We have successfully completed first 7 days of the program and we want to congratulate all participants of "100 days of Workout" with this achievement! Let's sum up what we have learned from the first week's informational posts:
Day 1. BASIC block training scheme
Day 2. Warm up
Day 3. Pull-ups
Day 4. Squats
Day 5. Push-ups
Day 6. After training hitch
Day 7. Flexibility and stretching
Now it's time to move one, and, as we have promised earlier, whole second week will be dedicated to the question of food!
This is the only one thing that you should be aware of, because if you don't don't then getting in a good shape will be more like playing tiddly-winks, rather than a planned moving towards your desired achievement. Let's get it simple: all the food you eat during the day has its own energetic value, which is measured in calories actually kilocalories, but the kilo- part usually drops). These calories are spent for fueling your body, so it can work good and you can live your life. Also they are stored in special places of your body to be used in the future.
For most of us our eating habbits are closely connected to our working/studying schedule and lifestyle. And so they are quite settled. Also for most of us our wait is more or less settled too. This happens because we consume approximately the same amount of calories which we spend. And here comes the most interesting thing. If you want to lose weight - you have to decrease the percentage of taken calories (roughly by 10-15%), in case if you want to gain mass, this percentage has to be increased (again, roughly by 10-15%). And that is THE ONLY WAY this things can be done. no magic tricks or silver bullets here. Ofcause the efficiency of your gastrointestinal tract will play certain role in that process, how good it can assimilate food, but we’ll leave this point out of today’s topic.
When you finished reading of the last paragraph you probably got one obvious question: “OK, so how can I define my calorie balance?”. Well, there are lot of different types of calorie calculators and sophisticated formulas that you can find in the internet for defining percentage of calories you need to consume at a certain age or for a certain way of life. There is also a huge number of formulas for calculating of burned calories depending on your lifestyle, your weight, physical activity etc. They are spread throughout web, but mostly they are average and inaccurate.The result is always some kind of average number, the origin of which is quite mysterious. From my point of view it would be pretty strange to use such methods, especially if there is more simple and much more certain one:
х – calories received for certain time period
у – calories burned for the same time period
z – weight changing
Let’s say that your daily diet is approximately constant (within a week/month it is actually so for most people). So you can calculate its caloric value simply summing up everything you have eaten in a given period of time. Now, if your weight is not changing, then (according to the formula above) X=Y, thus the amount of calories you received equals the amount of calories you've burned. And that's all info what you need and you don't have to think up ANYTHING more.
Do you want to get shredded? You decrease х (quantity of received calories). Do you want to gain weight ? You increase х (quantity of received calories). Somebody may notice, that according to the formula you can also grow thin by increasing y, but you should note the following. If we take an average participant of this training program with weight around 80 kg, our exercise session will burn 100 – 150 kcal, by the end of the program numbers will be approx. 500 kcal. You can refill these burned 100 kcal by eating two middle-size red apples. 500 kcal equals to a small piece of chocolate cake. That’s why you can “eat” all training effects without any scruple.
But let’s get back to the main topic. Calorific value allows us to bring a complex composition of our food (this will be covered in upcoming daily info-posts) to a common line. Thus 1 g of proteins or carbohydrates gives us 4 kcal, and 1 g of fats – 9 kcal. Therefore all you have to do for determining your calorie balance is just recalculating calorie content of all meals you eat during the day. Here’s the small picture in assistance:
If you’re too lazy to work with calculator and count by yourself, you can always find many internet sites with such services (post the links to the ones you use in comments )
Two main points should be remembered. First – the food gives you calories, which can be calculated precisely. Second – in order to lose/gain weight you must make changes in calorie balance in one direction or another. While I understand that calculating the calories is not the most exciting thing in a world, but it is absolutely necessary if you really set a goal to change yourself. There’s a saying "you cannot manage what you cannot measure" and in our situation it fits in quite handy.
You may quite often hear from people (such talks frequently appear in gyms or street playgrounds) how they say "I eat like a bull, but can’t gain mass anyway" or "I don’t eat anything after 6 p.m., but still cannot lose even a few pounds". I can bet $10 that these people just don't count the food! Believe me, if you don't make any calculations, all your rough estimations can be very far from reality and that’s why you cannot achieve desired goal!
So in the next week you should take your time and write down everything you eat during day, analyze it, find out your calorie balance and make the conclusions. If you want to lose weight – decrease the amount of consumed calories, if you want to gain it – increase it!
Ready-to-use food plan
I think that working on such calculation is necessary even for our own mind development and better understanding of the food contents, but if don’t have enough time or just too lazy (), the ready-to-use food plan will wait for you in one of the next days info-posts. Calorie content for different types of meal has been already calculated in it, and you’ll be able to find defined portion sizes and balanced diets. It is worth noting that diets are composed for all three cases: losing the weight, gaining additional and keeping the current one.
Since calorie balance is the sum of calories consumed during the day actually it’s not so important how many meals do you have per day. Your main task is getting needed amount of calories and controlling the ratio between fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Different health and food organizations usually suggest the following ratio: 1 (fats) to 2 (proteins) to 3 (carbohydrates). Translated into percentage it will look like this: 17% (fats), 33% (proteins), 50% (carbohydrates). It’s not a dogma, just a proportion, recommended by many healthcare and nutrition organizations. You can use it as a strating ration and change it, according to your goals.
It’s important to underline, that your body has also got some limits regarding how much proteins, fats and carbohydrates it can digest from one meal (I have mentioned the efficiency of gastrointestinal tract before). Thus it is better to equally divide all your consumed calories between a few meals. Of course there’re some features about the distribution of fats, carbohydrates and proteins during the day in these meals, but we will tell about this some other time.