Nutrition for Fitness

Did you know that for weight loss or fitness, nutrition contributes to 80% of your results and exercise contributes to 20% of your weight loss?

Have you wondered why after strenuous exercises, you are not able to lose weight as desired?

The interplay between nutrition and physical activity is a frequently misunderstood concept; most people tend to either underemphasize (“as long as I get enough exercise I can eat whatever I want”) or overemphasize (“each mouthful of food must conform to rigid requirements”) the importance of nutrition and exercise. Making sound nutritional choices does not guarantee athletic prowess but consistently making poor choices constrains performance. Sound nutrition is necessary to effectively train and take advantage of training stimuli.

In simple language, nutrition and fitness go together like fuel and its usage for a vehicle. Good quality fuel for a vehicle allows it to perform optimally while a bad quality fuel hampers performance. If the vehicle is badly maintained, it loses the ability to move.

With Good Nutrition, Exercise Is a Hero; Without It, Exercise Is Zero

nutrition-and-exerciseFor optimal effectiveness of nutrition while exercising, developing a nutrition program that is personalized to the individual’s physiology requirements makes all the difference.

Important factors like fat percentage, exercise regime, medical history and personal goals (bodybuilding, lean body, fitness or weight loss) are essential for optimal results. Body fat percentage indicates an Insulin Resistance or insulin sensitive state.

Fat percentage:

 Description Women Men Insulin Status
Essential Fat 10 – 13 % 2 – 5 %  Insulin Sensitive
Athletes 14 – 20 % 6 – 13 %  Insulin Sensitive
Fitness 21 – 24 % 14 – 17 %  Insulin Sensitive
Average person 25 – 31 % 18 – 24 %  Insulin Resistance

The state (Insulin Resistance or insulin sensitive) largely decides the nutrition program and the food best suited for the individual.

Although exercise is an important part of a successful weight loss program, it is the negative energy balance associated with exercise and a low-calorie nutrition program that leads to weight loss. Post workout fat surge in the blood causes Insulin Resistance, unless the post workout meal keeps blood glucose supply to a minimum. IR leads to belly fat, but it does not show during active exercising days, because extra calories burnt in gym camouflage IR. So, if one doesn’t want a potbelly after discontinuing a workout regime, their diet should consist of food that generates low insulin during a workout, unlike body builders who eat to increase insulin. Whey protein and egg whites (a favourite of body builders) are high insulin generators and are best for individuals in the insulin sensitive state and works against those individuals who are in an Insulin Resistance state.

Ideal Pre And Post Workout Meal

Post-workout hunger pangs should not drive you to juice bars

For the body, active exercising is akin to hunting and gathering by our ancestors. Both acts cause stress and produce stress hormones that inhibit fat release during the event, but release plenty of it immediately after. So post-workout hunger pangs should not drive you to juice bars, which adorn some gyms or workout areas.

The best pre and post workout meals for someone who needs to lose weight and/or tummy fat is a low calorie caffeine based drink without sugar or milk.

Do not be fooled by tennis stars that eat bananas in between sets. They do that because their glycogen stores have been exhausted after 3 to 4 hours of hard work. Normally, ninety minutes of moderate intensity exercise or twenty minutes of high intensity exercise are needed to deplete glycogen stores. So food cravings after your workout is either psychological, emanating from the belief – “I have worked so hard, let me reward myself with my favourite food” or due to Insulin Resistance (the liver emptied its glycogen stores during the night). So the answer is to reduce IR and not eat fast digesting foods such as: idli, dosa, oats, cornflakes, bread, fruit juice, etc. Slow digesting foods like full eggs, chapatti, pesarattu, pongal or a meal replacement supplement would work best. The best pre and post workout meals for someone who needs to lose weight and/or tummy fat is a low calorie caffeine based drink without sugar or milk. This helps to release fat from the fat stores. A low calorie, balanced nutritious meal that is Insulin Resistance is ideal within an hour of exercise. A knowledgeable nutritionist can make a personalized plan for you. It is best to exercise on an empty stomach (eat at least 2 hours before exercising). If you do feel hungry, then a light snack is best suited.

Active Exercising Is The Only Antidote For The Ill Effects of Stress

active-exerciseCalories burnt during a workout come from muscle glycogen and fat. Burning them is an important benefit of the workout, because stress and anger cause adrenaline reactions that burn energy and fat. Stress causes muscles to overload with glycogen & fat and exercise is the best way to reduce it. If unalleviated, blood sugar levels rise putting the person at risk for diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. That is the reason why it is said that anger is like eating rat poison and expecting the rat to die.

An active lifestyle throughout the day after a sufficient workout period or active exercising is critical for reducing body fat percentage.

For more information on Insulin Resistance, refer to Insulin Resistance

Our Service Offerings:

  • Based on your fat percentage, we design a nutrition program that supports your fitness goals
  • We address specific issues like fatigue, tiredness before, during and/or after the exercise
  • We help with issues like knee pains, if they are nutrition related
  • We can recommend appropriate fitness regimes to suit fitness goals through our fitness experts
  • We address issues like motivation for exercising through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Scientific Mind and Body Processes