No exercise program is complete without at least some discussion about nutrition. A lot more excess fat can be lost, and a lot more strength and lean muscle can be gained when we are eating enough protein and calories to meet our daily needs.
How can you determine what your needs are? We can discuss this when we go through the Simply Stronger Program, but here's a neat little calculator you can take a look at:
There are a lot of diets and diet fads. They are rarely based on the study of nutrition by qualified dietitians, and in most cases they suit the physiological needs of only certain people. There is no one size fits all when it comes to what, and how much, you should eat.
I have been studying and experimenting with different approaches to nutrition, and I have yet to find one way of eating that suits everyone. However, one thing that seems to keep showing up in the research is the importance of getting enough protein especially when we are trying to lose fat, and gain lean muscle - or maintain the lean muscle we have.
And when it comes to losing fat, the only way to really do so is with a caloric deficit. Meaning, you need to eat less than your daily caloric needs. Amazingly, our body eats exactly the right amount of calories in order to keep us at the body fat percentage IT decides is best for us - no matter what we would like it to be. Therefore, cutting back on the amount of calories we need, is not something the body thinks is "normal" and so finds ways to trick us into thinking we are eating less (when we diet) when in fact we are actually eating the same amount. An extremely precise food diary is the best thing to help, but even that can be a challenge. What the video below about a woman's journey through the ins and outs of calorie counting. It's amazing how we have trouble doing it.
What I have learned about nutrition is very similar to what I have learned about exercise; it has to be simple. That doesn't mean it's easy, but there are some basic guidelines to follow, and I am more than happy to share with you what I have learned. I believe the best way to gain lean muscle mass and lose excess body fat is to reduce the total number of calories you eat (a caloric deficit) and get the right amount of protein for your body.
I'll also post on my blog the things I do, what I eat, when and how I prepare foods and other things related to my nutrition that you can learn from.
In all cases, I’d suggest that you read the links below, make an appointment with a qualified dietitian, and then make an informed choice about what YOU need and want to do.
There's a lot of stuff out there, and I have looked at a lot of it. I base my recommendations on the work of people who have been able to show me the studies that support their claims. Here are the ones I rely on when I want to know about things related to nutrition.
FIRST SESSION IS