September 21-25, 2020

Module Title

Making Well-Informed Food Choices



After completion of this module, you should be able to:

  1. Summarize the basics of nutrition.
  2. Define macronutrients and micronutrients.
  3. Categorize and describe the body’s sources of energy.
  4. Analyze intake of nutrition and make appropriate changes for sound eating practices.
  5. Realize the management of nutrition for better physical performance.
  6. Log your weekly food consumption




You have all been told from a young age to eat well. But it’s easy to forget why and how you should maintain a balanced diet. A balanced diet is one where you eat a wide variety of mostly healthy foods in moderation.  This means, no food is off-limits as long as you know how often you eat it and how much of it you eat.


In general, a healthy diet keeps your body running on a daily basis. The choices you make about what to eat and drink really matter. Having a healthy diet has a lot of benefits. It can help you lose weight or maintain your desired weight. It also can lower your cholesterol and prevent certain health conditions. Eating healthy diet can minimize the damage caused by exercise and help your body rebuild itself even stronger.  Your daily diet needs to meet the tough demands of your training programme as well as keep you healthy.  To help you make the right food choices, this module explains the basis of a good training diet, what each nutrient does, how much you need and how you can achieve your ideal intake.






Please refer to Module 4Answer Sheets








Carbohydrates: The word carbohydrate literally means "hydrated carbon," or carbon with water. Thus, it is no surprise that carbohydrates are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Sucrose (table sugar) is an example of a commonly consumed carbohydrate. Some dietary examples of carbohydrates are whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, rice, sugary snacks/drinks, and pasta.


Water: Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen and is the only macronutrient that provides no energy.


Proteins: Like carbohydrates, proteins are comprised of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, but they also contain nitrogen. Several dietary sources of proteins include nuts, beans/legumes, skim milk, egg whites, and meat.


Lipids: Lipids consist of fatty acids, triglycerides, phospholipids, and sterols (cholesterol). Lipids are also composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Some dietary sources of lipids include oils, butter, and egg yolks.





Vitamins: These compounds are essential for normal physiologic processes in the body.


Minerals: Minerals are the elements (think periodic table) that are essential for normal physiologic processes in the body.


Activity 2: Macronutrients and Micronutrients

Please refer to Module 4Answer Sheets




Read Me: Calories


Calories (Food Energy)


Food energy is measured in kilocalories (kcals), commonly referred to as calories. Although technically incorrect, this terminology is so familiar that it will be used throughout this course. A kilocalorie is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius. A food‘s kilocalories are determined by putting the food into a bomb calorimeter and determining the energy output:

Energy = Measurement of Heat Produced.


The number of kilocalories per gram for each nutrient is shown below:


Amount of calories obtained from nutrients



Energy (kcal/g)














The above illustration shows only carbohydrates, protein, and lipids provide energy. Knowing the number of calories in each nutrient allows a person to calculate/estimate the amount of calories contained in any food consumed. Your daily calorie needs will depend on your genetic make-up, age, weight, body composition, your daily activity and your training programme. It is possible to estimate the number of calories you need daily from your body weight (BW) and your level of daily physical activity.

Step 1: Estimate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

As a rule of thumb, BMR uses 22 calories for every kg of a woman‘s body weight and 24

calories per kg of a man‘s body weight.

Women : BMR = weight in kg x 22


Men: BMR = weight in kg x 24






Step 2: Work out your Physical Activity Level (PAL)

This is the ratio of your overall daily energy expenditure to your BMR; a rough measure of your

lifestyle activity.


  • Mostly inactive or sedentary (mainly sitting) 1.2
  • Fairly active (exercise 2-3 x weekly) 1.4
  • Moderately active (exercise 2-3 x weekly) 1.5
  • Very active (exercise hardly daily) 1.7


Step 3: Multiply your BMR by your PAL to work out your Daily Calorie Needs


Daily calorie needs = BMR x PAL


This figure gives you a rough idea of your daily calorie requirement to maintain your weight. If you eat fewer calories, you will lose weight; if you eat more then you will gain weight.

C Your BMR is the number of calories you burn at rest (to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing, to maintain your body temperature, etc). It accounts for 60–75% of the calories you burn daily. Generally, men have a higher BMR than women.

