Transformation Series – My Approach To Nutrition ( Wrote On Day 7)
Time Dieting: 7 Days
Current Weight (fasted): 96.3kg
Total Weight Loss So Far: 6kg
This article will not cover macros or the science behind what each food does, rather my personal approach to nutrition and how I have come to understand how to use food to attain certain results. The above stats outline my weight loss so far in my transformation however I do need to say that very little of the above is fat loss, however more water loss! My sodium intake was particularly high before I started controlling my diet, the cancelling out of junk food has thus resulted in a huge drop in sodium and so therefore my body lost the water weight. If you tend to eat a tonne of junk food, late at night after work chances are, you’ll see similar effects if you cut the junk out as well.
First of all, it’s important you realise that there are 3 macronutrients, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. Your muscles are actually made of amino acids & lipids which in return are the building blocks of proteins and fats. Carbohydrates however are converted into glycogen and stored within your muscles.
The simple functions of these macros in relation to your training and fitness goals are below:
Protein : Repair & Build Muscle Tissue
Fats: Maintenance Of Healthy Hormone Levels
Carbohydrates: Supplying Your Body With Energy
Now, there are countless other roles within your body that these food groups play a key role in, however for the purpose of this article we’ll be concentrating on the above. Another fact that is important to understand is, the more muscle you have on your physique, typically the easier it is to lose bodyfat. I’m not saying you need to be a bodybuilder to lose weight however a good amount of weight training per week to build muscle is a great idea, don’t worry, you won’t turn into Ronnie Coleman by picking up some dumbells!
I digress! Okay, so we know what certain macros do and we also know that you’re able to lose body fat easier with more muscle on your frame. Therefore logically it makes sense to maximise muscle retention throughout a calorie deficit to make this process easier? Absolutely it is, this is where you use your knowledge of macros.
Ensuring that your bloodstream is topped up with amino acids (building blocks of proteins) from complete sources of protein is a great way to repair and retain muscle throughout a calorie deficit, but what about growing muscle? Can you grow muscle throughout a calorie deficit? Unfortunately not, unless you are taking PEDs which I of course do not advise you doing. You simply NEED a calorie surplus to add the extra muscle tissue. A simple way to keep amino acids in your system is by eating a complete protein source every 2 hours (at least 20g), I wouldn’t get too worried if you go over that time but just be mindful of it, especially if you are training hard and need to recover quickly for your next session!
Fats are pretty simple, use them with some of your protein meals throughout the day but try to keep them to a minimum as they are very calorie dense. It’s important to keep the fats in your diet however to maintain healthy hormone levels and other bodily functions as I outlined earlier. You also do have to realise that Fats are a fuel source for your body, therefore only use said fuel source when you need it.
Whilst we are on the topic of fuel, lets discuss carbs! This macro is directly related to supplying your muscles with glycogen, glycogen is then used for energy so that your muscles can contract effectively and produce ATP. If you do not use the glycogen however that has come from the carbohydrates you have taken in, said glycogen will eventually be stored as fat. A process that seems very counterproductive to our end goal don’t you think? So logically we only want to take in carbohydrates when we NEED the energy to perform well in our workouts. This is why I will be focusing all my carbohydrates around my peri-workout window, this is pre-workout, intra workout (whilst training) and post workout (after training). The only period that doesn’t make sense there logically is the “post workout” window but here we are looking to spike insulin which can happen when we take in certain carbohydrates and I want to do this to maximise recovery as it won’t just transport nutrients round my body more efficiently but insulin is one of the most anabolic hormones in your body leading to great improvements in your recovery process.
So there you have it, that’s ultimately my structure that I will be using for my nutrition! High protein meals to keep the muscle I’ve built, moderate amount of fat to keep hormones in check and just being very mindful that carbohydrates are a fuel source for your body! Use that fuel when you need it the most, which for most of us, will be when we workout. If you have a very physical job however you may want to reconsider this! Hopefully that all makes sense, remember I’m not a nutritionist or a health professional but instead look at nutrition from a logical standpoint! Hopefully this helps you, if you want to see this weeks progress pics, check out my personal IG account (@phatjimmydodds)