A huge mistake I see a lot of people making in their exercise habits is they lack sufficient protein intake, especially after their workout. I always urge my clients to eat a protein source at every meal, or every 2-3 hours. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks that build and restore muscle tissue, which we all know gives us that lean physique to support a healthy metabolism.
Protein shakes ARE NOT optional, they are ESSENTIAL! Exercise breaks down muscle tissue, and protein is a must within 30 minutes after your workout. A healthy serving of protein can be anywhere from 15-20g for women, and 30-40g for men. If you can’t get it in within 30 minutes, a general rule for ingesting protein post workout is ASAP.
1. I usually eat lunch after my workout, is that the same thing?
*No. Although i always push for natural food sources, protein shakes are the one exception. Protein in food can take hours to break down and enter the blood stream.*
2. Are all types of protein the same?
*Preferably, look for 100% whey or whey protein isolate. This is a finer type of protein that is more easily digestible and readily available in your system.*
3. Can I mix my protein powder with milk?
*It is a better idea to use cold water and ice, as milk slows down the digestion process and stores the protein in the body rather than using it immediately to repair muscle tissue.*
In conclusion, not only does protein restore and build muscle tissue, it can also be used aa a way to incorporate another low calorie meal into the diet to keep the metabolism boosted.
We all here recommendations for increasing our intake of fruits and vegetables. They are jam packed with essential vitamins and nutrients that our body needs to function at an optimal level. Fruits not only supply us with energy, but build a healthy immune system, and supply our bodies with a soluble fiber that aids in a healthy digestive system to distribute nutrients more efficiently and effectively to the body.
But, are we making sure that we are taking in the right fruits? Not ALL fruits are created equal, and some, may not even be particularly healthy for you! Fruits are made up of simple sugar called fructose, and sugars raise our blood sugar levels when they are present in our system. If the glycemic load of those fruits is too high, it puts a stress on our metabolism and forces our body to secrete insulin to manage the amount of sugar in the blood stream, stimulating the release of cortisol which has a negative impact on our bodies ability to burn fat and build lean muscle tissue.
Below is a list of the most nutrient dense fruits that won’t have a harmful effect on blood sugar levels, but make sure to check the serving sizes of suggested fruits. Having large serving sizes of low glycemic fruits can be just as bad as consuming higher glycemic fruits. Fruits that are larger and more watery, such as the melon family, do not have the same added benefits as other fruits. HOWEVER, fruits like bananas and melons are a great source of nutrient to be taken either in a protein shake after the workout, or the meal following the workout.
There is always a rise of concern when talking about red meat, being that it has continuously been associated with increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. It is true that the saturated fats in red meat can raise your cholesterol which is a risk factor for heart disease, and that it may also build up plaque in the arteries due to an involvement of a gut bacteria called TMAO (Poliquin Group).
What most people don’t know is that Grass Fed Beef has 1/3 of the saturated fats that Grain Fed Beef has, and grass fed is a great source of omega fats which support HDL (good cholesterol). If your HDL level increases above 60mg/dl it acts as a negative risk factor for heart disease, which is a GOOD thing. It also has nutrients, other than protein, that support immune system and hormone function which keeps us healthy and aids our body in burning fat, such as creatine, carnosine, Vitamin B12, and absorbable zinc and iron which are no bioavailable in plant sources.
It is a great idea to eat grass fed beef 2-3 times per week to reep the benefits associated with red meat to build lean muscle. lose fat, and support immune system and hormone balance and function.
One of my power foods that I love having a couple hours after my workout are Sweet Potatoes. Packed with a great source of fiber, Vitamin A, amino acids, and carbohydrates for energy. Eat them about an hour or two after your post-workout protein shake to restore glycogen stores and aid your body in protein synthesis (rebuilding muscle tissue). Pair them with a lean protein source and a green vegetable for an awesome meal! VEGAN? Pair them with a dark crunchy vegetable to help improve it’s amino acid profile (more efficient building blocks of protein). They take a while to cook, but cooking 6 at a time will leave you prepared for the week.
Cook Time: ~50 minutes
Recipe: Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Poke fork holes into skin around the top-side of the sweet potato.
2. Let bake for ~45 minutes depending how tender you like them.
3. Cut them down the middle and add a touch of salt and pepper for a little kick. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Circuit: complete all sets of each exercise before moving on to the other
1. Treadmill sprint= 20 seconds on: 20 seconds off x 3
2. Push-ups= 20 on: 20 off x 2
3. Rower sprint= 20:20 x 3
4. Bent over row= 20:20 x 2
5. Burpees= 20:20 x 3
Complete the circuit 2 times with limited rest. Use these paces depending upon your ability…
Beginner: 15 on: 45 off
Intermediate: 20 on: 40 off
Advanced: 20 on: 20 off
Although QUALITY of calories is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than QUANTITY of calories, this is a great way to track your eating habits and INITIAL WEIGHT/FAT LOSS.
Step 1: Take your current weight and multiply it by 12. That number is the amount of calories needed DAILY to MAINTAIN your current weight.
Step 2: Take that number and multiply that by .85. This will give you your new goal of calories DAILY.
Step 3: Divide that number by the amount of times you eat per day (AIM FOR 4-6) and that will give you the amount of calories to aim for at each meal.
EXAMPLE: If you weigh 150 lbs…
•150 x 12 = 1,800.
•1,800 x .85 = 1,530 (GOAL)
•1,530/5 = 306 CALORIES/MEAL
Try these next time you’re in the gym to sculpt and tone those glutes!