I have no problem getting to the gym and having the proper equipment to conduct the workouts. My issue is that being on a military base, my ability to control my nutrition and diet is limited. I can not get rid of the "smooth" layer of fat that my body has. I only know the basics of nutrition, and I would be grateful for any advice that can be thrown my way.
At Gym Jones we differentiate between a "Daily Diet" i.e. how one eats on a day-to-day basis and a "Performance Diet" i.e. how to eat when one is actually preparing for, doing, or recovering from the activity. Here are the basic nutritional rules for the daily diet that we teach at our "Fundamentals" seminar:
1. Eat for an objective. Caloric intake depends on the goal: maintain, increase or decrease mass. People underestimate caloric intake. Athletes, especially recreational athletes, overestimate caloric output. 1000 calories on a rowing machine is a hard hour. Know your basal metabolic rate, and the cost of activity.
2. Eat small meals throughout the day: boost metabolism, reduce insulin response to high caloric density of larger meals, remind the body food is plentiful, above all prevent poor eating decisions when famished.
3. Eat real food, the closer to nature the better. If you can’t pronounce it don’t eat it. If it wasn’t food 100 years ago it is not food today. Food quality comes first. Ratios and details are secondary. Be aware of seasonal food availability.
4. Mix your fuel sources at every snack or meal:
a) Eat protein with every meal. It’s a building block and triggers satiety enzymes.
b) Eat carbohydrates with every meal (choose fruit/vegetable sources with high fiber content).
c) Eat fat with every meal. Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources. Essential Fatty Acids (Linoleic, Alpha-linolenic) should make up 30% of total fat intake. Be aware of saturated fats (animal or vegetable sources) but don’t avoid them entirely. Oils must not be refined. Do not eat trans-fats, i.e. hydrogenated oils, or anything made in a lab.
Eat all three macronutrients in roughly equal caloric values. Hunger two hours after eating means too many carbohydrates. Hunger 3-4 hours after means ratios about right. Tweaking ratios beyond this level isn’t worthwhile until the all other rules are respected consistently. As Dan John says, “if you didn’t eat breakfast don’t ask me about nutrition.”
5. Don’t drink calories. Don’t drink soda or “sports drinks”. Drink water (minimum of 80-120oz/ day), tea, coffee, etc. Diet soda keeps the brain addicted to sweet taste, still triggers insulin response (rat study). People consume 12-20% more calories when meals are liquid (human study, jellybeans).
6. IF you need to, take a few simple supplements: fish oil (3-6g/day) and/or EFAs, multi-vitamin (2x/day), vitamin C, a few minerals, clean water. Use protein supplements wisely.
7. Alcohol is part of nutrition: if you plan to drink cut calories elsewhere. Alcohol is poison.