The Fit Life – 2019.25 – LP’s Top 3 Nutrition Tips
NUTRITION is a crucial part of our results and definitely the harder part of the equation for most.
Lifestyle is the name of the game at LP. And the FITNESS part is a show up, put in the work, get the results kind of thing for any LP Member. But unfortunately, fitness is only one part of the battle.
What do I eat? How much do I eat? When do I eat? Should I follow a specific diet? What is going to get me the fastest results? What will my family eat?
These are all great questions and some of the most common we hear around LP. If we could answer, what we believe to be the top 3 questions from LP Members, what would we say?
Check out the top 3 questions from LP Members and Coach Morgan’s, RHN, answers to them:
I’m trying to lose weight. What should I eat or what diet do you recommend?
Before I get started on what to eat, I’d first strongly consider changing your mindset around what a “diet” should look like. Instead of seeking an outcome solely around your physical appearance, change your nutrition for your own long-term health, habits, performance and energy levels. Without this, you are prone to look for quick fixes, short-term plans and the easy way out, instead of actually finding something you enjoy enough to do long-term – which is what will ultimately get you where you want to go.
Now, back to the food:
One of the most freeing things to grasp is that a diet is simply “the food you eat,” and therefore doesn’t mean rigid boundaries around what you must eat or what you should avoid completely. Although some fad diets can create great results in the short term, they are often unsustainable. Instead of a lifestyle change, individuals chase an end date where they end up reverting back to their regular habits.
The best “diet” includes whole, minimally processed and balanced foods. This means an array of carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, whole grains (quinoa, rice, barley, oats, lentils, beans), healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, eggs, olive, coconut or flaxseed oil and consciously and sustainably produced proteins like tofu, tempeh and animal products, including chicken, fish, beef, turkey and lamb. Consider these foods to make up 80-90% of your diet, while some minimally processed foods such as quality protein powder, breads or dining out make up the last 10-20%.
As an athlete, each of these macronutrients play a critical role in performance and long-term functions and should not be eliminated, unless prescribed by a specialist in cases of health conditions. In terms of quantity, an individual should become aware of how much you need based on a combination of understanding daily energy expenditure, personal goals and hunger cues.
Ultimately, the best choice of diet is one you feel good about, works with your individual body and provides enough consistency to become a part of your lifestyle.
How much protein should I have?
Because everyone’s needs are different, this question can get tricky, but let’s start with basic recommendations. For the average untrained adult, 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per kilogram would be enough to avoid deficiencies, however, as an active person who trains often, that simply isn’t enough to sustain muscle mass for optimal performance and function.
An endurance athlete who, generally speaking, is looking to maintain body composition through their training should be consuming around 1.2-1.4g/kg.
A strength focused athlete, who is looking build, will need to consume more, approximately 1.6-1.8g/kg in order to ensure amino acids are available for utilization as required.
Finally, if you are looking to lose fat as an athlete, you’d want to increase that amount even further to 1.8-2.0g/kg as it will allow for more satiation during meal-time, and maintain muscle for greater metabolic rate.
Ultimately, all individuals should ensure they consume at least the minimal protein requirements for their goals, staggered throughout the day in order to produce hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters, sustain immune function, muscle requirements and improve performance and recovery.
What should I eat around my workouts?
To provide your body with enough fuel and time to digest, consume a balanced meal 1.5-3 hours before your workout. This should contain a mix of protein, fats and carbohydrates and should satiate you without making you feel overly full.
Ex. Quinoa bowl topped with broccoli, carrots, cabbage, sweet potato, sesame seeds, chicken and lemon tahini dressing; Homemade black bean/tofu burger with a salad or veggies on the side; Egg omelette with veggies & ground turkey, with side of potatoes
As you get closer to your workout (30-60 minutes), have another snack to ensure enough energy to power through the entire gruelling hour (or longer!). Fat takes more time to digest, so stick with a small snack with protein and carbohydrates like a quality protein or snack bar, a protein smoothie with fruit in it, or on the side.
To replenish muscle glycogen (carbs) and provide amino acids (protein) for muscle synthesis, look to get another protein and carbohydrate meal in 30-60 minutes after, but this time a little more in quantity. This could look like a protein shake, a meal with centered around ground beef and sweet potato or greek yogurt parfait with berries, granola and cinnamon.
There are many options for meals, however you should always look to consume adequate amounts with a focus around quality and whole foods for best results. For longer workout times, additional fuel may be needed during workout.
Follow just these guidelines and be WELL on your way to amazing results. We sometimes make nutrition a little more complicated than it needs to be. Download our Top 3 Nutrition Tips today and start crushing not only your fitness but your nutrition too.