple. The right carbs at the right time can make or break your weight loss goals.
Before I get into what carbs are good carbs and what carbs are bad carbs, let’s first talk numbers. If I’m trying to lose weight, I personally use a technique called carb cycling. I have tried straight low carb diets in the past, and personally I find it is harder to stay motivated, harder to stay strong, and harder to stick with it than when you cycle carbs. What I mean by carb cycling is alternating between high carb days, medium carb days, and low carb days.
I use a four day workout split, where I do chest day, then back day, then legs and shoulders, then the final days is arms. My chest naturally lacks compared to the rest of my body, so I use chest day as my high carb day. On my high carb day, I generally eat between 1.5-2g of carbs per pound of body weight. I find that this helps aid in muscle recovery and also makes me have a lot of energy for my lifting that day so I can really hit my chest muscles hard.
The next two days are back day and shoulder/leg day for me, and I do a medium carb days for both of them. On the medium carb days I try and stay with a strict 1-1.5g of carbs per pound of body weight. I still have energy and can recover well, but I am not taking in as many carbs. The body is still tricked from the previous high carb day, and goes through metabolic processes as if it were expecting more carbs to come later. Since more carbs don’t get there, the body starts feeding off fat stores.
Last is arm day, also known as the low carb day. On my low carb day, I take in .75-1g of carbs per pound of body weight. This day is usually the hardest for me mentally, because I love carbs. This last day tricks the body again because you cut the number of carbs yet again and the body is still processing as if there were more carbs present. This leads to an increase in metabolism and fat stores being utilized for energy.
On my off day, I generally have another low carb day, depending upon how I’m feeling. If I feel really run down, or I’m losing weight too quickly, I’ll have another medium carb day, then the cycle restarts on my chest day.
Good carbs are complex carbs like vegetables and brown rice. Also included in this list are potatoes, oats, and whole grain bread. Complex carbs break down glucose slower than simple carbs, therefore helping increase the metabolism.
Simple carbs are the “bad carbs”. These are things like sugar and chips that break down very quickly and slow the metabolism.
Fats are essential in order to keep your hormones in line as well as crutial for increasing mass. How can you increase your mass if your testosterone levels are low? As a male, you simply won’t gain mass, and if you do it will be very slowly. Good fats are the key, things such as nuts [if you’re not allergic to them] and fish [which contain Omega 3 fatty acids] are great sources of healthy fats. The key is to balance it out, not too much fat, not too little.
There is some truth to the “eat more, weigh less” slogan that you may have heard elsewhere. It does not truly mean it more. What it means is eat more often. If you’re trying to gain mass, you want to intake as many good calories as you can, while minimizing body fat. To do so, you want to eat a “meal” every 2-3 hours. This usually equates to 5-8 meals a day. Each meal should contain a balanced amount of protein, carbs, and fat compared to your daily requirements. For example, if you need 200g of protein throughout the day, don’t eat 150g all at once, as the body will just let the excess go to waste, as it can’t process and utilize that much at once.
Right when you wake up in the morning is a very important meal. Immediately upon waking, drink a protein shake in order to stop the catabolism that your body has started while you are sleeping. If you can, eat some carbs as well with your breakfast.
Another very important point in the day is pre-workout. About half hour before your workout, drink another protein shake with 20-30g of whey protein. Whey is a great protein, as it breaks down the fastest and is the most utilizable by the body.
Post workout is arguably even more important than pre-workout. Within half hour of finishing your workout, be sure to take in 30-50g of protein [again whey is preferred] and also 50-100g of good carbs. The carbs will help the protein reach the muscles and help for optimal muscle growth.
The final time I’d like to talk about is one of which I was personally doubtful about, right before bed. I had read for years that you should consume 30-40g of casein protein right before bed in order to help keep your body in an anabolic state. Casein is broken down by the body slower than whey protein, and helps keep your body in an anabolic state. Since I am slightly lactose intolerant as many people are, I do not want to drink casein, which is milk protein. Instead I drink another whey protein shake before I go to bed each night, and have noticed marked improvements in strength and muscle size. Remember, casein is milk protein, so you should avoid it if you are lactose intolerant!
Water is your friend! Drinking enough water will help make you not only feel better, but will help you gain clean mass rather than building up excess body fat. Personally, I drink at least a gallon of water a day. This sounds like a lot of water, but in reality it isn’t. If you’re eating 5 meals a day, that roughly 1.25 glasses of water per meal, and don’t forget most people drink water when they workout. Personally with dinner I tend to drink a lot of water, and tend to have 3-4 glasses of water with that meal alone, so 64oz of water, or a gallon a day, is not really that hard to consume.
Fruit juices, soda, and other drinks are just empty calories that you are putting into your body and even though you are trying to gain mass, you want clean mass; not mass with excess body fat as well.
A healthy amount of weight to lose is 1-2lbs per week. Beyond that, you are losing weight at an unhealthy rate. If you’re losing too much, perhaps a different diet would work better. Weight loss takes time and dedication, but that’s why so few people can lose weight effectively. Although we all want instant results, fast weight loss is unhealthy, and remember, we are trying to stay as healthy as possible throughout this process.
Questions? Email Noah!