Pre and Post Workout Nutrition: And How (Un)Important It May Be To You

 

Author: Stephaney Theobald, with preface by Erica Willick

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As a diet coach, I get a lot of questions every day, but perhaps two of the most common I hear are “Should I eat before I workout?” and “What’s the best thing to eat after a workout?”.

This article will answer that question.  However, in typical Gorgo-fashion we fill you in on the bigger picture so you can decide how important, or unimportant this question actually is for you.

Asking about pre and post workout nutrition, especially as you get started with diet,  is like someone asking you “What do you want from the menu?” before you determined what night you were going to go out for dinner (are you even available?), what style of restaurant is of interest to you (mexican, fast food, cafe, etc.), and what restaurant are you going to.  To have a great dinner out, there are a number of much more important items that need to be address before you dive into figuring out what to order off a menu!

One of the best representations of how important, or unimportant pre/post workout nutrition may be for you was developed by Eric Helms in his “Muscle and Strength Pyramids” books.

In the pyramid below, Eric Helms takes the aspects of diet and stacks them into order of importance as they relate to your overall dietary success.  The items at the base of the pyramid are most important, and the items at the top of the pyramid least important.  You’ll notice “Nutrient Timing”, which pre and post workout nutrition falls into, is close to the top of the pyramid.  This means pre/post workout nutrition is less important than overall Energy Balance (total calories in/out), Macros (your ratio of protein/carbs/fats), and the Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).  

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So before you get bogged down with what to eat before/after a workout, you’re better off to master the items below Nutrient Timing in the pyramid.  Priorities in nutrition are like priorities in life!  Put your focus where it really matters, and only add to your priorities when you have a good handle on the really important stuff!

OK, SO YOU’RE ACTUALLY READY FOR PRE AND POST NUTRITION

If you’re rocking the other (more important) parts of your diet, then let’s dive into what to eat before and after a workout.

As with most things, there is really no ONE right answer, as it heavily depends on factors such as the individual’s body type, goals, workout style, fitness level, schedule, etc. – however in this article I will attempt to address these questions in a general sense that applies to a broad audience.

SIMPLIFIED: Eat protein and carbohydrates before and after workouts.

But, let’s get more specific:

PRE-WORKOUT

First, let me clarify that when I say “workout” in this article, I am referring to any high intensity activity such as heavy weight-training or any cardio that gets your heart rate above 65% max.

The most important rule of thumb I tell most people who are looking to build muscle or lean out while preserving muscle is that it’s VERY important to eat before a workout.  Working out on an empty stomach is more likely to encourage the body to break down its nutrient-dense muscle for the fuel it needs to get through a tough workout, which is the opposite of what most people are trying to accomplish.

Updated research supports this showing that fasted cardio is not effective for fat loss, although this used to be a commonly held belief.  If you hear a trainer or coach telling you to workout on an empty stomach for better results, they need to do some updating to their research.

Pre-workout, I find that a good strategy is to eat some kind of lean protein with a low-fiber carbohydrate.

  • The lean protein will provide the amino acids your body will need to protect the muscle during an intense workout. Generally, I prefer a slower digesting protein before a workout, but even a fast-acting protein such as whey isolate is better than having no protein.

  • The carbs will provide the fuel needed to get through the workout.  For pre-workout carbs, I typically like ones that are lower in fat and fiber because I find that foods too high in fat or fiber can tend to sit in the gut and make you feel too full or uncomfortable during an intense workout.  You may find that you feel better during a workout with slower digesting carbs like oats.  Give both a try and see how you feel.

  • Pre-workout meal timing is 1-1.5 hrs before working out (maybe 20-30 min if just eating a fast digesting shake).

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POST-WORKOUT

A strategy I’ve found to be effective with most people post-workout is eating a fast-acting protein and a higher glycemic carbohydrate.  After an intense workout your muscles have been broken down and are essentially looking for nutrients to aid in recovery and rebuilding.

  • Eating or drinking a fast-acting protein, such as whey isolate, will allow the amino acids to get to work more quickly, and

  • A higher glycemic carb will better spike the insulin and help shuttle nutrients to the muscle more quickly and efficiently.

