in this article I want to cover a somewhat strange topic, and discuss why you really need to handle your nuts with care, and why if you get too reckless with them it could very easily throw your entire muscle building or fat burning program off course.
Now nuts and natural nut butters have always been considered a staple source of healthy fat in bodybuilding and fitness diets and I certainly think that they are a worthwhile to include in your overall plan.
However, this is one food source where portion control is of the utmost importance.
As I’ve said many times before, if your primary goal is to alter your body composition, then it really makes no difference at all how “healthy” you’re eating if your total daily calorie intake does not fall within the proper range based on your goal.
If you’re aiming to lean down but you aren’t maintaining a net calorie
deficit over time (15 to 20 percent below your maintenance would be my recommendation) then you’re not going to lose any body fat at all.
And if you’re aiming to bulk up and your net calorie surplus shoots too high (again, 15 to 20 percent above maintenance would be my recommendation there) you’re still going to gain muscle, but you’ll also be putting on excess body fat at an excessive rate.
It’s really as simple as that, and the plain fact is that nuts and nut butters, although they are a healthy source of fat, are also very calorie dense.
You can only eat a very controlled amount of this stuff before the total calories
begin shooting too high without you even noticing it.
Sit down with a bag of mixed nuts and just start snacking away or start aimlessly piling peanut butter onto your toast or into a protein shake, and in combination with a few other small dietary choices that you’re making throughout the day, you could very well be completely sabotaging your results altogether.
For example, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter alone contains around 100 calories.
Most people end up scooping out far more than this at once though and end up with 200 or even 300 calories just from one serving of peanut butter alone, and that’s a lot of calories
for such a small amount of food.
Peanuts, almonds, cashews and other nuts are really no different.
For example, just one quarter cup of almonds equals out to 207 calories.
Go out and measure a quarter cup of almonds and you’ll quickly see what a small amount that actually is.
It might sound crazy but a half cup of almonds per day alone could literally make the difference between consistently losing a significant amount of body fat every single week, and making zero progress whatsoever.
So the moral of the story here is simple and that is, treat your nuts with respect.
If you’re going to include nuts and natural nut
butters in your diet, that’s totally fine and even recommended, but just make sure that you measure out your portions carefully and that it does fit into your total daily calorie intake as a whole.
In fact, for items like this, a food scale is probably going to be
the ideal choice.
It might sound obsessive, but it really doesn’t take any more time to weigh them out than it does to put them in a measuring cup, and it will ensure that you’re not going overboard and that what you consider to be a tablespoon of peanut butter really is a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Hard training is important, making the proper food choices is important, but if your total net calorie deficit or total net calorie surplus is not properly in place, your results will definitely be compromised, or even worse they’ll be non-existent.
I hope you found the information useful here