The Importance of Nutrition

Posted: August 13, 2010 in Nutrition
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Do you want to burn excess fat, lose weight and/or tone up?  By taking a scientific approach you can achieve your goals faster and more efficiently!

Do you want to burn excess fat, lose weight and/or tone up?

We find that most our members are coming to the gym to achieve goals such as weight loss and muscle toning. Analysis of the type of work most gym members do to achieve these types of goals shows that a focus on exercise is prioritized, specifically cardio exercise performed using long steady efforts. Nutrition is generally not focused on much and where it is, in many instances details are focused on, such as avoiding a certain food, this is important but is second to having a strategy for fat burning and losing weight.
Whilst any exercise/activity or nutritional detail changed will undoubtedly burn or save some calories, the question has to be asked is this the most efficient i.e. strategy to burn excess fat, lose weight and tone up?
Well the answer to this question is no its not the most efficient way. If asked what is the best way to burn fat and lose weight by a gym member I would respond without hesitation with the following strategy/key things to focus on and justifications:
Most efficient Strategy for fat burning, weight loss and muscle toning
Aim to eat meals with an approximate ratio of 40% Carbohydrates, 30% Protein and 30% fat.
Meals with this ratio of carbs, proteins and fats help to balance blood sugars and consequently hormones that are responsible for fat storage. Typically most diets have too much carbohydrate, all carbohydrate is converted to sugar, excess is stored by the body as fat! Too much sugar also means energy highs and lows and regular feelings of hunger! Increasing protein to a moderate (not high!) will support feelings of satiety (feeling full).
Eat regular. Typically 5 moderate meals per day or 3 meals and 2 snacks with each meal being spaced 2.5 – 3.5 hours apart.
To breakdown food and absorb it takes energy, the cost of this is called the thermal effect of food (TEF for short). Eating 5 moderate meals or 3 meals and 2 snacks per day burns approximately an extra 350 cals per day. It is obviously important these meals are 40/30/30 and Portions managed correctly
Become familiar with the difference between Portion and Serving.
A portion is what we choose to eat, a serving is the amount of food that is recommend we should eat at any given meal (servings are typically based on an average body weight, a larger person may have a touch more). In todays society many would not know the difference and are typicaly having big portions which results in to many servings of a food being eaten. Reading food labels is an easy way to understand servings as most food labels indicate what a serving would be.
Drink 0.033ml water per kg of body weight per day
Being hydrated is essential for weight loss, water helps with kidney and liver function which play a larger role in burning fat. Perhaps more importantly is that if dehydrated the body is thirsty, however the signals for thirst is the same as hunger as the body knows we can get water from food. Therefore being dehydrated can lead to feelings of hunger and overeating. Being hydrated normalizes appetite. As a 70kg individual I need to drink
0.33ml per kg of body weight, that 0.033 x 70 = 2.3 litres per day
Incorporate resistance training as a substantial part of your exercise program
Resistance training causes temporary increases in metabolism like nothing else. It also increases resting metabolism. An increase of 1lb of lean tissue can increase metabolism by 50 calories per day. For most an increase of 3lbs lean tissue is a realistic goal to achieve. For those that are concerned about developing bulky muscles be aware the development of bulky muscles is VERY hard to come by and those that you have seen with these types of muscles will have put extreme amounts of work into resistance training, and are probably male as they have a HUGE advantage in developing lean tissue due to hormonal differences. In short resistance training burns lot of fat!
Do interval cardio as part of your exercise program always after the resistance.
Interval training increases metabolism so resulting fat loss from a session is greater than if steady state cardio is done. Its true you burn a greater % of fat at low steady efforts but this is from a smaller number of calories per session and post exercise burn. A higher intensity interval session will burn a smaller % of fat but it is from a much greater total of calories therefore equating to more fat overall!!
To get more information on these fat burning, weight loss and toning principles speak to any David Lloyd trainer regarding the Lose & Shape Up program. These principles are educated in ore detail. A further benefit is the 12 week course supports you to make these changes – which is normally the hard part! Common sense is not often common practice!

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