How do you know when you should bulk vs. when you should cut?
Are you a healthy body weight? What are your long term goals? Are you training for an event, or gene...
| July 9, 2021
Read time: 3 min.
When it comes to nutrition, you need to consider both consistency and variety. Without consistency, you will not improve to your max. Yes, you will progress, however you will find yourself hitting plateaus very early, possibly leading to frustration.
A sure way to find sources of nutrients that you can be consistent with is trial and error. You should consult with a physician before using any supplementation, but with that said, if your body allows it, a protein powder is a very effective way to get in your daily source of protein. It can be taken any time during the day, I generally take mine either in the morning or after a training session, but the overall idea of taking it should be to hit your target protein goal in grams.
I’ll share a few examples of staple foods I eat nearly every single day. If you find you like these, you can treat them the same way you might treat a block of periodized training, and add them to your routine. It’s good to do this for protein, to cover all micronutrient bases (iron, selenium, zinc, B12) and it is good to have variety in your fiber which allows your colon to have diverse flora.
Some personal choices worth noting in terms of protein sources are chicken thighs (I love them), I find they are a source of protein that never gets old to me, they do carry more fat in comparison to chicken breasts, however as long as this is taken into account while tracking your macros, you can budget them into your diet.
Lean ground beef is another great choice, it tastes amazing and is very versatile–it can be made into several different plates and with a variety of methods, and can be spiced in several different ways. Spice is the variety of life, so be sure to use it as much as you can to keep things fresh.
Fish is important for healthy fats in your diet! Especially for any strength athlete, DHA and EPA are fish oils that we get from fish, where DHA is what our brains are made of (grey matter) getting this from food will help our brains to perform better cognitively. EPA is what helps to keep our joints fluid and supports synovial fluid, as well as reduces inflammation, again inflammation and joint health longevity are crucial to enduring long in any sport to see long term results.
Fiber should be gained from veggies! Not only are vegetables good for macronutrient content, but they also provide a boost of micronutrient content (minerals) to help support our bodies function and reduce the risk of different cancers.
Carbohydrate sources that I personally love–basmati rice has to take the cake, it never gets old for me. Potatoes are great because they have a great fiber content, high satiety content (makes you full, limiting surplus) and are a good source of potassium. When I have a more simple carbohydrate source (fast absorbing and less satiating) I LOVE honey (always raw), as it carries antibacterial benefits, antioxidants to help with immunity, and its high glycemic content makes it a good pre-workout source.
Protein bars are always a nice thing to have in the cupboard, for those times where you might be running out of prepared food or on the go. Remember, your protein goal per day is essential. Too often, individuals train far too hard and then neglect their recovery in their protein intake. Why put so many hours into training if you are not willing to put in the same amount of work to recover? A torn muscle can not physically recover if it does not have a complete amino acid chain. This is where choosing the right sources of protein is important.
The bottom line is–choose foods you will be consistent with, that’s the number one rule to nutrition. And track your food for at least a week. Most people don’t realize how inconsistent they actually are with their intake, and think they are “eating good” when in reality, they look at what they are actually eating, and find they are either lacking, or eating in excess in the wrong areas.
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