It feels like you’re grinding through work; having to concentrate extra hard to produce the results you know you’re capable of and then not having the time and energy to spend on doing the things you love.
Leisure, rest and recovery.
The first thing you want to be looking at is your nutrition.
It’s all about thriving and in this post we’re going to take you through step by step on how to produce:
- More energy at work
- Get better results in the gym
- Effortlessly have healthy glowing skin due to being nourished
Before we get started here is a quick snippet of how potentially getting your numbers wrong with nutrition can show up in other areas of your life from your work, training and social spaces.
How Nutrition Can Go Wrong:
Say your body needs 2000 calories to function optimally.
To support your training, your work life, your family life to having enough nutrients to support mental clarity, detoxification, immune system and recovery from the day.
But after jotting down a few numbers (tracking your calorie and macro-nutrient intake) you realise you’re only consuming 1500 calories in a day.
Now after a few days of eating less than required this starts to happen:
- Low energy, body slows down because it realises it’s not getting enough fuel/nutrients
- Performance in the gym decreases, motivation and drive to train goes down
- Stress and cortisol increases because your body isn’t getting enough nutrients to recover from your day to day activities. Body starts to store body fat around vital organs to protect it
- Body starts to run on adrenaline, need more coffee, caffeine, needing to train to produce adrenaline and energy to keep you going though in turn producing more cortisol in the long run
- Exhausted, energy crash, sleep is disturbed or finding it hard to wake up
If you’re wondering why some days you’re on it and some days you’re not.
This will help you make sense of it all.
It will give you a good idea of where you need to be at with your nutrition numbers wise and you can slowly start to make the adjustments to start thriving and having massive amounts of energy to smash through the day.
How To Make It Right:
1. Making Sure You’re Eating Enough Calories
Basal Metabolic Rate: The amount of calories your body needs just to survive without moving, training, working and doing day to day activities.
How to work out your BMR: 21.6 X LBM (Lean body/muscle mass) + 370
For e.g. me with 70kg of LBM
= 21.6 X 70 + 370
I would need 1882 calories/day just for my body to function normally without moving. If I was to stay in bed all day.
After tracking my nutrition intake for a day and If I was eating around this mark or less and I was exercising, moving around and being active. This should ring alarm bells. Eating only the amount required for my body to survive without moving yet I am training, working and being active.
Indicator of further digging myself into the stress hole and that I should be eating more.
Of course I’m a normal person, I go to work, train and move around a lot so I would need extra energy to support that.
TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure): BMR X Activity level
Sedentary – little or no exercise (1.2)
Moderate – 3 to 4 training sessions/week (1.4)
Active – 4 to 5 training sessions/week (1.6)
1882 X 1.6
= 3011 calories (to maintain my weight/body composition and have enough energy to complete and recover from my training and workouts)
What is optimal for improved energy production, mental clarity, performance and body composition results?
Start with a baseline of minus 20% of your maintenance.
3011 – 20% (602 calories)
= 2409 calories
Starting at minus 20% of your baseline I find from experience with clients is still enough for you to have high levels of energy throughout the day, improving your gym performance whilst also changing your body composition results.
- Most people aren’t eating anywhere near their baseline so any small incremental increase in their calories as long as it’s coming from nutritious whole foods is going to give them a lot more energy throughout the day.
- If you jump from what you’re eating now right up to your baseline or minus 20% of your baseline immediately your body may convert that to body fat because your body is not yet use to digesting and absorbing the extra calories and nutrients. It’s all about what your body is able to absorb. What you might need to do is slowly increase the amount of calories you consume each week until you get close to your baseline.
- After a few days of a small increase of calories you will have more energy. You can use that to get more work done and train with more intensity at the gym.
As long as you’re training, moving and putting the extra energy to good use, you will not store body fat. Your body is designed to move and utilise energy as fuel.
Picture yourself from previously functioning as a Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore to now function as an F1 Ferrari.
