Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rotating your diet for different types of training

When it comes to nutrition for weight loss, it is often easy to overlook the fact that your energy needs will vary from day to day. Otherwise, some day's you might take in too much energy, and other days you may not take in enough. Some days you might take in the correct TYPES of energy and other days you may be eating the wrong foods! So the key is to plan your eating around your planned exercise.
  1. After calculating an estimate of your resting metabolic rate (daily caloric requirement), use 80% of that total as your caloric goal for your non-exercise days. On your the days you are scheduled to exercise take in 100% of that number. Remember, your resting metabolic rate is your estimated number of calories required if you were to only sit all day long. If you are exercising and reducing caloric intake below that number you run the risk of your body breaking down muscle to use as energy.
  2. The type of energy you take in should vary from day to day based on scheduled exercise. Because grains are primarily carbohydrates they provide a lot of usable energy. But if you are having a heavy grain day on a non-exercise day, where do you think all that energy goes? That's right. Your body stores it as fat. On the days when you are going to exercise, do not hesitate to include grains in your breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.
  3. Protein intake should increase the evening of and the day after exercise because the resistance training you did earlier that day, broke down muscle and it needs to be repaired ASAP.
Below is an example of a schedule you could follow with each type of food as the primary food for the day.
  • Day 1 - Resistance Training - Grains, Fruits/Veggies, Meat (Beef/Chicken), Dairy
  • Day 2 - Cardiovascular training - Fruits/Veggies, Meat (fish), Dairy, Grains
  • Day 3 - Rest - Fruits/Veggies, Meat (Pork), Dairy, Grains
  • Day 4 - Resistance Training - Grains, Fruits/Veggies, Meat (Beef/Chicken), Dairy
  • Day 5 - Cardiovascular Training - Fruits/Veggies, Meat, Dairy, Grains
  • Day 6 - Recovery - Meat (Eggs), Veggies/Fruits, Dairy, Grains
  • Day 7 - Rest - Fruits/Veggies, Dairy, Meat, Grains
This doesn't have to be exactly how you schedule your meals. But hopefully you can see how the kinds of macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates) coordinate with your activity level. All of the food groups are necessary and the wider the array of foods you eat, the better your body will respond to the training methods you use.

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