Friday, January 4, 2013
EAT SMART OR DIE-T
Now that the holidays are over, and one of the new year resolution for many is to start exercising, the first thing people think about after excessively eating and drinking is to start a diet and become a member of a gym or start doing some kind of physical activity program. So since it is included in the 70% of results (Optimal Ratios to Success), why not start with what and when you eat?
There are some that don’t like to use the word diet. That could be a true statement, for when speaking of diet, people think of fad diets which usually are extreme, work for a short period and contain the word “Die” in the middle. There are many famous diets out there such as the Atkin’s Diet, Diet by Blood Type, Mediterranian Diet, and many more. But since some of them use extreme guidelines, cutting out some foods that could be of important nutrient source, especially if you are starting and exercise program, where you have to maintain or increase muscle mass, it could prevent you from achieving your results and work against them.
During this year it will be discussed what is considered the best proportions for each of the macronutrients (carbs, proteins and lipids – fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) for the different desirable results. But for now, all meals during the day should include all the macronutrients, which its sources contain micronutrients. First of all when starting a new meal plan, whether it be most of the fad diet or from nutritional background according to your individual needs, it is stressed out that there should be 6 to 7 meals a day with 2 -3 hours in between. This isn’t science, because if you notice the timing of a newborn, they feed every two to three hours, which according to the American Academy of Pediatrics can last up to 2 years of age, even after they start eating solids. So why is it that after elementary school, eating habits begin to deteriorate because of busy schedules and lack of time? Even though an individual is young, that is when the accumulation of fat probably begins, especially with the sedentary.
The solution to get results and to maintain them is re-educating your body to eat properly, and get back in to feeding yourself as if you are a newborn. This also means that it doesn’t matter that you aren’t hungry. How the body works is if you are not giving it nutrients to metabolise, when it finally does receive something it will store any extra for a rainy day when you need energy, such as running from a pitbull or lifting a car to rescue someone. But this almost never happens so the body keeps storing what it does receive as fat. But if you give the body something throughout the day, it will know that in the next few hours, there will be nutrients that can be transformed into energy in case there is an emergency.
So you are thinking: I will keep eating proteins and avoid carbs now! Remember that after a few weeks, if you were able to get rid of the water retention, but you have noticed that certain areas of your body have accumulated fat over the holidays where there wasn’t before, fat will keep stored if carbs aren’t available to metabolise. This happens because if the body doesn’t have complex carbohydrates to digest and produce energy, it will find other sources from your own body, in this case your muscles (Catabolism-Glycolysis), after all “fats burn in carbohydrate flames” to keep your energy reserves high. Fat won’t be accessed because you need to increase your heart rate to sub-maximal levels which doesn’t always happen with every day physical activity, and only a meal plan. It only happens with when you do continuous cardio exercises for more than 2 minutes. Without extra physical activity, such as exercise, there is a way to lose your fat stores and that is through a negative energy balance. Your energy balance is calculated using the variables of how many calories you waste in a day and how many you take in (food). If you eat less calories than you waste then you will lose weight, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose fat because you need the right proportions of nutrients.
So you need the right amount of proteins to keep the muscle mass that you already have, increase it if you want more, you need carbs for energy, and to complete all this, and burn that extra fat off properly the right amount of unsaturated fats in all your meals. That basically is making sure you get enough macro and micronutrients. To boost your metabolism in to reducing water retention, you may consider using one of the cleansing methods, such as soon as you wake up before you ingest anything, drink 300ml of water with 1 lemon juice or even take a day to just eat fruit in all of your meals for the first week or two when starting your meal plan. And remember you also have to consider the other factors for results, your training (30%), how you sleep plus how much stress your daily life causes you, besides how you eat (Ratios to Success).