5 Biggest Nutrition Mistakes
Post at 17:45 - 11/04/2018

Remember, a better body is 20% gym, 80% kitchen. So plan accordingly


Getting your nutrition right can make or break a training plan. Follow these five tips to keep yours on track.

Not eating enough

Your weight comes down to a simple formula: calories in minus calories out. If the number’s positive expect your jeans to feel snugger. Negative, and you’re on your way to using virgin belt notches. But as you should know from the fads your better half engages in, it’s not as simple as starving yourself. The foundation of long-term fat loss is building muscle. But unless you’re putting in enough fuel you’ll wither your arms as much as your waistline.

The fix:

Use a calorie calculator to work out how much you should be eating every day. Then try to ensure you’re getting roughly 30% of your calories from fats, 40% from carbs and 30% from protein; a US study found eating double your RDA of protein – up to around 110g – boosts muscle growth and fat loss. Track your input and output using the Men’s Health Personal Trainer Tool to make sure you’re eating around 500kcals less than you’re burning and focus on weights over cardio. The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn while doing nothing. Which means even eight hours in bed will help you build a better body.



Eschewing the fat

Eating fat does not make you fat. Put away nothing but boiled chicken breast and quinoa but spend all day in your chair and your collars will soon start feeling tighter. Scoff on a lunchtime quarter-pounder with cheese but knock out 50 pull-ups in the evening, and it’s your sleeves that will start to pinch.

The fix:

If you’re looking to lose weight then cutting back on fat is wise – a gram of olive oil packs in more than twice the calories as the same weight of protein – but going fat-free is an error. Without it your body can’t build the hormones that tell your body to turn protein into muscle, which is the best way to burn off your love handles. Up fats to around 30% of your daily calorie intake, then hit the gym. Often. And hard.


Eating big, late

Rushed mornings and last-minute lunch meetings mean most men eat most, last. But piling more on your plate later in the day means that when you hit the sack there’s a gutful of carb-loaded cottage pie you’re not burning off.

The fix:

Put simply, follow the old adage: breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and supper like a pauper. A recent Spanish study found people who ate most of their calories before 3pm lost more weight, because front-loading your calorie intake provides more energy throughout the day and more time to process them. Try this week of breakfasts for a protein-packed way to kick off the day. Then in the evening go low-carb and eat enough to feel sated rather than stuffed. That way your body can focus on building muscle overnight, not storing fat.



Cutting carbs completely

Realistically, you should probably be cutting back on carbs. Especially if they’re hand-cut and triple-fried. But going totally carb-free is not only an agonising endeavour, it also deprives your body of much-needed pre- and post-workout fuel.

The fix:

Reduce your intake, eat your carbs early in the day, and make sure you’re chowing down on wholegrain over processed junk by adding these 11 carbs to your shopping basket. As a rule of thumb, if it’s white – be it bread, rice or pasta – you probably shouldn’t be eating it. And if it’s served in a glass with a foaming head, then you definitely want to steer clear.


Going gluten/lactose/whatever free

If you can’t process gluten or lactose then steering clear is, of course, something your body will appreciate. As will the people you share a bathroom with. But if your shift away means you swap wholegrain loaves for highly processed "free-from" options, don’t expect to see any positive change on the scales.

The fix:

With only around 10% of people actually suffering gluten intolerance, binning bread can't be treated as a magic bullet. Dropping the refined stuff from your diet is a better long-term bet than switching your ham and cheese sandwichfor a salad covered in sugar-packed dressing. It’s easier to maintain, too. Even if you do manage to cut out bread completely, filling the carb void with crisps tends to undermine your abstemiousness.

How to Get the V-shape, Fast

To sculpt your body into the coveted V-shape, the first step is to create the illusion that your waist is smaller. How? By making your upper body ...

The 15 Best Exercises For Beginners To Try At Home

Exercising at home is, hopefully, something you've been thinking about while sat on the sofa, pawing at your doughy middle.

The 14 Best Exercises For Weight Loss

Want to lose weight? Here's 14 moves you need to know

The 290-Rep Workout That Smashes Through Calories

Get in the zone for the ultimate fat-burning challenge that tests your muscles and mind

How to Build a Bigger Chest in 28 Days

Aimless repping no longer cuts it. If you want a bigger chest you need to get scientific with your gym time. Alternate between our two lab-tested ...

Work your whole body with this three-move, home workout

For this workout, all you need is your own bodyweight, so it can be done anywhere: at home, in the office or in the park. In ...

10 Minute Calorie Wipe Out Plan

Short but sweet, this workout will leave your muscles and metabolism truly scorched

The 400 Rep Bigger Chest Workout

This chest workout will give you a pump like no other
View more View more