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Food for Better Body Composition

This week marked the return of Benledi House for Wednesday morning yoga. I love that no matter where you train, Andy and Poppy make the most of the environment to vary the sessions for your benefit. It'll be great to see some headstands while you're indoors! 

It's hard to get past the beauty of the backdrop you are privileged to work with, as well as the variety of sights across both parks. Throw in supportive mates and a rotating roster of equipment, and hopefully the motivation required to get out of bed is less of a stretch. I think this was yesterday:

And Kathryn getting it done, rain, hail or shine:

As promised, we're going to take a more detailed look at the elements required to vary body composition, keeping in mind that this relates to the percentage of fat, bone and muscle in your body. Today's focus is food

Starting with bones, since we all want better bone density. This one is all about calcium and vitamin D, the latter being required for the former to be absorbed. The dairy lobby has done a fabulous job of educating us all about the calcium found in milk, yoghurt and cheese, but many non-dairy milks as well as bread and cereal are fortified with calcium these days. In addition, salmon, seeds, beans, lentils, almonds and leafy greens are all great sources. Vitamin D is a little harder to come by as we get into the winter months, though we are pretty lucky in Australia. Conveniently, many of the fortified foods mentioned above also have vitamin D added. You can boost this with salmon, mushrooms and egg yolk. 

Next lets consider muscle, since we hopefully all want more of that! A balanced diet is important here, including healthy fats and carbohydrates, but protein is king. It is essential for muscle recovery and repair. You'll get your best bang for buck with chicken, prawns, eggs, salmon, Greek yoghurt, beans, brown rice, sweet potato and nuts. Very few people eat enough protein without focusing on it. The goal is to have protein in every meal and every snack. If you're curious, the recommendation for muscle building is 1.4 - 2 grams of protein per day for each kilogram of body weight. So most likely more than 84 grams a day, through to possibly 175 grams. If you're serious about looking at your macros I'd recommend getting an app like myfitnesspal and tracking your food, even for just a few 'typical' days. It might tell you a lot about what changes you could make. 

Lastly we'll look at fat, since this one won't be for everyone. Consuming fewer calories than your body needs promotes fat loss by forcing your body to use stored fat for energy. To achieve this you must still consume enough protein to preserve muscle mass, providing the necessary amino acids for repair and maintenance. Sufficient protein can also protect your metabolic rate during a calorie deficit. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest. By retaining muscle mass through adequate protein intake, you can help prevent a significant drop in your metabolic rate. Protein is also filling and reduces hunger, making it easier to stick to a calorie deficit without feeling deprived. Ultimately, combining a calorie deficit with sufficient protein intake promotes fat loss while minimising muscle loss, leading to improved body composition.

Thanks to those who made it to the end of another long one! I'm sure you're sick of hearing about protein. I have plenty more to say about how to calculate your required caloric intake, the breakdown of macros, easier ways to be in a calorie deficit, and general strategies which might help, so we'll focus on this alone next week. 

Poppy will be in Balmain again tomorrow if you're up for a Saturday session. Below are the photos from the week. Stay warm and have a great weekend!

Exercise Review

Deadlift Variation - Straight Leg


This one is a request from Andy! Favoured for its recruitment of the posterior chain and opportunity to target the hamstrings, as the name suggests, this variation keeps the legs almost straight. This deadlift focuses on the legs more than the back. have written a good step by step guide with tips, so I won't reinvent the wheel. It's worth noting the primary difference: the Romanian deadlift starts from the rack, or the top of the movement, while the SLD starts at the bottom. Plates can be used under the bar or under your feet to accommodate flexibility. Take a look!


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