For a beginner in weight training it is often very difficult when it comes to the question of how to eat properly. It is therefore no wonder that many athletes fall into the so-called diet trap, which set completely nonsensical and unhealthy rules. Therefore we want to show you in the following text how you can create an individual nutrition plan for you and your training. We will educate you about the important macronutrients, inform you about the timing of the meal, and provide an example of a personalized nutrition plan.
The three macronutrients
This section looks at the three macronutrients Fat, protein and carbohydrates. We want to show you what effect the macronutrients have on the body and how they can affect the organism in detail. Macronutrients provide the body with energy called calories. Protein and fat are referred to as essential nutrients because the organism requires vital functions and these nutrients can not independently produce our organism from other substances. The three macronutrients have different effects in the body and can thus have a decisive effect on the health and appearance of the body through the daily dose. Below we have listed the individual nutrients and explain the effects of fat, protein and carbohydrates.
protein - Proteins are one of the essential nutrients, as they are necessary both for muscle growth and for the maintenance of muscle. However, proteins are also needed for many other physiological processes, such as supplying energy, strengthening the immune system or hormone production. Proteins, like carbohydrates, contain a total of 4 calories per gram. The quality of the proteins is differentiated into complete and incomplete proteins. Whole proteins contain all nine essential amino acids, while the incomplete proteins do not contain all the essential amino acids. People with little physical activity should consume about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight daily, while athletic people are recommended to consume about 1.2 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. The timing of protein intake is critical to the athletic goal. Recent studies have shown that about 20 to 25 grams of protein should be taken no later than one hour after training. It is often rumored in gyms that a lot of protein can lead to more muscle. This theory does not correspond to reality, because protein only returns consumed energy and can significantly improve the regeneration of the musculature and thus also prevent an imminent risk of injury to the muscle cells. It is therefore not necessary to include too much protein in your diet, as much protein will not also make you more muscle.
fat - Fat is different from carbohydrates and proteins in calorie content, which is highest at 9 calories per gram. Fats are therefore the most important energy stores of the cells, since their calorific value of 37 joules per gram of fat is almost twice as high as that of carbohydrates and proteins (17 joules per gram of fat). Fat is very important to the organism and therefore needs to be extensively included in every nutritional plan. Fatty acids are split into saturated and unsaturated. A saturated fatty acid has no double bond between the C atoms, while the unsaturated fatty acids have at least one double bond. Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids provide plenty of energy, support the immune system, and have a positive effect on many metabolic processes.
carbohydrates - Carbohydrates also contain 4 calories per gram. Carbohydrates are not essential macronutrients because they can also be produced synthetically from glyconeogenesis. In the short term, glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and in the muscles. If the consumption of carbohydrates in the tissue is lower than the body currently needs, a surplus is converted into body fat and stored as a fat depot. Carbohydrates are all forms of sugar that are also known as saccharides. A distinction is made between simple sugars (monosaccharides), double sugars (disaccharides) and complex polyaccharides (polysaccharides). Simple sugars are absorbed or utilized by the body quickly, while the complex polysaccharides are also known as fiber, because the long molecular chain of this sugar group is slowly digested in the body. It is particularly common in whole grains, bread or certain types of fruit.
Your personal nutrition plan
The compilation of an individual nutritional plan is not easy, since each person processes the absorbed food in the body at different speeds. Much depends on whether certain foods are tolerated and how well the metabolism works. Basically, however, you should assume that you should plan for 2 grams of protein per body weight as a daily dose. The carbohydrate intake also depends on the increase in blood sugar levels, which works differently at each person.
Important: number of meals and the right timing
For many years, nutrition experts have been working on various theses on this topic. Some experts are convinced that many small meals keep blood sugar levels high and therefore recommend this option, while other experts believe that three large meals combined with two smaller snacks are the right choice. We believe that it is not so important how many meals a day are taken, but that it is important that at the end of the day all the important macronutrients were taken according to a specific specification.
Pre- or post workout meal: If you're actively practicing weight training, the timing to take your workout shakes can be critical to the success of building muscle. What matters is not how much protein you take, but when you take it. Therefore, make sure that you take your meals or shakes about an hour before and within half an hour of exercise.
Three examples about different diet plans
The three subsequent nutrition plans are all based on a total daily intake of 2,500 calories, which should include 150 grams of protein, 300 grams of carbohydrates and about 75 to 80 grams of fat. As you can see, these are very different, geared to different professions and lifestyles.
Example nutrition plan 1: 4 meals and a workout in the morning
- 7.00 - getting up
- 7.30 - Breakfast / pre-training meal (720 kcal / 35g protein / 100g carbs / 20g fat)
- 10.00-11.30 - Training
- 12:00 - Lunch / post-workout meal (760 kcal / 45g protein / 100g carbs / 20g fat)
- 5.00 - Dinner (620 kcal / 40g protein / 70g carbs / 20g fat)
- 9.00 - Late-Night meal (400 kcal / 30g protein / 30g carbs / 20g fat)
Example nutrition plan 2: 3 meals and a workout in the afternoon
- 8.00 - getting up
- 15.00 - Pre-training meal (825 kcal / 50g protein / 100g carbs / 25g fat)
- 16.30 - 18.00 -training
- 18.30 - post-workout meal (880 kcal / 50g protein / 125g carbs / 20g fat)
- 21.30 - Late-Night meal (770 kcal / 50g protein / 75g carbs / 30g fat)
Example nutrition plan 3: 5 meals and a workout in the morning
- 7.00 - getting up
- 8.00 - 9.30 - Training
- 10.00 - post-workout meal (615 kcal / 40g protein / 80g carbs / 15g fat)
- 13.00 - Lunch (435 kcal / 25g protein / 50g carbs / 15g fat)
- 15.30 - Meal afternoon (390 kcal / 25g protein / 50g carbs / 10g fat)
- 18.00 - Dinner (575 kcal / 30g protein / 80g carbs / 15g fat)
- 21.30 - Late-Night meal (505 kcal / 30g protein / 40g carbs / 25g fat)
From the previous examples and recommendations, you can see that there are many ways an individual diet plan can look like. However, it should be especially important to you that you also tolerate the chosen foods and that all macronutrients have been sufficiently integrated into the nutritional plan.