Nutrition is one of those things where you simply can not get a straight answer. This is due to 3 things. People trying to lie to you to sell you their stuff. People who are so obsessed with their methods that they stand by them at all costs. Lastly, there are many nutrition approaches that work well.
Let’s go over what’s important, so you can get to doing what’s important.
First of all, figure out what foods agree with you, which ones don’t. This can come down to digestion, sustainability and just how well you feel overall after eating certain foods.
Constantly consuming foods that aren’t working well for you not only makes nutrition a less than enjoyable process, but it also makes nutrition a less than optimal process.
Eat food that sits well with you. Eat foods that you can eat consistently. Eat foods that simply work for you. That last part doesn’t mean eat foods that work for your taste buds. You absolutely can eat foods that you enjoy the taste of, but if your diet consists of a double cheeseburger and fries once a day, that is likely a problem.
Calories dictate your weight. Plain and simple. Your exercise level isn’t the determining factor on whether or not you gain or lose weight. You could run a marathon a day and be eating calories in excess of your maintenance level and you would gain weight.
If you want to lose weight, eat in a calorie deficit.
If you want to maintain weight, eat at maintenance calories.
If you want to gain weight, eat in a calorie surplus.
Calories dictate where your weight travels. Give your body the amount it needs, it maintains its weight. Give it less than it needs and it burns body fat to make up the difference. Give it more than it needs and the muscle-building process can be optimally supported and your body will also store some excess calories in the form of body fat.
Protein is required for muscle retention. Protein helps keep you full (beneficial for fat loss). Protein burns a bunch of calories to actually use the nutrient (beneficial for fat loss).
A good guideline is one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. This applies to whatever goal you have because as long as you don’t have any health issues that say otherwise, it is a safe amount of protein and the benefits give no reason for you to not consume that or close to that amount each day.
The fewer calories you’re eating, the more active you are and the leaner you are, the more protein per pound of bodyweight you likely want to consume. A range of 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight is a good scale to use. You can adjust on the protein intake scale depending on what your situation is for those aspects that affect protein intake.
Carbs & Fat:
Eat a minimum of 15% of total daily calorie intake from fat, as this is important for hormonal regulation. From there, do what works best for you. Take into account energy for training sessions and calorie density for working your macros in with your calorie allotment for the day. Protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram, and fat has 9 calories per gram.
Of course, these guidelines are for the average healthy individual. I am not a doctor and don’t know about the specific circumstances where this may be wrong from a health condition perspective.
Eat Your Fruits & Veggies:
Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) do all kinds of small jobs around the body which add up to be significant. While many foods have different micronutrients, fruits and veggies are quite high in them and contain a large variety of micronutrients, even in a single fruit or vegetable.
Bottom line, the better your fruit and veggie intake, the better you will likely feel. Just don’t eat so much of them that it becomes unhealthy.
Those are the fundamentals and things to cover for your nutrition. Other smaller and more specific things can come after these are taken care of. Thanks for reading, have a good one and drop your questions and comments in the comment section below!
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Until Next Time,
Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for the use of this information after reading.