Record what you eat (Time and portion size) – use my fitness pal app if you prefer
Macro Nutrients – Protein, Carbs, Fats should be present in each meal
- Proteins – Builds and repairs body cells
- Carbohydrates – Provide short term energy
- Fats – Provide long term energy
- Eat every 3 hours (Meal – Snack – Meal – Snack – etc…)
- Some choices can be found below
- Recognize the ratio that we have suggested, and consider the amounts of each macro nutrient in a food and how much of your suggested breakdown it will use
Portion control (this is very personal and dependant on your goals, and must be monitored closely)
- Start with getting in all your macro nutrients
- Slowly increase your portion sizes
- Start with getting in all your macro nutrients
- Slowly decrease your portion sizes
This is a group transformation challenge; if you want individually customized programs we can offer you that service separate from this program.
- Be cautious of refined starches and/or carbohydrates, as well as saturated fats as these contain a high amount of calories and can throw off your macro nutrient servings.
Pre – Post Workout
- Eat a meal 2-3 hrs before exercise, or a light snack 1hr beforehand (something easily digestible)
- Post workout, eat within an hour of training with a 2 carbohydrate to 1 protein ratio
We suggest choosing healthy whole foods, some examples are below. We recommend a ration of:
- 40% Carb – make these up from complex carbohydrates; moderate your intake of refined carbs and starches as they will impact your macronutrient portions more significantly.
- 40% Protein – choose lean protein as often as possible
- 20% Fat – We suggest that you be cautious of animal fats (besides fish) as these are usually saturated and high in cholesterol and cam impact your macronutrient balance more significantly.
+ many more
|Lean Chicken Breast
Lean Beef / Turkey
Cottage Cheese (Low Fat)
Greek Yogurt (Low Fat)
Whole Fat Milk
While Fat Yogurt
|Pre Workout||Post Workout||Liquids|
2-3 hrs before workout balanced meal using whole foods
(pressed for time)
AM Workout– 1 hr pre workout – Real Fruit/Protein Shake
PM Workout– Light easily digestible snack 1 hr before
|~0-60 min post
Healthy meal from above suggestion in a 2x carb -1x protein ratio using whole foods
|Water, Skim Milk, Black Coffee, Tea|
Carbohydrate (CHO) is the body’s main energy source. There are 4 calories in one gram of carbohydrate. The terms “complex” and “simple” carbohydrates get tossed around in nutrition. Often complex includes nutrient dense sources of carbs such as vegetables and whole grains. Simple may include fruit (a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals) and some other natural and processed sugars. Technically complex vs. simple refers to chemical distinction and in many cases has little value for determining the nutritional value of the carb. The glycemic index (GI) determines how quickly the body absorbs food glucose. The average person does not need to be too concerned with GI as long as daily fat and protein requirements are being met and exercise is regular. Consuming carbs post work out is essential for replenishing your glucose stores, energy!
The metabolism of CHO varies the most from one person to another of all the macronutrients and athletes require more carbs than the average individual. You may have some trial and error in determining an appropriate daily carb intake for yourself and being on a frequent exercise schedule you will absolutely need to consume adequate carbs.
Unfortunately there have been some untruths about carbs in fitness pop culture. A common myth is to not eat carbs/sugar at night as the body will “turn it into fat” and some caution not to eat anything past certain times of night. This is false; the body will not turn food into fat by morning so we encourage you to eat at times that suit your lifestyle. In fact a person would have to consume several 1000 calories over their daily caloric requirement to see any sort of overnight fat gain. Often carbs get pegged as something to limit when a person is trying to lose fat. This can lead to metabolic adaption of a low calorie/carb diet which will actually make it more difficult to obtain the body composition one desires. Limiting carbs will force the body to rely on stripping protein stores for glucose or running on fat for energy. It is possible to use fat for energy on high fat/low carb diets (ketosis) however these types of diets are highly specialized and typically used for neurological disorders. For optimal metabolic function eating as many carbs as your body tolerates is the key. Do not begin an exercise program while taking your calories and CHO down unsustainably low. Carbohydrate synthesis is essential for the development of lean muscle mass, blood oxygen to the brain, muscle recovery, and athletic performance. Sources of carbs include: fruit, vegetables, potatoes, whole grains, refined grains and sugar in its many forms. We encourage you to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily and your body needs 10-14 g of fiber per 1000 calories consumed.
Protein is the most abundant molecule in the human body second to water. Your daily protein requirement should be situated between your lean body mass and current weight. Protein is comprised of amino acids and is essential for immune health, cell health, and the support of your internal organs. There are 4 calories in one gram of protein.
