Food is our Foundation
JED WIGHTMAN PERFORMANCE/SPORTS NUTRITIONIST ADVANTAGE FITNESS LTD
This article has been written for Canadian Physique Alliance – July/August 2020 Edition
In my last article, we discussed the importance of proper nutrition for the support and maintenance of good health on the most basic levels. These included; water, complete protein, essential fats, complex carbs, veggies, and fibre. Everyone one of us athletes or otherwise must understand the fundamentals of proper nutrition. Now, this brings me to a very important topic for all us athletes and gym goers who want to maximize our performance, one that I think on the basic and strategic levels of performance is incredibly important.
After doing this (bodybuilding thing) for the better part of 22 years, and professionally as a coach for the last 17, there is one question that sticks out more than most when I think of this process of building our bodies, what is better REAL FOOD or SUPPLEMENTS? As we move forward into the future I feel this has become an even more confusing and misunderstood issue. We are more advanced now than ever, and with that more flashy well marketed and promoted products are available. Social media has influenced this in a big way. So especially for the beginner and the younger generation supplements are very attractive.
From the gym, to social media to new clients and athletes I am asked constantly what supplements to take to build muscle, burn fat and especially what can SPEED the process of each. In my inbox I’m always seeing hey Jed what can I take to get “big” to get “shredded. I always answer the same, FOOD FOOD FOOD! Food is our foundation; no supplement out there does the job of it or can replace food. Supplements are just that supplemental, they are additions they are not fundamental and certainly not foundational.
I am taken back to the golden era of our great sport when the greats, Arnold, Franco, Frank, Lou were building some of the most iconic and legendary physiques of all time. What did they have available for supplements, pretty much zero. They ate whole food, they ate a lot of it and they created monumental results. Unlike today with all the options and the myriad stuff for sale, the golden era guys besides the first protein powders and vitamins and minerals, relied on food. This pretty much solidifies my point, whole food, real food consistency in feeding yourself the right things in a strategic way will always produce the best results.
Now this factor is critical, “strategic meal timing” when to eat certain things like carbs and fats. There are certainly the three most important meals of the day. The one that gets you started and pre and post training. This depends on your program. But every good program should be tailored to critical meal timing. It’s not just “macros”, it’s when and why for your body to manifest the greatest benefit. So before you start thinking about what kind of BCAAs to take, intra workout pre workout blah blah blahs, fat burners, carbohydrates and protein powders you must solidify your nutritional foundation with a strategic effectively tailored program. With all the bases covered, complete protein, your omega fats, complex carbohydrates, fibre from veggies and certain starches (starches that are not refined or processed) your body has what it needs, and all it needs.
Nothing will build muscle well or burn fat more effectively than the right combinations and applications of whole food. There is no magic pill, or secret formula. It’s so very simple, so straight forward, I’ll say it again it’s just FOOD.