Food as Fuel
I’ve had a few different instances where this has come up recently, so I decided to blog about it.
Any of Beachbody’s workout programs include a nutrition guide. These guides are designed to enhance the results you achieve from the respective workout program you are using. Everything from Slim in 6 and Body Gospel, to P90X, P90X2, Insanity, and the Asylum has specific guidelines for what you should be putting into your body. The reason for this is the level of activity required to perform on these programs varies. Each one has different levels of nutrition you’ll need to properly fuel your body for each workout.
I had blogged awhile back about how many calories you should intake per day. While this blog ties in with that post, it IS different.
Two of my current challenge group members are doing Insanity. One has recently moved into month 2 of her program, while the other just started her recovery week today and will be moving into the second month next week. Day 1 of the second month is probably THE hardest day of the entire program. It throws your body into shock by the level of intensity and the amount of exercise you’re doing. For this reason, your body needs proper fuel to complete the workout. Personally, I struggled with this concept while I was actually doing Insanity and I bonked on the day in question. With about 20 minutes remaining in the workout, I had NO energy left whatsoever. I was struggling just to stay on my own two feet.
While I’m not a nutritionist, I have certainly learned quite a bit about nutrition while being involved with Beachbody as an independent Team Beachbody Coach. If you’re following the nutrition guide with your workout program, there’s really no need for you to be concerned about whether or not you’re doing the right thing. If you aren’t, then you need to figure out what’s going to fuel your body properly.
It’s not about loading up on carbs just because you know you’re going to do a 5 mile run and do Max Interval Circuit from Insanity, or Game Day from Asylum. If that’s all you eat that day is carbs, and don’t have a proper protein and fat ratio in there, you’re actually going to do a little bit of damage. There are variations on the proper ratios and percentages of protein/carbs/fat, so I won’t post any specifics here. Regardless, you will achieve the best results by following the nutrition guide included with your program.
While most people already understand these facts, let me explain them really quick for the benefit of those who don’t. Protein builds muscle. While your exercise actually tears down your muscles and damages them, protein will actually assist in rebuilding and growing them. Carbs are generally converted to sugar when processed in the body, which the body will then burn for fuel. The problem with this is that if they aren’t used for fuel, the body will then turn the sugar into fat. Obviously, this is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. Fat is actually a good thing to be eating (granted there are different types of fat). The body was designed to actually burn fat for energy – not sugar. If you’re maintaining a larger intake of fat vs. carbs, you’re teaching your body to burn the fat for energy instead of carbs.
The hardest part of all of this is really looking at food as your true fuel, not just eating because you’re hungry. What will it take to change that way of thinking for you? I honestly couldn’t tell you. It’s something I still struggle with myself at times. It takes reminding myself day in and day out that it’s fuel and not just eating because I’m hungry. I only hope this post will help you overcome the same issue.