It’s not BAD to eat a slower digesting/high fiber carb post workout. But the faster the carb can be digested, the more your insulin will spike and you get better shuttling of nutrients to recovering muscles.  I don’t promote eating SUPER high glycemic carbs like Skittles, PopTarts, etc. as a general rule (because I prefer cleaner eating), but of course, truth be told, there are times I’ve had candy with my post workout meal.  If you have committed to a healthy diet, and you are craving a little something sweet, the post workout meal can be a good place to slip it in.

A great example of a post-workout meal is a whey isolate protein shake with a white potato.  Plus, I like to add greens for their anti-inflammatory effect (can be whole veggies or a greens supplement), sea salt since it has 26 minerals to help the protein and carbs cross the cell membrane, and a fish oil supplement for more anti-inflammatory effect.

These are a few of many options:

  • whey isolate & white potato

  • egg whites & white bread

  • whey isolate & banana

  • egg whites & grapes

As with anything each individual should experiment and learn what works best for their situation, body type and goals. However starting with the tips above may help you get more out of your workouts and further in your journey towards a fit and sexy body!

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Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

 
This meal is perfect to let simmer away while you’re at work; the longer the flavours cook together, the better it tastes. It can also be made on the stove-top if you don’t have access to a slow-cooker - the benefit to the slow cooker is the bigger the batch, the better as this freezes well for later use, and is great for meal planning for your week.  Topped with freshly cut green onions and a sprinkle of low-fat cheddar cheese, this chilli is perfect healthy comfort food.

This meal is perfect to let simmer away while you’re at work; the longer the flavours cook together, the better it tastes. It can also be made on the stove-top if you don’t have access to a slow-cooker - the benefit to the slow cooker is the bigger the batch, the better as this freezes well for later use, and is great for meal planning for your week.

Topped with freshly cut green onions and a sprinkle of low-fat cheddar cheese, this chilli is perfect healthy comfort food.

By Aleshia Pint, Less With Bread

Imagine walking through your door, kicking your winter boots off and shaking off the chill from the frigid weather outside, and having a warm bowl to wrap your hands around - a bowl filled with comforting and filling chili.

Packed with protein from lean ground turkey and a variety of beans, one bowl for lunch or dinner will keep you feeling satisfied but not heavy. Be generous with the vegetables you add; a couple multi-coloured bell peppers, red onions, corn - it’s all to your personal taste. This chili has a spicy kick from jalapenos that are coarsely chopped and added with their seeds, but serrano peppers would work well too if you can get your hands on them! Don’t be shy with the spices either, the key to a flavourful sauce is all about building the flavour - smoky paprika, cayenne pepper, chili pepper and oregano all blend together to create that distinct and familiar chili taste.

Ingredients

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  • 1 package lean ground turkey

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 can of low salt black beans, rinsed

  • 1 can of low salt mixed beans, rinsed

  • 1 can corn (frozen works as well if that’s what you have on hand)

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 can diced tomatoes and their juice

  • 1 can pureed tomatoes

  • 1 green pepper, chopped

  • 1 medium sized white onion, minced

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 celery stalk, minced

  • 2 jalapenos, chopped (use one for a more mild kick)

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • additional (optional): green onions, shredded cheese, avocado, plain greek yogurt

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add ground turkey and brown, breaking into small bits. Drain turkey and pour into slow cooker.

2. In the same pan, sauté onions, garlic, celery and spices until fragrant. (This step is optional - if you are short on time, go ahead and skip to step 3 - this just builds a more complex flavour).

3. Add onion, celery and spice mixture to slow cooker, along with all remaining ingredients.

4. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

5. Top with optional ingredients.

*if just using the stove, follow above ingredients using a large pot, and simmer for 1-2 hours.



 

Canteen Inspired Broccomole Dip

 

By Christal Sczebel, C.H.N., Nutritionist in the Kitch

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“What the heck is broccomole?!” were the exact words that came out of my mouth as I was reading the brunch menu of a restaurant I went to recently with some friends. It’s a neat little place in Edmonton called Canteen and their brunch is delicious to say the least. I ordered the “Smoked Sablefish, Fontina Egg Scramble, Seeded Rye, Broccomole, Roast Tomatoes” entree (sans fontina)…and was very intrigued with this Broccomole item.

