Friday, December 2, 2016

Nutrition Tips

While working out, a commonly overlooked factor is diet. A healthy diet is important as it gives the body the necessities  required to lose body fat, gain lean muscle mass and to maintain energy levels for exercise. There are people who go to the gym and religiously workout, but they do not seem to be making any progress. This can be a result of  not feeding their bodies the right nutrients needed to make these changes. Here are some basic tips to help you get on the right track with nutrition.

It has been said that protein is the staple of any diet, especially to serve the dietary needs of an athlete.1 Next to water, protein is the most abundant material in the human body.1 It is present in muscle, bone, connective tissue skin and blood.1

The following is a protein recommendation list based on the current Recommendation for Dietary Allowance (RDA)1:
  • Sedentary or those who exercise infrequently = 0.4 grams / 1 pound of body weight
  • Active exerciser = 0.5-0.6grams/1 pound of body weight
  • Very active/weightlifter/endurance athlete = 0.7-0.8 grams / 1 pound of body weight

In general, about 15-20% of your total daily calories should come from protein.1

Here is a list of some good sources of protein to get you started1:
  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey
  • Orange roughly
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Top round/sirloin steak
  • Lean ground beef
  • Egg whites
  • Low fat cottage cheese

Carbohydrates fuel the body by providing our muscles with glycogen, while working out, and helps us to optimize our athletic performance.1 Carbohydrates should be from minimally processed sources like eating true whole wheat bread versus white bread or even enriched bread.1 Carbohydrates should make up about 55-60% of your total caloric intake, depending on your activity level.1

Here is a list of food sources of carbohydrates to help you1:
  • Baked potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Oatmeal (whole oats)
  • Whole wheat bread/tortilla

An important and necessary nutrient for everyone are fats. That is, some fats- the ones that are saturated are not good for cholesterol levels as they can cause clogged arteries. The fats that are considered good for your body are unsaturated fats. These can help protect against heart disease by reducing cholesterol and providing the body with extra energy.1 Basic rule here, if it is a solid at room temperature, it is usually saturated (bad); if it is a liquid at room temperature it is unsaturated (good).1

Here is a list to help you with some of the good fats you should include in your diet1:
  • Safflower oil
  • Olive oil
  • Flax seed oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Fish body oils (EFAs=essential fatty acids)

Staying hydrated is very important with exercising. The body is about 60% water, give or take.2 We're constantly losing water from our bodies, primarily via urine and sweat.2 The health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon.2
Following these tips can help you with your goals in the gym! They will help your energy levels stay up and keep you motivated!
1B. (2015). Food Basics 101: Your Diet Makeover. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from
2B. K. (2016). How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day? Retrieved October 31, 2016, from

1 comment:

  1. Very Informative blog! most individuals that are new to the gym think they can work out and the weight will just fall off. They believe that the less they eat the more weight they will loose. This is far from the truth, you must still fuel your body in order to maintain muscle and loose weight. Water weight is often conceived as weight lost which fools those into thinking they have lost weight. Good read!