Nutrition is equally as important in a fitness program as the workouts themselves. Without a good diet, your results will be stifled. I am going to share with you the general guidelines I followed on my 6-month journey to fitness.
The 40/40/20 Diet
What is the 40/40/20 diet and what makes it so special? Long story short, it really isn’t that special. It is called the 40/40/20 diet because it is comprised of 40% protein, 40% carbohydrate, and 40% fat. Protein, carbs, and fats are the macro-nutrients (macros) that make up our food.
While macros play a big role in our biology, it isn’t necessary to stress out over getting exactly 40/40/20 distribution. In fact, there are many other macro diets that are promoted by bodybuilders, fitness/diet programs, and doctors alike. It isn’t a one-size-fits all diet, but this is what I focused on to achieve my results.
The Secret Sauce
Well, it isn’t much of a secret, and it certainly isn’t focused on sauce. It’s actually quite the opposite. It’s about calories. Your calorie consumption is the most responsible component of your body mass. Ultimately, it all comes down to one thing – more calories = more weight, and less calories = less weight. In a nutshell our caloric intake is solely responsible for our size.
While calories generally determine how much we weigh, they don’t necessarily define our composition – meaning – they don’t define how much muscle and fat we have on our bodies.
There are 2 main factors when it comes to determine muscle and fat composition.
I’m not going to get into too much detail on either of these in this article, just know that calories don’t affect body composition entirely.
In my journey, I used the Mifflin-St Jeor Equation to find a baseline for the calories I consumed. There are many free calculators on the internet that you can use to find your “calorie maintenance level”. Keep in mind this figure will only show you what you need to consume to maintain weight. If you are looking to slim down or bulk up, you may want to adjust that number accordingly. If you use this method, don’t forget to convert feet to cm and pounds to Kg if you need to.
To make things simple, I include this in my Nutrition Planner tool. Either way, you can’t expect to get good results unless you measure your calorie intake. Whether you use my digital tool, someone else’s, or write it out by hand, measuring your progress is key.
We understand that taking the next step as a professional may mean long hours away from a gym or trail and far too much time around unhealthy, processed foods. So, if you’re looking for a happier balance between career and fitness, here are some tips from a few fit professionals.