Nutrition is often made out to be unnecessarily complicated, which leads to varying interpretations of exactly what the best nutritional choices may be for one to achieve their health goals. To make things easy, I use my “Three T’s” formula for success - Total, Type and Timing. Follow these rules and your health goals will be achieved, whether those be orientated towards fat loss, muscle or performance outcomes.
We begin with TOTAL or intake of Energy. This is the overriding term for weight: as in weight consumed daily through nutrition and weight expended daily through exercise and resting metabolism. Weight is measured in either kilojoules (kJ) or Calories (Cal). However, these terms are not equal in value: 1 Cal is equivalent to 4.2 kJ.
The next most important nutrition term in my opinion is TYPE of energy, as in Macronutrients. These are: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. These are the providers of energy and also the determinants of whether that Energy is functionally in line with your goals or just simply a wasted energy
Every time you consume 1 gram of protein you are also ingesting 4 calories. Secondly, these 4 calories are fortunately extremely functional for muscles and will likely be stored to provide growth, recovery and strength. Perfect if those are your goals, right?
Carbohydrates are also 4 calories per 1 gram, though these calories require you to use them through Exercise. These are energy providing calories that will definitely feed you some liveliness, but if you neglect their function, then overtime they will store as a fat. Hence the importance of carb timing and doses.
Fat is a significantly greater contributor of calories, 9 Cal per 1 gram, so is very functional for weight gain (if that is your aim).
TIMING is then the final vital ingredient to achieve your goal body and optimal performance results. We need to spread out the intake of these calories correctly across the day for an efficient metabolism and optimal absorption of nutrients. I recommend three hourly intervals between meals and mid-meal snacks. Furthermore, timing your carbohydrate intake to be predominantly in the first half of the day and especially around exercise.
Now, use this nutrition knowledge as a platform to accelerate the achievement of your desired goals. Get excited about the prospects of breaking through to new heights in your training and accomplishing the body you have been steadily working towards.
Mark Robinson, aka 'Health Man Mark', is a practicing Dietitian with a Masters Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and a Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science. He is also a leading figure in the natural body building industry, taking out the World Fitness Model America title.