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Nutrition

More to nutrition than just weight loss.

More to nutrition than just weight loss.

It’s not all weight loss….

When we think about nutrition, we tend to default to weight loss, and while this is true there are many other aspects of nutrition we can look at.

The first we can look at is athletic performance, working within the gym this is something that people tend to take for granted. The principle of fueling the body correctly for their activity level and overall goals, what we tend to find is those who are looking to improve performance often overlook the idea of correct nutrition. For most people looking to improve their main focus will be to increase training volume, but not having the correct calories to support this can damper performance. As we look in to athletic performance we can dive in to all sorts of nutritional science, from the very basic of ensuring we are getting enough protein, to the more complex such as sleep and sleep quality. The possibilities of how nutrition can support all of these are endless.

So, let’s say you are looking to increase performance, your goal is to increase strength as well as aerobic capacity, where do we start? The first and most basic point should be our calorie intake, ensuring we are getting enough calories to either sit at maintenance, support muscle growth with a slight increase of calories or help with the reduction of body fat with a small deficit. After this our next area to look at is protein intake, for those who are looking to increase performance should be aiming for 1.8 – 2.0 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight (For instance an 80kg male would look to consume 144 – 160g) this is to support the growth and retention of muscle. Next would be the consumption of carbohydrates, carbohydrates are broken down in to glucose which is the bodies primary source. What we tend to find with a lot of our clients and athletes is that this number is massively underestimated, this comes from a pre-conceived idea that carbs are the enemy and make us fat. The last simple tip we can look at is meal timing, ensuring we are eating to fuel our sessions. Consuming a low fat, high carbohydrate snacks an hour or two before exercises can massively increase performance over that session. As well as this ensuring we are replacing our glycogen levels after a session, again a high carbohydrate snack within 30 minutes of exercise or even a sports drink can help aid with this recovery.

Secondly, improve lifestyle, now I understand this is quite a loose statement and could mean anything to anyone, but I am going to explain what I mean. For me improving lifestyle is a couple of factors, it is eating a healthy well-balanced diet that allows our body to function at it’s required level and obtain the right amount recovery. It is having a healthy relationship with food, knowing that we can have sweets and treats and that everything is in moderation, and finally it is understanding nutrition. Having a small level of education to support us making the right choices, living the right way & balancing life.

I could go further on in this post about the benefits of nutrition, but I think we will save them for another day, we can look into improving health & life markers, helping aid injury recover as well as supporting sleep and recovery. Nutrition is the building block for a lot of the success we have in life and we are going to further explore these each week!


Damian

CrossFit Level 1 / BTN Academy Nutritionist


Can the smallest change make the biggest difference?

Can the smallest change make the biggest difference?

Can the smallest change make the biggest difference?

We hear it everyday that nutrition can be over complicated, that at the end of the day it is just calories in v calories out. But can it be a lot simpler than that? Can small changes make a big difference?

For some people calories in v calories out is not as simple as it seems, it would imply we know how to track food intake, to understand calories within food and how to balance them. It would imply we have a level of basic understanding that not everyone has, or is interested in. So can we actually make nutrition even simpler, can a small change make a big difference?

If we look at the general population and people looking to live a healthier lifestyle then the smallest change can make the biggest difference. Below we have listed some of the things you could do that could have an impact on your health and nutrition

  • Drink more water daily – Our body is made up of 60% water and in modern society water is the most common macronutrient deficiency. Water is the most important macronutrient, period! Try having a water bottle at your desk and workplace, drink a full bottle in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, you will notice the difference immediately.

  • Having healthy snacks on hand – This probably sounds a little backwards, someone telling me to have snacks available. By having healthy snacks available we can use it to avoid temptation when presented with naughtier options, think protein bar, dark chocolate, string cheese and even jerky.

  • Include vegetables at every meal – Within nutrition there is a lot up for debate, but everyone can agree we need to eat more vegetables. They are the most nutrient rich foods on the planet and help fill us up.

  • Eat more protein - Eating more protein boosts your metabolic rate increasing the number of calories you burn while resting. Protein also helps to curb appetite making people eat fewer calories overall.

  • Finally, know the difference between thirst, hunger and boredom. With most of us walking around dehydrated all the time something like a simple glass of water can help curb hunger. We also live in a world where abundance of food is available, many of us eat out of boredom instead of hunger. Next time you are hungry try grabbing a book and a glass of water, or engaging your brain.

These are just a few of the simple things that can be done to help us make the biggest change. As always start small, change 1 or 2 of these a week and until they become a habit keep going. Once the change has been made we can then explore further options!


Damian

CrossFit Level 1 / BTN Academy Nutritionist

Team Ulysses


I want to make a change

“I think it’s time I got my nutrition sorted”

These are the words as coach’s we hear on a weekly basis. But what does it mean to get your nutrition sorted? Is it a case of eating more protein and vegetables, is it a reduction in calories? What are your goals and how are you training at the moment?

Just saying “it’s time to get my nutrition sorted” is a brilliant thing, it shows the clients understanding to change and focus, however it’s an open-ended question that we are going to delve in to.

Firstly, let’s look at your goals, what is the purpose of this change? Are you wanting to improve performance in the gym, get lean for summer or get strong? All of these have different approaches from a nutrition stand point. As nutritionists we need to make clear that one size does not fit all, we need to make sure our clients not only understand the process but how the science works. For example, a client who has come to us and wants to get lean for summer could simply be put on a caloric deficit and asked to track food intake. On the other hand, if we had a client who wants to improve athletic performance, we could delve in to all sorts of sciences, nutrition timing, carb cycling, macro & micro intake as well as optimal body fat. Whatever your goals are, will strongly decide which direction you need to take and should be clearly defined when starting this journey as one goal may contrast another.

Secondly, we could then delve in to the clients training. Are you training once or twice a week or more? High intensity or low intensity or not training at all? Each of these will have different effects on the body and what the body needs. If we use the example of CrossFit training a lot of the workouts are performed at a high intensity with varied weights. So how would this effect the client looking to lose weight? To fuel this type of activity a client may need a higher carb intake than others, additionally there may be a focus on protein to ensure strength is kept. The opposite of this could be your regular gym bodybuilder, this individual will be doing low intensity cardio and resistance training, therefore this type of client would need a lower carb intake but a higher protein one to support their training.


Lastly, how is your current diet? Are you a weekend binger? Big on the snacks? Like the odd beer or two? We look at these because the simplest of changes can sometimes make the bigger differences. If  you’re a weekend binger try having one day off and you will instantly see the difference. Like a snack? Maybe plan your meals better and ensure you are getting enough protein to fill you.

So, this has probably raised more questions than answers for yourself and that’s a good thing. When we look at making a nutrition change, we need to really ask ourselves the why. Why are we making this change & do we understand the process we need to follow? Next time your going to make a change write down your why, then from there track the sacrifices your going to have to make.

Do I want to get lean for summer? If yes, am I willing to sacrifice my performance in the gym? Am I willing to not have my weekend beers and takeaway? Working out and writing down your why will help when you're identifying the sacrifices and help keep yourself focus.

That being said the best nutrition change can just be the smallest, eating more good quality protein, lots of vegetables and less processed food.

TRUST THE PROCESS


Want to know more?

Book a free, no obligation  no sweat intro and we’ll prescribe you a route to your goals!

https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=14865158&appointmentType=9353165

Damian Buck- nutritionist/ L1 CrossFit trainer/ L1 Weightlifting coach

Team Ulysses


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