Nutrition is arguably the most important factor in changing the way that your body looks. Whether it be losing body fat or gaining muscle, nutrition is key. However, composition changes aren’t the only benefit of having a good daily food intake. Performance, health, recovery, and a world of other benefits will also be impacted by the food and drink choices you make throughout the day.
There are a number of ways that you can make sure you are keeping on track, but first, let’s go over what actually makes up your nutritional intake.
Your nutrition can be broken down into many different factors that all play their own role in the way that your body works. The top of the list is Calories. Kilocalories (most commonly referred to as just calories) are a critical number when it comes to changing body composition as they are a measure of energy you are putting into your body.
Being in a caloric surplus(more than you need) will help you to put on muscle, alongside a good weights training schedule, while potentially adding fat as well if you have too much excess. Alternatively, a caloric deficit(less than you need) will help you to lose fat, but having too little calories will result in a loss of muscle and potentially have adverse health effects.
Alternatively, you could also count calories as kilojoules depending on which measurement system you prefer. There are roughly 4.2 kilocalories per kilojoule. Most calorie trackers will give you a pretty accurate estimate of how many calories you should be consuming throughout each day to meet your needs.
*Click the image for more tracker info.
Breaking down further, calories are made up of macronutrients and micronutrients, or, macros and micros for short.
Macros: These are made up of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. They provide energy for your body (carbs and fats), repair muscle tissue (protein), and help to keep your body in a healthy state (fats). Each macro is made up of a different number of calories to go towards your daily total. Protein and carbs both have 4 calories per gram, whereas fats are 9 calories per gram. This is something to keep in mind when programming your nutrition.
Micros: These are your vitamins and minerals. Each one plays a different role in keeping your body running healthily and efficiently. To make sure you are getting a sufficient amount of micros in during each day, you should be trying to add in some fruits and vegetables throughout the day and potentially use a micronutrient based supplement such as Redcon1’s GI Juice.
Keeping an eye on your nutrition can seem very confusing when you see your favourite Instagram influencer talk about the smallest detail in their diet. However, making it complicated isn’t always best. If you work out how many calories your body needs in order to get the results you desire, all that’s then required is to stay within those needs, regardless of the details. Adherence is key to long term results with your nutrition, so find the foods that work best for you and make them fit your caloric needs.