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Test Your Nutrition I.Q.
Taking a random approach to your diet after spending so much time on the workout program aspect is a huge mistake because nutrition can actually account for up to 80% of the results you see. It would be a shame to waste the gym sessions you put so much effort on with poor nutrition.
That said, how well do you know your nutrition? Many people make mistakes on certain issues and it can cost them results dearly.
Take this quiz to put your nutrition-know-how to the test.
1. Who has the greatest protein requirement per pound of body mass?
- A 170 pound male who is trying to gain another 10 pounds of muscle mass.
- A 150 pound female who is aiming for maximum fat loss and is eating 1400 calories each day.
- An endurance athlete eating at a maintenance intake but training for a marathon.
- It is going to depend upon the types of protein they are eating (eggs vs. chicken vs. dairy for example).
Answer 1: B. Contrary to what many people believe, the dieting individual actually has a higher protein need, pound for pound, than the individual who is trying to build muscle mass.
The reason for this is because when you are on a lowered calorie intake, there is a much higher chance that the body will turn to using incoming protein as fuel, therefore by providing slightly more than you normally would, you help ensure you have enough left over to cover the essential needs that protein is meant for.
2. After coming off a bulking (muscle gaining) cycle, when you want to lose body fat, the best approach is to:
- Cut calories down so you are eating at 500 below your maintenance level.
- Add more cardio training first before cutting calories.
- Both cut calories to 500 below and add a couple of cardio sessions.
- Decrease calories to maintenance first for a week or two, and then either drop calories or add cardio.
Answer 2: D. One big mistake that many people make is after finishing up a period of building muscle, they dramatically drop calorie intake and start up on an intensive
cardio program. This sends a very large shock to the body and can cause a decrease in
metabolic rate, combined with a loss in lean body tissue.
A much better approach is move to a maintenance calorie intake for a couple of weeks, and then slowly decrease calories further or add in some cardio training.
3. The best thing to eat after a hard weight lifting session is:
- Grilled fish along with steamed vegetables.
- A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread.
- A protein shake prepared with protein powder, milk, fruit, and ice.
- A proteins shake prepared with protein powder, chocolate milk, and ice.
Answer 3: D. Answer C is also generally a pretty good choice as well, but D is superior because of the type of
carbohydrates contained in the chocolate milk. While fruit is very healthy for you, it does contain approximately half fructose, which will not fill the muscle glycogen cells quite as well as pure glucose or starch will, therefore the chocolate milk tends to be a better option.
The peanut butter and jelly sandwich would be a decent option, but it's a little too high in
fat to be ideal. You want to minimize fat intake as much as possible in this meal. Finally, the
fish is a great source of protein, but there are not enough carbohydrates in the
vegetables to replace the muscle glycogen levels.
4. When you have been on a diet for the last 8 weeks and start struggling to see weight loss happening, the best thing to do is:
- Decrease calories further.
- Replace some carbohydrate calories with protein calories (assuming you are currently eating 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight).
- Remove any additional fat calories from the diet.
- Go off the diet entirely for a few weeks to give yourself a break.
Answer 4: D. This one is a little harder because it will depend to a degree on the type of diet you're on, but in most cases, your best option is going to be D. After 8 weeks of dieting, assuming it is a relatively strict diet, there is a good chance that your metabolism might be running slower, thus you're not going to see the results you would expect.
Taking a few weeks off the diet can often be enough to get the weight loss moving again as well as giving you the psychological break you might need from your diet.
5. The scenario where you are most likely to gain fat weight is:
- You overeat, gorging yourself on a pasta dinner with tomato sauce after a week's worth of dieting efforts.
- You have a snack of toast with canned tuna every night immediately before going to bed.
- You make sure you stop eating every night after 8 pm, but don't worry about tracking calories during the day.
- You have a diet that contains 50% fat.
Answer 5: C. Total
calorie intake is always the thing that will matter most on any diet plan as far as weight gain is concerned, so that is the key thing you want to be watching. Even if you're eating late at night, as long as you're staying within your calorie guideline, you're going to reach your goals.
Since in situation C the person is not watching at all, it's more likely that they could go over their calorie budget during the day even though they aren't eating in the evening, which is what will lead to weight gain.
6. You have been feeling extremely tired during your workouts in the gym. To fix this you:
- Eat more carbohydrates before the workout period starts.
- Boost your protein intake all day long.
- Push through it. Pain is weakness leaving the body.
- Take a break from the gym for a week.
Answer 6: D or potentially A. Option D is most likely going to be the best answer, but depending on what your
pre-nutrition protocol looks like (in conjunction with your overall diet intake), D could be viable as well.
Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy to the body during a workout, so shorting yourself on them is definitely going to impact how you feel during your workouts.
If you are eating an appropriate number of carbohydrates before the workout though as well as during the rest of the day, then it's more likely that you're just doing too much exercise for your body to keep up with and that's what it's reacting too.
Because of this, your best option is to then take a week or two off from the gym to give your body an extended time to
recover. Very often after doing so, you'll find that you actually come back to your workouts feeling refreshed and re-energized.
7. The best strategy for planning your diet is:
- Calculating out your macronutrient intake based on percentages.
- Using your body weight as a guide for determining how many grams of each macronutrient you should take in.
- Eating foods you crave because that means your body is short in those nutrients.
- Follow the exact recommendations that are prescribed by the particular diet program you're on.
Answer 7: B. Many people are making the critical error of planning their diet by using certain
macronutrient percentages. The problem with this is that 15% protein on a diet that contains only 1500 calories and 15% protein on a diet that's 3000 calories are going to be two very different numbers. Therefore, depending on the individual in question, the former example may not be enough to fully meet their needs.
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If you base your macronutrient intake on body weight though, you will get a better raw score in grams that you can then translate into total calorie value (since certain nutrients, namely
dietary fat, have specific requirements that absolutely must be met).
So, how did you do?
If you had no problem answering these questions, chances are you're doing great in your efforts towards fat loss and have a good idea what needs to be done to get results. If you struggled with many of the above questions, then it's likely a good plan to spend some more time researching on dietary techniques that will bring you closer to your goal.