Nutrition 101: What The Saiyan Should I Be Eating?

Nutrition is a complicated, but I’m going to break it down to Saiyan terms. Please know that this is going to be pedantic and possibly boring (especially if you don’t like to learn and read books), but it is completely necessary and serves as the building blocks of what you eat. I recommend that you take 10 minutes and just read through this crap and learn it.

You’ll be able to understand exactly what you’re eating and what you should avoid after this short guide.

There are two major pillars of nutrition that every Saiyan needs:

1. Macronutrients

The three macronutrients are terms you have probably already heard and throw around when you’re talking about food: carbohydrates (carbs), protein, and fats.

2. Micronutrients

Micronutrients are broken into two major categories: vitamins and minerals. We’re not going to focus so much on this because as long as you’re eating what I tell you to eat, you’re going to get a sufficient amount of everything.

What is a carbohydrate?

Carbohydrates are sugars. Our body operates on a sugar called glucose. It is in our blood (blood sugar) and every movement we make utilizes this sugar for energy.

Carbs are dissected into three major categories:

Monosaccharides –

Dissaccharides –

Polysaccharides –

Why do people avoid carbs? Are carbs evil?

With the popularity of fad diets, carbs have been given a bad image. People generally want to find the easiest way to lose weight because we’re lazy as hell. The rise of these diets came from the known fact that carbs suck up water and hold-on to water. The reason carb fad diets became so popular is because our body stores glycogen (polysaccharide) with any excess carbs left in our body. Without getting too scientific, we hold about 4 pounds (1.8 kg) glycogen and carbohydrates stores in our body. Each pound of carbohydrate can hold up to 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of water weight. This means the combination of the water weight and the carbohydrate, your glycogen and carb stores can weigh about 20 lbs.

Once your body is depleted from the carbs, that water is lost. Thus on the scale, you will lose about 20 lbs.

Congratulations!

NOT!

This is one of the most unhealthy and dumbest ways to lose weight! When you start eating carbohydrates again, you’re going to regain that weight almost instantaneously!

In fact, if you’ve avoided carbohydrates for an extended period of time (over one month), your body will store EVEN MORE carbohydrates because it thinks that the previous amount of carbohydrate stores was insufficient. This is commonly called “yo-yo dieting.”

What is Protein?

Essential Amino Acids

Non-Essential Amino Acids

What is Fat?

Saturated Fat

Unsaturated Fat

What is a Calorie?

Calories from carbohydrate 1g = 4 calories

Calories from fat 1g = 9 calories

Calories from protein 1g = 4 calories

So what should we eat?

Let’s try to avoid the word “diet” since this is so negatively perceived by our sub-conscious. You want to think of this as a lifestyle change.
There are three major words used in the fitness industry when dealing with weight:
1. Cut – the process in which you shed weight (primarily fat, but you end up losing some muscle) ***
2. Bulk – the process in which you gain weight (primarily muscle, but you end up gaining some fat)
3. Recomposition – the process in which you lose fat and replace it with muscle (it can go the other way around, but that’s just getting fat)
***For people with more than 20% body fat, you lose much more fat than muscle
Anyways, your nutrition and food intake from this point are going to be focused on the body’s necessities for maximum fat burn. I love food, too, but on a cut, food is perceived more as nutrition to the body than an indulgence to the mouth. You’re going to be eating in order to feed the body what it requires to metabolize properly. It takes about a month to really acclimate to the what you’re eating. For me, after about a month, I started really enjoying healthy food – even as an indulgence.
We’re going to split your eating days into two types: rest days and workout days.
Quick note first:
Rest Days

40% Calories from Protein
40% Calories from Fat
20% Calories from Carbohydrate

Protein Recommendations for Rest Days (high protein, high fat)
Fatty Fish and Seafood such as Salmon, Halibut (this is expensive!), Trout, Herring, Shrimp
Lean Ground Beef
Steak of All Cuts
Eggs
Bacon
Sausages, Hot Dog Frankfurts
Chicken Legs (Drum Sticks)
Pork Loin (limit this to once per week – these contain high salt)
Fat Recommendations for Rest Days
Nuts and Seeds (Limit Almonds – they have high carb content) — go for walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
Avocados (These are awesome, very high in fiber!)
Olive Oil
Carbohydrate Recommendations for Rest Days
Vegetables (Leafy Greens are always best such as spinach, broccoli, bokchoy, kale, etc.)
Fruit

Sample Rest Day Food #1:

Meal #1: Eggs (over easy with 1 tbsp olive oil), Greek Yogurt, Banana, Glass of Milk
Meal #2: Chicken Legs (Drumstick), Steamed Vegetables (Peppers, Squash, Carrots)
Meal #3: Top Sirloin Steak, Broccoli, Almonds
Sample Rest Day Food #2:
Meal #1: Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Greek Yogurt, Apple
Meal #2: Chicken Breast, Sauted Vegetables (Peppers, Onions, Peas), Avocado
Meal #3: Pork Loin Chops, Mini Peppers

 

Workout Day

40% Calories from Protein
20% Calories from Fat
40% Calories from Carbohydrate

Protein Recommendations for Rest Days (high protein, low fat)
Chicken Breast
Steak
Egg Whites
Non Fatty Fish and Seafood such as Tilapia,
Tuna (Caution: this is extremely high in mercury so limit to one can per week)
Protein Shakes
Greek Yogurt
Fat Recommendations for Rest Days

Avoid most fat foods here, you’ll get most of it from your meat intake

Carbohydrate Recommendations for Rest Days
Vegetables (Leafy Greens are always best such as spinach, broccoli, bokchoy, kale, etc.)
Fruit
Oatmeal (Steel Cut preferred, but any type is fine)
Brown Rice (Unprocessed is better, but whatever is fine)
Whole Wheat Bread
Cottage Cheese
Yogurt
Milk
— You’re welcome to eat ice cream, junk food, etc. as long as you met your protein and fiber recommendations!

Sample Workout Day Food #1:

Meal #1: Greek Yogurt, Oatmeal, Boiled Eggs
Meal #2: Chicken Breast, Steamed Vegetables (Peppers, Squash, Carrots), Brown Rice
Meal #3: Top Sirloin Steak, Broccoli
Sample Workout Day Food #2:
Meal #1: Eggs (over easy with 1 tbsp olive oil), Whole Grain Toast, Greek Yogurt, Banana, Glass of Milk
Meal #2: Chicken Legs (Drumstick), Steamed Vegetables (Peppers, Squash, Carrots)
Meal #3: Whole Grain Spaghetti with Lean Ground Beef Tomato Sauce

Honestly, once you learn about the macro-nutrients, you can eat whatever you want, as long as it meets your macro-nutrient goals. This is why this program is NOT a diet. You’re welcome to eat whatever, as long as you eat it on days where you can (usually on workout days). If you feel hungry often, try to stick to eating soup and broth based recipes (Chili, Broccoli Soup, etc.). I like to eat pho on workout days.

Once you get into the habit of things, you’re going to integrate intermittent fasting into your eating habits. Basically, you all food within an 8 hour window (12 pm to 8 pm, for example). As you go on, you’re going to reduce your window to maximize fat burn and harness your insulin sensitivity. I’m currently eating at a 2 hour window (1 meal a day). You don’t need to get this extreme, but you can if you would like (it’s tough to eat 2k calories in one meal).
You’ll find when you cook at home, the amount of food is surprising.
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