This is the outline for my December 9 workshop on Eating As It Relates To Fitness & Exercise, to take place at the Nederland Community Center.
Regardless of what methods a person chooses to lose weight, add muscle, or better condition themselves as athletes, unless that person chooses a path of sustainability, any progress made will be temporary. This workshop has several agenda points:
- To share thoughts on eating as it relates to exercise, which are sustainable.
- To help avoid choosing extreme means.
- To help avoid trend hopping.
- To provide practical advice which is relevant, and has been proven to work.
The Math Of Calories
Per Hour: Calories burned per hour are dependent on several variables; level of daily activity, relative muscle mass, BMR (basil metabolic rate) An average woman in her late 40s burns roughly 1700 calories per day, or roughly 70 calories per hour.
While Asleep: While sleeping, the same woman will burn calories at a slightly lower rate – approximately 10% fewer. So in an 8 hour sleep, she will still be using 500 calories worth of energy.
Don’t Eat After 6pm (wrong answer): So if a person does not eat after 6pm, and has breakfast at 8am or later the following day, that person is going more than 50% of the day without ingesting necessary fuel, though a majority of her overall calorie burning will take place between dinner and breakfast. That math does not add up. Not only is it okay to eat a snack later in the evening or prior to bed, it is recommended.
Skipping meals is among the most common methods people use to lose weight. This may work for some in the short-term, but rarely is this a sustainable option.
Hibernation theory in a nutshell: It’s simple; if you are not bringing calories into your body on a regular basis, your brain sends a signal your body to slow down the metabolic process. It senses fewer opportunities to take in fuel, thus it conserves what it’s given, and also slows down the use of stored fuel (body fat) as an energy source. When the body gets fuel on a more regular basis, the metabolic process is heightened, maximized, and more efficient with using stored ingested fuel as a form of energy, rather than storing it as body fat.
Quick Eating Ideas
Meatloaf: In the past I have relied on meatloaf to get me through some of the busier times in my life. Meatloaf is a vague term, and isn’t always associated with healthy eating. However, when the right ingredients are used, not only can meatloaf be healthy and support an exercise lifestyle, it can be convenient and also support a busy lifestyle. In busier times, I will make two bison or turkey meatloaves on a weekend afternoon. After they cool, I cut each one into 7 slices, wrap them in cellophane, and put them in the freezer. I then have 14 meals available for the taking. Paired up with a small premade salad and/or a piece of fruit, a slice of meatloaf can be filling, nutritionally fulfilling, and balanced.
Coffee Creamer Protein Powder: I am not a huge fan of drinking meals vs. eating them. There is much data to suggest that drinking meals regularly has a negative impact on the metabolic process. There is as much data though, that suggests skipping meals is worse. I will acknowledge that in today’s busier than ever lifestyle, there are times when drinking calories and nutrients may be a person’s best option. For those busy on-the-go mornings, and for those who don’t like to eat breakfast, a reasonable alternative is a scoop of protein powder in your morning coffee in place of creamer.
I won’t suggest here what types of protein powders are better – please message me privately if I can help. I only offer that a scoop of protein powder stirred into your morning coffee rather than creamer, can add flavor and provide needed calories after your overnight fast. Accompanied by a piece of fruit, this might not be ideal compared to a prepared meal. However, for active people this will serve you much better than skipping breakfast or grabbing a muffin on the go.
Cold Oatmeal Stored In Containers: Like the meatloaf, pre-making large amounts of oatmeal and storing it in plastic containers in the refrigerator carries a level of convenience. Cold oatmeal may not sound appetizing, but it actually has the consistency of bread pudding, and isn’t messy if you eat it while driving.
Frozen Meals: Chemical additives notwithstanding, for their convenience, taste, nutritional balance, and expense, frozen meals such as Lean Cuisines, can be a useful tool in calorie management. The arguments against these, relative to the person’s goals, rarely hold up with me. Additives, GMOs, blah blah blah. If the goal is calorie management, its’ hard to go wrong with a balanced frozen meal, and a piece of fruit for lunch or dinner.
Eating for workout recovery is often misunderstood. I’ll start by suggesting that post workout eating should be relative to the workout itself. What to eat for recovery matters much more for hardcore athletes than for those chasing weight loss or general fitness. Protein is perpetually touted as the best nutrient for workout recovery.
To an extent this is true, but there is no need for immediacy here. Since rebuilding blood sugar and glycogen stores post-workout matter most, taking in simple sugars in small amounts after a workout can have a positive effect. I know many seasoned athletes, myself included, who go straight to the Gummy Bears after a session. Just a few will do the trick though.
Later, I will have a meal which will include an equal portion of protein and carbohydrate to further aid in exercise recovery. The carbohydrate is necessary in the utilization of the protein.
There is no shortage of eating protocols being thrown about these days as being supreme. If any one protocol were truly supreme, no other would likely get results. Clearly this is not the case. Paleo, Low-fat, Mediterranean, Eating Right For Your Type, Low-carb, and High-protein diets among many others all have one thing in common; they are centered around calorie management.
With the truth being in the middle, calorie management and portion control, not the specific protocol, matter more.
I know of no eating scheme that provides for unlimited quantities of any food group, with the exception of green vegetables. When it comes to eating protocols, what matters most is picking one and sticking with it. My own suggested eating protocol for fitness and wellness can be referred to as – The Balanced Diet.
I don’t think it’s farfetched to suggest that including modest amounts of protein, carbohydrates, right fats, and simple sugars into one’s daily eating scheme would doing anything other than to promote health and fitness. To eliminate any of these suggests that nature is ignorant and we are superior.
In fact, a balanced diet based on portion control and calorie management is often overlooked by people as they jump from trend to trend, subscribing to any or all of them for the short-term, and none for the long-term.
In fitness, as in life, the answers are often right before our eyes. We miss so much when we look beyond simplicity in search of magic. Be well… rc
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Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I hit the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from the John Fairhurst Band. Enjoy…