Sunday, April 27, 2014

To sum up my ideas about nutrition

As you know if you know me or looked around this blog, I’ve been digging information about nutrition for quite some time now. I have tried a couple of popular diets used by athletes such as the Slow carb diet, the Warrior Diet, Eat Stop Eat and some other ideas here and there, like from John Berardi and Dave Asprey. Here a list of my beliefs nowadays:
  • Simple beats complicated. All you need is a simple plan you can follow that delivers the results you’re looking for. If you have a hard time not eating after 7pm like 90% of people who try to diet, it might not be the best plan for you!
  • Being hungry sucks! There are so many better options.
  • Calorie in / calorie out concept is at best  incomplete. In my book, it’s plain  stupid! Treat your body as a thermostat not a calculator.
  • The macronutrients approach  is way superior to the calorie counting non sense. It is not perfect, but very useful to get a general understanding.
  • No macronutrient is bad, but the carbohydrate is the easiest variable to control either in quantity or in timing. It is the only macronutrient that your body can transform into body fat. Fruits and dairy products are often forgotten in the carbs category. Some other would suggest to control the protein intake first and make sure you have plenty. Whatever else you consume matters little.
  • Stop being scared of saturated fat. Neither bacon, butter or yolks will make you fat or influence badly your cholesterol level. It might raise up your testosterone level though…. Be ready!
  • Stick with whole unprocessed food at least 90% of the time. I would suggest moderation on minimally processed food such a most dairy product, nut butter, etc, because it is easy to overeat it. Avoid wheat products all together if possible like pasta, bread and beer. Good luck to overeat chicken and asparagus! If you cheat, keep it under 10% and make sure it’s worth it.
  • Peri-workout nutrition is overrated for anybody who is not bodybuilding. If you workout before eating, get some BCAA before and after and you’ll get most benefits.

You can think your nutrition plan daily, but I suggest a weekly approach instead. 

  • You can cycle your carbs every other day or limit your carbs for 6 days and go all out the 7th day. I prefer to keep my carbs at the end of the day and limit my cereal intake to 2-3 times/week.
  • Fasting is great if you know what you are doing. You can stop eating safely for 16h to 32h depending of your plan and goals. Just remember that your body will crave after the fasting period and this is the worst timing for carbs. I like raw veggies for enzymes.
  • The ratio 33% protein / 33% fat / 33% carb/plenty of veggies  is a great option for most people.
  • Every time you eat, try the following and you can't go wrong:
    • X amount of carbs
    • 2X amount of protein
    • 4X amount of vegetables
    • Snack on veggies and nuts if needed
  • Meat & veggies one day and carb up  every other day
  • First meal of the day contains at least 30-50g protein and no carbs. Use protein powder or learn to love your steak’n eggs!
  • Unprocessed food paleo style. I consider paleo the safest of the food religion. 

Without working to hard (or working out at all), following these general lines, every guy should drop their BF below 15% and every gal under 20%. Ajust your carb consumption according to your goals. Keep in mind that no plan will deliver results for ever, but all you have to do is to find a lifestyle you can adopt forever and effortless. Of course it’s a bit harder in a world where eating veggies is sometimes considered as excentric, but we get use to it!