Everything you
need to know
about nutrition

Nutrition is one of the three vital elements of the human condition,
along with water and sleep. The more importance you give to it, the
more you optimize your health.

If you are an athlete (beginner/intermediate/advanced), these
elements – and in particular nutrition – are essential to your progress.

What are the basics of nutrition?

Food encompasses everything that enters your body, including drinks.

The seven (7) big food groups you need to know
There is food classification in nutrition. Seven food groups or families stand out:
drinks, sweets, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, fats, starches and meats.


ThereWater, coffee, tea and herbal tea Be careful: coffee, tea and herbal tea are diuretics, which means they can make you urinate more often and thus cause a loss of water and minerals in your body. This can lead to dehydration if you do not consume enough water.


Oils, butter, as well as other foods such as cream and the oleaginous (high-fat seeds or fruits).


Sugar, jam, candies, chocolates, cakes or cookies are sweets, as are sugary drinks (syrups, lemonades, alcohol, etc.)!

Fruits and vegetables

The list goes on and on. The list goes on and on.


Meats, fish and eggs are a very good source of protein, as they are composed of all the amino acids essential to the body.

Dairy products

Three elements make up the dairy family: milk, milk products and cheese.


Cereal products (rice, pasta, quinoa, millet, semolina, etc.) as well as legumes (lentils, peas, etc.) contain complex carbohydrates, an excellent source of energy. Rich in complex carbohydrates, potatoes and tubers belong to this group.

Diet and energy intake

Think of food as your fuel. Moreover, in this field, we rather talk about energy or energy intake.

  • For an adult male, the recommended energy intake is, on average, 2,400 to 2,600 calories per day.
  • For an adult woman, it is 1,800 to 2,200 calories.

These averages can be seen decreasing or increasing depending on one’s physical activity and lifestyle.

The more you exert yourself, the more your energy needs increase.

These averages can be seen decreasing or increasing depending on one’s physical activity and lifestyle.
The more you exert yourself, the more your energy needs increase.

It is important to stay close to your nutritional needs to be fit and healthy. There are generally two common errors:

  • Eating too much, without realizing it and accumulating weight, despite yourself.

  • Eating too little, often for weight loss (and it doesn’t work).

Result: In both cases, you are not really healthy. And yes, know that diet plays a key role in an individual’s health.

Know your nutritional

Nutritional needs vary according to gender, age, build, physical activity and different
aspects of health.

Nevertheless, there is a way to find your way around to ensure a certain nutritional
balance: knowing your personal metabolic needs and your level of physical activity.

Note: Not respecting it to the letter does not necessarily lead to malnutrition or
deficiencies, but the more you respect your needs, the fitter and healthier you will be.

To calculate your daily energy needs, taking into account your daily activities, download our
Nutrition Coach app.

What is basal metabolic rate?

Basal metabolic rate corresponds to the minimum caloric requirement for survival (basic physiological activities)!

It does not take into account your daily activities – each movement performed is a caloric expenditure that requires a caloric intake. It is an estimate of the amount of energy (in calories) required for the proper functioning of the body, on a daily basis, when it is at rest.

To obtain your real requirement (in calories), you will have to multiply your basal metabolic rate by a coefficient assigned according to your level of physical activity.

Let’s start by calculating the basal metabolic rate.

How is basal metabolic rate calculated? (BMR)

There are several formulas to calculate your basal metabolic rate. Please note that the Nutrition Coach app gives you
your results without you having to take out your calculator!

Harris-Benedict formula (oldest)

  • Women: 655 + (9.6 x weight (kg)) + (1.8 x height (cm)) – (4.7 x age)
  • Men: 66 + (13.7 x weight (kg)) + (5 x height (cm)) – (6.5 x age)

Harris-Benedict formula (oldest)The Black-Al equation may seem complex.

  • Women: BMR = 0.963 x W in kg (0.48 index) x H in m (0.50 index) x A – 0.13
  • Men: BMR = 1.083 x W in kg (0.48 index) x H in m (0.50 index) x A – 0.13

The result obtained is expressed in kilojoules (Kj) and must therefore be converted into calories. For this BMR = (Result x 1000) / 4.18

Now that we have two formulas to calculate basal metabolic rate, remember that you still have to multiply this result by your level of physical activity…

What is your level of
physical activity?

Physical Activity Level (PAL): This is what we spend in our daily activities: gardening, cleaning, cycling to work, walking, playing sports, etc.

The PAL of a farm worker will be higher than that of an employee in front of their computer while working from home, for example.