Track your current daily nutrition by logging it into a an application such as My Fitness Pal or My Macro’s +. You do need to be somewhat accurate with your portion sizes as well.
2. Breaking Down a Macronutrient Ratio Specific to Your Body Type
Now that you have an idea of how many calories you need to function optimally throughout the day you need to start breaking down those calories into specific fuel sources suited to your body type. This is important to maintain and get results for your body composition.
For e.g. if you’re an Ectomorph someone who is naturally very lean, skinny and finds it difficult to gain weight no matter what they eat.
And you don’t have a nutrition plan tailored to include more carbs and you do weight training because you want to shape, tone and sculpt your body. Your body will go under more stress even if you are eating the calories to have functioning optimally throughout the day.
This is because weight training and strength training uses the energy within your muscles. Glycogen which is a fuel source that comes from eating quality carbohydrates. Without glycogen there isn’t any fuel to use in your workouts and your body can start breaking down muscle tissue, which isn’t good for building lean and toned muscles.
Someone who is an endomorph who has more stored glycogen will require less carbohydrates front their calories. More carbohydrates and that can hinder body composition and performance results for an endomorph.
Macronutrient Ratio’s you can start off with:
Ectomorph: Naturally very lean, has a hard time gaining weight no matter how much they eat. Generally more of a carb burner. Protein: 25%, Fats: 20% and Carbs: 55%
Mesomorph: Falls into the middle category, can get lean when they eat healthy and can gain weight when they eat too much or exercise too little. Protein: 30%, Fats: 30% and Carbs: 40%
Endomorph: Naturally bigger boned and gains weight easily. Protein: 35%, Fats: 40% and Carbs: 35%
Continuing the example of me who is a mesomorph my macronutrient breakdown would be.
Protein: 2409 X 30% = 722 calories coming from protein
Fats: 2409 X 30% = 722 calories coming from fats
Carbs: 2409 X 40% = 963 calories from from carbs
Working out macronutrient grams per day for a daily target.
Protein (4 calories per gram of protein) = 722/4 = 180g protein/day
Fats (9 calories per gram of protein) = 722/9 = 80g fats/day
Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram of protein) = 963/4 = 240g carbs/day
Each day I would need to eat 180g of protein, 80g of fats and 240g of carbs to perform optimally in the gym and have good energy to perform outside of the gym at work and have the energy to rest and recover.
3. Nutrition Timing
Slumps in energy and focus at training and at work is something that you don’t want. You can’t afford to have it and this is where nutrition timing is important.
- Keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- Reduce stress throughout the day.
- Give you steady energy throughout the day.
- Keeps your body composition and your training results on track.
- Have more energy that you’re not going to know what to do about it.
- Place carb meals before and after your training times and at last meal.
- Have protein and nutrient dense vegetables at every meal.
- Include your fats in your meals during the first half of your day.
Say you have 4 meals per day and you train first thing in the morning.
Meal 1: Protein, fats and carbs
Training (45 minutes – 1 hour)
Meal 2: Protein and carbs
Meal 3: Protein, fats and vegetables
Meal 4: Protein and carbs
Continuing with example throughout the post:
Meal 1: 45g of protein, 40g of fat, 80g of carbs
Meal 2: 45g of protein, 80g of carbs
Meal 3: 45g of protein, 40g of fat and vegetables
Meal 4: 45g of protein, 80g of carbs and vegetables
Note to take away:
Start tracking daily and getting use to using an application such as My Fitness Pal or My Macro’s +. By keeping track you can more easily find out where you need to make the adjustments to get the results you want to get. Is it too little calories? Need more protein, fats or carbs? Or maybe too many carbs?
Interested in learning more?
We take the fuss out of figuring this out on your own and do it all for you. Nutrition is one element to improving your energy, work performance and training performance. Of course there is training as well and one of the most important things here is to simply get started.
Training efficiently will get your body utilising the extra bump in nutrients as energy.
Learn how you can incorporate them both for maximum results by booking in your introductory training session, consultation & BioSignature assessment.