Nutrition and Exercise for Complete Beginners

New to nutrition and exercise? We’ve all been there! Check out our simple and effective nutrition for beginners guide…..

Nutrition for beginners guide

NUTRITION BASICS

So you’re just starting on the road to a happier, healthier lifestyle?

Welcome to the wonderful world of health and wellbeing! Check out these beginner tips for exercise newbies to help you get you going on this journey to a better, more improved YOU.

The single most important factor when you’re first starting at the gym or in a new exercise regime is your diet. The old cliché about your body being a vehicle is most certainly true, your vessel needs high quality fuel to function efficiently, and trust us; attaining your fitness goals will be a hell of a lot more enjoyable if you feel happy and energetic on the way there.

There’s a lot of disinformation about which diet is perfect for this and that, but a general rule of thumb is to have three or more balanced meals per day. You don’t need to be a dictator about it, you’re far more likely to persevere and succeed in the end if you allow yourself the occasional treat, and not deprive your body of its long overdue custard cream.

STEP ONE: DIET

 

Create a balanced repertoire by eating meals containing one quarter protein, one quarter carbohydrates and half veggies – these are as important for growth as the protein, so don’t try and avoid them. The key here is persistence, the first few weeks might be a bit of a shock, but you’ll soon adapt to the new routine.

Protein: These are your building blocks, the main ingredients of your muscles, so without this you won’t gain anything. Optimal daily protein for gym trainers is 2g protein per kg of body mass. The best proteins for muscle development; meat, eggs, fish, protein shakes/bars, cottage cheese.

Carbohydrates: This is your FUEL, the main source of energy for the body. Carbs are stored in muscles and are vital for energy. Consume a fist sized serving with your main meals. Good sources include oats, rice, wholegrains, jacket/sweet potatoes, fruit.

Natural fats: Without these, you’ll either freeze to death or your brain won’t be able to send electrical signals; not ideal. Good fats are your friend when consumed in moderation. Opt for a small serving of healthy fats with your meals, including olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, oily fish, nuts and free-range eggs.

Vitamins and Minerals: It’s all well and good getting enough protein and energy for building and maintaining your vehicle, but that’s not quite all the ingredients for making a healthy, happy and energetic new you. You need a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement if you ever want to make any progress, and you’ll feel substantially better too.

 

STEP TWO: SHAKES AND SUPPLEMENTS

Let’s face it, who has time for all that cooking of chicken, steak and rice? And really, who can eat three kilos of meat every day without being severely affected in the digestion department.

That’s where protein powders come in, they make taking protein not only an easy and quick task, but also quite enjoyable. Here at SCI-MX we provide a vast range of protein flavours to suit even the pickiest of eaters. When you’re first starting out, a simple whey protein powder is great to get your foot in the door, just mix it with a bit of water or milk and drink up, for a quick muscle boost.

The amount of protein a person needs is dependent on how much energy you use in the day. Someone who does a lot of exercise will need a lot more protein than someone who doesn’t exercise at all.

Getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs is absolutely essential to reach your goals, whether they be weight loss, muscle gain or just a happier and healthier lifestyle. Without the recommended daily allowance of these micro-nutrients, your vehicle will be inefficient and sluggish, even if you’re eating all the right proteins, carbs and fats.

EXERCISE BASICS

This is the daunting part, the key here is to start slowly and build your way up to the bigger stuff. Focus on a basic weight training plan with some high intensity cardiovascular exercise at the end of your workout.

Train two days a week for 40-60 minutes. To make progress, start slowly and then increase the intensity gradually from week to week. Again, persistence is the key here, don’t burn yourself out in the first month by overdoing it, pace yourself and enjoy the process! Here’s an example:

DAY 1
Bench Press 3 x 8-12 (rest 2 minutes between sets)
Shoulder Press 3 x 8-12
Press-ups 3 x 8-12
1 mile run

DAY 2
Squats 3 x 8-12
Leg extensions 3 x 8-12
Ab crunches 3 x 8-12
Treadmill sprints; 100m (rest 3 mins), 200m, 400m

DAY 3
Deadlifts 3 x 8-12
Barbell row 3 x 8-12
Barbell biceps curl 3 x 8-12
1km rowing machine sprint

Getting your nutrition and exercise right if you’re a complete beginner can be confusing and daunting, without some guidance and direction you can get distracted and lose motivation. Hopefully this brief introduction on nutrition for beginners has alleviated some of that bewilderment.

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