2 Big Nutrition Mistakes You May Not Know You’re Making
If you are simply reducing calories and fat consumption, you are not taking the most effective approach to enhancing your health and physical presence—or to your athletic performance. Instead, you are probably increasing the proportion of fat in your body. This means decreased work capacity and performance potential and an increased likelihood of injury, chronic disease and homeostatic imbalance.
Convention wisdom on nutrition—decreasing excess calories and fat—comes from the medical and pharmaceutical industry, whose goal is to prevent and treat disease. The conventional wisdom isn’t wrong—but it’s primarily focused on unhealthy people at risk for (or living with) chronic disease.
Calories Consumed [minus] Calories Expended = Caloric Excess or Deficit is just one rule. And we can’t devise viable strategies to enhance human health and performance from one simple rule alone.
Don’t make a big mistake. Make smart choices instead.
Mistake #1: Not eating often enough.
There are a lot of people who consume lots of calories and don’t become overweight or obese.
Too many people go for long periods of time during the day without eating because they think it’s okay. It’s not. If you don’t eat every 2-3 hours, you are slowing down your metabolism and productive work capacity in the short term due to insufficient energy and in the long run due to a lack of proper nutritional support for lean tissue.
Blood glucose levels need to stay stable for the body to optimize its composition. When you are in a fasting state from not eating, fats and proteins are recruited to provide fuel for the body. When this happens, the body is using muscle proteins to make and maintain blood glucose levels, leading to a decrease in muscle mass.
The second problem: people who don’t eat frequently tend to consume a majority of their calories in a large meal at the end of the day. This practice leads to large increases in blood glucose that encourage the storage of fat, which impairs your body composition.
Would you run a $200,000 car on close to empty if the driver’s manual says not to or fill up with standard gasoline when the manual says Use Premium Only? How much is your body worth?
A calorie is simply a measure of energy—like a gallon is a measure of volume. Like gasoline fuel, all units of calories are not the same, and each macronutrient effects the human vehicle (your body) differently. Eating appropriate portions of macronutrients regularly throughout your day optimizes your muscle’s functional needs by providing energy and protein. This improves your body composition.
Mistake #2: Not Eating Healthy Lean Meats.
There are a lot of people who consume fair amounts of fat who are not overweight, have good cholesterol levels and great body compositions.
Too many people are eliminating great sources of (animal) proteins (e.g., fish, turkey, chicken) from their diet in an effort to avoid fats. This is based on a fallacy that people become fat and have high cholesterol because they consumer too much fat. Rather, consuming too much saturated fat at the same time as too many carbohydrates will lead to chronic disease since increased insulin from higher blood sugar due to consuming too many carbohydrates triggers body cells to produces more cholesterol.
Proteins (especially more complete animal proteins) are necessary to support lean muscle tissue, enhancing your body composition.
For most people, fat lipids will be absorbed and metabolized as long as you consume the proper about of carbohydrates for daily activity and training.
The best offensive game plan to consistently having good presence and performance is to proactively create and support lean body tissue (muscle). What can you do to tweak your diet today?
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