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Performance Nutrition Week 2: Diet 101

Learn the basics of diet and BMI

There are many four-letters words out there and we all know a couple of them. If you don’t know any four-letter word, you have a problem my friend! In this weekly article I am using the four-letter word “diet.” If you had anything else in mind, oh well! What you eat directly affects your muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance and your body composition. It also affects the amount of energy available to train/compete in jiu jitsu and your other daily activities. Your diet should be individually tailored and structured around these guidelines:

  • Eat a variety of food.
  • Burn the calories you take in (burn more calories than you take in to lose weight)
  • Eat plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits (they contain antioxidants that protect you from free radicals, which can cause damage to your body’s cell membranes.
  • Choose a diet low in fat (it shouldn’t make up more than 30 percent of caloric intake).
  • Go easy on sugars.
  • Limit salt and sodium intake.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation (I know, very hard for some of us).

If you follow these basic guidelines above, you will see a positive difference in your performance on the mat, the cage, at work, at school and at home. The trick is to be able to estimate what your optimal weight is and how many calories you need to burn/expand each day — as soon as you know those two numbers, you can’t be stopped! Knowing your optimal weight and how many calories you need to burn daily can take you to the promise land and allow you to determine how much weight you need to gain or lose, how many calories from each food group your body requires. How do you find those two numbers?

Your BMI is the magic number! The Body Mass Index formula can help you estimate your target weight. You use the BMI formula to determine if you need to gain weight, lose weight or stay right where you are. You have to know this tough. If you workout two or three times a day and have a high percentage of lean body mass, your BMI may not be accurate. After you have determined your BMI, you will need to calculate the number of calories your body requires daily. You will then be able to adjust your caloric intake, reduce calories to lose weight, add calories to gain weight or keep the same calorie intake to maintain weight. We will cover that next week.

Body Mass Index (BMI) = Weight (kg)/ Height(m.) x Height (m.)

Pounds x 0.454= Kilograms

Inches x 0254= meters

If you don’t have time to calculate that, follow the link below and enter your info:

http://www.whathealth.com/bmi/calculator.html.

See you on the mats!

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