C Physical activity includes all activities from doing the housework to walking and working out in the gym. The number of calories you burn in any activity depends on your weight, the type of activity and the duration of that activity.


Activity 3: Estimate Daily Energy Needs

Please refer to Module 4 Answer Sheets



Read Me: Nutrition and Physical Performance


There is universal scientific consensus that diet affects performance. A well-planned eating strategy will help support any training programme, whether you are training for fitness or for  competition; promote efficient recovery between workouts; reduce the risk of illness or overtraining, and help you to achieve your best performance.


Of course, everyone has different nutritional needs and there is no single diet that fits all. Some athletes require more calories, protein or vitamins than others; and each sport has its unique nutritional demands. But it is possible to find broad scientific agreement as to what constitutes a healthy diet for sport generally.



Nutrition before Training Exercise


What you eat and drink the day before and during the several hours before your workout dictates how much energy you‘ll have for training and how well you will perform. It also affects how much body fat, glycogen or even muscle tissue you burn. Get it wrong and you may find yourself struggling to complete your planned workout and performing under-par. Even worse, you could end up burning muscle rather than fat as your fuel reserves dip. Get your pre-exercise nutrition right and you‘ll have plenty of energy to train hard and perform at your best. Eating the right amount and type of carbohydrate as well as timing your pre-exercise meal correctly will help avoid common problems such as fatigue, dizziness, fainting and stitch.


Why eat before training?


The main purpose of your pre-workout meal is to stabilize your blood sugar levels during exercise. It also staves off hunger and minimizes the risk of problems such as stitch and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels). But don‘t expect your pre-workout meal to fuel your muscles. There isn‘t enough time for your body to turn the food into glycogen – the muscles‘ main fuel supply – so your body must rely on existing glycogen (and fat) stores. It takes 24 hours to refill muscle glycogen stores, so what you‘ve consumed the previous day matters. For most regular exercisers, a daily diet providing carbohydrates of around 280–350 g for a 70 kg person.


Should you train on empty?


It is definitely not advisable to train on an empty stomach, especially if you want to improve strength, endurance or performance. Firstly, you‘re more likely to feel lethargic and unmotivated when you haven‘t eaten for several hours. Eating a light snack a couple of hours before your workout will reduce the temptation to skip your training. Secondly, when your brain isn‘t getting enough fuel you‘ll feel faint, lose concentration and risk injury. You may become light-headed, weak and shaky – all symptoms of low blood sugar levels – and this will certainly stop you from working out. Finally, you are more likely to fatigue early as muscle glycogen and blood sugar levels dip. Rather like a car running out of petrol, your body will come to a weary halt. You won’t take your car out on a long journey when the petrol tank is low. So you can‘t expect to exercise very hard or very long when you haven‘t fueled your body for several hours.


How much to eat before training


The exact amount you should eat depends on your body weight (heavier people need more) and how hard and long you plan to exercise (eat more for longer, harder workouts). In general, if you plan to workout for less than 2 hours, aim to eat around 1 g carbohydrate per kg of body weight (or 70 g for a 70 kg person) or 400–600 calories. For longer workouts or endurance events eat around 2 g carbohydrate per kg of body weight (or 600–800 calories). Don‘t eat a big meal just before a workout otherwise you will feel uncomfortable, sluggish and ‗heavy‘.


When to eat before training


Ideally, you should aim to have a meal 2–4 hours before a workout. This should leave enough time to partially digest your food although, in practice, the exact timing of your pre-workout meal may depend on your daily schedule. You should feel comfortable neither full nor hungry.



What are the best foods to eat just before a workout?


Slow-burning or low glycaemic index (GI) foods – that is foods that produce a gradual rise in blood sugar levels are the best foods before a workout. It seems that low-GI foods help spare muscle glycogen and avoid problems of low blood sugar levels during long training sessions. Low-GI meals may also help you burn more fat during exercise.


Why drink before training?


It is important to ensure that you are properly hydrated before training to minimize the risk of dehydration during exercise. Even mild dehydration can result in early fatigue as your body is unable to cool itself efficiently, which puts extra stress on the heart and lungs. Exercise feels tougher when you are dehydrated and you cannot train as hard.



When to drink before training?


The best strategy is to keep hydrated throughout the day rather than load up with fluid just before your workout. Try to make a habit of drinking water regularly. Have a glass of water first thing in the morning and then schedule drinks during your day. Aim for at least 8 glasses (11⁄2 –2) daily, and more in hot weather or workout days. It‘s better to drink little and often rather than drinking large amounts in one go, which promotes urination and a greater loss of fluid. Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere: to the gym, office and in the car, as a constant reminder to drink. It need not be expensive bottled water. A simple water bottle or a bottled-water bottle will do just refill with tap water. Drink before you get thirsty. By the time your thirst mechanism kicks in you may have lost around 2 per cent of your body weight as water. If you relied on your thirst alone, you would replace only 50–75 per cent of the amount you need.



Activity 4: Discuss with 2 of your classmates

Please refer to Module 4 Answer Sheets



How to Plan your Training Diet

Please refer to Module 4 Answer Sheets




How to Use the Daily Food Guide:  What counts as One Serving?


Bread, Cereals, Rice, and Pasta

1 slice of bread

½ cup cooked rice or pasta

½ cup cooked cereal

1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal



½ cup of chopped raw or cooked vegetables

1 cup of leafy raw vegetables



1 piece of fruit or melon slice

½ cup of juice

½ cup of canned fruits

½ cup of dried fruits


Milk, yogurt, and Cheese

1 cup milk or yogurt

1 ½ to 2 ounces of cheese


Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

2½ to 3 ounces of cooked or 1 egg or 2 table spoons of peanut butter as

1 ounce of lean meat (about ½ serving)


Fats, Oils, and Sweets you need to lose weight


Recommended Daily Amounts


Women Vegetables Fruits Grains Protein     Dairy

19-30 years old 2 1/2 cups         2 cups 6 oz. equivalents 5 ½ oz. Equivalents 3 cups

31-50 years old 2 ½ cups 1 ½ cups 6 oz. equivalents 5 oz. equivalents 3 cups

51+ years old 2 cups 1 ½ cups 5 oz. equivalents 5 oz. equivalents 3 cups



19-30 years old 3 cups 2 cups 8 oz. Equivalents 6 ½ oz. equivalents 3 cups

31-50 years old 3 cups 2 cups 7 oz. equivalents 6 oz. equivalents 3 cups

51+ years old 2 ½ cups 2 cups 6 oz. equivalents 6 ½ oz. equivalents 3 cups







ACSM’s ertification Review Second Edition.  Lippincott Williams and Wilkins (2006).

Bushman, B. ACSM’s Complete Guide to Fitness & Health, Second Edition. Champaign, IL:Human Kinetics ( 2017).


Corbin, CB, Welk, GJ, Corbin, WR and Welk, CA.  Concepts of Fitness and Wellness: A Comprehensive Lifestyle Approach, Eleventh Edition. NY: McGraw-Hill (2015).


Fahey, TD, Insel, PM, Roth , WT AND Insel, CE.  Fitwell.  Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness, 12th Edition.  New York: McGrawHill (2017).


Heyward, VH and Gibson, Ann L.  Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription, Seventh Edition.  Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics (2014).


Hoeger, WWK and and Hoeger, S. Fitness and Wellness, 11th Edition.  Standford, CT: Cenage Learning (2015).


Hoeger, S. A., Hoeger & K. Wenner. Principles and Labs for Fitness and Wellness, Tarrant County College Department of Kinesiology; 13th Edition Cengage Learning, Boston, MA, USA (2016).


Sallis, J. F., and M. F. Hovell. “Determinants of Exercise Behavior.” Exercise and Sport Science Reviews 18 (1990): 307–30.


Sallis, J. F., M. F. Hovell, and C. R. Hofstetter. “Predictors of Adoption and Maintenance of Vigorous Physical Activity in Men and Women.” Preventive Medicine 21.2 (1992): 237–51.


Electronic Publications


Cerin Rees Fitness Coaching. The Healthy Eating Pyramid (2010). Available from Accessed on August 2, 2020.


Vertex42.  Food Diary Template. Available from Accessed on August 12, 2020.