Nutrition Hierarchy Explained
Evan Regan - Performance Nutritionist
There is so much information out there at the moment in relation to nutrition and what we "Should" and "Should Not" be doing. This has lead to massive confusion in the area and people sometimes struggle on where to start or what their main focus should be.
This blog focuses on the key areas of nutrition and aims to provide clarity on where your priorities should be placed.
1.) Calories: If body composition is an area of focus for you then your calorie (Kcal) or energy intake is the key. In simple terms your total calorie intake over a period of time will determine whether you lose, gain or maintain your body weight (body composition). Too much energy being consumed which is referred to as a "Calorie Surplus" will lead to weight / fat gain while a lower energy intake below the amount needed by your body each day or a "Calorie Deficit" will lead to weight / fat loss.
2.) Macronutrients: These are your bodies main sources of energy and make up your total energy intake. Macronutrients refers to protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol intake.
3.) Micronutrients: This refers to a our vitamin and mineral consumption through the foods that we eat. Having a variety of colour in the fruit and vegetables that we eat is important throughout our daily meals and snacks. This will increase our fibre intake, provide antioxidants and reduce the chances of a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
4.) Meal Timing (and Frequency): The timing and frequency of our meals and snacks can have a big impact on our sporting performance and aspects of healthy such as metabolism and energy availability throughout the day.
5.) Supplements: One of the most common topics of conversation whether it be in consultations, Instagram Q&A's, Facebook Live's or online webinars is supplementation. Some supplements can be useful when used in the right context, time and with the right individual but without all the previous layers of the hierarchy pyramid simply adding a supplement will not have a major impact.