Everyone is different when it comes to body composition/size, as well as their goals as to what they want their body to look like.
If that means putting on size for some people (mainly a goal set by men, unfortunately) or losing fat/getting leaner for others (a goal everyone has more than likely set before – whether or not they succeeded), then you have to know what is the best way to reach these goals when it comes to food intake.
This leads me to today’s tip…
Choose your foods wisely to match your goals.
That’s just stating the obvious for most, I know. For a lot of people though, they get totally confused around the whole nutrition/food/calories/macros subject and aren’t sure what they should be doing.
Eat less food & exercise more? Surely that will work. Well no, not unless you want to mess with your hormones, this isn’t exactly the best way to go for a long-term goal.
Eat less calories & exercise, now you’re on the right track. Similar & confusing!
Eat wisely! This comes down to a few things; what your goal is (to increase mass/decrease mass), whether you prefer to eat a lot of food (have a big appetite and find it hard to feel full) or just prefer to eat a few small meals (smaller appetite, not fussed on food).
Lets say your goal is to decrease mass/lose fat/get lean, yet you LOVE food (me!), then you are going to want to have food that has some substance, makes you feel full, and that can have you eating regularly. This varies with everyone obviously, but a few ways to achieve this is by:
- Having high protein meals (make you feel full for longer)
- Having small snacks throughout the day (I have yogurt, fruit, babybel cheese (light), dark chocolate, almond butter to name a few).
- Using lower carb/calorie alternatives to add substance to your meals so you physically get to eat more food (psychological for some people to make them feel full). Foods such as cauliflower rice & courgette spiralized are ideal for this as they are full of nutrients yet low in calories, and can replace carb/calorie dense foods such as rice and pasta.
Now, lets say you are trying to increase mass, yet you are finding it hard to reach your daily calorie intake to do so. Follow the above tips but obviously on a larger scale, except the last one.
Maybe you are thinking you should have the cauliflower rice/spiralized courgette as it’s healthier? Not exactly, you can by all means have them as they are healthy, but maybe have them as a side to the carb/calorie dense rice/pasta/potato, instead of a replacement. These are the foods that will help increase your calorie intake for the day!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with those starchy carbs, except for the fact you can only have small amounts if you are on a restricted diet, in that your carbs are limited and calories are in a deficit.
If you are on the opposite end of the spectrum and need ways to increase your calories then DO NOT avoid these foods.
If you are supposed to have 200g protein, 300g carbs and 100g fat per day for example, to increase your size, then sticking to vegetables and fruit as your carb sources will more than likely make it very difficult to reach your carbohydrate goals each day! Embrace this!
Eat allll the potatoes 😀 Post-workout is the optimal time to consume starchy carbs to help with protein synthesis, as well as before bed for some people as carbs make them feel sleepy.
Keep your protein high by having foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, whey protein & protein bars if necessary.
Fat is also an easy way to increase your calories as it has 9kcals per gram compared to protein and carb’s 4kcals per gram. Buy the full fat milk, cheese, yogurts, use olive oil, coconut oil, avocados etc. Good fats shouldn’t be avoided.
People should buy low-fat products only if they are already reaching their fat intake by consuming good fats (avocados, olive oil, oily fish) and just need to keep the rest of their day’s food intake low in fat. Simple. Don’t buy low-fat products for the sake of it.
Whatever your goals are, try to break them down as simple as possible and make life easier for yourself. If you need some help figuring out how to break down your macros feel free to drop me a mail.