Nutrition, the hardest thing for all of us to understand and control. There are so many fads out there we forget to look to our past. 30 years ago, to 1000 years ago we ate real food and did everyday things ourselves. Use some simple logic. Eating out fast and processd foods are making us FAT!
Protein is a nutrient that is essential to physical and high-level health because of it's role in growth and maintenance. Our body breaks down protein into amino acids and reshuffles them into new protein to build and rebuild tissue, including muscle. You should get at least 0.4 grams per pound of lean body weight, (RDA for a sedentary adult), to 1 gram per pound of lean body weight for a very active exercising adult. BAER Fitness recommends 0.6 to 1 gram per pound of lean body weight. Proteins nutritional value is 4 calories per 1 gram. Your total intake should be 15 to 30% of your total daily calories, depending on your activity level and goals.
Example: 2000 calories daily intake x 20% = 400 calories from protein. 400 divided by 4 calories per gram = 100 grams of protein per day.
Fat is a nutrient required to help form the structures of cell membranes, provide a source of energy, and regulate metabolism and hormones and many other necessary body functions. There are two basic types of fats, saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are found in beef, dairy, baked goods, tropical oils like coconut, palm and palm kernel oils. These types of fats you want to limit.
The unsaturated fats are the ones we do need. These EFA (Essential Fatty Acids) are required for normal growth, skin integrity and healthy blood and nerves. They fall into two types, polyunsaturated fats, such as safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean and cottonseed oils. These do lower cholesterol, both HDL and LDL. The second type is monounsaturated, such as fish oils, olive oils, canola oils and peanut oils. These fats have a protective effect on blood cholesterol levels. They lower the bad LDL and maintain or raise the HDL levels. The fish oils help prevent blood clotting, a cause of strokes.
Fats nutritional value is 9 calories per 1 gram. You should get 15-25% of your total daily calories from fat, preferable good fats like EFA, olive oils, etc.
Example: 2000 calories daily intake x 20% = 400 calories from fats. 400 divided by 9 calories per gram = 45 grams of fats per day.
Carbohydrates are to your body, what gas is to your car. The major role of carbs in nutrition is to provide energy. Our body breaks down carbs into glucose, the fuel our body needs to run. The best carbs are those that break down slowly such as whole grains and beans. Try to limit refined grains, flour and sugars. They convert too quickly to simple sugars and cause us to store more fat and lose energy. To learn more on this subject look up writings about the Glycemic Index of Foods.
Carbohydrates nutritional value is 4 calories per 1 gram. You should get 2.5 to 5 grams of carbs per lean pound of body weight. The more active you are the more carbs, the less active, the fewer carbs. Your total daily intake should be 50-60% of your total daily calories.
Example: 2000 calories daily intake x 50% = 1000 calories from carbs. 1000 divided by 4 calories per gram = 250 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Calories are a unit of energy-producing potential equal to this amount of heat that is contained in food and released upon oxidation by the body. In other words the more active you are the more food is oxidized. If you do enough activity to oxidize 500 calories of food, but only ate 4oo calories, you just burned an extra 100 calories of stored food. Calories are how we measure our fuel, like gallons of gas for your car.
So how do we know how much to eat? Following is a formula to help you find a baseline on calories per day. Remember, you should do this formula for each TYPE of day you have. For example, you do weight training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then do cardio on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, taking Sundays OFF. Your weight training days require different caloric intake than the cardio days and both have more calories than a day off. Then there is the week’s vacation. It will depend on if you just lie around a beach, hike the mountains or dance every night away.
First find your lean body weight. To do this you must first know your body fat percentage. Multiply your total body weight by the fat percentage to get your lean body weight.
Body Fat Percentage = 25%
Weight = 150 pounds
150 x 25% = 37 ½ pounds of body fat
150– 37 ½ = 112 ½ pounds lean body weight.
Next find your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the number of calories you need just to live every day, in a healthy way at rest. You do not use your total body weight because you don’t need to feed the FAT!
Your lean body weight x 10 = RMR
112.5 x 10 = 1125 calories per day
Now figure the number of calories you need for today's purposeful exercise, i.e. tennis, weight training, etc. See the chart on the next column.
Weight x Activity Calories per Hour per Pound of Body Weight
112.5 x 1.9 = 213.75 calories for weight training for 1 hour
Now find the calories you need for your daily activity level.
Sedentary: + 20-40% of RMR
Moderately Active: + 40-60% of RMR
Very Active: + 60-80% of RMR
1125 x 40% = 450 activity level calories
Total all of your answers together to get your total daily-required calories.
1125 + 213.75 + 450 = 1788.75.
Now to loose body fat, NOT JUST WEIGHT, subtract 20% of the total calories for the day. NOTE: If less than 180 pounds or less than 28% body fat or pregnant, SKIP this part.
1788.75 x 20% = 357.75
1788– 357.75 = 1431 daily calories
NOTE: DO NOT go below 1200 calories without the supervision of your doctor or nutritionist.
(the numbers are calories burned per pound of body weight, per hour)
"What you are is what you have done, what you will be is what you do now." -Buddha
This is NOT everything about nutrition, but it is a start. Take the time to have a great life, by planning to be able to have a great life.
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