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Mar 7, 2017

No matter what your fitness goals are, nutrition is a key component of success. The sayings: "abs are made in the kitchen" and "you can't out-train a bad diet," are absolutely, one-hundred percent accurate. 

Nutrition does not need to be overly complicated nor does it need to be some sort of strict diet but it is important to know a few strategies that can help you make healthier decisions. On this episode of All About Fitness Quick Fit Tips I offer a couple of simple strategies that can help you with your approach to nutrition.

A meal like this can be both nutritious and delicious!

First, it's important to know a little science, but keep in mind these are general terms, each individual is different, but these examples can help you to develop a slightly better understanding of how your body uses energy. If you want to know more about how your body burns fat then listen to episode 26 of All About Fitness where Professor Fabio Comana explains the physiology of fat burning.

Your body uses the food you eat for energy and to repair tissue. Protein is used to repair tissue while fats and carbohydrates are used to provide energy (among other things). The energy that is not used immediately will be saved as triglycerides in adipose tissue (body fat). Yes, most of the energy you use is to power your muscles for a variety of activities, but internal biological processes like digestion and tissue repair will also help burn calories.

A calorie is a measure of unit of energy - it is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one liter of water by one degree centigrade. There is some variance based on the amount of lean muscle mass, fat mass and overall fitness but in general the human body will burn approximately one hundred (100) calories to walk or run a mile.

If you take 12 minutes to walk a mile it will take you about 30 minutes to burn the energy from a 20oz bottle of Coca-cola (240 calories - according to the label). If you run a 7 minute mile it will take you half the time to burn the same amount of energy. 

My advice to clients is that when looking at a food label or calories guide on a restaurant menu determine how much activity you will need to do to expend the energy provided by that food. If something you're about to eat has two hundred calories then you should be prepared to do the necessary activity to use the energy it will provide. Otherwise that extra energy that could be stored as fat to be used at a later time. 

Taking the time to prep fruit and veggies at the beginning of the week can help you be healthier all week long.

If your goal is to lose weight then it is necessary to consume fewer calories than you expend - this creates a negative caloric balance. This doesn't mean starve yourself, it just means making smarter decisions about the quantity of food and your daily level of physical activity.

A pound of body fat has approximately 3500 calories of energy; if you can reduce your caloric intake by 300-500 calories a day and increase your caloric expenditure by 300-500 calories (the equivalent of walking 3-5 miles; it sounds like a lot but that can be accumulated throughout the day) then you will be on track to lose 1-2 pounds a week.

More importantly you will be developing the ability to make healthier decisions and practice healthier habits both of which are essential for long-term success.

 

There are many different approaches to nutrition; it is important to identify what works for you and your specific needs. My recommendation is to find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A RDN has five years of formal education before earning the credential which is important for helping you identify the most effective nutrition plan for your needs.

Pete McCall bio

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