Thursday Food For Thought; Manipulating Nutrients to Benefit Performance and Body Composition


Many people (especially us women) think that in order to lose weight and cut fat, we need to eat less calories then we consume. Most diets are based on this assumption, which is why many diets don’t work or at least aren’t attainable.

Ive based most of my life off the princible of eat less, burn more. I was miserable, hungry, weak, depressed and wasn’t enjoying life. I needed a new way of thinking because what I was doing was not working. It wasn’t until Cross Fit that I finally started to see the bigger picture.

I had finally come to the conclusion the best way to eat that will result in a win win all the time. Its no secret or magical solution, its just being educated on how your body works and the effects of consuming quality foods. Now is my chance to retrain your brain and save you from a life long misery of frustration trying to lose weight. If you learn the whats, when and why, you will forever hold they key to success when it comes to reaching any composition or fitness goal.

Did you know there is actually a scientific reason to eat?

Everything we do in life demands energy . Whether it is sitting at your desk at work, sleeping, eating or running, our bodies rely on energy to supply these activities. All of this required energy creates your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).

Scientifically, your TDEE tells you how much heat your body generates through a process of thermogenesis. There are three main contributors to your body generating heat, in other words there are three reasons our bodies “burn calories”.

The first and most obvious factor that contributes to calories burned is how much heat your body generates to sustain daily activities and exercise.

The second contributor is the energy used for our bodies to keep all of our organs functioning properly (brain, liver, kidneys, etc). This is called your Basal metabolic rate (BMR) which means, even if you laid in bed all day and didn’t eat or move, your body still requires energy just to function. Depending on how much you weigh, gender and age, this number can range anywhere from 1000-2000 calories. This is why nobody should EVER consume less than 1200 calories a day.

The third factor, (which is my favorite) is the amount of calories needed to eat food. Sounds kind of ironic right? Our bodies need energy (about 10% of total TDEE) to digest and absorb nutrients of food. So this is why it is important to understand what you put in your body because everything has a different process of digestion, some burning more calories then others.

Now we need to understand how our macronutritents (carbs, proteins and fats) get digested. Lets start with protein.

Protein is the most thermogenic of them all, meaning it takes the most energy (calories) to digest and process. This is why many people see weight loss on high protein diets because it takes a lot of calories just to break it down. Protein also keeps you fuller longer because it takes so long to digest, which means you wont feel the need to eat as much. Our body is made up of protein so it is super important to provide our body with the materials it needs to repair your body into a lean mean fighting machine!!

Carbs & Fats are easier to break down and the energy required to digest these macro nutrients is less than protein. Fat burns the least amount of calories through digestion.

Now lets get to the fun part!! How to utilize these nutrients for our own benefit. As long as we are knowledgeable, we can manipulate these nutrients to get us to any physique or athletic goal we want. Its all about the power of knowledge!

Consuming carbs after a single bout of exercise is 70% greater than before training. If you add that up, that’s the difference of thousands of calories every month that you get for free!! On top of the boosted metabolism from high intensity exercise, your metabolism is kicked into high gear when you eat carbs post workout. Your body is always trying to reach a state of homeostasis. So after an intense training session, it becomes a furnace burning tons of calories trying to bring your body back to a neutral state. Carbs help with that recovery process.

In other words, after a training session you have a 30-60 minute window to generate an insulin response. This is the time where you want to drink as much water, eat protein, carbs and fats because it will all be utilized and beneficial to recovery and body composition. So if you are going to eat a big meal, that is the time to do it. Not saying you should eat a box of cereal and a carton of milk, but if you did that would be the best time..just saying.

What Im trying to teach you is that eating sufficient amount of calories throughout the day and having a high carb meal after your training will give you an advantage. When you focus on eating to perform, body composition will follow. Eating non-processed, clean food will allow your body to function and digest properly. You will notice that if you eat clean you will not only feel and look better, but there will be no need for you to count your calories anymore. Focus on quality of food and timing. Don’t create a diet, create a lifestyle change and be efficient with it.

And there is todays food for thought! Happy Thursday 🙂


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