My hubby, being the little smarty pants that he is, looked at me and said “it’s obviously guacamole…made from broccoli”, and I thought to myself, what? for real? no… it’s got to be some other kind of sauce or garnish or some kind of vegetable I’ve never heard of. But, after a quick google search, I realized my hubby was right! Darn!

Looking into this whole Broccomole thing a little more I happened to come across this recipe by Domestic Fits and wondered why I had never heard of this interesting little concoction before!

When I got my entree at Canteen and ate every little morsel (had the restaurant not been packed with people I may have even licked the plate) I made the decision right then and there that I… was a fan… of broccomole.

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So I used the Domestic Fits recipe as inspiration and got mixing! In my food processor I added steamed broccoli, spinach (for a little extra green and nutrients), tomato, spices, silken tofu, and lemon juice!

A few blends and scrapes with the spatula later – this smooth, creamy, rich and dreamy guacamole-looking dip was created! Considering I’m not the hugest fan of broccoli to begin with, I was surprised how it had transformed into this yummy looking and very nutritious dip!

A couple dunks of my crackers and I was sold! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a HUGE fan of traditional avocado guacamole, but for a lower calorie, nutrient dense, something-different-dip, this one is definitely worth a try!

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups chopped broccoli

  • 1 cup spinach

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 5 cherry tomatoes

  • 2 tbs green onions

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 2 ounces silken tofu

  • ¼ tsp chili powder

  • 1 tbs cilantro

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cook the broccoli in lightly salted water until very soft. Overcook the broccoli in comparison to the al dente cooking that most recipes recommend.

2. Drain broccoli very well.

3. Transfer to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth, add additional olive oil for a smoother texture.

4. Serve warm or chill and serve cold.

 

 

3 Easy Dinners Transform Into Perfect Lunch Leftovers

 
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By Kelly Keltner, naturallynourishedkid.com

Asian Grilled Steak

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Dinner: serve with brown rice and pan blistered snow peas.

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Leftovers for Lunch: serve atop a salad with mandarin oranges, shredded carrots and sweet bell peppers.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup tamari

  • ½ cup orange juice

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • ½ cup chopped green onions

  • ¼ cup crushed fresh ginger

  • ¼ cup chopped garlic

  • 1 tablespoon five spice powder

  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (optional- increase amount for more heat)

  • ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds

  • 2 lbs flank steak

Directions:

  1. Whisk together tamari, juice, oil, green onions, ginger, garlic, five spice powder and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl.

  2. Place steak in a large glass dish and pour the marinade over the steak. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours, turning halfway through.

  3. Remove the steak and discard the marinade.

  4. Grill steak on high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side.

  5. Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

For snow peas: Wash and trim 4 cups of snow peas. Dry well with a paper towel. Heat a sauté pan on med-high heat. Add ½ tabs of cooking oil. Add snow peas and season with salt and pepper. Let sit for a couple of minutes. Give the pan a good shake and let sit for another couple of minutes. Continue to cook peas until they are blistered and soft, but still green and crunchy, about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and squeeze lemon juice over the peas and give the pan another shake. Serve hot.


Italian Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

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Dinner: serve with spiralized zoodles (zucchini noodles) and top with fresh basil and chili flakes.

Leftovers for Lunch: serve with simple blanched steamed greens such as tender broccoli.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

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  • 1 cup finely chopped onion

  • ½ cup chopped green pepper

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tbs olive oil

  • 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste

  • 2 tbs fresh parsley

  • 1 tsp dried basil

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • ½ tsp marjoram

  • 1 tsp sugar

For the meatballs:

  • 1 large egg

  • ¾ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion

  • 2 tbs finely chopped green pepper

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 12 oz ground beef

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Sauté onions, pepper and garlic until soft.

  2. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 1/3 cup water, parsley, herbs, sugar, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.

  3. Bring sauce to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

  4. Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

  5. While sauce simmers, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  6. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and mix well.

