Our nutritional plans are individually based around your metabolism. Each plan comes with daily calorie and macronutrient target dependant to your fitness goal; whether it’s fat loss, gain lean muscle, or to excel in preferred sport.
Weekly improvements are inevitable with proper nutritional structure and is the key ingredient when it comes to long term results.
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Carefully planned nutrition must provide an energy balance and a nutrient balance. The nutrients are:
Proteins – essential to growth and repair of muscle and other body tissues
Fats – one source of energy and important in relation to fat soluble vitamins
Carbohydrates – our main source of energy
Minerals – those inorganic elements occurring in the body and which are critical to its normal functions
Vitamins – water and fat soluble vitamins play important roles in many chemical processes in the body
Water – essential to normal body function – as a vehicle for carrying other nutrients and because 60% of the human body is water
Roughage – the fibrous indigestible portion of our diet essential to health of the digestive system
Calorie and macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) requirements vary person to person, body mass, hight, age and activity level are all factors which play a part of our metabolic rate. Proportions of macros also change depending on your activity level. Longer muscular endurance based activity like marathons and triathlons need a fat enriched diet with smaller proportions of carbs and protein. With short based activities such as fitness classes and weight lifting require more carbohydrates over fat and protein.
What types of fat are there?
The nature of the fat depends on the type of fatty acids which make up the triglycerides. All fats contain both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids but are usually described as ‘saturated’ or ‘unsaturated’ according to the proportion of fatty acids present. As a rough guide saturated fats are generally solid at room temperature and tend to be animal fats. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are usually vegetable fats – there are exceptions e.g. palm oil, a vegetable oil which contains a high percentage of saturated fatty acids.
Olive Oil Rice Oil
Oily fish – Sardines
What types of carbohydrates are there?
There are two types of carbohydrates – starchy (complex) carbohydrates and simple sugars. The simple sugar’s are found in confectionery, muesli bars, cakes and biscuits, cereals, puddings, soft drinks and juices and jam and honey but these food stuffs also contain fat. Starchy carbohydrates are found in potatoes, rice, bread, wholegrain cereals, semi skimmed milk, yoghurt, fruit, vegetables, beans and pulses.
Both types effectively replace muscle glycogen. The starchy carbohydrates are the ones that have all the vitamins and minerals in them as well as protein. They are also low in fat as long as you do not slap on loads of butter and fatty sauces. The starchy foods are much more bulky so there can be a problem in actually eating that amount of food so supplementing with simple sugar alternatives is necessary.
Your digestive system converts the carbohydrates in food into glucose, a form of sugar carried in the blood and transported to cells for energy. The glucose, in turn, is broken down into carbon dioxide and water. Any glucose not used by the cells is converted into glycogen – another form of carbohydrate that is stored in the muscles and liver. However, the body’s glycogen capacity is limited to about 350 grams; once this maximum has been reached, any excess glucose is quickly converted into fat. Base your main meal with the bulk on your plate filled with carbohydrates and small amounts of protein such as meat, poultry and fish. The extra protein & vitamins you may require will be in the starchy carbohydrates.
Lactose intolerance is when the mucosal cells of the small intestine fail to produce lactase which is essential for the digestion of lactose. Symptoms include diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal cramps following consumption of milk or dairy products.
Carbohydrates for Performance
Following training & competition an athlete’s glycogen stores are depleted. In order to replenish them the athlete needs to consider the speed at which carbohydrate is converted into blood glucose and transported to the muscles.
The rapid replenishment of glycogen stores is important for the track athlete who has a number of races in a meeting. The rise in blood glucose levels is indicated by a food’s Glycaemic Index (GI) and the faster and higher the blood glucose rises the higher the GI. Studies have shown that consuming high GI carbohydrates (approximately 1grm per kg body) within 2 hours after exercise speeds up the replenishment of glycogen stores and therefore speeds up recovery time. There are times when it is beneficial to consume lower GI carbohydrates which are absorbed slowly over a longer period of time (2-4 hours before exercise). Eating 5-6 meals or snacks a day will help maximise glycogen stores and energy levels, minimise fat storage and stabilise blood glucose and insulin levels.
Eating and Competition
What you eat on a day-to-day basis is extremely important for training. Your diet will affect how fast and how well you progress, and how soon you reach competitive standard. The page on Nutritional Tips provides some general nutritional advice to help you manage your weight and body fat.
Once you are ready to compete, you will have a new concern: your competition diet. Is it important? What should you eat before your competition? When is the best time to eat? How much should you eat? Should you be eating during the event? And what can you eat between heats or matches? A lot of research has been done in this area, and it is clear that certain dietary approaches can enhance competition performance.
What do I need to do?
Calculate your daily basic and extra requirements, monitor your daily intake (especially your carbohydrates) and then adjust your diet to meet your daily requirements. A good balanced diet should provide you with the required nutrients but does needs to be monitored. The simplest way to monitor the ‘energy balance’ is to keep a regular check of your weight.
Key factors in your training diet
Each day have three main meals and two to three snacks. All meals should contain both carbohydrate and protein – 20 to 30 grams worth of protein with each main meal and 10 to 20 grams with each snack.
The amount of carbohydrate will vary greatly, mainly depending on your workload. It may be in the region of 40 to 60 grams for main meals and 20 to 30 grams for snacks. If you training hard and possibly doing multiple daily sessions, the recovery meal is critical. Have 1grm of carbohydrate per kg of body weight and about 30 grams of protein. Have a drink (e.g. a recovery drink or a pint of skimmed milk) and a banana immediately post-training (this provides about 10 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbohydrate) followed within about 45 minutes with more substantial food such as beans on toast and tuna.
Always try to eat at least five pieces of fruit per day. Skimmed milk is a great protein food and provides critical minerals, such as calcium and phosphorous.