Tag Archives: meals
Yesterday I gave my opinion and an example of meal timings and how you could make a small change each day to improve the quality of the foods you eat. Today I want to talk about the combination of foods, or more appropriately the combination of Macro Nutrients.
While I would say for the majority of people going in to depths on how to use macros is largely wasted, having a basic knowledge of how them is essential.
For those who are unsure of what they are this simple breakdown will help:
Protein – 4 calories per gram – The building blocks of the body.
Fat – 9 calories per gram – The bodies main energy source for the majority of it’s activities (or at least it’s meant to be).
*Carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram – The bodies secondary energy source. Carbs are like rocket fuel for the body because of how easily they can be broken down, these become very important for highly active people.
*Remember it’s easy to overeat carbs so keep an eye on those crafty little devils.
Now those descriptions are very very basic, but that is what you need to know because it will help you understand why certain food pairing work very well and others don’t. While some meals will contain all three macronutrients you will do well to have the bulk of the calories leaning towards which ever pairing suits your personal goal.
Here are the pairing I use for myself and all of my clients:
Protein + Carbohydrates (Simple) = Muscle Building
Protein + Fat = Weight Maintenance
Protein + Carbohydrates (Complex/veg) = Fat Loss
Carbohydrates + Fat = Problems… namely potential fat gain because the body will use the carbs for energy and potentially store the fat for a rainy day if it’s not needed.
If you take this simple piece of advice you will find that you can easily achieve your goal. You can by all means workout your specific macro requirements, but I have found keeping things as simple as possible is always best.
Here is what a typical day of meals pairings might look like:
Breakfast: Eggs & Salmon (Protein + Fat)
*Snack: Small Handful of Nuts (Protein + Fat)
Lunch: Chicken, Salad and Paprika Spice (Protein + Carbs-Complex)
*Snack: Tuna & Ryvita (Protein + Carbs-Complex)
Dinner: Steak, Veg, Potato’s (Protein + Carbs-Complex/Simple)
*Snack: 1 Pint of Milk (Protein + Carbs-Simple)
*Snacks are optional, but remember they are only snacks to take the edge off your hunger. If you are eating adequately for your respective goal you may or may not need them. Just don’t gorge.
The example meals above give you the bias combo to which the meal sits on. It is worth keeping in mind that most meals will contain elements of all three macronutrients, however, it’s always good to make them bias towards one combo if you have a specific goal.
Use the numbers combos above to decide what you need.
What is a good day of meals meant to look like?
Who really knows. It’s all down to personal opinion, so here is mine for your consideration.
In the modern world lots of people are over worked, over stressed and under nourished. Their choice of foods and when they eat them does not always help these common problems, simply because the foods are often highly energy dense and devoid of nutrition, leading to potential lethargy if they don’t have them in constant supply.
A typical persons daily eating regime might look like this:
7.am Breakfast – Cereals, Skimmed Milk and Orange Juice or Skipped
11.am Snack – Some form of Granola or Chocolate bar and a Latte
1.pm Lunch – Sandwiches or Skipped
6.pm Snack – A Post Workout Shake or another Latte
8.pm Dinner – Take Away (only because they got in late from work…)
11:30.pm Snack – Chocolate or a form of sweets
I know this is an extreme example, I am not saying it is true for everyone but I have met and trained plenty of people over the years who’s nutritional habits aren’t too far of this day in day out.
While I have given some general times that I have seen in my experience, you get the idea of what some people eat on a regular basis without too much thought. I’m not going to get massively technical, but I have personally found that most people respond very well by tweaking what they eat and when.
You will notice that the day starts off with highly processed foods and then continues on the same route (for most people this is not a good thing and can lead to obesity), there is very little quality protein, fibre and water in a typical persons day, because of this unknowingly formed habit it’s not uncommon to see improved energy levels, a better mood, more concentration and overall quality of life from a few simple tweaks in what foods they eat and when.
Try the following:
7.am Breakfast: Salmon & Eggs
11.am Snack: Tin of Tuna & Salad
1.pm Lunch: Chicken & Roasted Veg
6.pm Snack: Post Workout Shake – Optional
8.pm Dinner: Steak, Sweet Potatoes & Veg
10.30pm Snack: Frozen Yoghurt or Sorbet
*A glass of Water with each meal.
There might seem like a lot of change, but realistically all a person has done is added in more Protein, more Veg (fibre), drunk more Water and eaten less Processed Foods. I have found that when people start the day off with a breakfast loaded with quality protein and fats they sustain their energy levels throughout the day. Then they add in carbs int he form of fibrous veg throughout the day with meal that also contains a good quality protein.
I have left he post workout shake in because after a workout a meal high in protein and carbs will be beneficial in anecdotally aiding your recovery (if you eat enough real food there is no necessary need for a post workout shake).
As the day wears on the carbs start to become less complex, eventually ending with a does of simple carbs. This will help increase your serotonin levels which in tern will help increase your melatonin levels and hep you have a better nights sleep.
Give this structure a go and see who you look, feel and perform. If they all improve, then eureka!