  7. Shape mixture into 20-24 meatballs.

  8. Arrange meatballs on a baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

  9. Stir meatballs into sauce. Serve over raw spiralized zucchini noodles. Garnish with fresh basil and chili flakes.

Mustard Grilled Chicken Breasts

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Dinner: serve with roasted rainbow carrots and wilted garlic baby spinach.

Leftovers for Lunch: make a wrap with sprouted whole grain tortilla and sautéed peppers and onions.

Ingredients:

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  • 2/3 cup chili powder

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 4 tbs salt

  • 4 tbs onion powder

  • 4 tbs garlic powder

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 6 chicken breasts

  • ¼  cup yellow mustard

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. This rub can be stored for several months in a cool and dry place.

  2. Brush chicken breasts with mustard and sprinkle rub on top. Repeat on the other side.

  3. Grill chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

For roasted rainbow carrots: chop 5-8 carrots at a diagonal. Place carrots in a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place carrots on a baking pan. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, turning halfway through. Remove and garnish with fresh parsley.

For garlic wilted baby spinach: Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Sauté 6 cups of baby spinach until just wilted. Turn off heat and stir in minced garlic and season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

5 Snacks to Keep Kids Energized Through the School Day (That Mom Can Eat Too!)

 
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By Kelly Keltner, naturallynourishedkid.com

Busy schedules have been received. School supplies, new clothes and shoes bought. Bedtimes are being enforced again. Mornings are a rush to beat the clock.

It can be a hectic time as your household gets back into the school year routine. To help you avoid the drive-thru and takeout, here are some snack ideas that are free of refined sugars and will keep your kiddos full and energized through the day.

BONUS: They’re mommy friendly too!

TIME SAVING TIP: Make batches and freeze for convenience.

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

This powerhouse food, also known as garbanzo beans, packs 6g of protein in just half a cup. This is as much protein as a large whole egg! Pair with a side of fruit or veggie sticks for a snack that will keep kids full until mealtime.

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Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 10-15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried

  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

  • 1 tbs raw organic honey

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a small bowl, combine the chickpeas with the cinnamon and honey and mix well.

3. Lay the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake until crispy and browned, about 10-15 minutes.

Store in an airtight container up to 3-4 days.

Recipe from @KidFoodIdeas on Instagram

Flourless Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

If you have a bunch of overripe bananas, put them to good use and bake up a batch of these yummy banana muffins. You won’t miss the flour and superfoods like chia seeds and ground flaxseed pump up the nutritional factor.

Prep Time: 5 min    Cook Time: 20 min Makes 9 mini muffins

Ingredients:

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  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter)

  • 2 ripe medium to large bananas

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbs raw honey

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (sub gluten-free oats to make recipe gluten-free)

  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed

  • 2 tbs chia seeds

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until the batter is smooth and creamy.

3. Pour batter into greased muffin pan or use cupcake liners. Fill each cup about 3/4 full.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze.

Recipe by NaturallyNourishedKid.com, adapted from RunningWithSpoons.com

Mango Fruit Roll-Ups (aka Fruit Leather)

This one ingredient (yes, one ingredient!) treat will have your kids pumped to open up their snack totes! This takes some time to cook in the oven but it is worth it. Start it on a lazy weekend morning.

Prep Time: 5 min    Cook Time: 3-4 hours    Makes about 15-20 rollups

Ingredients:

3 large mangoes

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Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Puree the mango in a food processor after removing the skin and core.

3. Pour the puree onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a spatula to smooth and spread the puree as even as possible. The layer should be thin but not see through. You may have to use 2 baking sheets.

4. Start checking the puree at 3 hours. Oven temps vary from oven to oven, so it may or may not be ready at this point. When the puree is dry to the touch, it is done.

5. Remove from the oven and cut the sheets into strips. Roll up strips.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week..

Recipe from Clean & Green Kids App

Avocado Toast with Tomatoes

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This power snack gives you fiber, fats (the good kind), protein and vitamins all in one.  Choose Ezekiel bread to avoid added sugar and preservatives. It is usually found in the freezer aisle. Ezekiel bread also provides twice the amount of fiber and protein compared to conventional store bought bread.

