Challenge – Nutrition

What is Flexible Dieting?

How To Use My Fitness Pal

Foods To Include In Your Daily Nutrient Intake

These foods will make up the most of your diet and will contain natural sources of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) and fibre. Aim for 80% of your daily foods to be from these sources and the remaining food in your day can be anything you choose to eat. E.g. chocolate, ice cream, sauces, flavours, restaurant/take-away, and any other enjoyable food sources! Still always aiming to hit your Macronutrient Targets for the day.

Some days you might feel hungrier than others so you might fill most of your carbohydrates with something filling like roast pumpkin, sweet potato, cabbage, mixed beans, and fruit. Other days you might be on the go and need a fast snack so you grab a muesli bar, a fruit juice, or an Up & Go. Flexibility around your lifestyle, and variety is key!

Protein
Chicken Breast
Lean Beef
Tuna
Turkey
White Fish
Eggs
Egg Whites
Kangaroo
Tofu
Tempeh
Protein Powder
Carbohydrate
All Vegetables – aim for 3-4 serves per day
All Salads
Oats
Brown Rice
Sweet Potato
Quinoa
Legumes
Wholemeal Pasta
Fruits – aim for 1-2 serves per day
Fat
All Nuts
Natural Peanut Butter
Avocado
Fish Oil
Coconut Oil
Macadamia Nut Oil
Olive Oil
Flaxseed Oil
Seeds
Salmon (high in protein)
Eggs (high in protein)

Macronutrient Consistency Goals

Macros Cheat Sheets

Food Choice Flexibility

Below is an example of how multiple different meals can have very much the same macronutrient content meaning they are interchangeable. This will give you a few ideas on how flexible you can be with your food choices.

Nutritional Guidelines

Fruits and Vegetables

– 200 grams + of vegetables per day.
– 1-2 fruits per day.
– 50-100 grams of Fructose maximum per day.
– Keep sugar intake below 40% of total carbs, or 20% of total calories.
– Eat foods with a variety of colours.
– Aim to keep variety in your fruit and vegetable selection.
– Aim for 15 grams of fibre per 1,000 calories of food intake.

Water and Sodium

– Consume 3-5 L of water per day, or more if highly active.
– There are no limitations on sodium however aim to keep your intake consistent.
– Five clear urinations per day is a good sign of adequate hydration.

Fat

– 3-6 grams of fish oil capsules per day.
– Aim to include a range of fats (saturated, mono, poly).
– Aim to keep intake of trans fats to an absolute minimum.

Calcium and Vitamin D

– Males and Females (19-50) 1300 mg per day of Calcium.
– 1-2 servings of dairy per day or use a Calcium supplement.
– Men and Women 600 – 4000 IU Vitamin D per day through supplementation or sufficient sun.

Iron

– Females (19-50) should consume 18 mg of Iron per day.
– Males (19-50) should consume 8 mg of Iron per day.
– Vegetarians should consider cereals fortified with Iron and increasing their vegetable intake.
– Heme iron is better used by your body than non-heme iron. Heme iron is found in meat, seafood, and poultry.
– Vitamin C increases iron absorption.
– Include Vitamin C source in meals that are iron rich.

Recovery

– Strive to reduce stress levels when possible for the maintenance of good health and training quality.
– Aim to sleep for 8-10 hours per night.
– Aiming for 56-70 hours of sleep per week is a solid hypothetical range for athletic recovery.

Nutrient Timing Guidelines

These guidelines will help to ensure adequate energy for training, potentially reduced hunger during dieting, and overall improvements of well-being and nutritional consistency. 

First meal of the day – Consume within 1 hour of waking up (whey protein is best as it digests fast)

Pre-workout nutrition  Consume a minimum of 20% of your total carbs within 60-90 mins pre-workout (if training later in the day). Focus on intra-workout nutrition if training first thing in the morning, along with a protein source

Intra-workout nutrition – Consume 15% of your total carbs during your workout. Ensure that these carbs are fast digesting (sugar) such as Gatorade, dextrose, or potentially lollies if you are comfortable with snacking during training

Post-workout nutrition  Consume a minimum of 25g whey protein 30-45 mins post-workout

Last meal of the day  Consume within 1 hour prior to bed (casein protein is best as it is slow digesting)

Additional considerations

– Keep your fat & vegetable intake as low as possible pre-workout
– If your workouts are longer than 90 minutes consider consuming 1/2 of your post-workout whey protein shake during training, and finish the rest post-workout
– Spread your total protein intake fairly evenly across all meals
– Aim for a minimum of 4 protein servings/meals per day
– Be sure to include greens/vegetables with multiple meals per day

Things to avoid

– Consuming all/most of your carbs before bed rather than around training (doesn’t serve a purpose towards performance improvements)
– Consuming most of your protein intake for the day in only 1-2 meals, and having very small amounts throughout the day. Research suggests that having a fairly balanced intake of protein spread across the day is ideal, with a minimum of 20-25g of protein per meal. If you are smaller and require less protein per day you might consider having fewer meals per day (3-4) to ensure these meals all contain sufficient protein
– Having mostly liquid based meals on lower calorie diets (doesn’t help with satiety). Aim to increase food volume where possible to reduce hunger
– Consuming high fruit intake when on lower carbs (fruit gets stored in the liver not the muscle so other carb sources are ideal for training performance improvements and filling out your muscles). When not on very low calories/carbs there is no concern about fruit intake. Stick to the general recommendations outlined above.