There is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to what one needs to eat to fulfil their fitness ambitions. To make things a little bit clearer, we have answered the top 5 nutrition questions that we’re asked by our members.
1. Will carbs make me fat?
No. Let’s put this myth to bed, shall we? Carbohydrates don’t make you gain fat, excess calories do. It doesn’t matter if these calories come from carbs, fats, protein or alcohol.
The reason why you may think otherwise is that for every 1g of carbohydrate stored in the body, 3g of water comes with it. Meaning the excess weight you have after pizza night is mainly water, not fat. It’s also the reason we see drastic weight loss in the initial weeks of a low-carb diet. It’s mostly water loss, not necessarily fat.
2. How much protein do I need each day?
It depends on your goal, but for most active people who want to lose weight and gain muscle 1.6-1.8g per KG of body weight is the optimal amount for most. Some people may need more, others less, but this is a good range to aim for.
The best way I have found is to simply aim for double your body weight, knowing you may drop a bit short of that number. Better too much than too little. Those with quite a bit of weight to lose may need to lower this range to 1.2-1.6. Eating more than 200g of protein a day can be quite difficult to do, especially with whole food.
3. What are the best supplements to gain muscle?
The supplement world is saturated with big claims and sexy marketing, but the fact is, if we are trying to move a mountain, supplements are moving one pebble at a time. The boulders are your exercise programming, nutrition, sleep and recovery. Be sure to dial these in first before dropping your salary on Monster Mass 5000.
That being said there are a number of products that have proven beneficial in a number of comprehensive studies that may be worth looking into;
- Whey Protein – for muscle recovery and preservation.
- Creatine monohydrate – For strength increase and faster recovery.
- Caffeine – as a nervous system stimulation to encourage heavier weights
For the best supplements in the game check out our friends at BodyScience.
4. Can I drink alcohol and still lose weight?
You certainly can, but it can be tricky. Remember that weight loss is about being in a calorie deficit. It’s easy for the innocent glass of red with dinner to stack the calories over the week. So be sure you are factoring in these liquid calories.
It’s also important to understand heavy drinking can do some nasty things to our metabolism, hormones, sleep patterns and inhibitions. It’s not just a factor of calories in calories out with alcohol. If you are serious about making some changes in your health and aesthetic, give up the booze for a month and see how fast your body adapts without it.
5. Is intermittent fasting good for fat loss?
Intermittent fasting gives you an eating structure each day, in which you are encouraged to consume your calories within a timeframe. Some popular examples include the 5:2 diet, daily restricted eating and the warrior diet. The benefits are numerous in cell metabolism, longevity and balancing blood glucose levels.
That being said, if you exercise intensely and have not initially established a healthy, wholefood conventional diet, it may not be the best option for targeted, long-term fat loss.
We need to nourish the body through nutrition if we are stressing it in the gym, which can be hard to do if our eating is restricted. And if we are eating low-quality processed foods within our ‘eating window’, we are still eating low-quality, processed foods. We are better off learning how to eat higher quality foods without timed restrictions, before jumping into something this limiting.