What is the actual definition of the word “Nutrition”?
1.The act or process of nourishing or being; specifically,the sum of the processes by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances
2. The process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth
3. The branch of science that deals with nutrients and nutrition, particularly in humans
I personally like the second definition the most – mainly because it pairs the two words that really, if I was surrounded by Aliens demanding that I absolutely pick two words to describe what I do for a living, what this blog is about, what The Lomax Way is, or they would begin conducting experiments on me, it would be these two words.
‘Health’ and ‘Growth’
When I am asked about ‘diet’ or ‘nutrition’, most of the time people want the ‘elevator pitch’ version of how to get the body they want – fastest way from A-Z, with as little of the middle bits as possible. Oh, and they always want it to taste great and be as hassle free as possible.
Usually this has been their experience, ‘cutting out’ things that have been deemed too slow the progress of weight loss.
And this is where the problem starts.
The 5 biggest issues in everyday ‘nutrition/diet’ planning are the following and for this we need to go back to our definitions:
I think we are all fairly aware that ‘weight’ and ‘body fat’ are not the same thing, but just to teach you to suck eggs (forgive the nutrition based puns I may use throughout this post) your body weight and your body fat are not the same thing, when you say you want to loose weight, what you usually mean is ‘fat’. Unless of course you are obese, then ‘weight’ might matter (again I say ‘might’, because according to the popular measure of health BMI (Body Mass Index) I am clinically obese). If you are a jockey or a boxer and your weight dictates handicap or class, then you might want to worry about it. If you are a long distance runner, extra weight isn’t that useful either, but again this will depend on strength (we will come onto the concept of strength to weight ratios later)
So, let’s make a few things clear before I continue.
What am I looking to do when people come and see me and my team to discuss their nutrition?
We are primarily (80% of the time) looking to reduce body fat to a ‘healthy’ level, while ‘growing’ muscle to make you stronger, fitter and more efficient metabolically. HEALTH & GROWTH.
– if you want to look your best, perform your best and be happy, you need to stop focusing on weight and focus on body composition, chiefly muscle growth and fat loss
– focusing on muscle growth and fat loss can increase your weight, but that is in fact positive in terms of the strength to weight ratio (SWR), the true measure of fitness.
HOW CAN THIS BE A GOOD THING! – Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat – if someone you class as a professional tells you this, ask them how much a kilo of feathers weighs. Muscle takes up LESS space at the same weight, than fat, so in a nutshell, you can weigh the same and be smaller, in terms of how you look in the mirror and how your clothes fit.
Focusing solely on weight loss can make you weaker, not fitter, because you will lose muscle and become less strong. If you lose fat and grow muscle, your weight will be more efficient – think of a pull up, nobody wants to be carrying a spare tire with them doing that exercise – it’s tough enough as it is.
How much should I eat and portion sizes
Simply put, how much you should eat depends on how much you need to eat, and as mentioned in the last post, this comes down to simple maths – your daily energy requirement (BMR and PAL) +/- your energy requirement to reach your goal (EER).
The key is to remember that this is a daily amount of food, and therefore you shouldn’t punish yourself if you don’t get it right at every meal, and secondly if you don’t achieve the right amount of food in a given day it won’t effect you as long as you don’t make a habit of it over a longer period.
Trying to balance each meal to be roughly the same size and (as we will see next) spreading this through the day will help create the right portion sizes to stave off hunger, but not leave you full and bloated or riding a sugar high – as you will see I have roughly 6 eating ‘episodes’ in any given day in which to spread out my caloric and nutrient requirements.
If It was socially acceptable to eat while on the loo, I would. I often dream of shower proof meals.
NB – when you are eating ‘well’ i.e. avoiding sugars and empty calories, you will start to realise you need to eat quite a lot more than you think to reach a level of food that will help shape your body and performance for the better. It is worth getting used to this idea now.
Quantity and body fat are not as linked as you think. In fact by not eating enough, you could get fatter!
