Pick and Commit: How to Decide What Your Nutrition Plan Should Look Like- Part Two
If you missed it, you can check out Part 1 of our article on learning when it’s worth swapping optimal for practical. White it’s true that TOO much of anything can have a negative impact on training and health, it’s also true that the same food can be what propels us to take on some of the greatest challenges in our life in a physical capacity.
In part two, we’re going to explore what it looks like to choose a nutrition plan based on your goals of strength/endurance, maintenance, and weight loss.
Choosing the Path That’s Right
Keeping with the theme of concessions, it’s important to remember that we can’t accomplish 900 things at once with nutrition- not effectively anyway.
A key part of choosing what your nutrition plan should look like depends on you deciding what you want MOST in the season you're in- whether it’s for an event or life.
It’s important to highlight that by choosing one and committing to it, you’re not entirely giving up the other options nor does it mean you can’t transition that focus in the future to something else on the triangle.
For example, by choosing to focus on endurance and eating enough to fuel that, I’m not saying that I’m committing to a 50lb weight gain (i.e. I’m not giving up ‘weight’ either…). It’s just not my focus. Likewise, maybe I’ll shift my focus from endurance to muscle/strength building in the fall after the hike is over.
You’re simply saying that you’re picking that focus for that season.
It’s very important to remember that these are basic and general guidelines. Every individual will need to adjust their needs according to their training, genetic makeup, baseline calorie needs, etc. Do not treat these as gospel. With that said, they can be extremely helpful to have a starting baseline.
Build muscle/Endurance: 16+ kcal/lb of body weight.
Weight Loss: 10-13kcal/lb
Maintenance (off-season/general fitness): 14-16kcal/lb
*If your weight is above where you’d like it to be, use a weight that is between your ideal and current weight to calculate the need.
*If you choose weight loss, expect a relative drop in performance- or at the very least not achieving peak performance. I’d recommend not focusing on this during a season in which you’re training for something specific.
The question isn’t if something is good or bad in nutrition. The better question is “what’s my goal and what foods do I want to meet that goal?” Once you have an idea of the goal you want, commit to it. It’s not a matter of if you reach the goal, it’s a matter of how long it’ll take to get there. Be consistent. Master the basics and be very patient.
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