What follows here are just a basic background on nutrition and should not be taken as a prescription to prevent or cure any disease.

What would be explained are just some of the basic requirements for the specific goals of weight gain, weight loss and maintenance.

The basic food sources are protein, carbohydrates and fats.

The basic nutrition value of these three nutrients are as follows:

Protein                   1 gram = 4 kcal

Carbohydrates      1 gram = 4 kcal

Fat                          1 gram = 9 kcal

(Alcohol                 1 gram = 7 kcal)

As you can see, protein and carbohydrates have the same nutritional value but fat is more than twice the value, and you can see what an impact alcohol can make on your diet as well.

The body needs a constant source of nutrients throughout the day whether you would like to gain weight or lose weight. That is why the daily requirements are set out in smaller meals throughout the day rather than having three big meals a day.

What will follow next is the estimation of your daily calorie requirements that will take in account your resting metabolic rate with your daily activity level. This will help you to have a basic figure to work with to estimate what you will need to eat during the day for the specific goals that you would like to achieve.

What’s a serving?

A serving is not a helping. A helping is the amount a person eats.

The following are servings of each of the groups.

These are the basic guidelines to follow when planning meals.

Example of a daily meal plan:

7:00 – 8:00 Breakfast

10:00 – 11:00 Snack

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

16:00 – 17:00 Snack (pre workout)

19:00 – 20:00 Dinner (after workout)

22:00 Shake or snack for gaining weight.

For weight loss it is advisable to consume the carbohydrates before workout and keeping the carbohydrates to a minimum after workout, if the workout is in the afternoon.

Clean Eating

Eating clean means avoiding foods that are not conducive to adding muscle mass, such as fried foods, butter and refined foods, including snack foods and fast foods. By clean, often mean natural and low fat. Clean foods include fish, fowl, lean red meat, eggs, low fat dairy products, potatoes, yams, brown rice, wholemeal/granary bread, oatmeal and fruit. Clean foods are generally more nutrient dense, they have lots of vitamins, minerals and or fibre- and they’re prepared with little or no added fat.

Eating just before training

Ideally you should aim to have a meal between 2 and 4 hours before your workout. Train on empty and you may become light headed, weak and shaky. These are signs of low blood sugar levels and will certainly stop you from working out. When your brain isn’t getting enough fuel, you’ll feel faint, lose concentration and risk injury.

Don’t think training on empty will force your body into the fat stores. It wont this will only cause early fatigue and you won’t burn the calories that you intended to burn and your body will start digging into your muscles for energy!

A few tips for weight loss