Nutrition Basics- Part 1
In this field of work you can bet that I'm asked about nutrition on a daily basis. It's difficult to know what's helpful, what's hurtful, and what's a scam.
As crazy as it sounds a lot of people don't prioritize eating. In fact a lot of my members get so busy that they forget to eat. Without realizing that in the process of practically starving yourself you've also caused your metabolism to adapt to the new lower calories. You try eating more food and you end up gaining excess weight in the process.
I have other members who are constantly hungry and eat entirely too much throughout the day.
Everyone has a BMR. BMR is your basal metabolic rate. In other words, how many calories does my body need to just function (breathe, etc).
To find your BMR
The following is the calculation to do so:
Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
Once we find our BMR we can use the Harris Benedict equation to find a starting point of our caloric needs.
To determine your daily caloric needs, multiply your BMR by the most appropriate activity level:
Little to no exercise aka sedentary = BMR x 1.2
If you exercise 1-3 days per week (e.g. Walking at the KOA) = BMR x 1.375
If you're moderately active (coming to SASC 3-5x a week = BMR x 1.55
If you are very active, come to the gym a few times a week plus exercise outside of it = BMR x 1.725
If you have a physically demanding job, exercise, and exercise some more = BMR x 1.9
So you've multiplied your BMR with your activity level. This would be your daily caloric needs. If you want to lose weight you'll need to take away calories and if you want to gain weight you'll need to add calories.
Are you still following?
Now, each gram of protein is 4 calories, each gram of carb is 4 calories, and each gram of fat is 9!
Although you might hear otherwise from the common bro on YouTube, athletes don't need crazy amounts of protein. In fact .8g - 1.0 g per lb is just about the sweet spot.
So multiply your weight by .8-1 and that's how many grams of protein you want to eat. Multiply that number by 4 and that's how many calories you'll need to subtract from your daily caloric allowance.
With the calories you have left you'll need to decide how many are going to go to fat and how many will go to carbs. In simple terms, your fats help support hormonal function, and carbs are great for athletes because they are your bodies primary choice of fuel.
With that being said most people crave one or the other. Technically you could just eat whichever you wanted to meet your caloric goals.
Or you can go based on activity level. Most athletes thrive on carbs.
Low carb diets have been proven great for people with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, etc but if you don't fall into that category then you shouldn't fear one macronutrients over the other.
Now it doesn't technically matter what time of day you eat. You can eat two huge meals each day or you could spread them out evenly every 3-4 hours. You'll need to decide what works best for your schedule.
It's best to weigh every week or 2 and then adjust from there. Did you lose too much weight? You'll need to add in more food to balance out your energy requirements to keep you on a sustainable track. Are you gaining weight? If so you'll likely need to cut back or contact me so that we can dial in even more so than what's in this blog post.
To be continued...
Left March 2017--------------Right January 2017
SASC athlete above was on a 3 month cut and is now currently building up her metabolism.