All to often Nutritional strategies get overlooked as athletes and gym goes look to achieve either optimal performance or conditioning! in the era of social media where posting pictures of your salad or trying to convert the world to the newest religion “VEGANISM” looking at nutrition as a strategy and not a FAD is kinda dying out! the way nutrition is approached should be very similar to the way you approach your training (providing you actually take your training seriously also). Using this analogy we can see that if you wanted to progress in the gym then simply going in every day and changing nothing yet expecting results is how Albert Einstein came to define Insanity…and not the P90 hardcore HIIT workout kind either!
You have to approach the nutrition aspect as you would your training this should be split into particular phases which coincide with the goal you are trying to achieve. And even when doing that there are several different strategies you could employ which can still ultimately lead you to the same end destination. Think of it as if you are going on a long journey in the car….you put the location in google maps and it throws up a couple of different routes…yet they all lead to the same destination…and even whilst your on the actual journey you may find half way through that in fact there is now a faster option!
The simple fact is no one diet is perfect for everyone each individual comes with their own set of problems weather that be allergies or intolerances or they just simply don’t like some types of food!! First thing to understand when looking to employ a nutritional strategies your own body and its limitations!
Another BIG thing to wrap your head around is that not all calories where created equal…..and i know some people will read this and scream Halleluiah and other will scream Moran!!! But the simple fact is that nutrient timing is equality as important as calorie consumption! And on this point it doesn’t neccerarry mean the old wives tale about not eating after 8pm because the body will store it as fat…it means that you have to feed your body what it needs when it needs it….especially if you have been clever enough to starve it of what it wants for a while prior!! your body is simply the finest tuned program on earth and it understands two things when it comes to nutrition scarcity and necessity. You wont hear these two words spoken about often within the realm of nutrition or dietary advice but these two basic laws govern the endocrinological response which then either causes insulin to open the door for protein synthesis or to not understand how to regulate blood sugar because you have constantly overloaded your pancreas with huge amounts of sugar when it wasn’t neccerarry!
Scarcity and Necessity when employed within a good nutritional strategy offer the option of nutrient partitioning and this should be every athlete/lifters goal when it comes to nutrition!
Think of your body as a car…..any car you like…..now think about what engine you’d choose…. then think about what fuel you would need to put in that engine to make it run and how far you would get on a full tank of fuel……..A lot of thinking i know but the analogy serves a really good purpose when thinking of nutrient partitioning because if we look at how nutrient portioning would fit into this analogy it would be considered a HYBRID meaning it could run efficiently of any fuel also simultaneously storing one fuel whilst using another and being able to seemingly transition between the two!
However in order to achieve this heightened state of metabolic flexibility you need to ensure you remember the laws of scarcity and necessity and you understand to feed the body what it needs when it needs it and not what it wants when it feel like it.
For example in recent times carbohydrates became the arch enemy of anyone looking to flex abs on the beach whilst screaming no carbs before marbs!!
and to some extent it holds truth….i mean if you cut out carbohydrates then yeah your gonna loose weight…not necessary fat because if your going hard in the gym then your body will ultimately end up in a state of catabolism where it is efferently eating itself to survive. So if we jump back to the Maps analogy….if your end destination is walking around marbella with a set of abs you could light a match on then this is most definitely one of the routes you may be offered…but it doesn’t mean it is the best one to take as we’ve just stated your definitely gonna loose some muscle even if you sip BCAA’s all day and up your fats the muscle will inevitably have to come off at some point because you have depleted the muscles of carbohydrates which is their primary source of fuel!
A better option may be to limit your carbohydrates to training days and consume the majority of them around training to ensure you are giving the body what it needs when it needs it! An even better strategy would be to go through a transitional period in the beginning where you employ the laws of scarcity to deprive the muscles of the glycogen it so desperately craves through utilising a ketogenic diet for a period of 7-10 which looks to address the insulin sensitivity issues which can often significantly impede body composition goals and then reintroduce carbohydrates on training days around the workouts which given that your body is a master of homeostasis and is kind of always on predicative text mode trying its best to guess the next move will force it to shuttle the carbohydrates straight into the muscle and not store then elsewhere!
Here we start to see nutrient partitioning in action and see its full potential when looking to achieve the best results possible in the most efficient way possible!! Now admittedly there are certain supplements which may significantly aid in the partitioning of nutrients and this is not to go unnoticed! The very first positive effect noted of steroids was its ability to increase the uptake of glycogen in skeletal muscle! However Given the right circumstances these conditions can also be created through diet and training alone! By no means can they replicate the potential of using anabolic/sarms/peptides but nevertheless it can still be effective and considered when looking to create a nutritional plan the goal should always be around partitioning nutrients whilst keeping a close eye on calories not simply just managing the process of calories in vs calories out! As there is a big difference between “weight loss” and “reducing body fat” if we are to simply manage the process off calories’ alone and just hope that our body is able to instantly partition the nutrients then we run the risk of working hard not smart and losing weight but not fat!
Numerous diets such as Carb-cycling, Intermittent Fasting, Carb backloading have shown to be very effective employ these laws within the theoretical constructs which make them so successful.
Check out more Awesome insightful Articles to help you achieve you goals below