3. NUTRIENT TIMING
Nutrient timing means determining when during a day it is best for your body to consume the nutrients it needs (in accordance with your goals). This is best understood when it is split into meal frequency and timing in relation to activity.
This can be broken down even further into the 3 macro nutrients, and how often should they be consumed and in what portions throughout the day.
“So long as you get your calories and macros right, timing is a much smaller concern, responsible for at most about 20% and possibly as little as 10% to the total impact of a diet plan.”
Points to consider
- Fats and fibre should be largely avoided close to or during the workout
- Any number of meals works well, but best results are likely in the 4-6 meal range per day
- As long as protein is eaten in all meals, post-workout protein timing may not matter
- Eating most of your daily carbs pre, during, and post workout seems to have a small advantage
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.
Source: Renaissance Periodization
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.