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  1. Calories are king- without the calorie content taken care of, nothing else on the list matters. This is the foundation. You can’t build a house without the foundation, and you cannot build a great nutrition strategy without the calories in mind.

-to gain weight take your bodyweight and multiply by 16 to 20 depending on your activity level/sport.

  • if you are gaining more than .6 pds a week lower the amount of calories you are consuming. Too many calories too soon will allow more fat gain than needed. If our goal is to gain muscle we want to gain it without a bunch of extra blubber. Whether its for sports or aesthetics, its better to gain weight at a rate of 2-3 pounds per month.

– to lose weight multiply bodyweight by 11 to 14. Too fast of weight loss can cause muscle loss. If we have worked hard to gain that muscle, lets try to be patient on the weight loss. After the first couple of pounds, try to lose 1 -2 lbs a week.

Without the proper calorie amount, you will spin your wheels and stay where you are. Instead of worrying about the next couple of categories, determine your goal (weight gain or weight loss) and then move to the next part.

2. Macronutrients – I have already went into detail on carbs, fats, and proteins in the other articles. To keep it simple:

Protein :

Gaining weight .6-1.2 grams per lb of bodyweight

Losing weight .8-1.2 grams per lb of bodyweight.

Fats: Gaining weight 3.-.6 g per lb of bodyweight.

losing weight .3-.5 per lb of bodyweight.

Carbs:Fill in the remainder of the calories for carbs

Fiber: 8-12 grams per 1,000 calories.

3. Micronutrients and Water– Eating a diet that has variety in fruits and vegetables will help with meeting your micronutrient content. Water is simple, drink when you are thirsty. You should have 5 lemonade colored urinations a day. Some studies are finding that too much water can deplete electrolytes. If you are cold and tired all the time, you may want to look at how much water you are drinking. Water content will vary, a few factors are by climate, and activities. All fluids other than alcohol will count towards your daily water content. Some may argue that caffeine is a diuretic but its not as dehydrating as people once thought.

At least 2 fruits/2 veggies daily, preferably per 1,200 cals. for every additional 1,200 cals I add 1 fruit/1 veggie.

gaining: (optional) multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin d

losing: multivitamin, vitamin d, fish oil

  • These lists are very basic. I am trying to keep it as simple as possible.

4. Nutrient timing and meal frequency-

-Anywhere from 2-6 meals a day should suffice, whether gaining or losing. To learn more about the post workout window look at my article on it.

5. supplements- these are meant to supplement your diet! I count protein as a macronutrient, so protein powder doesn’t fall into this category. If you want to use it, go for it. If you want to eat a piece of chicken or some egg whites instead, that’s fine too. I use it and there has been times where I haven’t. Its a personal preference. As far as supplements go:

  • Creatine – Cheap, effective, and it works. Drawbacks: Some have gastrointestinal issues and diarrhea with creatine. If this happens, you’re better off without it. If coaches or federations don’t allow it, don’t risk it.
  • Caffeine- This works if you use the right amount. Too much and it negates the effects and makes your performance worse.
  • Multivitamin- I put this in the micronutrient section, but this is just a supplement. With highschool athletes and college kids that don’t eat the proper amount of nutrients, I like to make it more of a necessity. Taking a daily multi is like having car insurance, you may not need it, but its better to be safe than sorry.

Following these guide lines along with what I have touched on earlier in other articles will cover at least 98% of your success with diet and supplementation. Putting these tools into action and following them will determine your results! Good Luck!

For food varieties

More about protein

More about carbs