We are the #1 strength and conditioning facility for good reason, we get unbeatable results for our clients! Of course, the training we do is unique and extremely effective, but our results are built on the foundation of sound nutrition. In this article, I want to introduce you to the principles that we use to guide our nutrition system, and get unbeatable results for our clients!
Sleep 8 hours per night
This forms the foundation of the pyramid for a good reason. In the same way that you will never ‘out-exercise a bad diet’, you will never ‘out-eat poor sleeping patterns’. We recover, relax, and regenerate when we are sleeping, and failing to get 8 hours sleep on most nights will mean that you are playing catch up with your nutrition and your training on a daily basis. Getting a restful sleep is a key part to your long term health. Lack of sleep will cause huge stress for you, and subsequently, you will store more fat, and eventually break down, so make an effort to create a healthy sleep environment for yourself, and sleep well. Check out the article on ACLI.ie on Getting a Deep and Restful Sleep for more on this topic.
Drink 2-3 Litres of Water Per Day
Your body is 83% water, your muscles are 75% water, and your brain is 74% water, and your bones are 22% water! Water is involved in every single process that happens in your body from absorbing nutrients, to concentration, recovering from training, losing fat, and building muscle. Drink at least 2 litres of water on days that you do not train or exercise, and drink at least 3 on days that you do train or exercise.
Eat your carbohydrates around training
The basis of the ACLAÍ Nutrition system is control of the blood sugar levels. Maintaining blood sugar levels so that you have a nice steady flow of energy throughout the day is the key to fat loss. Sugar spikes from high-energy foods such as potatoes, confectionary, and even fruit can cause you to store energy as fat. In addition, daily energy spikes, when not timed around training can lead to sub-optimal energy levels throughout the day. On the other hand, having your meals with rice, sweet potatoes, or fruits after training will kick start your recovery process, and ensure that you bank the benefits of the hard yards you just put in during the training or exercise session.
Eat a high fat/ high protein breakfast
Breakfast is the main meal of the day, and will set the scene for the rest of the day. Having a high fat and high protein breakfast such as an omelette, red meat and nuts, or fish and vegetables, will give you a feeling of satiation and satisfaction, as well as setting you up for a day of high energy, fat burning activity. You will find that your ‘3pm slump’ will disappear with a strong breakfast, and you will feel more energetic and alive as the day goes on. Supplementing your breakfast with a freshly ground cup of coffee with Kerrygold and Coconut Oil is another sure fire way to get the day off the best possible start.
Eat Whole/ Unprocessed Foods
This point ties in somewhat with eating gluten free. However, it is aimed more at the highly processed foods that swamp our supermarket isles under the guise of being ‘healthy’, ‘natural’, or even ‘organic’! Foods that are processed will almost always have preservatives, colorings, additives, artificial flavorings, or gluten in them. All of these things are undesirable for our health, and should be avoided. As a test of this theory, next time you are in the supermarket, pick up a ‘healthy’ cereal bar, or ‘low fat’ ready meal and read the ingredients list. Come back to me and let me know how many of the ingredients are reminiscent of your secondary school chemistry class. The bottom line is, we evolved to eat foods that can be picked, grown, or fished, and we should stay true to that.
Eat Gluten Free
The human constitution has not changed much in the past 40,000 years, this is a fact, and for the vast majority of our time on earth, cereal grains have not been a part of our diet. The main grain that is present in the Western Diet today is wheat, and as a consequence, we routinely consume large amounts of this gluten containing crop. Unfortunately for the human race, gluten has been shown time and time again to have a negative impact on us both in the short term, and in the long term. Cutting gluten containing produce out of our diet has only positive outcomes from a allowing a healthier digestive system, reducing ‘bloatedness’, reducing inflammation from injury and training, strengthening the immune system, and allowing us to produce energy more freely.
Fat Loss Vs Sports Performance
There is some crossover between eating for fat loss, and athletic performance, but there are also some differences. If you are in it just for the fat loss, and the aesthetics, then stick to the ACLAÍ Pyramid. Athletes need to have a focus on being ready for peak performance on race or game day. Further, the higher training load that many athletes have means that athletes will need a higher volume of food, a greater requirement for high energy, carbohydrate based foods, and may also benefit from timed supplementation with select products. The focus is on performance and recovery for athletes, and their nutrition plan should reflect that accordingly. Nevertheless, the principles of the ACLAÍ System are just as relevant for athletes, and non athletes alike. The high volume of nutrients and low volume of processed foods in our system guarantees success for virtually anyone who adapts it.
Knowledge vs Implementation
And there you have it. A simple guide to eating for healthy fat loss and sports performance. You should take note that knowing the principles of the ACLAÍ Nutrition System, is not the same as implementing them for real tangible results. The good news is that it can be easy to integrate the 6 simple steps into your life. The implementation of the system for ultimate fat loss and sports performance is worthy of its own article, but there are simple steps you can take to get the most out of our unique system, including:
- Implementing 1 step at a time. Take 2 weeks to solidify each one.
- Prepare food in large quantities. Make 4-8 meals at a time and store them in the fridge or freezer. This cuts down on preparation time and ensures you have quality food at hand.
- Bring lunchboxes with you to work/ school.
- Carry a high quality water bottle with you as standard.
The Wiggle Room.
In any worthwhile system, there is always a bit of wiggle room. The reason many have tried and failed in the past to get lean and take up new positive nutrition habits is that people can be very strict on themselves. Beating yourself around the head with a big nutrition rulebook only has 1 result, and that is failure. You need a sustainable, reasonable, and fun way to enjoy your food and your life, and that requires wiggle room! I don’t want my clients to try out a new nutrition fad for 6, 8 , or 20 weeks….I want them to adopt healthy eating habits FOR LIFE!
For maximum results with the ACLAÍ Nutrition System, stick with the program for 90% of the time. That means if you are eating 4 meals per day (28 per week), then you can stray a bit from the guidelines for 3 meals per week, and still expect excellent results.
What do you think of our nutrition principles. Let us know in the comments below!