Arumoy Shome


June 16, 2021

Notes on diet and nutrition.

This document provides information regarding diet and nutrition. The premise is to identify underlying principles that determine optimal dietary requirements for weight loss and gain. For the prior goal, I am interested in nutrition which will provide optimal recovery and minimal muscle loss. For the later, I am interested in maximising muscle gain whilst minimising fat gain.

Nutrition is simply thermodynamics: Energy in must equal energy out for a system in equilibrium. If we consider that our body is the system, then the food we consume (energy in) must equal the energy required for our body to function (energy out). Logic thus dictates that when we eat less food than required, we lose weight and conversely, gain weight when we eat more.

The quantity of food/caloric intake required to maintain our bodyweight can be estimated from a TDEE calculator (easily available online, I have been using this one). From there, research has shown that a 10-20% increase/decrease in caloric intake will result in optimal weight gain/loss.

Emphasis must also be put on the macro and micro nutrients. Specifically, research shows that 120gm of protein minimum results in optimal muscular recovery. Up to 160gm or 0.8/lb of bodyweight (whichever is larger) has been proven to result in optimal muscle gain when trying to gain weight. For the micro nutrients, it goes without saying, eat vegetables as much as possible! I personally also take vitamin D, omega-3 and multi-vitamin supplements. Vegetables also help me feel full longer.

Some lessons I have learned from experience. Having a good diet is not a temporary setting and is precisely the reason why diets do not work. Having a good diet requires time, patience and a lot of experimentation to find out what works for the individual. Having a good diet is only the first part, having a good diet which is also sustainable is the key challenge (remember, you need to eat until you die). Finally, I think this requires a fair share of psychological strengthening. I noticed that for me, it took years until I found a good balance of food that works for me and learned to control my hunger/cravings.

Following are some no-nonsense, community driven, public information that I keep coming back to time-and-time again. r/bodyweightfitness wiki contains links to valuable bodyweight fitness routines. The r/fitness wiki has several important pages. Specifically, the entries on weight/fat loss, muscle building and the FAQ page.

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