As a topic, nutrition is often confounded. Authors often make it far more complex than it needs to be. Still, solid nutrition is an absolute necessity in the pursuit of success in any segment of your life. Nutrition provides the human organism with nourishment, energy, thought, feeling, and recovery. It is also the primary component involved in altering body composition in any way. Whenever we are thinking about or discussing making changes in our lives, we must examine our relationship with food.

Part of the reason most people work out is because they want to look and feel different than they currently do. In my experience, this is true of nearly everyone. Even if an individual’s primary objective is to enhance their performance, if you guide the conversation a little further, you invariably discover that they would like to somehow look different as well. None of this is possible without exploring the concepts related to nutrition and energy balance.

Weight Loss

People often refer to this as losing body fat, “toning up”, or becoming leaner. The most efficient way to arrive at weight loss is through addressing an individual’s nutrition. The timing and composition of meals, and most importantly their calorie balance, are primary focal points in regards to nutrition. Do not be confused by the infinite variety of “diets” and “cleanses” out there. If any of them work it is because they facilitated the maintenance of a negative caloric balance for a period of time sufficient enough time to lead to weight loss. In the end, weight loss is a direct result of maintaining a negative energy balance over a period of time. You must either move more, or eat less.

For exercise to constitute a significant source of caloric expenditure it is believed that an individual must engage in 90 minutes of exercise per day. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, someone who exercises 90 minutes per day meets the criteria for an elite athlete. This is simply not realistic for the vast majority of people who desire to lose weight. Instead, it is much more effective to restrict the amount of calories consumed each day. Though we could make it more complex, that’s the bottom line. A week is comprised of 168 hours. The most faithful of exercisers MAY accumulate 4-6 hours of TRUE movement per week. This leaves between 162-164 hours per week. By a strict mathematical accounting you can see how much more effective it is to try and restrict your calories throughout the week because we spend far more time being sedentary than we do taking exercise.

Muscle Gain

Muscle gain is primarily a function of maintaining a positive calorie balance over time. What aids in this process is making sure the proper ratios of carbohydrates to proteins are appropriate at the right times. Also, the adherence to certain strength training protocols has been shown to accelerate this process and should be addressed as well.

Optimizing Performance

Whenever we are discussing performance enhancement of any kind, we must also discuss meal compositions, timing of meals, and frequency. The best training habits in the world will be fruitless if an individual does not have a solid nutrition plan to augment their training. I see this on a weekly basis in my own training, and the training of those around me. Nutrition is the vital component to success.

I will be discussing nutrition and various themes related to nutrition and nourishment on a continual basis. Success, however you define it, is built upon the foundation of sound nutrition and nourishment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>