How Nutrition & Recovery are essential to FitnessNov 15, 2023
In my last post, I talked about the importance of intensity in exercise when it comes to building muscle. In this post, we'll be going over how nutrition & sleep are essential to fitness and how these ensure you get results.
The points we'll be going over today are:
- Not all calories are made the same
- Rest and recover or fall apart
- The right material for the right job
Not all calories are made equal
In this modern era, the rate of obesity around the world is rising and doesn't seem like stopping anytime soon. But why? With all our advancements, surely we can find a way around it? Ironically enough, those same advancements are partially to blame for the rise of this disease.
In our modern world, let's be honest: there's an overabundance of processed, addictive food. The kinds where you eat a little bit and you end up eating the whole bag.
Or, those beyond meat products that are just soy molded into the shape of meat and filled with seed oils to simulate the taste of meat. These aren't any better than a bag of chips.
We have this rhetoric in the modern day that no food is evil from the fat acceptance community. I say this is bullshit.
This is bullshit when we have the scientists who manufacture the junk food on the shelves saying that it's made to be addictive. It's bullshit when, ever since we implemented the food pyramid and went low fat, the rates of obesity, heart disease, and cancer have only gone up.
Nutrition is essential to proper health, everybody knows this. What a lot of people don't know is that when you eat so much processed food, it more than cancels out your healthy choices.
You can have your pleasure foods and your foods that are technically unhealthy. However, when it starts causing you problems as big as obesity or as small as acne, that's when it becomes a problem.
The vast majority of our bodily problems are caused by eating way too much processed food and sugar. When we cut these out, we get a drastic improvement in our lives and health.
How rest & recovery are essential to keep your growth going
Have you ever pulled an all-nighter? I have. Not the most pleasant thing to do, and I didn't do it for the best reasons. Whatever the case may be, I can tell you firsthand that it makes you feel a certain type of way, and it's not a good way. The same thing happens when you don't get proper rest, whether that be sleep or rest between exercise days.
When we exercise, we are putting stress on the body. This stress gives our body a reason to build muscle.
However, if we only stress out our body, eventually, it will give out. Just like trying to bend a spoon, if you keep bending it it will eventually snap (I've done this as a kid).
When it comes to our bodies, we need to let them properly recover. In the case of our physical fitness, there are two different types of fatigue to keep in mind.
The first is muscle fatigue. When we do physical activity, we fatigue our muscles, which is the most obvious form of fatigue.
Simply waiting a few days to work the same muscle again is sufficient enough to ensure recovery. This is why the most popular workout plans are either a push, pull, legs split, or bro split.
The second form of fatigue which isn't touched on as much from what I've seen is the fatigue on the central nervous system.
When we exercise, we also drain the central nervous system. This system is responsible for allowing us to exert ourselves more in our exercise.
I found that when I was doing a bro split, I would struggle to push myself hard and would instead just be focusing on getting the reps done. With each rest day I added, however, I was able to push harder and harder.
Ideally, you want to account for both types of fatigue so you can both get good results and keep pushing hard enough. Recovery is essential to fitness in the sense that you don't want to fully fatigue yourself in either type of fatigue.
However much you exercise, you need to keep recovery in mind for consistent results and optimal health. In this way, you keep yourself fully charged.
Keep yourself fueled up with the right stuff
There's so much information on the internet right now on how to eat properly for results that it can be very overwhelming. With so much information, it can leave you throwing your hands up in the air and giving up entirely. Luckily, it's very simple and I'll break it down for you here right now.
When it comes to eating for results, there are only really three things to keep in mind. These three things are simple and easy to follow, to the point where you'll memorize them simply by doing them.
The first thing is never to stress about eating too much meat or protein.
In the modern fitness diet culture, we have this standard of no more than 1g of protein per pound of body weight. This creates a belief that if you eat more than that, it'll go to waste.
The reality is that there is no upper limit to how much protein you can or can't eat. If you've got some delicious-looking meat in front of you and you want to eat it, go right ahead.
Another point to add to this is that meat is surprisingly nutrient-dense. Meaning that if you eat a lot of meat, you are getting a lot of the nutrients you need, so don't feel shy about having another serving.
The second thing is carbs are not the devil, but they are so damn tempting.
Did you know that the more low-fiber carbs you eat, the more hunger you get? Carbs that are lower fiber are not meant to be available in such abundance as we have in the modern day.
When we eat these low-fiber carbs, our body tells us to keep eating so we can stock up and turn it into body fat. This is why if you look at people who are fat or obese, you'll notice they eat a ton of low-fiber carbs.
The third thing, which ties in with the second thing, is that the fewer carbs you eat, the less you have to track calories.
Ever since I swapped over to a carnivore diet, I've been able to cut down to one meal per day with no hunger throughout the day. On top of this, when I do eat, I don't overeat because I'm not eating anything processed or filled with sugar.
Because of this combo, I don't have to track calories because I'm never tempted to eat more than what my body needs. In other words, eating is 100% a conscious choice for me.
We have essential amino acids, which we get from protein, and essential fatty acids, which we get from dietary fats. We have no essential carbohydrates, which means carbs are not necessary.
Eating carbs when you're trying to lose weight is like trying to quit smoking with a pack of cigarettes right in front of you on your first day. It's possible, but it's so much harder that it's kind of unfair to yourself.
Nutrition is essential in this regard because by eating the right things, you can either make or break your progress. Eating carbs, especially low-fiber carbs, makes the process harder than it has to be.
How the essentials make fitness easy
Yes, you need to exercise to get muscle and muscle tone. However, if you don't have the proper maintenance for your body, it's not going to do much.
Just like if you don't fuel your car with the right fuel or take it for proper maintenance, if you don't keep your body in check it won't run the way you want it to.
Do yourself a favor and make sure you're giving your body what it needs so it can become what you want it to be,