MVP FITNESS 365

EAT. TRAIN. REST.

NUTRITION

Some experts say that nutrition is 80% of the formula for successful weight loss.  They probably undersell it.

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Just as with any good workout program, I believe the body will begin to adapt to the same nutrition plan replayed over and over and over. As such, my approach over the next 365 days is to incorporate TWO distinctly, separate nutrition plans – clean eating and “Adam’s Diet”. I absolutely believe in both. The reason for two plans is not only to shake things up from an adaptation standpoint, but to prevent boredom from eating the same things again and again. I admit that I lack imagination when it comes to food. I could have the same meal every single night and be happy. My family, however, requires variety. And if I want to keep them on-board and supporting me, it will be necessary to change things up from time to time.

I have no set schedule on how long I intend to keep to one plan.  As they say, I will know it when the time comes.

As silly as it sounds, I guess it should be noted that I will not bounce from one plan to the other on every whim, or from meal to meal.  I will stay on any given plan a minimum of three weeks (and hopefully longer) before considering a change. 

 

CLEAN EATING

This approach is fairly simple.  Track everything I eat and keep my totals in a tight range between 1,800 and 2,200 calories per day. 

The harder side to that equation is the macro-nutrient breakdown.  My goal is to utilize a 40-40-20 split.  That is, 40% of my calories to come from PROTEIN, 40% to come from FAT, and the final 20% will be CARBOHYDRATES. 

I love vegetables and fruit.  They are allowed in unlimited quantities, as long as the calories and macros work out. 

To keep the calories down, however, I will be looking at fish and leaner cuts of meat, say 90% and above.  That means plenty of chicken, turkey, super lean ground beef, salmon, tilapia, whey protein powder, etc.  Protein is the cornerstone of every meal.  The rest just makes the plate look pretty. 

Of course sugar is out.  I can enjoy the occasional small treat, but it gets counted, just like the rest of my calories do.  Whole grains and other healthy carbs are welcomed – but sparingly.  As long as I am eating tons of fruit and vegetables, it will be hard to enjoy too many grains and remain around 20%.  I also prefer to keep my fiber above 25 grams per day.  I MAY supplement some Metamucil if I begin to fall short of that number too often.

The upside to clean eating is the control I have over all my food.  The downside, of course, is the control I have over all my food.  Thankfully, I am a numbers and statistics  guy.  That’s a nice way of saying I am overly anal.  I actually ENJOY tracking my food in an online journal (FITDAY).  It helps me plan out the rest of my day and hit my macros on the mark. 

 

ADAM’S DIET

As a brief introduction, this plan was set out by Adam Campbell on the Nutrition forum at JPFitness.com.  On a side note, JP has created a message board at his site frequented by some of the top experts in the fitness field – all of whom are readily available to answer questions and discuss the latest research.  I haven’t posted much there, but I have been an avid observer since the first day the site went live.

Adam Campbell is the sports and nutrition editor at Men’s Health.  “Adam’s Diet”, as it was first known, became the basis for the TNT Diet, written in conjunction with Jeff Volek (another highly respected expert with more initials after his name than I can even decipher).  I have read the book, although the actual plan I am following is not the exact one found there, but rather taken from the initial discussions in the posting forum.  They are very similar plans, and I would strongly encourage a thorough application of the book’s content.

The purpose of the plan is basically insulin management.  It is definitely a low(er) carb plan, although ketosis is not the goal, but rather keeping insulin levels at a minimum throughout the day.  I will NOT count calories as this plan is largely self-regulating.  In other words, I should feel satisfied while automatically keeping my calories low enough to lose fat.  Eat away (within the boundaries of common sense).

1. Eat as many of these vegetables as you desire throughout the day.

Asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumbers, egg plant, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peppers, pickles, spinach, squash, string beans, tomatoes, zucchini. Of course, oil-based, low carb dressings are fine for dipping, steaming is great, as well as sautéing with garlic (fantastic for fresh spinach with olive oil).

2. Eat as much lean meat as you want: 90 percent lean beef, turkey, chicken, tuna, salmon (any kind of fish/seafood really). (You can eat bacon, ham, and fattier meat, too, but just for the sake of being politically correct, limit these to one to two servings a day.) Use low-carb marinades and rubs to add variety to things like chicken and beef.

3. Especially avoid high-carbohydrate snacks. That is, anything that would spike your insulin between meals. Instead eat pepperoni or cheese (or better yet, pepperoni sticks dipped in soft cheese! or tuna, etc. Also, eat at least 1-2 servings of peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts per day (great snacks).

4. Allow yourself one to two servings (but only at ONE meal) of the following: whole grain/wheat bread, brown rice, sweet potato, oats/oatmeal (In other words, if you want a sandwich for lunch, eat it. If you like oatmeal for breakfast, eat it.)

5. Limit fruit intake to 2 servings a day. Choose from: strawberries, pears, peaches, apples, and grapes.

6. Have as much coffee (with cream or artificial sweeteners), diet soft drinks, and tea as you like.

7. Drink lots of water. Let’s say 16 ounces ever two hours you are awake on top of other beverages.

8. Drink (roughly): 15 grams of protein, 45 grams of carbohydrate (high-glycemic like maltodextrin or dextrose) in 12 ounces of water–half 5 to 15 minutes before your workout, and the rest evenly divided every 15-20 minutes of your workout. (This is basically a “Nutrient Timing” principle.)

9. After your workout, drink 20 grams of protein and 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrate. (These numbers are debatable, but I think they’ll do the job quite nicely.)

10. Eat eggs and plenty of cheese. Avoid milk most of the time. (If you love it, limit it to one serving a day.)

 

You’ll get plenty of carbohydrates but you’ll time them correctly and you won’t be eating the ‘bad” ones when it counts. The idea is that you’ll keep insulin levels low all day long (high insulin inhibits fat loss and promotes fat storage) except during your workout, when you’ll use insulin to decrease protein breakdown. You’ll also eat protein at the same time, to enhance protein synthesis. Plus, by eating before and during your workout, you can workout as intensely as you desire. So it’s the best of both worlds: faster fat loss with more energy. In addition one problem with a pure fat loss ketogenic diet is that although you preserve muscle, you can look “flat” because of the reduced glycogen stores. This plan keeps your muscles looking full and feeling big. Basically, it’s meat and vegetables. So you don’t have the pasta and bread, but you really don’t need it if you get creative enough with food preparation. I’d also recommend that if you can sneak a fiber supplement in during the day (BeneFiber or Metamucil) say, 30 minutes before you eat any meal in which you eat the foods that are in number four you’ll enhance your results even more.

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