Happy New Year to everyone and welcome back to our wonderful family at Endeavor Fitness! For those who aren’t yet a part of the culture inside the walls of our box, Happy New Year to you too!
I’m sure by now you’ve all thought long and hard about what you want out of 2018. For many, including myself, the pledge or promise, if you will, is to have the healthiest year of our entire lives (whether that means weight loss, improved physique or simply spending more time doing the things you love and less time working).
I would be remiss if I ignored the fact that for many it’s the hope or dream of finally seeing the number on the scale we’ve dreamed of along with the tight image in the mirror that’s on our daily minds. The good news is that we will be running another challenge or transformation, to help you change the way you look at nutrition but also your daily practices for the rest of the year and into the future.
Unlike other challenges though, we will be recruiting the help of Renaissance Periodization for the methodology behind the diet/lifestyle that is responsible for countless transformation stories online, especially in the CrossFit space (If you have any doubts, go onto your Instagram accounts and look at the account rp_transformations).
RP, for short, bases their methodology around the science of the nutrition industry which they’ve used to create templates for people looking to understand their diet and change the way they eat moving forward.
Through the science, what they’ve unearthed and created is a nutritional pyramid that serves as a guide to help people understand and weigh the importance of certain nutritional principles when it comes to putting food on their plate. This post will serve as a step-by-step approach to their methodology which is also available on Dr. Mike Israetel’s Ted Talk on Youtube.
- Calorie Balance– the base of the pyramid centers around the concept of energy balance. That is, calories in, calories out. Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the concept or at least the idea that the more calories one consumes the “worse” it is when it comes to seeing the number we want on the weight scale. According to Israetel and their research, calorie balance equates to approximately 60 per cent of importance for our overall health. When it comes to weight loss, this means we are burning or using more calories than we are putting in (eating) on a daily or weekly basis whereas weight gain is the exact opposite.
- Food Composition–This is the types of food that we eat and it is responsible for approximately 20 per cent of our overall healthy bodyweight. That’s right, when it comes to seeing the number on the scale that you want, whether you’re eating broccoli or Frosted Flakes is not nearly as important as the amount of either food that you’re eating. With that said, to optimize your diet, there are certain types of food that we all know are great as they provide extra benefits to our overall health (fibre, satiety, micronutrients) that help us stay on track when trying to increase our body composition satisfaction. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats are what we should strive to eat MOST of the time in our diet if we are going to optimize both our performance and our overall results. It’s important to know that about a quarter of the time, it’s okay to eat things society has considered junk foods and we will still be on track to reach our goals if those “junk foods” are consumed in an appropriate amount. There is no requirement to ever cut a food completely out of your diet–unless you have a bad reaction to it– you just have to eat a bit less of it than you normally would.
- Third, on the importance pyramid is the notion of nutrient timing or, put more simply, when you consume your food. Now there’s been plenty of myths and ideas put around this concept (don’t eat carbs before bed, make sure you eat protein directly after a workout) that certainly have some validity and their place, but are not higher in importance than eating the correct amounts of food or the right types of macronutrients.
- Food Composition, translated to what is it that’s going on your plate? This one seems to be a bit of a complex thing for a lot of people, being that it’s so high up on the pyramid with less importance than things like macronutrients or overall caloric/food intake. Let’s not mistake this: eating pop tarts and chocolate 100 per cent of the time just because it fits into our intake is not what we are about or are striving for. With that said, no diet should be about eliminating certain types of food that you enjoy no matter how bad you’ve discovered they are for you. In essence, yes that means you can eat pop tarts, but no that does not mean you can eat a whole box of them and eat them whenever you want.
- The last two spots on the pyramid I’ll put together as hydration and supplements. Hydration is obviously important, being that we drink enough water within our day to stave off dyhydration which also equals a reduction in performance. However, this doesn’t mean we need to preemptively consume water to prepare for exercise or our everyday lives. Instead, use your thirst response to determine when you need to drink outside of exercise. That’s exactly what it was designed for! Lastly, supplements. In short, the word “supplement” tells us everything we need to know about their importance. They’re there to supplement our overall diet and everything we’re doing already but they are not REPLACEMENTS. They supplement or compliment everything we are doing but if you’re walking into your local GNC or other supplement store thinking they are the cure to everything you think is wrong with your diet, we need to look back at the pyramid again.
For now, still weeks away from officially starting our challenge and lifestyle transformation, this is all we are going to get into. In a series of upcoming posts, we’ll help break down more of each component so you’re able to have a better understanding of where we’re going, and how we’ll get there!