Nutrition to help with your health, body composition and performance.
It’s important to approach nutrition as a holistic, all encompassing idea towards health, aesthetics and performance. A lot of people see nutrition as a “diet” to where they’ll lose weight or gain muscle mass to look good. Which is completely fine. However, we need to look at nutrition as a bigger picture. Even if your goal is to improve aesthetics or body composition, you should also try to improve health and improve performance at the same time.
If one or two of the three areas suffer becuase you are only focusing on one area, we’ve got a bit of a problem. For instance, if you’re shooting for a body composition goal, (trying to lose body fat or increase lean muscle mass) you’re doing it in a way that impacts your health or decreasing our performance, then we really need to consider what strategies we’re actually using to get to our goal. Now there is gonna be periods of time where there will be subtle discrepancies and changes in those other areas and that can be by design, for example; if you’re trying to gain lean muscle mass, you’re likely going to gain a little bit of body fat which, may effect your speed. Ideally, if you can gain lean muscle mass and maintain your speed, your actually “faster” because your moving more weight. Then once you have finished gaining lean muscle mass and reduce your body fat percentage again, you should see an increase in your speed. Now you’ve got more lean muscle mass and you’re faster, theoretically you’re a better athlete. The important thing is to not to ignore these other areas. We know that we can improve body composition in many different ways, sometimes it’s not always the best way and sometimes it impairs our health and performance. Ideally what we’re trying to encourage is, achieve your goal but not at the expense of the other areas.
One affects the other
One area can be manipulated to improve another area. Say your goal might be specifically for performance, by being a little bit leaner or having a little bit more lean muscle mass, you can actually improve your sports performance. It’s important to measure all the areas equally and constantly track and reassess where you’re at, regardless of what the goal is. Constantly keep an eye on everything just to make sure that everything is moving in the right direction. Now, what it could mean for each one is having good overall health means having more energy, better recovery, better quality of training, these qualities are also going to improve sports performance. By training better and having more energy to do things, you’re likely going improve your body composition. If you’re leaner, healthier, faster, we can then transfer all this stuff to the sporting field and ideally perform at our very best on the big stage.
Keep it simple
The most important thing though to consider in all of this is to keep it really simple. Work on the 99%. Everyone likes to focus on the 1%, especially with nutrition, the marginal gains, which is fair enough if you’ve covered the 99%. Everyone pushes nutrition aside a little bit sometimes and realistically, nutrition is a large part of the 99%. You spend more time eating than what you do training. It’s a big area of your life, regardless of sport, you need to eat. Don’t get caught up with too much of the self-sabotaging diets and confusing schemes, just keep it really simple. Fresh fruits and veggies, good healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olive oil), plenty of good quality meats and protein sources (yogurts, milk, cheese, fish, beans, lentils, tofu) and unprocessed carbohydrate (whole grain bread, pasta, rice, potato). Really simple, you focus on them, that’s the 99% right there. Once you cover the 99%, then we can start talking about the 1%.