4. Food Composition
This refers to the quality of the food, and the way that you combine foods to create meals.
For proteins this relates to the bioavailability of the nutrients, for carbohydrates it refers to the fibre quality and the Glycemic Index. With fats a good rule of thumb is to try and stay away from Tran Saturated fats (fast food etc) and consume Monosaturated (Avocado, nuts and their butters, olive oil) and Healthy Saturated fats (Coconut/macadamia nut oils, grass fed animal fats) wherever possible.
Establishing a Template Rather Than a Meal Plan
Generally, a meal plan will tell you exactly what to eat and when to eat it. However, although it works in theory, a rigid, inflexible plan usually does not often survive the demands of family life, a career, changeable training hours and the unforeseen circumstances that are part and parcel of a contemporary life. Unless you are a full time professional athlete, they can be almost impossible to fulfil, therefore, your goals will not be achieved.
A meal template is just as (if not more so) detailed, but adjusts according to your precise lifestyle and goals. All Renaissance Periodization templates can be specially tailored to suit your exact goals, from fat loss to muscle gain, but follow the same tried and tested principles. They are based on your sex, bodyweight, height and age.
Transition Periods Within The Templates
They include phases that adjust the precise amounts of macronutrients you will need, based on how your body is changing at that particular time. You will also be given a weekly rate at which you should be losing weight, and if you are within this rate then you know that you are on track.
If you are not losing enough based on the range that you have been given, then you can revert to the next phase within the template, and this will tighten up your nutrition even further, resulting in a faster rate of fat loss.
For example, my goal is to gain 5kg of muscle. I was supplied with a personalised template from Renaissance Periodization that consisted of the following 5 phases.
- Muscle gain 1
- Muscle gain 2
- Muscle gain 3
- New base
Once I have adjusted to the base template then I will progress onto muscle gain 1. At this stage the desired weekly rate of gain is between 0.25lb and 1lb (0.11kg and 0.45kg) per week. If it slows to below this range of growth then I progress onto muscle gain 2, which will provide a different calorie balance and macronutrient ratio in order to speed up the rate of muscle gain.
In the case of fat loss, the temple would have a similar structure, but you would progress through various fat loss stages (1,2 and 3) before reaching your desired goal. The new base would then be a template for your new weight. Your caloric intake will be calculated appropriately, but this may change over time, and that will be included in the template itself. This also makes the entire template easier to stick to.
How To Maintain Your Goal Weight and Avoid the Return to Bad Habits Once the Diet is Complete
One general problem with most diets is than even when any individual sticks to a program religiously, once it has been completed, then it is easy to slip back into bad habits and regain the weight that has been lost.
The in-built transition periods of the Renaissance Periodization Templates that I described above are designed to help combat and overcome this problem.
Once you have achieved your desired results, you then adapt to the new base template that will help you to maintain your newly achieved weight.
The templates allow you to:
- Establish and maintain consistency and healthy, long-term habits
- Pick the foods you like from a pre-approved list of options
- Change your nutrition at a rate that suits you
- Achieve your exact goal whether you are a total beginner or an experienced athlete
For example, if you are a CrossFit athlete looking to build muscle because you are not as strong as you would like to be, but you also need to maintain consistently high-performance levels, then the calorie balance and macronutrient ratio will be carefully calculated to ensure that your body is fed with enough protein, whilst also maintaining a high enough level of fats and carbohydrates to fuel performance.
If you want to lose fat, making gigantic changes all in one go is the best way to make this process harder than it needs to be.
The formation of positive eating habits, of building an understanding of the right food choices, of establishing the 80% combination of the correct caloric intake and macro nutrient ratio are all programmed into the template itself in order to ensure a positive routine and the achievement of your respective goal.
Renaissance Periodization work with athletes and individuals of all ability levels, backgrounds and sports and help them achieve their own personal goals.
They offer introductory level ebooks, nutrition templates and a premium one to one coaching service, depending on your exact requirements.
The latter is the service that athletes such as Sara Sigmundsdottir and BK Gudmundsson have utilised to great effect. So, if you are serious about losing fat, building muscle, improving performance and transforming your body, then now is the time to act and take a step on the journey towards becoming the best version of yourself!