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Health and Fitness Tips

Back To Basics

If you go into any gym in the world and randomly ask 100 people to pinpoint the most important thing for achieving success in bodybuilding and fitness, you'd probably get just as many different answers. Most replies, however, would involve various training programs and styles.

As important as training is, nutrition plays an equally large role - your diet is almost always responsible for either success or failure in body sculpting and virtually any fitness program. Here I'll outline some basic nutrition guidelines. These guidelines can teach you how to determine your daily protein, carbohydrate, fat and caloric needs. So get out your calculators and notebooks; Back-to-Basics is about to begin.

Daily Caloric Intake
The following formula is a tried and true way to discover the amount of calories your body needs every day. If you make the following adjustments as needed, you can't help but achieve nutritional nirvana.

If your goal is to add muscle while not adding bodyfat, or even slowly eliminating bodyfat, multiply your weight (in pounds) by 13, 14 or 15; 13 if you have a slow metabolism, 14 for a moderate metabolism, and 15 for a fast metabolism. For hardgainers, or those who simply want to gain weight, multiply your weight by 16, 17, or 18 according to the same metabolic progression. If your aim is to lose fat, multiply your current bodyweight by 10, 11 or 12. These numbers will give you what your caloric intake each day should be.

Now, let me help you find the right calories from the right foods.

Protein is essential for the repair and growth of muscle tissue. The amino acids derived from protein form the building blocks of all cells in the human body. Without protein, your organs, hair, nails, immune system and every other bodily system wouldn't survive.

Your protein intake should be approximately 30%-35% of your total caloric intake. A 200-pound man who eats 2,600 calories per day, then should consume about 215 grams of protein each day.
Divide your protein intake fairly equally throughout all your meals. Good sources of protein include lean turkey and chicken, white fish, lean red meat, egg whites, and protein powders.

Carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source. We can break down carbs into two categories: simple and complex. Complex carbs should represent the majority of your dietary carbohydrates, except in post-workout meals. Complex carbs break down slowly and elicit a mild blood-sugar response. Eating simple carbs elicits a rapid rise in blood sugar.

Carbohydrates should make up 50%-60% of your daily calories. As with proteins, space your carbs evenly throughout the day's meals. A good ratio is 2-3 grams of carbohydrate to 1 gram of protein in your post-workout meals and 1-1.5 grams of carbohydrate to 1 gram of protein in your other meals.

Good sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, beans, corn, green and yellow vegetables, shredded wheat, yams, sweet potatoes and whole grain, pumpernickel or rye bread. Good simple-carbohydrate choices for your post-workout meal include sports drinks, apples, bananas and/or oranges.

Most of the fat you need should be provided naturally in your daily diet. If your fat intake is extremely low (below 10%), however, you may be putting your health at risk. Your daily caloric intake should consist of 10%-15% fat.

Working to combine a nutritionally balance diet with a progressive body sculpting routine can help you meet your goals of beauty and wellbeing. Remember diet, plus body sculpting, equals a healthy you!

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed