Live Well, Eat well.

We work hard in class to develop the body we want, but regardless of the amount of weight or intensity at which we work, you will not work off a greasy cheesesteak or your favorite dessert in our time together. The saying “you can’t out train a bad diet” is true. Without the right nutrition plan, you will not get the best results possible.

With so many food options when you leave the house, how do you know what to choose? Between the all fast food out there, convenience stores loaded with sugary candy and cakes, to different aisles in the grocery store, it is easy to grab a quick bite to eat when you are hungry. The real question is, what is that quick bite doing inside your body? Is the food you just picked to curb your appetite taking you a step closer to your overall body composition and health goals, or is it moving you further away?

Note, I am not a nutritionist; but in addition to the nutrition courses I took during college, I decided to dive deeper and educate myself on nutrition through numerous books on the topic along with trial and error on my own body. While everyone has different body types and goals, this information can be used to reach any goal you have with the necessary modifications.

In the following posts, we will explore the major food groups called macronutrients, and how the body uses each. I will also give you a few good choices from each. You will be able to mix and match one from each category to make satisfying, nutrition-packed meals and snacks.

 

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Macronutrients…

Macronutrients are the foundation of our diet. They consist of proteins, carbs and fats. Let’s take a look at each in more detail…

Protein

Why is it important?

In the quest for a lean body, this macronutrient should be at the top of your list. With the exception of nuts, whose health benefits are usually sabotaged by high salt content, it is close to impossible to get protein on the go. This is why most of us fall victim to excess carbohydrate intake, which in return can lead to excess body fat. As with all food groups, protein plays a part in many different bodily functions. It is essential for muscle tissue repair, preserving lean muscle mass, and a secondary energy source, to name a few. Whenever you do strength training, there are micro tears that happen in your muscles, which usually causes soreness. The amino acids in protein, link on to the amino acids in your body and helps those muscles repair, becoming bigger and stronger, which is continually a process every time you workout.

The Center for Disease control recommends 56g of protein for men, and 46g of protein for women daily. For weight loss and fat burning purposes, my recommendations are slightly higher. I suggest your minimum protein intake is equal to 1gram of protein per 2 pound of bodyweight (120 pound female should take 60g of protein per day). While some, would not mind to get that daily amount through Steaks and chicken wraps, it can be extremely expensive and time consuming. This is where supplements such as protein powder come into play. Most of these products are milk based; Whey and Casein protein are the two main types. One scoop of protein powder usually amounts to between 24-26 grams of protein per serving. This is a convenient option when it comes to helping you meet your daily requirements. For those who might not want to go that route, there are also plant based protein powder options as well. I will discuss supplements more in-depth in a later post.

 

Carbohydrates

What are Carbs and how do they work?

Just like Protein, carbohydrates wear many hats, but this food group’s primary focus is to supply the body with energy, either immediately or over prolonged periods of time. Carbohydrates are either a sugar, starch or a fiber. When you eat carbs, they are converted into sugar (glucose) in the body. Carbs that are needed immediately are transported through the bloodstream in the form of glucose to the major organs and muscles to provide energy. When it is not used immediately it is stored in the body’s liver and muscle tissue, in the form of glycogen as a back up source of energy. When carbs are eaten in excess of what can be used immediately or stored in muscle tissue, it is then distributed throughout the body in the form of adipose tissue (body fat).

Good carbs versus bad carbs?

While fruits and vegetables are carbs, you can consider almost all vegetables and most fruit to be good carbs. They are considered good carbs because glucose from these foods are “slowly and steadily” distributed through the bloodstream after digestion. “Faster acting” bad carbs, lead to the bloodstream being loaded with glucose in a shorter window. These “Fast acting” Carbs are the ones you want to stay clear of most the time. They are most beneficial immediately after an intense workout, to help the body get quick energy and to replace your back up energy stores.

A good source to check out a list of “slow vs fast” acting Carbs the Glycemic index (GI), this list gives you an idea of how quickly your body processes foods into sugar. High GI foods convert into sugar faster then Low GI foods. Please take more into consideration then just an items placement on the chart; also consider the overall nutritional benefit of the food.

