The basis of this article is from "Mike's Fitness site"
Please consult your healthcare practitioner before starting a diet or weight loss program.
Nutrition plays at least as much of a role in muscle gain and fat loss as does weight training.
The basic principles of nutrition stay the same regardless of your goals, age, sex, or physical condition. The main differences will lie in meal sizes and proportions of different macronutrients in meals. You should always:
- If possible, eat smaller meals throughout the day.
- Drink lots of plain water throughout the day. 8 cups of water is the minimum. The body does not see water as food and processes it differently than say juice or tea — so drink plenty of quality water.
- Get at least 25% of your daily calories from protein, with some in every meal. Eat your protein and fats first. They take about an hour longer to digest than carbohydrates.
- Get 20-40% of your daily calories from carbohydrates — not processed carbs — whole foods carbs, like veges and fruits. Even whole grain pastas are high on the hypoglycemic index. For breakfast try steel cuts oats — these are fairly low on the HG index.
- Get 20-40% of your daily calories from fats. Quality fats like expeller pressed oils. Avoid pig meat. The fat in a pig absorbs large amounts of human karma, so does cow fat. Eat chicken and lamb. The feathers and wool insulate these animals from human karma. Also fish is good, the water insulates the fish from absorbing human karma as well.
- Eat minimally processed and cooked foods whenever appropriate. Raw veges are very hard for the body to digest.
- Avoid meals heavy in carbohydrates and/or fats.
- Avoid sweets and sugary foods, processed foods, fried foods, junk foods, and alcohol. Sugar acts in the body like a drug. Sugar also breaks down the tissues of the body — very bad. Check out this book, Sugar Blues, for the truth about sugar. It may be in your local library or you can get it on Amazon.
Best protein sources are lean meats, poultry, fish, cottage cheese, and eggs. Beans, lentils, other legumes, and nuts contain fair amount of protein and should become especially significant sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians. One of the very few worthwhile supplements is whey protein powder which can help if you are having difficulty getting enough protein from "normal" foods.
Most of your carbohydrate intake should come from fiberous vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Green veggies such as green beans, broccoli, and spinach are nearly perfect carb sources. Plain oats, brown rice, and other whole grains and legumes are also terrific complex carb sources. Moderate amount of fruits or berries are also great for you.
For people with metabolic syndrome, grains should be avoided, rather using cooked veges for your carb sources. Steel cut oats are ok. Fruits usually have too much sugar. My healthcare practitioner has recommended Metagenics Ultra Meal 360 Plus Rice to help with metabolic syndrome. I take this product frequently. It is available on Amazon too at the best price I have found.
Avoid processed sources of carbohydrates such as sweets, sugars, breakfast cereals (substitute oats or other plain whole grain in their stead), white breads and pastas, potatoes, and corn (sweet potatoes or yams are an excellent substitute for regular potatoes).
Even whole wheat breads should be passed over in favor of plain whole grains like oats or brown rice as much as possible. As stated above, fruits should be somewhat limited due to their high sugar content. But if you are not hindered by fructose in fruits, have at them.
Healthy fat sources include nuts, egg yolks, flax seed, chia seeds, fatty fish such as salmon, krill oil, olive and other plant-based oils (but only if not used in cooking). Animal and poultry fats are also OK in moderation with the caveats mentioned above about pig and cow fat.
Avoid processed fats such as found in most salad dressings and sweets. Also avoid cooking methods that use significant amounts of oils at high temperatures. The healthiest ways of cooking vegetables, meats and fish are grilling, broiling, steaming, and others that do not require heating of oils.
How Much To Eat?
Eat when you are hungry…this is what I have found keeps my weight down.
There are two main directions in which you can go: losing fat and building muscle. While it is not impossible to achieve both, especially for beginners, you would do well to pick one or the other for a given period of time and structure your nutrition program accordingly. Toning, another popular goal, is really just a combination of losing fat and building muscle. For most people, "toning" nutrition would amount to conservative fat loss nutrition.
If you diet without exercise you run the risk of losing lean muscle mass, so be cautious about this.
Nutrition for losing fat requires slight undereating, or proper portion control, to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Faster weight loss is unhealthy, causing significant muscle loss (as opposed to fat loss), and shutting down your body's metabolism thus sabotaging your fat loss. Nutrition for muscle gain requires slight overeating to add about 1 pound every 2 or more weeks. Faster weight gain will result only in unwanted fat gain (as opposed to muscle gain).
It is therefore very important to continuously monitor your weight and adjust your caloric intake to stay on course, whether it be towards fat loss or muscle gain. I find monitoring calories is a hassle. Eat when you are hungry and don't stuff yourself. Your body knows what it needs to get to a healthy weight, so listen to it.
It is important that you and your trainer or healthcare practitioner custom-design a diet suited specifically to your needs and goals and continuously monitor and adjust it according to your progress.
It's usually a good idea to gradually shift to a new diet plan over a couple of weeks.
In general, for fat loss diets, get 40% of your calories from proteins, 30% from carbs (mostly in the first half of the day), and 30% from fats. For muscle gain diets, get 30% of your calories from proteins, 40% from carbs, and 30% from fats. As with the total caloric intake, it is important that you and your trainer or healthcare practitioner monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments.
Most Important Points
With all this advice about what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat it may seem overwhelming to get one's diet exactly right. Don't stress over it too much and above all focus on what's most important: the kinds of foods you eat. Regardless of your physical condition or goals, make it your priority to eat a balanced diet composed of lightly cooked vegetables, whole grains (if appropriate), fresh fruits (if appropriate), lean sources of animal protein, and healthy fats. That is by far the most important thing.
Secondary in importance is how much to eat. While it is possible to gain fat even while eating a healthy diet composed of the foods described above it's not easy. A thousand calories of, say, oatmeal will have a very different (and healthier) effect on your body than a thousand calories of ice cream. By simply eating the right foods you won't have to worry nearly as much about how much you eat. Once you are comfortable with your new diet and meals you can start tweaking it to pinpoint exactly the right portion sizes to achieve your fat loss (fewer calories so you lose 1-2 pounds of weight per week) or muscle gain (more calories so you gain about 1 pound every 2 weeks) goals.
Still less important is the exact proportions of protein to carbs to fats. Very few people will be able to manage to consistently come close to the 40%/30%/30% or 30%/40%/30% guidelines above. That doesn't mean you can't make good progress with, say, 20%/60%/20% or something similar. Make your diet as balanced as you can but don't stress over it.
Finally, the last optimization you can do is split your daily calories over as many meals as possible. But you can still make great progress with just 4 or even just 3 meals a day total. If you have time for more, smaller meals — great! If not, don't worry about it.
Article Reference: http://www.mikesfitness.com/content/nutrition