3. When should I eat and eating for exercise
I like to eat every 2-4 hours from the minute I wake up. The single biggest problem I face when taking on new clients is that they fail to eat breakfast, or a suitable breakfast. Not being hungry, bothered or attracted to any kind of food at 6am is NOT a reason to avoid eating.
Unless you are specifically fasting (I will talk briefly about using IF intermittent fasting and the use of fasted exercise) then the single best thing you can do to change your body shape is to eat a good breakfast – even if it is a smoothie or a protein shake – just start conditioning your body to eating as soon as you wake up.
The next most important eating ‘episode’ is around training – knowing when you will train and planning for it will dictate how you eat before and after – because you need to fuel right to train and this requires a good proportion of your daily needs. If you look at my plan you will notice I start to up-weight the proportion of carbs in my meals to support my training on that day. On non-training days where carbs are lower I tend to spread them more evenly throughout the day.
You will see from my plan that I train usually between 2-5pm, which dictates when my pre-training meal (AKA lunch) is and then when I start to use things like Pre-workout, intra workout, post workout and when I will resume normal eating after that. Get this right and you will make serious dents in your body fat reserves and promote lean muscle growth in ways you wont experienced.
I call this Metabolic Eating. Try it and you will see why.
What should I eat and the macro breakdown
Ok so this is the science bit.
The points above are more or less ‘emotional’ and ‘logistical’ issues around food. Largely speaking, where you get your energy from is where ‘it’ aka ‘YOUR DIET’ – i.e. the foods/fluids that YOU need, in order to be HEALTHY and GROW.
As you will know by now, your MACROS (the carbs, fats and proteins your body requires) are fundamental to how it will develop, this is particularly true when it comes to factoring in exercise.
Also, macros are a personal thing. Sure you can follow a guide to ‘bulking’, ‘shredding’ or ‘maintaining’ but if you want to really make changes, you need to factor in things like body type, the intensity with which you exercise and your ability to recover for example.
Don’t forget you need to be in kcal surplus or deficit to make changes to your body’s composition, but what where the surplus or deficit comes from has a massive effect on where you gain of loose – i.e. muscle vs fat.
Examples of this are:
- Carb-cycling – I try to eat a balanced range of Macros, favoring protein and fats, but still keeping my carbs up especially on training days, while I reduce them on rest/cardio days
- Keto days – or high fat/low net carbs, using the higher kcals per gram contained in fats to keep my energy up while reducing my reliance on starchy carbs. Not to mention using fats such as MCTs and cholesterol right foods for increasing your ability to burn fat as an energy source and increase testosterone!
- Paleo – i.e using fibre vs sugar to keep energy levels up and ingredients interesting
- Vegan – using plant based protein sources, to reduce exposure to saturated fats and broaden the nutrient base
The 80:20 Nutrition Plan
Remember the 80:20 concept that we have talked about and have interweaved throughout all of our posts on here.
Being able to reach the point where you are able to optimally perform both in whichever fitness-enhancing activity you decide (whether that is running, cycling, training inside a gym) and in your everyday life (such as parenting, your career). Hovering around the 80% muscle and 20% fat mass ratio.
You’re only going to reach this state if you not only train in the ‘right’ way (depending on what you are training for) but also consume the ‘right’ foods to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to repair, recover and grow. That’s why nutrition carries just as much importance as exercise when it comes to the manipulation of body composition.
In order to tackle these issues and also to show how I learn and experiment with my food, I have decided to share my food diary, a week in the life of me.
A real-life case study of how I eat right now.
This was in fact last week. I will use it to show how I, based on the goals I mentioned in my last post and my body composition (brief reminder below), eat when I am building my 80% body – i.e no event to prepare for, just a normal life running a company and looking after friends and family and trying to seek out some of what my fellow bloggers call ‘balance’.
This is MY DIET – it is built for me. However there are some simple trends / tools that I will highlight in the attached PDF which you can use to make this a base from which to create your own plan.
