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.....