Humans are not capable of synthesizing all 20 amino acids on our own so it is essential we obtain protein through nutrition. There are some myths built around protein one of which is that vegetarian protein sources are not sound as they are not “complete protein” sources like meat. The complete protein myth is irrelevant in nutrition. Adequate protein can absolutely be acquired through meatless sources; in fact most foods contain traces of protein which all add up throughout the day. Animal protein of course includes eggs, fish/seafood, poultry, beef, pork, whey protein supplements and dairy. Other protein options include soy (tempeh, tofu, etc), beans, lentils, and seitan, bread, quinoa, and vegan protein powder supplements. A good way to know if you are eating enough protein is to track your food consumption for a week or two. From there if any adjustments need to be made one can do so with ease. Iron and B12 deficiency are common and we advise you ensure your levels of these minerals are sufficient.
Fat is needed for metabolic and structural functions in the body such as brain, cellular and organ health. One gram of fat contains 9 calories. There are 2 types of essential fatty acids needed in the human body, omega 6 and omega 3. Omega 6 is abundant in food so it is vital we pay attention to obtaining omega 3 in the diet. Omega 3 or fish oil supplementation is highly recommended in addition to consumption of omega 3 through nutrition. Sources of omega 3 include fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring and sardines, flax, chia seeds, hemp (seeds or oil), and walnuts.
Fat is calorically dense so it is a good idea to monitor your consumption. Healthy fats are an essential part of a balanced diet but free reign of eating large quantities of fats just because they are healthy will hinder fat loss. Let’s take nuts for example. They are delicious and satisfying but eating too much of a good thing can push a person well over their daily caloric needs. Portion control and awareness is important.
There are of course some myths around fat, one in particular being that saturated fat is bad for you. Too much saturated fat may have negative effects on blood cholesterol levels, so again be mindful of consumption. Nutrient dense sources of saturated fats include coconut, coconut oil, and animal fat including eggs, butter, and full fat dairy. Avocado, olive oil, and nuts are nutritious sources of unsaturated fats. We urge you to stay clear of Trans fats whenever possible which may show up in some processed foods.
SUSTAINING HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES
When it comes to diet and exercise the most important factor is creating a healthy, sustainable lifestyle for you. This includes an exercise schedule that will suit your lifestyle long term while maintaining balanced eating habits.
There are several fad diets and “cleanses” out there which we do not recommend as these programs ultimately have an end and often are not nourishing for the body or mind. It is not sustainable to eat from a restricted food list or even worse exist on liquid alone. There are many food trends and products to be weary of.
In order to be consistent while enjoying your fitness journey, incorporating all foods in healthy moderation is an effective approach. We have talked about the 3 macronutrients; carbs, protein and fat. All food is made up of macros; however some foods contain more micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) than others. Eating the right macronutrient ratios for your body on a day to day basis is the key to making body composition changes because of the biochemical reaction of those molecules. Yes, we need micros too for health purposes but “clean eating” is not a well established paradigm for fueling one’s body properly. We encourage an 80/20 rule while being mindful of your macronutrient intake. Eat nutrient dense energy sources most of the time while having the flexibility to enjoy your favourite treats. This is a psychologically sound approach and shows to have the best success rate for obtaining lasting results. Having flexibility enhances your social life, makes food prep and planning easier, allows for food choices that are emotionally selected, and gives a great variety of foods to enjoy.
We do not encourage cheat meals/days. If it’s Tuesday afternoon and you’re craving something sweet with your coffee, it’s perfectly okay to have a cookie because it will likely prevent you from wanting to eat 10 cookies come Saturday. Be mindful that your cookie contains carbs and fat. An apple and a tbsp of natural almond butter have pretty similar macronutrient ratios to the cookie. One is clearly the more nutrient dense choice however, they both have the same impact on your physiology and choosing the cookie over the apple will not hinder fat loss. Eating at night will not hinder fat loss, and this includes carbohydrates.
Alcohol is something that can hinder fat loss if not consumed wisely but we have some pointers for you. Interestingly enough, alcohol is a macronutrient. When consuming an alcoholic beverage look at its total calories and divide by 4. That’s approximately how many carbs it equates to in your daily caloric intake. Alternatively you could divide that number by 9 and consider that approximately how many grams of fat in your daily caloric intake. Some drinks are higher in carbs than others. Liquor mixed with diet pop or club soda is the lowest calorie option. That being said, if body composition goals are important to you and you’re only going out for a couple, have what you really want, may it be a beer or a cocktail. If you’re out to get a buzz on maybe switch to liquor and soda.
Remember to consume 10-14 g of fiber per 1000 calories consumed, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and ensure you are incorporating many high quality energy sources.
If you want to get a better grasp on flexible eating talk to our nutrition department. We can give you some great insight and tips. We also refer to experts that make tailored macronutrient plans for anyone who is interested in a detailed approach to making body composition changes.