Monday, February 20, 2012

Seasonal Nutrition #1

I know what you’re thinking: “Great – can’t wait to read a blog telling me how what I’m eating is ‘bad’ for me.  And the super-technical breakdown of calories and macronutrients will be good reading.if I need help falling asleep.”  Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you eat crap; we both already know this – lol.  Kidding.  And I won’t go too deep into macro’s and calories, other than to describe what my food intake looks like and cover a few basic guidelines you’ll need to get started.  Not to freak you out any more, but this will be a 4-part blog as well – yes!

The initial focus of this post series is to describe some basic nutritional concepts that you’ll need to understand before I cover the more detailed seasonal-specific information (and no, there won't be a quiz later).  The follow-up posts will share some comments about how seasonal changes (the actual seasons of the year and being in/out of competition season) require a shift in foods and macronutrient content to match the needs of your body as it tries to adapt to new environmental conditions and different physical demands.  Whoa a little techie there, here’s a picture of food that might calm you down:
Ale's famous 5-chili chili

Let’s start with a few simple nutritional/caloric guidelines.  Depending on an individual’s goal, there are generally 3 stats necessary to get started:
-   Target Weight 
-   Base Metabolic Rate 
-       Activity Level 
Target weight is exactly what it sounds like: you either want to weigh more – less – or stay the same.  You need to know this to calculate your Base Metabolic Rate (BMR). 

BMR is the minimum number of calories you need day-to-day to exist (not live a fun, exciting life, but just be alive).  This number can be determined by using a few equations easily available online.  Let's use my current stats for an example: I weigh 185# (84 kg), am 6 feet tall (182.9 cm) and 39 years old.  Based on this information my BMR = 1,866 Kcal per day.  Again this is just to survive, not thrive (think just enough to lay in bed all day).
Brown Rice w/ Organic Broccoli, Local Chicken and Raw Goat's Milk Cheese, and copious amounts of Cholula Lime
The next step is to determine my Activity Level and identify the corresponding multiplier value (my current Activity Level is Moderate but changes depending on the time of year – I’ll get to the seasonal aspect of this in a future post).  Multiplying my Kcal total by the Activity Level value results in a Daily Caloric Needs total of 2,985 Kcal (a lot of math and chart reading involved there I know).  This total is if I want to maintain my current weight.

If my Activity Level remained the same and I wanted to gain weight  (let’s say 15# to get to 200#), my new Daily Caloric Needs would equal 3,335 Kcal.

To be continued.....

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