To reach an individual target over time, you can’t jump hurdles to get there. You are far better to set out milestones and to take the journey step by step. Combining the 12 inches in each step, with the Nutrition-X 12 week lifestyle challenge, it is appropriate to draw the curtains on the last 3 months with a summary of the journey. Firstly, for those who have joined and followed us, we would like to congratulate you and from us, a well deserved pat on the back. Secondly, we at Nutrition-X would love to hear your feedback on the blogs, the changes you have made personally and anything else you have taken from the last 12 weeks!
The first phase of the lifestyle challenge consisted of understanding cravings and how best to conquer and curb our individual cravings for certain foods in blogs 1 & 2. It’s key to not cut out everything from your normal lifestyle, but instead implement changes little by little. If we cut too much out early on then the cravings become too big and we will be more likely to rebound and reach for that desired snack, additionally with a rise in training we must support our bodies need for energy including high quality protein sources to aid recovery. A neat strategy out of the toolbox is making smoothies to be consumed on the go or at home as a quick supply of nutrients for the body. This will also allow us to curb the cravings for certain types of foods for example sweets and chocolate – Get lots of smoothie ideas in our recipes section.
Furthermore, when manipulating our own body composition profile, unless we support and fuel ourselves adequately then we are going to find the transition very tough. Whether this is a rise in lean mass with a reduction in body fat, or just to reduce body fat alone, it is key to keep adding fuel to the fire and keep our metabolism ticking over. A very common thing I witness is people not consuming anything for 4, 5 or 6 hours when at work or busy with the kids. I understand we live hectic lifestyles but if there is time to check Facebook, Twitter or even view your friends Snapchat story then there is time to consume food. In week 3, I presented a table with some common food sources for both the macronutrients, carbohydrates and proteins. Use this as a starting block to ensure you are supplying your body with enough carbohydrates and proteins depending on your individual goals and continuously eating smart whenever you look at consuming food or fluids.
“From the beginning it was highlighted that the point of these blogs was not to merely tell people to go on a diet…”
The final part of phase 1 was to understand exercise for weight management with a guest blog from John Noonen and Sam Impey – Understanding Exercise for Weight Management. This very clear and concise article, fine combed the myths and conflicting methods we see from celebrity endorsed stories weekly on social media platforms. To this end, a fundamental message from both authors was: Establish an organized balance between food in and the type and amount of exercise completed across each week. This was corroborated with a clear formula that if there is a rise in the calories going in versus those getting expended, then this would likely lead to weight gain. Oppositely, if we switch this equation around (which will be the aim of the majority of readers) and we expend more calories than those consumed, this would naturally lead to a likely weight loss. We also learnt that exercising in the morning before breakfast burns more calories throughout the day and performing resistance training would help with the formation of more lean mass and subsequently lead to a greater energy expenditure. Taken together, the more we exercise the better, and being smart about what and when we consume carbohydrates can really manipulate the energy being used in that exercise bout!
The middle section of the 12-week lifestyle challenge was all about maintaining the new lifestyle that you have now implemented into your daily living. The first 4 weeks are behind us now and this next step was all about keeping up what you are doing. Further, blog 5 introduced the idea of periodising our nutrient intake throughout the day playing about with the macronutrients carbohydrates and fat in an attempt to really benefit from the exercise stimulus and the hard work we are putting into the 12 weeks. By limiting the carbohydrate intake post morning cardio, we would see a greater potential to burn fat for example. Also, if we are on a training day or a recovery day, this would inform the amount of carbohydrate we should aim to consume. With this, I hope the message or periodising your nutrition in addition and similar to how you periodise your training is of upmost importance.
