A Simple Equation

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Performance in health and nutrition is a simple equation of in and out; of dietary intake and functional output; of energy in and energy out.Throughout the day, the body requires a multitude of nutrients to provide optimal cognition and peak physical functionality. The appropriate nutrients to maintain proper brain and physical performance can only come from balanced meals and a steady supply of carbohydrates, protein, and heart-healthy fats throughout the day.To increase and maintain optimum performance, I recommend eating breakfast within one hour of waking, eating a snack or meal every 3-4 hours, and combining proteins and carbohydrates at every meal.

The main source of quick fuel for the brain is carbohydrates.Protein allows for repair and rebuilding of all tissues of the body.Heart-healthy fats are responsible for steady, long-term fuel, as well as proper performance at the cellular level. To remain productive and performing optimally both at work and in your exercise routine, it is imperative to keep your body nourished by keeping blood sugar levels steady.Skipping or delaying meals allows for dips in your body’s fuel and thus in your ability to perform.Overly processed foods will also drain the body of nutrients while whole foods will replenish it’s supply. Performance is what you make of it; as always, you are what you eat!

About The Author

Manuel Villacorta is a registered dietitian (RD) and certified specialist is sports dietetics (CSSD) with more than 16 years of experience. He was recently appointed national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, which identifies him as one of the United States’ leading weight loss and nutrition experts. Villacorta is the owner of San Francisco-based private practice MV Nutrition, the recipient of two consecutive “Best Bay Area Dietitian” awards (2009 and 2010) from the San Francisco Chronicle and Citysearch, and the creator of the Eating Free™ weight management program. Villacorta also developed MV Professional Nutrition (a software suite designed to assist RDs with their own private practices) and created www.eatingfree.com (an international, Internet-based weight loss and weight management program). Villacorta is a compelling, charismatic communicator—a public speaker, who is often praised for making audiences feel, heard, motivated, and engaged. His warm, approachable style, alongside his strong bilingual proficiency in both English and Spanish, have made him an in-demand health and nutrition expert on both local and national television and radio, and in articles in print publications and online. Villacorta worked closely with Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman, chief medical editor of NBC News, to provide expert nutrition advice on a number of topics for the BeWell network. He is often invited to speak at annual state and national conventions such as The Oregon Dietetic Association (where he was the keynote speaker), and The American Dietetic Association (where he spoke to other dietitian professionals about his successful private practice). Villacorta has acted as a media representative for food companies such as Foster Farms (one of the largest chicken producers on the West Coast) as well as for such California statewide health campaigns as the “California Latino 5-A-Day Program” and “Got Milk.” Prior to setting up his private practice, Villacorta worked as a public health dietitian for California Children Services and the Prenatal to Three Initiative, where he offered prenatal, infant, and childhood nutrition consulting. He has worked as a clinical dietitian for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and has held a faculty position with the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco. Villacorta received his bachelor of science in nutrition and physiology metabolism from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master of science in nutrition and food science from San Jose State University. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his research, including the Outstanding Master of Science Degree Award from San Jose State University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science.

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