Nutrition for Exercise

It’s constantly preached that there are many small changes that you can make to your lifestyle to achieve a healthier you. But let’s be real- we’re all looking for the quick fixes to make us slim quickly no one’s really interested in the long term when it comes to looking good for carnival. The fad diets that many run to around this time of year have everyone looking great on the road- even though you basically starved yourself for a month or so. Did you ever think that there’s possibly a better/healthier way to get the weight down quickly? You’re not going to lose 20 pounds in a month, but small lifestyle changes can help get rid of that excess fluff to have you in tip top shape for the road.

Let’s start from the beginning. Losing fat really and truly starts with your diet, it’s a constant process between your calorie intake, the types of calories you consume, your metabolism, how much calories you burn and when you burn them. That actually sounds more complicated than it actually is. To simplify, it’s basically your calories going in being less than the calories going out. There are many different ways to achieve this but the best thing is to find what works for you, that is, training your mind. Weight loss is more of a mind game than anything else, you need to chose changes that you can easily adapt to and fit into your lifestyle.

Learning how to fuel your body properly to achieve this diet change is also very important. Many people don’t understand how to refuel their bodies for different types of exercise and this can be detrimental to your weight loss regime.

Let’s break it down:

Usually when trying to burn fast most people turn to high intensity workouts. Common knowledge is that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the best for cutting fat, but it’s really the after effect of HIIT that provides the most results. According to the International Sport Science Association (ISSA). HIIT creates what’s called an, “Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect.” This is essentially an increased rate of oxygen intake post strenuous activity as our body needs to restore itself to its resting state which also requires energy. On the other hand, aerobic exercise essentially works as a fat burner by using fat for energy once it has burned through the sugar that your body has available. To sum it all up, you burn fat during aerobic, low intensity workouts, but the effects of HIIT provides benefits after the workout has been completed.

Now that you understand how these forms of exercise work, let’s determine how you should refuel your body on both high and low intensity workout days.

High Intensity

Look at it this way, if a car requires premium fuel and you continuously put super in its tank, eventually it stops working and a car without fuel cannot run at all. Shouldn’t we provide our bodies with the premium fuel it needs to run at it’s best? Why do we continuously try to push our bodies without the right type of fuel? Fueling your body should optimize your workout. When aiming for weight loss most people turn to a low carb diet, but a low carb diet isn’t often ideal for high intensity workout days, especially post workout. When there are low levels of glycogen (stored fat) in the body that creates opportunity for the body to start burning muscle. The solution to this is to consume high protein to aid in muscle rebuilding and recovery and carbohydrates to be used as energy.

Low Intensity

For lower intensity days the goal will be to burn fat- which means you fuel differently. The body needs to be in a state of lipolysis, which is the burning of fat for energy. On these days your fat and carbohydrate consumption should be significantly less than any other day. Both fat and carbohydrates should not take up more than 40 percent of your daily caloric intake.

There really is no ‘quick fix’ to fat loss, it’s a slow and steady process that requires time and dedication if you really want to see long-term results.

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