Consistency Is Key
By Raymond Shipley
First, let us address adequate amounts of protein. We established in a previous article that in order to maintain a positive nitrogen balance one needs to consume at least .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Bodybuilders typically consume anywhere from 1.5-3 grams per pound, so suffice to say high amounts of protein are desirable. Studies have shown that high amounts of protein while on a calorie restricted diet will help maintain metabolic levels. (Clinical Nutrition, 2014) When you begin to cut calories metabolism will respond by slowing down in order to conserve energy and stores of energy. To prevent this from happening be sure to keep your protein intake very high. This means lots of chicken, meats, fish, eggs and for the vegan variety a whole lot of creativity with things like soy and tofu. May sound difficult, but the importance cannot be overstated.
Next, there are carbohydrates. But what sort of carbs should you be eating? Low glycemic carbohydrates, the kind that don't rapidly spike blood sugar, have been proven to help the body maintain consistent levels of energy compared to their counterparts that spike energy followed by a crash. Choose low glycemic carbohydrates throughout the day, with the exception of post workout when rapid recovery is ideal. Examples of low-glycemic index foods include 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat, oatmeal, oat bran, muesli, pasta, converted rice, corn, beans, apples, oranges, melons and yams. High-glycemic index foods include white bread, bagels, corn flakes, instant oatmeal, white rice, popcorn and saltine crackers. High glycemic index foods are effective fuels during and immediately after exercise because they provide sugar quickly to fuel exercise and replenish depleted carbohydrates. (Harvard Women’s Health Letter, 2014)
The majority of people I have worked with throughout the years know the basics of clean eating and health. This isn't the main issue. Consistency and follow through are where the magic happens and hopefully these consistent reminders that your health is important has at least some effect on daily life. And as always, help is ever available through personal training and program development.