 

FATS

What are Fats?

Will all the Fat-free and Low fat labels out there, this is probably the most misunderstood of all the food groups. This macronutrient is used in the body as a secondary source of energy, and it is a carrier for certain vitamins (A,D,E,K). Fats help maintain normal blood cholesterol in adults and also play a role in growth and brain development in children.

There are four mains types of fats, two you want to keep in your diet, the other two I would save for cheat meals if not totally eliminate them. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are the ones that are good for you and aid in heart health and cholesterol. These fats are usually plant, nut or fish based and if not a solid are liquid at room temperature, such as Avocados, Olive oil, Nuts, Fish, Sunflower oil, Canola oil etc. Saturated and Trans Fats are the bad fats which should be limited or avoided. These fats play a major role in elevating cholesterol levels while increasing risk for certain diseases as well. Opposite to the two healthy fats above, these tend to be solid at room temperature. Saturated fats include mostly animal products (unclean cuts of red meat, whole-fat dairy products, butter, cheese etc.). Trans fat includes donuts, muffins, and fried foods, candy bars.

 

Meal Planning Made Easy

Putting your meals together. 

Now that we know the role of each macronutrient, here are some tips to help make the most of your meals. 

Portion size– A fist size serving of each food group with each meal is an ideal serving size. As I stated in a prior email, prepping your meals in advance for a few days is a good way to prepare these meals and to make sure portions are right.

Protein for Breakfast Most people eat a Carb loaded breakfast to start their day. Aim to add protein to your first meal, consuming 20 grams within your first 20 minutes of waking up on non-class days (2 -3 whole eggs, or one scoop of protein powder). Since protein can cause you to feel fuller then most carbs, have your protein within a 30 minute window after class on mornings we workout.

Sugar– Whenever you’re eating something prepackaged, such as juice or canned sauce, check the sugar per serving. If there is more then 7-8 grams of sugar per serving, then save it for a cheat day.

Smaller/More frequent meals- You have probably heard this before, and it is valid information. This helps keep your metabolism working, and keeps your energy balanced throughout the day, while feeding your newly acquired muscles. Try to eat every two- three hours. While cooked food can be challenging to eat in the middle of work projects, here is where a blender or protein powder and mason jars can come in handy. A smoothie with fresh fruits and vegetables, and a scoop or protein powder, or even just protein powder mixed with water or almond milk is a great in-between meal to hold you over. Set your phone alarm for every 2.5 to 3 hours, so you know when to eat or snack.

Timing of food-  Protein and high fiber carbs are good to eat throughout the day. Aim to eat starches and high GI foods either earlier in the day or immediately after a workout, cut these out of your diet for the day at 630-7pm.

Cheat- Whatever you do most is where the results come from. If you eat clean majority of the time, expect the results to show based off your clean eating. Pick a 36-hour window to eat and drink whatever you want. Its can be the same time every week, or it could change based off your upcoming schedule, but aim to keep that window consecutive and only cheat within that allotted time. I would also put alcohol in this window since it is empty calories that slow down the fat burning. Eat clean for 5 and a half days, cheat the rest.

Bozwellness approved

PROTEIN CARBS FATS
Chicken Whole Wheat bread (Starch) Avocados
Lean Turkey Meat Unsweetened Oatmeal Olive oil
Lean Ground beef Sweet Potatoes (Starch) Canola oil
Salmon and other fish All Vegetables (high in fiber) Sunflower oil
Turkey Breast  All Fruits(Check GI chart) Omega 3 (Found in Fish)
Eggs/ Egg whites Brown rice (starch) Nuts (Walnuts, Almonds etc)
Lean ham Yams (starch) Peanut Oil
Sirloin Steak Baked potatoes (Starch) Peanut butter
Tuna Whole Wheat Pasta (starch)
Crab
Almonds and other nuts
Beans and Legumes
Quinoa
Hemp
Tofu

Bill Phillips put it best “Exercise is the Spark, Nutrition is the fuel. Without both, there can be no flame-no results”. Be consistent in your attendance to class, and use this information as directed and you are well on you way to reaching and surpassing your health and fitness goals.

Live Well