These days we are overwhelmed with too much nutritional information (especially on the internet) and beginners are practically bombarded with all kinds of conflicting opinions on all kinds of diets and nutritional strategies. All of this can be confusing and even dangerous, moving people further away from their fitness goals. And one of the most confusing concepts out there is that of food combining.
Food combining is an advanced nutritional strategy and can be very effective, but only if you are ready for it. It is not a tool for a beginner and there is no need to try it if you don’t have a good nutritional foundation.
A Beginner Needs Food Training, Not Combining
First of all let’s define the concept of a “beginner in nutrition”. It has nothing to do with how much training experience you have, and there are many people that are training for years but never followed a well defined nutritional plan.
If any of the statements below applies to you, then you are a nutritional beginner (not that there’s anything wrong with that, because everyone was a beginner at some point…even pro bodybuilders and nutritionists):
- you don’t know how much protein you’re eating and how much you should be eating
- you don’t know how many calories you need each day in order to achieve your current goal
- you don’t know what to eat so that your hormones are under control
- you don’t know how many carbs and fats you consume each day and the overall percentage of each one in your diet
Moving Past The Beginner Stage
In order to achieve this, you need to learn and to implement the basic nutritional principles. First you need to learn and understand the theory and then apply it for a period of time and make changes based on how your body responds. Your diet should be well balanced, healthy and very specific to your body type and your current goal.
The basic principles that you need to master before moving past the beginner stage are caloric requirements and daily macros. You must know exactly how many calories you need to consume on a daily basis according to your goal (bulking, cutting or maintaining). You also need to know exactly how many grams of protein, carbs and fats you need and how many calories you should get from each source.
After you find out all the numbers, you must apply them for some time and measure the results you get. And only after you have the basics in place you can move to more advanced strategies like food combining.
Using Food Combining
So once you have your calories and macros in place, you can take a step forward and tweak your diet even further. With the help of a qualified nutritionist or a trainer you can now use the concept of food combining to manipulate your hormones and neurotransmitters.
Usually this is a tough process that requires a lot of trial and error. For example you can start by removing carbs from your first meal and see how your body responds. Or you can try eliminating carbs after 5 PM and see how that goes. Or have specific macros combined in specific percentages at each meal. For each of the changes you make, you will then evaluate how this affects your body, your energy, your mental focus and your workouts.
And eventually you will find out exactly which things work and which don’t. At this level food combining can be a great tool for refining, defining and ramping up your entire program…but not before!
Craig Wilson is a big Fitness enthusiast, Author and owner of Body-Buildin.com. You can visit his website for more interesting articles on Health, Fitness & Bodybuilding, and you might find some Free Gifts as well!