The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Basic Guide to Nutrition

You've heard me say the key to losing weight is Calories in vs. Calories out. And this is true, to lose weight one simply needs to eat less than they burn through exercise and diet.

However, in terms of body composition (the way your body looks in the mirror), the kinds of calories you fill your body with play a major factor. 

Your Macro Nutrients are: Protein, Carbs, and Fats.

These pretty much make up every food you eat. Some foods are more dense in some macros than others. Chicken breast is dense in protein, light on fat, no carbs. Pizza is light on protein, heavy on carbs and fats. Science, y'all.

Your Micro nutrients are everything else.

This is where you get all those vitamins that your body loves. To insure you are getting your micro nutrients, eat at least two servings of veggies and fruits a day. Your body will be happy and healthy, and then you won't have to waste money on vitamins that you're not sure even work.

My Protein Sources:

All part of a balanced breakfast.
Egg Whites, drink them. You can cook them up if you want, but id rather chug that sucker. I have more or less replaced protein shakes with this, but more on that later.

Cottage Cheese, Greek yogurt, Chicken breast, Turkey pepperonis, Salmon.

You: "How many grams of protein should I get a day, Kasey?"

Woah, using my first name? Seems a little informal, don't it? Nah, just playin, that's a solid question.

You should be getting 1gram per KILOGRAM of body weight. Not pound, kilograms. This is a common misconception within the body building and fitness community. After a certain amount of protein, it turns right into the same stuff that carbs turn into: Glucose. This process is called Gluconeogenesis.

That being said, I love meat and protein and I'd much rather get my energy from it than a bunch of carbs. Protein fills me up and tastes better to me. Also, the thermic effect of protein has it's benefits for fat loss.

My recommendation: get at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you weigh 170lbs, you eat 170 grams of protein. But, know that you won't lose all of your gains if you don't hit this number.

My Primary Carb Sources: 

 
mmmm...caaaarbs.

Carbs are your primary/preferred  source of energy. They fuel your body and fill your muscles up with glycogen, giving them that bigger, fuller look.

I'm a big believer in cycling your carbs. On your training days you eat way more than you usually would, on your off days, you remove them almost entirely. It's a variation on carb cycling, but, more on that later...

Fruits:
Pears, Bananas, Blueberries, Apples, strawberries.

Veggies:
Spinach, salsa, peppers, onions, lettuce of any kind, tomatoes, pickles, broccoli.

Other:
Brown rice, Honey, balsamic Vinegar, beans, potatoes.

My Primary Fat Sources:

Fatty!

Peanut Butter, walnuts, animal fat, avacado (guacamole), Olive oil, canola oil.

Fats regulate the hormones in your body, lubricate your joints and are also used as an energy source. Saturated fats are used as energy when carbs are unavailable.

Everything Else:

I love Oreos, I love cookies, I love sweet treats. On training days, i eat these things. Not too many of them, but more than you would think. I tend to do the diet version of ice cream to ease up on the fat and carb content, but only so I can get more volume out of my meals.

Come to papa, beautiful.
So, you're probably wanting to ask: "how much of each should I eat??"

My answer: I have no clue. For me to answer that question would require me to know a lot of things about you. Height, weight, sex, activity level, family history, and lots of other things. In truth, the real way to find out is trial and error with your own diet experimentation. Try playing with all three of your macro nutrients and see how your body looks and responds. You'll probably notice that you'll lose a lot of weight and look pretty thin (or shredded) when you cut out carbs. I know this look can be addicting, but I promise your workouts will suffer and your cravings for sugar will be outrageous.

My primary goals:
I make sure I hit my protein mark of 300grams, I try to keep my fats between 80-100 grams, then I fill the rest with carbs until I've hit my calorie goal for that day. 

As you can probably tell, this gives me a lot of flexibility. Which is how it should be. It has allowed me to feel satiated in my diet and not feel the need to indulge in a cheat day binge. In another post I'll talk about flexible dieting and IIFYM (If it fits your macros). Until then, eat smart and eat healthy, but live a fun and meaningful life while you do it. The world is full of good food just begging to be eaten.

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