Monday, March 9, 2009

Are you really eating healthy???

On a daily basis I always ask my clients how they have been eating. The answer I get is "good". Then I say ok, well tell me what you have been eating the past two days. Come to find out it was a bad two days, but before that they were eating "perfect"! So, I then tell that person to give me a food journal for the next 5 days with everything that goes into their mouth. When I see their food journal we come to the conclusion that they need some help.

Healthy nutrition is a tough task. It takes thought, preparation, time and organization. If you do not put thought into it you will never know what is going in your body. If you do not prepare there will be times when you do not eat or you will make a bad choice. If you do not make time you will rush to a fast food because you do not have time. If you are not organized then you will not be able to put in thought, you will never be prepared and you will never have enough time.

The first list are things you should be thinking about daily. I got this list from a former athlete that I used to train. His university gave this "checklist" to him on the first day of camp. We all need to concentrate on checking these things off the list on a daily basis.

Performance Nutrition: The Inside Edge

Consistent High-level performance requires that healthy nutrition be a high daily priority. Performance nutrition is about eating to optimize energy production, maintain a healthy body composition and accelerate recovery and healing. A true edge is gained by eating for health and performance EVERYDAY!


Do you eat breakfast 7 days a week?
Do you eat 3 balanced meals at approximately the same time everyday?
Do you eat 3 nutritious snacks in between your main meals everyday?
Do you eat at least 3 pieces of fresh fruit daily?
Do you eat at least 5 servings of fresh vegetables daily?
Do you choose high fiber breads and cereals? (Not corn pops!)
Do you eat a large serving of lean or low-fat protein at each meal?
Do you eat adequately to maintain your body weight (unless on a fat loss or weight gain program)?
Do you eat a pre-practice snack within 1 hour of beginning exercise?
Do you eat a post-workout snack within 30 minutes of completion?
Do you eat a balanced meal within 2 hours of completing your workout?
Do you drink at least 72 ounces of water daily?
Do you sleep 7-8 hours each night?
Do you go to bed at the same time at night and get up at approximately the same time each morning?
Do you take a multi-vitamin on a daily basis?

So look at these questions on a daily basis. You will see huge results in your energy levels, your physique and your performance if you are answering yes to these questions.

Next I am going to show you your calorie needs. Here is a formula for you to figure out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The BMR formula uses the variables of height, weight, age and gender to calculate the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is more accurate than calculating calorie needs based on body weight alone. The only factor it omits is lean body mass and thus the ratio of muscle-to-fat a body has. Remember, leaner bodies need more calories than less leaner ones. Therefore, this equation will be very accurate in all but the very muscular (will underestimate calorie needs) and the very fat (will over-estimate calorie needs).

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
Example: 35 years old, 155 pounds, 55 inches
BMR for this individual = 1423 calories at rest

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )
Example: 50 years old, 175 pounds, 65 inches
BMR = 66 + 1090 + 825 - 340
BMR for this individual = 1641 calories at rest

So, once you figure out your BMR you need to know how much activity you are putting in everyday. The Harrison Benedict forumla will help you out:

  • If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  • If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  • If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  • If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  • If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

We will use the male example above. His BMR is 1641 and we will say he is moderately active.

1641 x 1.55 = 2543 calories/day

NOW, you are asking "what do I do with that number"? Good question. If you want to lose weight you deficit that number by 500 calories. 500 calories a day will equate to 3500 calories a week which is 1 pound, a good healthy number to lose in a week. If you want to gain weight you add 500 calories to that number. If you want to maintain weight you eat right at that number.

So if that same man wanted to lose weight he would take that 2543 and subtract 500 which leaves him at 2043 calories a day. And vice versa if he wanted to gain weight.

Your daily calories CAN NOT be below your BMR. If you have these days it is detrimental to getting results. You will do nothing but eat away lean muscle mass and store body fat. You must eat enough food to spark your metabolism.

Final Tips:

  • majority of your food needs to come from fresh vegetables, fruit and lean proteins
  • eat smaller amounts of food every 2-3 hours during the day
  • water intake should be at least 65 ounces; the more active you are the more water you need
  • everyone, even weight loss individuals, needs a protein supplement; most people do not eat adequate protein sources throughout the day
  • if you do not cook, you need to learn
  • prepare you meals before you step out the door
  • alcohol will stagnate results; except for the buzz you get, there is nothing good about alcohol

If you have any specific questions feel free to email me anytime at


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