Personal Trainer Transformation Guide: Nutrition!

Weight training stimulates muscle growth. But if you want to enhance and maintain your weight loss, you need to have structure in your diet.


Weight training stimulates muscle growth. But if you want to enhance and maintain your weight loss, you need to have structure in your diet.

This structure will come in the form of proper nutrition and will help you stay in the best shape possible. Eating right will not only keep you healthy, it will boost your immune system having an inside-out effect. It will make the internal organs in your body process more efficiently which will lead to better looking skin, more definition in your muscles, and an overall healthier looking body.

Here is a basic overview of the nutrients your body needs and what they do:

  1. Proteins - The chemical building blocks from which our cells, organs, and tissues are made. Learn more!
  2. Carbohydrates - Your basic energy source that is composed of simple and complex carbohydrates. Learn more!
  3. Fats - These cells are your energy storage units. Learn more!
  4. Water - Essential for a number of vital bodily functions & accounts for approximately 72% of your muscle tissue while transporting all of your nutrients, increasing your blood volume, and eliminating waste. Learn more!
  5. Vitamins - These complex chemicals are required for bodily operations, are produced naturally by the body, and are referred to as "organic compounds." Learn more!
  6. Minerals - Not produced in nature and of referred to as "inorganic." Learn more!

Here is a more detailed description of the nutrients...


[ Q ] Why Does The Body Need Protein?

    A: Protein is a nutrient made up of amino acids. There are two types of amino acids. Non-essential Amino Acids that can usually be synthesized by a healthy body from the daily foods that we eat. Then there are Essential Amino Acids that must be obtained through the daily diet.

    Protein has a number of important roles in the body, including:

    • Repairing of body cells
    • Building and repairing muscles and bones
    • Providing a source of energy
    • Regulating many important metabolic processes in the body

    Without protein, you cannot build muscle tissue. In your diet, you will incorporate approximately one portion of protein with every meal. This will help build muscle tissue and give you a leaner body. The most effective source of protein is whey protein that is discussed in the next chapter.


[ Q ] Why does the body need carbohydrates?

    A: The main reason your body needs carbohydrates is to provide energy. Carbohydrates consist of starches (complex carbs) and sugars (simple carbs) that are broken down into glucose, which then turns into energy.

    Since carbohydrates are the main form of energy that your body can utilize, you need them in your diet. Eating carbohydrates will provide your body with the energy it needs for day-to-day activities and exercising.

    In the dieting section we will explain how to incorporate carbohydrates or "carbs" into a muscle gain or a weight loss diet.


[ Q ] I am trying to lose fat; do I need to incorporate fats into my diet?

    A: Yes, fats are an important part of your body. They provide insulation and reserved energy when you need it. Fat has also been found to raise energy levels and contributes to your strength gains. When you short term energy supplies burn up (which can take 20-45 minutes), your fat cells are then used as the primary energy source.

[ Q ] Why do we need fat in our diet?

    Fats are just as important as proteins and carbohydrates, they are essential for:

    • Providing energy.
    • Are building blocks for essential chemicals.
    • Carry fat-soluble vitamins.

    However, eating too much dietary fat may lead to the following health problems:

    • Obesity
    • Heart disease
    • Stroke
    • Hypertension

    So you probably want to know which fats are the good fats and which fats are bad fats. There are really three basic types of fat that include saturated fats, unsaturated fats, & polysaturated fats.

    1. Saturated Fats:

      This kind of fat is like Crisco, its bad for you. It solidifies at room temperature and can lead to a number of health problems. Saturated fats really have no role in our body. Foods that contain the most saturated fat include:

      1. High fat beef
      2. Butter
      3. Cheese
      4. Chocolate

      You are better off trying to avoid these foods.

    2. Unsaturated Fats:

      These fats are better for you than saturated fats and are usually still liquid at room temperature. Your body cannot manufacture these fats on its own but they still need to be incorporated into your diet. They are found in olive oil, fish oil, and cold-water fish. Two important unsaturated fats are polyunsaturated fats & Monosaturated fats.

    3. Polyunsaturated & Monosaturated Fats:

      Polyunsaturated fats are essential parts of the structural component of your cell membranes. Not only do they promote healthy circulation, they help raise metabolism and burn off saturated and monosaturated fats. Our bodies and need to be taken in directly from your diet cannot naturally produce these fats. Since your body needs these and cannot naturally produce them, we call them essential fatty acids (EFA's). Some EFA's are found in:

      1. Fish oil (salmon, trout, etc.)
      2. Pecans
      3. Almonds
      4. Some margarines
      5. Corn oil
      6. Mayonnaise

      The best way to utilize these fats is to eat a lot of fish or to find oils that contain these fats. Sunflower oil, fish oil, and corn oil all are all good sources of polysaturated fat.

      It has been found that diets too low in EFA's will cause your metabolism to slow down. Your body will have a harder time burning off excess fat and the low fat diet becomes pointless. If you are looking for fats that will not affect your cholesterol, you would need to consume monosaturated fats that come from olive oil and macadamia nuts. They have been shown to actually help lower bad cholesterol levels and help raise the cholesterol levels that your body needs.

[ Q ] Should I avoid fat?

    You should avoid foods that are fried, these contain harmful fatty acids. When fats are heated, they are not good for the body. When EFA's are heated, they also become bad for your body.


[ Q ] How much water should I be drinking everyday?

    A: At least 2 glasses with each meal

    If you want to look your best, water needs to be an essential part of your diet. It is responsible for the transportation of vital nutrients and cleaning toxins from your blood. Your body is made up of 40%-60% water. From constant perspiration and daily activity it is very easy to become dehydrated. Many of us never even know that we are close to dehydration. When your throat becomes dry, your body is already dehydrated.

    To get the daily amount of water that your body needs, experts recommend multiplying your body weight by .55 and then drinking that many ounces of water each day. So a 200lb individual would need approximately 110oz a day (.55 multiplied by your body weight of 200lbs=110oz). Your muscles are over 72% water and in a sense become deflated when you reach dehydration.


    To ensure that you are getting enough water I recommend drinking 2-3 glasses of water with every meal. This will help your body digest the food that you have just consumed and avoid dehydration. Most people will not multiply their weight by .55 and measure the amount of water they need to drink, so if you consume 2-3 glasses with each meal, you should be fine.

    Since your body has a tough time transporting nutrients when the body is dehydrated, your muscles don't get the vitamins and minerals that they need. This can cause an overtraining effect on your body. Many people directly correlate overtraining to weight training, but this is not entirely correct. If your muscles cannot get the nutrients that they need, then they cannot repair and grow.

    A quick word on soft drinks - Soft drinks are not a substitute for water, they cause more dehydration than hydration due to the sugar content.

Vitamins & Minerals

It is a good idea to have a well-rounded multi-vitamin to get your essential nutrients such as Vitamin C and E. Vitamins and minerals are essential for the repair of body tissue and overall health.

Nutrition Overview

  • Fat loss and weight loss are dramatically accelerated when you "clean up" your diet.
  • Proteins are the essential building blocks of muscle. Everyone needs protein in his or her diet so that muscle is built and not lost.
  • Carbohydrates provide energy.
  • Saturated fats are unhealthy, whereas unsaturated, polysaturated, and monosaturated fats are needed to burn off these saturated.
  • Drink water to help your body easily transport vital nutrients and to prevent the possible effects of overtraining.
  • Vitamins and minerals help repair bodily tissue and promote the overall wellness of the body.

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