5 Rules of Performance Nutrition – Rule 2
This rule discusses meal planning and how to use correct portions. When planning each of your daily meals, or snacks, a caloric ratio of approximately 1 part fat, 2 parts protein, and 3 parts carbohydrate is a good place to begin. This however is merely an estimate for average people. Portions of carbs, to fats to proteins largely depend on the severity of your daily work routine and training routine. If you are a high energy output athlete you may need more carbohydrates to support your energy needs. Good fats, or Essential Fatty Acids, contrary to what many people think, are very necessary for maintaining good health and are needed to produce many important hormones in the body. It’s better NOT to eliminate fat from your diet, the trick is to choose the right fat, have it at the right time in the right portions.
That is what I tell everyone is the secret to correct nutrition. Eat the right food and the right time in the right portions.
Saturated fat is fat from animals and this must stay as low as possible in the diet. Unsaturated fats such as canola oil or olive oil are good and should be predominate.
Protein is a very important element in the nutrition of an athlete. You must consume enough to support growth, development and recovery. If you train as an athlete should train – up to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, then it’s important that you give your body the nutrients it needs to repair and develop and thus get stronger, get faster, etc.
Carbohydrates provide energy and are needed for muscle growth, development and recovery too. It’s better to choose low glycemic index carbohydrates, which are converted to blood sugar slowly so you can control you insulin levels. (we will discuss insulin and other hormones and how they relate to nutrition and performance to future articles). Always remember carbohydrates are your bodies preferred energy fuel source. Fats too have a high energy return, however, due to the slow digestion of fats it not the primary source your body looks for. During Aerobic Training (we will discus in future) which is training at what’s called your Target Heart Rate THR, which is the rate at which your body burns fat, then your body uses fat as energy.
It’s however not that simple, you must first perform anaerobic training (training for muscle development, using glycogen as an energy source) to use up your other energy sources before you body switches to fat at an energy source. So by working with this very simple ratio where you always keep fats at 1 part, protein at 2 parts and carbs at 3 you should be well on the way to healthy portion control with food. Another way that you can measure correct portion is with your palm. Use your palm, the face of your hand, not your fingers to gauge how much protein and how many carbohydrates you should have per meal.
One palm size for protein and carbs is an okay start for a meal. Another tip is when ever you have a meal stick to a reasonable size plate. Divide the plate into the correct ratios and when you fill the plate stick to the 1 part, 2 part, 3 part system and only stick to one plate per meal.
Next Rule is about the time when to eat.
Best in Fitness