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Nutrition E-Book

calorie deficit. From

calorie deficit. From the standpoint of remaining healthy and disease free, an absolute minimum of 0.8g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight should be consumed. With respect to carbohydrate, there is not a clearly established guideline for carbohydrate intake when adjusting body composition. A minimum of 130g per day is recommended for everyone for health reasons. This is mostly because the brain requires glucose to function normally, and glucose is mostly provided by carbohydrate. It is possible to create glucose from protein through a process called gluconeogenesis. However, if a very large amount of protein isn’t consumed, then this will come from the breakdown of muscle tissue. It is possible to adapt to a very low amount of carbohydrate through a process called ketosis (the brain becomes better at using ketones, which come from fat, as fuel), but it is not possible to completely remove the demand for glucose from the brain’s energy supply. When it comes to fat loss, the amount of carbohydrate should mostly be selected based on food preferences. As long as you ensure that the carbohydrate consumption doesn’t cause you to exceed the amount of calories you calculated to be appropriate for your fat loss goals, then there is a wide range of acceptable intakes that should do the job. When aiming to gain muscle mass, a decent starting point is 3g of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight. However, depending on calorie consumption necessary to gain muscle mass, this number could be dramatically higher. Again, regularly measuring the relevant components of body composition and adjusting your intake accordingly is the best approach. As with carbohydrate, there is not a clearly established guideline for consumption of fat while attempting to alter body composition. For health reasons, a range of 25-35% of total daily calories is suggested to help meet your needs for certain essential fatty acids. There are certain fatty acids that need to be consumed to avoid a disease state. However, it is very likely you will meet these essential fatty acid demands if you eat the proportion of mentioned earlier. Ultimately, there is a wide range of acceptable macronutrient distributions that will meet minimum requirements for health while maximizing desired changes in body Property of Perform for Life 3

composition. Meet your minimum demands for daily intake, then round out the rest of your caloric intake based on food enjoyment and preference. How often should I eat? There is a wide range of reasonably acceptable eating frequencies that should ensure maximal fat loss or muscle building. It is often suggested that eating smaller and more frequent meals is ideal for changes to body composition. Most of the reasoning behind this idea has been debunked. It is often suggested that eating more frequently increases the thermogenic effect of food (i.e. it increases metabolic rate because of the demand it places on your body to process that food). However, this has not been borne out in research. The amount and type of food is what matters, not how often you eat it. There is a small amount of research to support eating food at least every 5 hours or so. This is based upon the concept of the leucine threshold. The exact mechanism of this is beyond the scope of this book. However, the basic idea is that consuming between 20-40g of protein every 5 hours or so will maximize the rate at which your body can create new proteins (which are the building blocks of muscle). With that said, this aspect of eating is far less important than consuming the appropriate numbers of calories and consuming sufficient protein for your daily needs. What is a processed food? Why are processed foods bad? Processing is a term that includes a very wide range of food preparation techniques. Anything from cutting to cooking to adding chemical preservatives is considered food processing. Food processing is not inherently a bad thing. In fact, most of the time this is a relatively unimportant component of food consumption for changes to body composition. If food is processed in a way that it makes it easier to digest (that is, you Property of Perform for Life 4

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