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Eat smart: nutritional support to improve strength and performance

Hi Everyone,

As I mentioned in last weeks blog I have undertaken a review by Gemma our nutritional expert with the goal of improving my lean muscle mass and day to day energy levels.

The first task was to record a food diary. I was provided with a template from Gemma to fill in over 3 days and this was quite extensive in detail. This helps Gemma know what type of foods you are eating and also factors such as mood, energy levels and exercise done. Gemma also takes detailed measurements of my height, weight, and body fat composition. She then goes through my weekly activity levels to assess the type of exercise I am doing at the gym. This was my initial feedback:

"From your weight and height and activity levels I would suggest you need to be eating around 2500 cals per day to maintain your current physique. From the days I've seen on your food diary it appears you are about 500cals down on this figure at around 2000. I think we should start there and try to increase total cals per day by 500.

As your goals are to improve performance and gain lean mass, I have also taken into account your body type being an ectomorph (fast metabolism, hard to gain weight, easy to stay lean etc), and have calculated that we could probably get away with 45 to 60% of your cals coming from carbs and the rest from protein and fat. I would suggest we start at around 50% cals from carbs as you are currently hitting this with the type of food you're eating. I would like to play around with your fats and protein and lower your fats to about 20% of your calories (currently at 25%) and up your protein to 30% (From around 25% currently).

This works out as below: > 313g carbs (currently eating about 250g) > 188g protein (currently eating about 120g) > 56g fat (currently eating about 50g) We can see how you respond over a couple of weeks to this increase and can alter as we see fit".

The good news was that the food I was eating was a good balanced diet so I didn't have anything to change here. Here is what Gemma thought:

"The food you are eating is fantastic and I can't really fault it at all. A great mix of healthy fats, complex carbs and nutritious veg. Your breakfasts especially are on point well done! I would say to continue as you are but we can look at potentially upping macros around pre and post workout snacks to up your numbers, improve performance and aid revovery". [if !supportLineBreakNewLine]

Gemma then showed me how to calculate my own meals using MyFitnessPal app to ensure I am sticking to the macro breakdowns she gave me. You can input your daily macro goals and it's a really easy way to keep track. It might be hard to get into the swing of remembering to track at first, but I can only stress how much easier it makes it to stay on track so I would recommend keeping on top of it.

So there you go, I am starting to increase my cal intake and already I have noticed improved energy levels and strength at the Gym.

I will blog again in the next few weeks to report actual changes instrength and examples of how my new diet plan is helping me achieve my goals.

See you soon

Matt [endif]

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