Lean Up – Fast Track to NutritionBy Mark Robinson, Accredited Dietitian | 2013 Model America Champion
Nutrition is often made out to be unnecessarily complicating, which unfortunately leads to varying interpretations of exactly what the best nutritional choices may be for one to achieve their goals in health. In this article I aim to clarify the vital terms of nutrition and in doing so provide Australian Natural Bodz readers with the essential knowledge needed to efficiently achieve individualised goals – whether those be orientated towards fat loss, muscle and strength gains, or performance outcomes.
We begin with ‘Energy’, this is the overriding term for weight: as in weight consumed daily through nutrition and weight expended daily through exercise and resting metabolism. Weight is measured in either kilojoules (kJ) or Calories (Cal). However, these terms are not equal in value: 1 Cal is equivalent to 4.2 kJ.
The next most important nutrition terms in my opinion are the Macronutrients! You have all likely heard of these as the abbreviation Macro’s is thrown around rather frequently these days and sometimes carelessly! Yes, these are: Protein, Carbohydrate, and Fat. Though, there is a fourth; Alcohol!
But we need to know exactly why these are called Macronutrients and therefore what makes them so important to helping us achieve (or despairingly fail) our goals! The answer is that these are a the providers of Energy and also the determinants of whether that Energy is functionally in line with your goals or just simply a wasted Energy conducive to the complete opposite of what you may be tirelessly trying to achieve!
Here is the point; every time you consume 1 gram of Protein you are also ingesting 4 Calories (or 16kJ). Secondly, these 4 Calories are fortunately
extremely functional for Muscles! In fact, they will likely be stored in your muscle to provide Growth, Recovery and Strength! Perfect if those are your goals, right?
How about Carbohydrate; again 4 Calories per 1 gram, though this time these Calories require you to use them through Exercise! These are Energy providing Calories that will definitely feed you some liveliness, but if you neglect their function, well then that’s when over time they will store as a Fat! Hence the importance of Carb Timing and Doses!
Fat; A significantly greater contributor of Calories, 9 Cal (or 37kJ) per 1 gram. Yes, very functional for weight gain! Of course there are plenty of benefits from consuming plant based fats, known as
Un-saturated fats, namely Hormone Secretion, Skin Rejuvenation, Brain Power and Anti-inflammation etc, though weight loss is NOT one of Fats functions!
Alcohol, don’t forget is the fourth and final Macronutrient, as it too is a significant contributor to Calories and indeed the most useless in its’ function! 1 gram of Alcohol equates to 7 Cal, put into perspective; a standard drink has 10 grams of Alcohol, therefore 70 Calories from the Alcohol content alone to sit around the stomach!
OK, so let’s now discuss the common term; energy deficit. Yes, this simply means consuming less daily energy than expended energy. But, an individual’s daily energy expenditure is dependent on a number of factors; including age, muscle tone, daily nutrition patterns and choices, genes and of course exercise type, intensity and frequency.
Resting metabolism is the term given to the speed at which we burn up energy/weight whilst not intentionallyperforming exercise. Thus, when in a resting state, energy is used to aid in essential living requirements of breathing, maintaining homoeostatic body temperature, cognitive function and digestion. This resting metabolism is therefore positively related with younger age, lean muscle tone or fat free mass, small frequent meals and snacks and food choices high in fibre.
Exercise then makes up the remaining contribution towards daily energy expenditure. Resistance and cardio training impact differently on energy usage, however both are necessary to achieve greater lean muscle mass, and eliminate fat mass. Resistance type training will aid in the development of muscle size and tone, while burning energy as well. Whilst cardio exercise will burn a greater volume of energy. Intensity plays an important role in the efficiency of energy expenditure – as at higher intensities one utilises kilojoules from carbohydrates, fat and protein for energy – which therefore expends a greater volume of overall energy.
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Accredited Dietitian and current Model America World Champion. Thank you Natural Bodz, I am proud to be associated with your fantastic workings within our Sport.
Readers can contact me via my website
www.healthmanmark.com for Eating Plans & Competition
360 Health Natural Supplements