Nutrition for Health & Performance
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Diet and nutrition are often the missing link in an otherwise comprehensive training program. As seen in the hierarchy of development pyramid (at right), the base of development is nutrition. The logical flow begins at molecular foundations (nutrition), continues on with cardiovascular sufficiency (metabolic conditioning), body control (gymnastics), external object control (weightlifting), and ends with the ultimate mastery of application (sport). Poor nutrition will cause all levels of development to suffer.
What is proper nutrition? There are so many “fad” diets on bookshelves today, it can be tough, if not impossible, to sort through them all. Each diet claims lifelong health and weight loss. How can they all be right? The better question is: Are any of them right? Thankfully, there is one diet that is right. It is inarguable and very simple.
Eat lean meats, vegetables, nuts & seeds, some fruit,
little starch, no sugar.
There are two aspects to your diet: quantity and quality. While the quantity of food you eat (number of calories) affects your weight, hormones, and performance, the quality of food you eat has a tremendous impact on your overall health. Combining quality foods in the right quantities will produce optimum health and performance.
The quality of food you put into your body should be your primary concern. It doesn’t matter how much gas you put in your car if it’s the wrong kind. Eating the proper foods will have an astonishing and undeniable impact on your health.
The best way to describe the types of food you should ingest is to eat a “Paleolithic” diet. These food choices emulate the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors. The Paleolithic era was a period of about 2.5 million years that ended 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. These Paleo foods are what our bodies are designed to eat. We have not evolved, on a cellular or metabolic level, much in the past 10,000 years. Hence, our bodies still need and want the original food put on the earth for us to eat.
The populations of the Paleolithic era had not yet been afflicted with the diseases we so commonly see today such as obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. By consuming food we were originally designed to eat, we can rid ourselves of many health problems that have arisen since the advent of agriculture. You will no longer need to worry about Syndrome X diseases (type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, dyslipidemia and obesity) as well as hundreds of other health detriments. Making this change in your diet, though not easy, will have a profound effect on your well-being. Not only will you quickly reach your ideal body weight, you will save thousands of dollars on unnecessary health expenses.
The food you will be eating will provide you with 100% of all daily nutrients you need. You will feel great, look great, and perform great.
While the Paleo diet will make you amazingly healthy, if you want to take your fitness performance to the next level, you need to take your diet one step further. By measuring how much you eat, you can balance your hormones exactly to become stronger, faster and more powerful. We have found that the Zone Diet gives an athlete a massive increase in their fitness level.
The amount of food required to increase muscle, maintain immune function and give you energy depends on your lean body mass. Typically, you will need between .7 and 1 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.
Once you know your protein requirement, you can easily figure out how much carbohydrate and fat you need. The ratio of these three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fat) is very important to get the best results possible. The best ratio of macronutrients is laid out by the Zone diet, and should be 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat. Your protein, carbohydrate and fat consumption controls all of your hormonal systems (insulin, glucagon and eicosanoids). Balancing these systems will help you reach ultimate health.
You can even take the Zone Diet a step further and tailor it to your specific needs. Serious athletes may need to increase their fat consumption. Many people run better with slightly less carbohydrates. Take the 40-30-30 Zone Diet as your base and experiment to see where you feel best. It will be slightly different for everyone, but this is an excellent place to start. Schedule a meeting with a trainer to get more help on how to make the Zone perfect for your body!
While the Zone diet does focus on lean protein, low glycemic carbohydrates and good fats, it’s primary focus is the ratio of protein to carbohydrates (quantity). The ideal food choices are better laid out by the Paleo diet, and combining these two methods will give you the absolute best nutrition program in the world.
More information on the Zone diet and macronutrient ratios: