Fitness Nutrition Plan
Who Needs a Fitness Nutrition Plan
When it comes to fitness, your nutrition plan is almost fifty percent of the equation.
If you've been blessed with good genes and a high metabolism, your diet is probably a little less important. If obesity with a tendency to gain all fat below the waist runs in your family, then you've got a harder time ahead of you. Diet and nutrition are even more important.
These are the steps you need to take in order to "compose" a fitness nutrition plan that is right for you:
- Calculate your daily calorie needs. This is the number of calories you can consume every day based on your weight, height, age, gender, and level of activity. There's a calorie calculator available here, and you can use it with either imperial or metric numbers. If you've been very ill or have a thyroid disorder, your needs will vary a little.
- Next, you need to look at the amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that you should include in your total calorie count throughout the day. You need to compose a list of foods, including their correct portions, that will meet your daily needs. You can find out nutritional values for various foods from a variety of online websites such as the USDA national food database mega-site or your can use our quick reference lists: list of high-protein foods; fruit nutrition fact; list of fat burning foods.
It's also possible to learn this from the nutritional food labels on the foods themselves (click here to go to our page about how to read nutrition label).
- This is a very important part of your calculations: If you are working out to burn fat and lose weight, then you should subtract 500 calories from the total amount that shows on the calorie counter for you. If you want to build muscle, then add 500 calories to the total. If you are one of those skinny guys with an elevated metabolism, then add 800 calories.
It takes about 3500 calories to burn a pound, and the same amount to add a pound. So if you eliminate 500 calories from your calculated calories every day, in seven days that will add up to 3500 calories and you'll lose a pound a week. The same goes for gaining weight. You need 500 more calories a day, but the weight you add will be muscle and not fat because of your daily workout.
- Now that you know how many calories you should aim for each day, you can write out an "eating schedule." This includes four to six meals daily. And of the total calories that you're allowed, 25% of them should be consumed before your workout, and another 25% after the workout.
Fitness Nutrition Plan in Detail
On the days that you work out, your eating schedule should look like this:
- Meal #1 (breakfast): 20% of your daily calories.
- Meal #2: 15% of your daily calories.
- Meal #3 - just before you work out: 25% of your calories.
- Meal #4 - your post-workout meal: 25% of your calories.
- Meal #5 (dinner): 15% of your daily calories.
On the days when you are resting and do not work out, this is your plan:
- Meal #1 (breakfast): 25% of your daily calories.
- Meal #2 (lunch): 25% of your calories.
- Meal #3 (snack): 20% of your calories.
- Meal #4 (dinner): 20% of your calories.
- Meal #5 (snack): 15% of your calories.
More Suggestions for a Fitness Nutrition Plan
As you follow the above eating schedules, you will learn which foods supply the nutrients you need in the proper proportions. Many people keep a food diary online or in a notebook that they carry with them. Before you know it, you will know by heart many common food values: For example, an egg has 4 grams of protein; a bagel has 45 grams of carbohydrates; a Snickers bar has 25 grams of fat.
Using supplements is a very important part of your eating schedule. Protein powders can ensure that you're getting the amounts you need to build muscle. Specifically, whey proteins should be taken before and after workouts. And there are many great supplements that serve as meal replacements, so they do all the calculating for you.
You should also take advantage of the full spectrum of vitamin and mineral supplements. They can ensure that you get the right amounts of essential nutrients to go along with your daily food choices.
Fitness Nutrition Plan - Complementary Work-outs
The last part of nutrition fitness is choosing the right toning or fat-loss workout, if you're a woman. If you're a man, look for a muscle-definition workout that suits you.
There are multiple routines for each category on our workouts database, which you can download and access from your computer any time you're exercising. You can also print them out, in full-size paper or in card format, to take to the gym with you. All you need to gain full access is sign-up for our free newsletter!
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