Summer Body Nutrition
Achieving the ideal summer body takes a lot of work and discipline. Whilst exercise is key to accomplishing your goals, it is equally import to eat the right foods! Here are some insights into how to master your food intake and achieve that summer body.
How many times a day should I aim to eat?
In the fitness industry there is lots of conflicting information on this. In truth, there is no solid evidence out there to suggest eating a certain number of times per day can negatively or positively affect your body composition. The most important thing to remember is to stay within your suggest calorie intake amount.
It doesn’t matter how you do this! For some, having three larger meals at allocated times in the day is the best approach so there is a set structure to their eating habits. However, for others, eating 5-6 smaller meals a day provides them with a more regular intake of nutrition, to keep them fully satisfied all day. This is referred to as ‘grazing’. There is no one size fits all approach for this. Whatever suits your lifestyle and eating habit the best is what you should go for. Just always keep your daily calorie intake into consideration.
How many calories should I consume each day?
In the UK, the recommended calorie consumption for an average female is 1500 and 2000 calories for a male.
There are several things that can affect this number, including factors such as:
- Muscle mass
- Overall activity levels
If you wanted to lower your body fat percentage you should be consuming less calories and burning more, also known as a calorie deficit. If you wanted to increase that percentage you would need to consume more calories and expend less, which is known as a calorie surplus.
To work out your correct calorie consumption, [click here].
What foods should I be prioritising?
When looking at which foods are best to prioritise, it is important to also consider the type of exercises/training you are doing.
For example, if you are running regularly, you need to replace the sugar stores in your body so consuming more carbohydrates over other macronutrients (the nutrients we need in larger quantities that provide us with energy) is important.
On the other hand, if you are trying to build muscle mass, your protein intake will need to be higher than a runners might be. This is due to stress you are putting your body under and the overall objective of building muscle.
Protein, carbohydrates and fats
According to research the average adult needs around 0.75g/1g of protein per KG of bodyweight per day. For example, if you weigh 70kg, to maintain your muscle mass and aid the healing of your soft tissues, you would require 52 grams per day. If you are an athlete or someone who regularly trains, you would want to up this amount and aim for between 1. -2 grams per KG of bodyweight.
Of course, these figure change based on the different factors stated above, such as weight and height and the type of exercise you are doing.
Foods high in protein include beef, lamb, chicken or pork, fish, seafood, and dairy such as eggs, yoghurt and cottage cheese.
For non-meat eaters foods such as peanuts, lentils, tofu, soya beans or buckwheat all have a high protein content.
Carbohydrates are sugar molecules, which are broken down in the body and serve as an energy source. Your cells then use this energy to power your everyday bodily functions. Consuming enough carbohydrates is key, especially in the summer where your metabolism and calorie expenditure will increase due to the hotter weather and your body trying to keep cool.
Good carbohydrates include beans, sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, pasta and chickpeas.
Despite what a lot of people say, fats are key to consume within your diet as they help absorb certain vitamins that are essential for the body’s daily functioning. Not only that, but fat is also a source of essential fatty acids in which the body cannot produce on it’s own.
Fats fit into two categories; unsaturated and saturated. You should aim to have more of the unsaturated fats in your diet, as saturated fats are typically man made and contain lots of unwanted sugar.