One of the key factors affecting body weight, body composition and general health is the amount of energy supplied with our diet. It is expressed in kilocalories or kilojoules.
What the basis of a diet depends on
The energy requirement of a diet depends on many individual factors, such as:
- gender and body weight
- age and height
- genetic factors
Taking up physical activity requires a sufficient caloric intake. A common phenomenon, observed especially among women who want to reduce body weight, is the use of too radical weight-loss diets. An extremely low amount of energy in the diet combined with regular physical activity leads to a decrease in the metabolic rate and muscle tissue burning. This results in a significant slow down of the fat-burning process and slows down the whole weight loss process.
Appropriate protein supply in the diet
Protein is a very important macronutrient for active people. It is the basic building material for body tissues. It can be used as an energy source. It has a positive effect on the rate of metabolism, so its adequate supply is important especially for people on a slimming diet.
The correct intake of protein is essential for proper regeneration after training. Therefore, an important principle of the diet of people who train regularly should be to include in the menu an appropriate amount of food providing this nutrient, such as meat, fish, eggs or dairy products.
The above-mentioned groups of products provide the so-called complete protein. Such protein contains all essential amino acids for the body – the basic building blocks of proteins. Some of them, exactly eight, called exogenous amino acids are not synthesized by the human body and should be provided with food.
The demand for protein can also be met with the help of dietary supplements. It is recommended to provide 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight in case of low and moderate physical activity. In the case of medium and high-intensity training, the demand for proteins will surely increase. It can be as much as 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Post-workout meal planning
It is a common mistake to avoid eating after physical activity. This usually applies to people who train late, in the afternoon and evening. This is due to the belief that it is not worth making up for the calories lost during activity. However, you should know that the consumption of a post-workout meal is an important factor in shaping the figure and the efficiency and rate of regeneration. It allows, among others:
- to inhibit the breakdown of body proteins
- to speed up the process of rebuilding damaged muscle fibres
- to improve post-training capacity through proper nutrition of the body
A very important issue is not only the presence of such a meal but also its proper composition. It should contain nutritional sources of protein as well as carbohydrates. That is why it is worth adding rice, groats, noodles, pasta, whole-grain bread or cereal to meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products. Fruits can also be a good source of carbohydrates. Physically active people can reach for them more often than people leading a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, a banana or mango can be a good addition to a post-workout meal.
Correct selection of carbohydrates sources
Carbohydrates are a nutrient that in recent years has often been treated as an enemy of a slim figure. It is true that excessive consumption of simple sugars from sources such as sweets, sweetened sodas or fast foods leads to weight gain and increases the risk of many serious diseases. It is worth knowing, however, that the presence in the diet of foods providing complex carbohydrates will have a beneficial effect on post-workout regeneration, improvement of performance and body composition. Especially if we lead an active lifestyle.
This is related, among other things, to the influence of consumption of this macroelement on hormonal functions of the body. It is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid glands, as well as for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is an efficient source of energy for the body. Products containing complex carbohydrates (e.g. coarse groats, whole-grain pasta, brown rice) also provide health values in the form of fibre and B vitamins. The complete exclusion of them from the active person’s diet may lead to a decrease in efficiency and slow down the rate of regeneration after training. That is why it is worthwhile to include reasonable amounts of this macroelement in the menu.