It should now be clear to you that on a training day we should be eating more than on a non-training day. Additionally, we can also manipulate the time of the day we consume certain food groups. A common mistake is consuming high sugary fruits in the evening, apples, pineapples and the other sweet tasting fruits. By all means, aim to get the rainbow a day of fruits and vegetables in your daily intake but be smart about what time of day you consume them. The 3 T’s Model of Nutrition can really help here (Timing, Type and Total). A major player in the whole of this unique lifestyle challenge is you and your fridge/kitchen cupboards. Ultimately, if you seek out to purchase and stock your home with healthy, nutritional beneficial foods and fluids then when it comes round to feeding time, you have no choice but to consume these great choices. If you have a treat/naughty draw then you are going to be more tempted to drift off your path to success. The Kitchen Essentials blog form Harry Routledge provides a brilliant platform to base the stock ingredients in your home. Ensuring a variety of foods and fluids are at hand all the time, means that you can keep your taste buds firing with new and interesting combinations of food and dampen the urge to go back to the naughty draw! A great idea is to double cook at feeding times and then tuppawear the rest of the meal to have ready to consume for lunch or even as snacks throughout the following day.In terms of meals, Harry produced some easy nutritious meals for the typical individual goals that the majority of people have: Dieter, Gainer, or Maintainer! Experiment with these meals and play around with them to suit your taste buds. Remember to apply the smart frame of mind when cooking the meals and follow the 3 T model to help establish when you will consume, how much and what food! Continuing the trend of the 3 T model, weeks 9, 10 and 11 were all about individual goals and what you may want to be achieving for yourself. For example; gaining functional weight, loosing fat mass or maintaining what you are currently happy with. Additionally, we discussed a popular topic of nutrition for Injury Crisis. Mark Fell and Robert Seaborne discussed strategic ways to Loose Body Fat Without The Gimmicks and also A Comprehensive Guide to Gaining Lean Mass respectively.
Read the 3T’s to your goal below!
The 3T’s to Dieting
The 3T’s to Gaining
The 3T’s to Maintaining
Drawing the main points from these blogs, Mark highlights that the key to loosing unwanted body mass is to expend more calories than you are loosing and even better the period after expending this energy to withhold the intake of carbohydrates to allow fat oxidation to continue. Being clever about the timing of carbohydrate intake and what source for examples high GI or low GI will also support fat loss targets. Taking account for our own nutrition by preparing and planning meals will ensure we avoid unwanted snacking on foods that we know we shouldn’t be consuming out of the vending machine. In regards to gaining lean mass, Robert providing some easy top tips to remember. When we ingest high quality protein at regular time points (2-3 hours) we support the protein synthesis (building) process. If we stay in a calorie surplus, ingesting high quality food sources this will support the gain of good healthy functional weight and not unwanted fat mass. Combining exercise with an increase in good nutrition will only speed up the process of gaining mass and readers should refer back to the understanding exercise for weight management blog from John Noonan and Sam Impey.
The last blog of the final phase evolved around what the best strategies are if we are injured. One of the main things to remember with injury is, typically energy expenditure will decrease either due to a lower body injury meaning running or cycling locomotion’s can no longer be performed or upper body injuries decreasing the chance of resistance exercise aimed at the upper body muscle groups. With this in mind, the 3 T model most certainly needs to be applied straight away by increasing protein intake to support lean muscle mass and most probably a reduction in carbohydrate intake outside of training to ensure we don’t store unwanted fat mass. The period of injury crisis can be reduced with nutritional support and we would recommend some key supplements to aid the recovery period. Creatine, Omega 3 fish oils, Whey and Casein protein are all recommended and readers should refer to the Maintainer blog to in regards to how much or each supplement.
Over the past 12 weeks, Nutrition X has provided customers and readers the chance to partake in a lifestyle challenge. From the beginning it was highlighted that the point of these blogs was not to merely tell people to go on a diet and loose weight, but to try and educate people with blogs that are written inline with the relevant, current and up to date sport science research to provide evidence informed articles. Along the journey, we have called on colleagues who specialize in respective areas and who also work with many professional clubs, athletes and organizations. We here at Nutrition X hope that those who have joined us on this journey have not only enjoyed the ride but are now customers that see the philosophy we are trying to create here at Nutrition X. We would all love to here of any stories or periods that this education series has helped you and aiding you on your path to achieve your goal. From me personally, I work heavily within the professional rugby arena and it has been brilliant to take my skills and apply them to this education series. So I would like to thank the team at Nutrition X and to all those who have taken the time to read, take on board and learn from the science I have attempted to translate and I hope to hear of some of your stories!
James Morehen, @1More_Nutrition, email@example.com
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