The daily energy expenditure must therefore necessarily take into account the physical activity coefficient.

There is no calculation to be made to know your Physical Activity Level as it is a coefficient. They are shown below:

  • If you are sedentary (less than 30 minutes of physical activity per day): 1.2
  • If you are active (1 hour of physical activity per day): 1.4
  • If you are very active (2 hours of physical activity per day): 1.6
  • If you are extremely active (physical job and sporting activity at the same time,
 or a competitive athlete): 1.8

Take your basic metabolic rate and multiply it by the coefficient that represents your Physical Activity Level (PAL).

What is to be done when you want to lose weight?

Losing weight is a complex journey that is unique to a person. Nevertheless, if there is one common factor, it is the establishment of a calorie deficit.

That doesn’t always mean eating less! You can definitely increase your calorie expenditure (PAL) to lose weight, for example.

The best way to lose weight is to combine a healthy lifestyle (water/sleep/nutrition) with regular physical activity.

Note: If you decide to eat less, stay vigilant, as too much reduction in your calorie intake may jeopardize your health, or cause you a yo-yo effect on your weight or even weight gain, as crazy as it may seem. Generally, the maximum daily reduction does not exceed 200 calories from the total requirement.

What do you need to eat to be healthy?

Should certain foods be banned? No, not really. You can eat anything, under certain conditions!

It is important to vary your diet for a variety of reasons. Above all, do not fall into the trap of a strict and/or too drastic a diet.

Ideally, your diet should provide you with vitamins and minerals, fiber, low-glycemic-index carbohydrates, proteins and essential fatty acids, while maintaining a good acid-base balance. Yes, that’s a lot to consider.

In concrete terms, what does "eating well" mean?

Let’s see how to put together a meal optimized for your health. For this you will need:

  • A source of protein: eggs, crustaceans, fish, poultry, meat, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans, fava beans, etc.).
  • A source of carbohydrates: potatoes, sweet potatoes, all cereal products, sourdough bread.
  • A source of lipids (fat): cheeses, oils, oilseeds, avocados, butter, etc.
  • Vegetables: all vegetables, preferably fresh (seasonal) or frozen and unprocessed.
  • One drink: water, the only drink we need.

That’s the foundation. Once it’s okay, you can incorporate superfoods to further boost your health.

And here’s what you need to limit/avoid:

Processed products:

  • Sweet drinks
  • Chocolate and candies
  • Chips and pretzels
  • Ice cream and frozen desserts
  • Sauces and dressings
  • Fast food
  • Frozen meals like lasagna dishes and pizzas
  • Baked products like muffins and cakes
  • Processed meats like sausages and deli products

Highly processed foods are easily accessible and increasingly popular. Their consumption increases the intake of sodium, sugars or saturated fats. This significantly increases the risk of obesity and chronic diseases.

Said that way, it’s scary, but you have the right to treat yourself from time to time, as long as it remains occasional!

Any drastic eating behavior can lead to CED (compulsive eating disorder). Keep an open mind, as unfortunately it is easy to enter the vicious circle of orthorexia: a neurotic behavior characterized by an obsession with healthy eating.

Three (3) main food trends to know

Today, there are many food trends, and there are as many ways of eating as individuals, since food is ultimately something very personal.
However, there are three main food trends that stand out: flexitarianism, vegetarianism and veganism.


A vegetarian person refrains from eating any type of meat, whether poultry, red meat or fish (including crustaceans).

On the other hand, they sometimes consume products° of animal origin, such as dairy products, eggs, or honey.

Their diet consists mainly of cereals, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, dairy products, and/or eggs and almost anything that does not involve the body parts of an animal.


Being vegan means refusing to eat animal products AND products of animal origin, even if the product does not require the killing of the animal.

Unlike vegetarians who allow themselves the option of eating eggs, cheese, or yogurt, vegans do not eat these foods, not even animal by-products, such as gelatin, which are found in candies or beehive products (honey, pollen, propolis, jelly, etc.), which come from apiculture.

Note: There is a subtlety between eating vegan and being vegan.Veganism extends beyond eating habits. Being vegan is a way of life; makeup, clothes and shoes, among others, must be vegan.


A flexitarian person is a part-time vegetarian. Their eating habits are generally vegetarian, but meat is not excluded from their diet. They sometimes consume poultry, red meat or fish, but the proportion of animal products is moderate.


Nutrition is something personal. You are free to make the choices that suit you best. The only thing
we want to tell you is to respect your body, because it’s your real home.

If you need any advice, feel free to check out our blog, nutrition section, and/or download our
Nutrition Coach app.