You know what to eat and where to buy it. You’ve met up with your teams, cooked your weekly meals and are ready to support each other through the next six weeks. What do you do next?
Micronutrients and Macronutrients
For simplicity we’ll quickly define the two main components of the food you eat:
- Micronutrients are essentially what we’ve all called “vitamins” except their availability and efficiency is much greater in whole, fresh food than in a Flintstone’s chewable.
- Macronutrients are traditionally thought of in three parts, namely, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. For the PNC we’ll split carbohydrates into two distinct groups, starches and green leafy/micronutrient rich vegetables.
Water can sometimes be a 4th, or in our case a 5th, macronutrient. Our recommendation is to drink water when you’re thirsty and after you’ve sweat for more than 15 minutes.
Cool, I understand what a micronutrient and macronutrient are. So what?
Varying the Approach
We’ll say this a bunch during the next six weeks: there are not many paths up this mountain, there are just a bunch of mountains.
New to “clean” eating
If you’ve just started eating clean then all you need to do at every meal is split your dinner plates into quarters and fill each section with one of the four macronutrients. Do the same for snacks with dessert plates. This will be a simple way to make good choices that are compliant with the PNC without over complication.
If you’re training competitively, i.e.: competition program or five days of groups classes a week with at least 50% at Level 3, you can take the same approach with a bit of adjustment. If you’ve already been eating clean and training at high frequency/intensity try splitting your plate into thirds between fats, proteins and starches. At every third meal (dinner) add back leafy green/micronutrient rich vegetables. For an added level of complexity, portion your starches to after training. This approach will require adjustments to find what works specifically for the athlete, but, hey, if you’re training this frequent/intense then you’re probably already serious and seeking an edge. We’re giving you a bunch of whet stones to hone that edge.
If you want to get lean/shredded/ripped brah/bruh/bro and you’ve already been eating “clean” for awhile, it’s going to take the serious dedication of scientific calculation. Thankfully, the World Wide Web has done a lot of this work for us. We have to calculate Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) so that we can portion macronutrients appropriately. This isn’t calorie counting, instead it’s a recommendation that will support the work you do in class but not fat. Two good calculators are If It Fits Your Macros and Eat to Perform. There’s not much more to say other than this will require paying close attention to the macronutrient content of everything you eat, doing a lot of math, and if you stay PNC compliant while following the calculator’s recommendations you will be on the way to being lean/shredded/ripped brah/bruh/bro.
Next week we’ll talk about macronutrient timing.