A word to the ladies (and gents) of the world – nutrition is not biased towards gender. You too can use this plan as a skeleton and chop and change as much as you like to fit your macros, based on your own body type, BMR and PAL. Use my examples of meals and manipulate to suit your own goals, whether that is to lose fat, build muscle – or both.
Remember, your body is like a car engine regardless of whether you are female or male. You need to fuel it in the correct way in order to get the best performance out of it.
I used Myfitnesspal to build this plan, this is because it is a good app based tool, and it is part of a toolkit I use owned by Underarmour – called Underarmour Record, which allows me to keep track of various different metrics. Lomax helped Underarmour launch this platform in the UK and Europe so we are very happy to recommend it – currently they have nearly 150m users worldwide!
A quick note on macro totals: you may see that some of the macro totals don’t add up to the kcal totals in the plan – this is because myfitnesspal separates carbs in to subcategories of fibre and sugar (which is useful when you want to drill down into carbohydrate targeting if you are paleo for example) for the sake of the plan i have not shown this detail but it is there).
IF YOU WANT AN EVEN MORE ANALYTICAL APPROACH..
I would recommend a more analytical approach if you have want to drill deeper. At Lomax we use a body composition measurement tool called Boditrax and a nutritional software platform called Nutritics to deliver seriously detailed, highly bespoke diet plans. Take yourself over to our website www.lomaxpt.com to enquire about this service.
A quick guide for using the attached plan to reduce body fat, would be to simply remove 500kcals from the total of each day and achieve this though a reduction carbohydrates.
CASE STUDY: Jonathan Lomax
So let’s have another look at my macro goals, which I use then to pave the way into the building of my nutrition plan:
Roughly speaking a 0.2-0.5kg body weight increase per week (a lot of people argue that building strength and maintaining fat is one of the hardest goals)
Boditrax Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):
Starting – 2077
Total calories (kcals) burned in a typical training session:
Between 423 and 823 so I have used an average of 500 kcals per day for the sake of argument
Total calories (kcals) burned during a typical working day:
500 Kcals required for surplus: 500
Total calories (kcals) per day:
c.3600 depending on training days, types of training
Current Daily MACROS:
I am mesomorphic so tend to need a few extra carbs when building muscle, but I like to tend to be more endurance based in my training so cycle carbs and fats. I tend to up my carbs on leg day for example.
Depending on training day:
AV. Protein: 35%, Fats: 30%, Carbs: 35%
Current Grams per MACRO:
Carbohydrates: 315g, Protein: 315g, Fats: 120g
(I change the ratio of carb cycling days and up kcals from fats and protein so I don’t fall out of the 500kcal deficit)
DON’T FORGET I AM TRYING TO GET STRONG AND KEEP LEAN – I AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT GAINING BODY FAT, I JUSTWANT TO SEE IF I CAN MAINTAIN OR EVEN CUT A BIT WHILE GETTING STRONGER OVERALL. MY WEIGHT INCREASE HAS TO TRACK MY STRENGTH INCREASES OR IT ISNT WORTH IT
My Latest Boditrax Reading:
This is a snapshot of my current Boditrax reading that compares my first reading in October (2016) to my current reading in December (2016).
My BODY WEIGHT has INCREASED by 4.1kg
My FAT PERCENTAGE has DECREASED by .7%
My MUSCLE MASS has INCREASED by 3.9kg
My BMR (kcals) have INCREASED by 125
Current Strength Testing Results:
1RM squat from 160kg to 190kg (but without a spot!)
1RM sumo deadlift 180kg to 210kg (no straps)
This historically is a great result for me as I have suffered from back and adductor injuries since playing rugby at university. I have been patiently doing rehab and focusing on mobility drills. So whilst I have lifted marginally heavier in my youth, for a slightly 38 year old I am taking on these GAINS.
Proving that when you use my training plan in conjunction with a functional and personalized nutrition plan dedicated to your goals, it is possible to make those ‘lean gains’ – to lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously.
Keep checking back on the website for more ‘full day of eating’ style nutrition plans that I will be making available to download, free of charge, throughout the next couple of weeks that you can then use and tailor to suit your own goals and needs.