FEED THE MUSCLE – STARVE THE FAT
Did you know that proper nutrition counts for at least 80% of the fitness equation? All those grueling hours we spend at the gym could be in vain without a proper diet plan!
Get familiar with these terms so YOU can be more savvy at avoiding foods that can potentially sabotage your workout!
1. EAT MORE OFTEN! You have to eat more to lose fat and gain muscle. A minimum of 6 meals per day… every 2-3 hours. Try avoiding complex carbs after 6pm… because they digest slowly, they make for a great choice earlier in the day to keep your energy up! Try to consume 1 gram of protein per point of lean body mass… never eat more than 70 grams of protein in one meal.
2. KNOW YOUR CARBS! Carbs are our primary fuel source… like putting gasoline in the tank. Carbs supply our bodies with the energy it needs to make it through a workout… without enough carbs, the body goes into ketosis (which means our body uses protein, aka muscle tissue, as energy)… not good!
COMPLEX CARBS are our friends …. they equal long term energy for the day because they break down slower in he body… examples include oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, multigrain breads… yummm.
SIMPLE CARBS are sugar… anything containing sugar- including fruit! They are absorbed quickly into the body and do not provide sustained energy… not recommended… ever.
FIBROUS CARBS are needed in order to stay regular… vegetables and leafy greens, aka “roughage”
3. PROTEIN! is the foundation, the building blocks of our muscles… without sufficient amounts of protein in our diet, our muscles won’t grow properly. Be cautious because not all protein is created equal… egg whites for example are absorbed at 88%… while chicken breast is absorbed at 68%. Whey protein is absorbed quickly and best used after a workout or when you first wake up in the morning. Make sure you get a wide variety of proteins in your diet since no single protein source contains ALL the amino acids we need!
4. FATS! are essential to building muscle as well.
. SATURATED FATS are “bad fats”… found mostly in fatty cuts of meat.
. UNSATURATED FATS are “good fats”… they are a great source for energy and help build muscle. These are typically found in plant oils, nuts and legumes.
5. WATER! drink as much as you can and as often as you can…. water will be your best friend, especially if you are trying to lean down. Try to consume up to one gallon a day, especially if you are hitting the gym for more than 60 minutes each visit.
6. CHEAT DAY!!!!! this is everyones favorite… take one day every 2 weeks to eat what you want. When you eat low carbs for an extended period of time, the body begins to think it is not getting all the food it needs (because your not storing any fat) and begins to slow down your metabolism. Your metabolism is kicked into overdrive on cheat day because your body is “tricked” into thinking it has all it needs, thus speeding your metabolism back up.
Keep it clean and keep it balanced. There is no such thing as a magic pill to get us the physique we want… what matters most after you leave the gym is what you put in your mouth… know that proper nutrition is almost 80% of the total equation… so feed those muscles and you’ll reach your goal in NO TIME!
Culled by: Vivieanne Danielle