Prep Time: 5 min    Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • Ezekiel Bread - 2 slices

  • ½ avocado

  • handful grape tomatoes

  • lemon wedge

Instructions:

1. Toast the bread

2. Top the toast with sliced avocado, grape tomatoes and fresh ground black pepper.

3. Squeeze lemon juice liberally over everything. This helps to prevent the avocado from browning if you plan to eat it later.

Recipe from @NaturallyNourishedKid on Instagram

Spinach & Mushroom Mini Crustless Quiche

Bake a batch on Sunday and keep it in the fridge. It heats up in 20 seconds in the microwave - perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast on busy weekday mornings.

Prep Time: 15-20 min    Cook Time: 20-25 min Makes 12 mini quiches

Ingredients:

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  • 1 tbs EVOO

  • 12 oz white mushrooms, chopped

  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced

  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped

  • pinch nutmeg

  • 4 large eggs

  • 4 large egg whites

  • ¼ cup whole milk

  • ¼ cup grated fontina cheese

  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

2. Heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms, shallot and season with S&P. Saute and cook until shallots are soft and mushrooms are slightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baby spinach and nutmeg until the spinach is just wilted. Set aside to cool.

4. Whisk the eggs, egg whites, and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese.

5. Divide the egg mixture evenly between the muffin tins, filling about halfway.

6. Top the egg mixture with the mushroom and spinach sauté.

7. Bake until the quiches are well-risen, golden brown and set. Check it at 20 minutes.

8. Remove from the oven and let the pan cool slightly. Remove the quiches and set on a wire rack to cool completely before refrigerating.

Recipe adapted from The Food Network.

 

How to Get In More Greens: Meal Plan

How to Get In More Greens: Meal Plan

If I had to break it down, I would admit that getting in my veggies is THE challenge of all challenge. I’m mindful of my protein, choose whole grains, skip the refined sugar (most of the time), and drink ample amounts of water but getting those greens in, it requires intention!

Read More

Becoming Protein Minded: A Non-Obsessive Option for Getting in Macros

 

By Valerie Solomon

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I’ve found a rhythm of eating that works for me on a daily basis as a busy mom wanting to get and stay fit. Although I do track macronutrients for a rigid competition prep and coach clients to do the same, on a normal daily basis, I eat in a way and teach a concept I call “Being Protein Minded”.  

It’s not realistic to think you can stay on a strict meal plan for life.  It’s no fun.  What is doable long term is to fit in the foods you like and work within certain parameters that have some flexibility.  Learn to track calories for a bit, and then learn how to get in enough protein.  Start making lasting changes slowly.  It is possible for a busy woman to learn to eat to progress without an endless diet you dread.

What is this “Becoming Protein Minded” stuff?

To become protein minded, I want you to think PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN at every meal and snack.  If you are like me and most women I coach, and gravitate towards cereal, bread, crackers, and yummy soups…. that’s fine, but get a side of PROTEIN with it.   Want a salad?  Have a side of protein.  Want that veggie pizza?  Think about where you will get in your protein as well.  It’s a small mental adjustment that can really help you build the muscle and strength you want.  Get protein on your brain!

Tip:  Cook extra meat when you cook dinner and keep it in your refrigerator for adding in those protein sides when needed.  My freezer is full of leftover options!

Below, I’ll introduce you to some of the dieting concepts from my Busy Mom Gets Fit Next Step Plan.

  • PART 1: CALORIES: choose your own food options and aim to fit them into the calorie parameters

  • PART 2: YOUR PROTEIN TARGET RANGE: learn to hit your protein target range daily

It’s helpful when learning to eat in a new way to have a guide.  There is a meal plan included for GORGO Premium Subscribers, but please know you CAN eat other things!  Continue reading to learn to fit the foods you love into parameters.

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PART 1: CALORIES
How many calories should I eat?!

You’ve probably heard the number “1200” tossed around a lot. Often 1200 calories is too few calories for most women.  Most women will actually see good weight loss on a 1700 calorie diet if they include exercise at the same time (that’s you!).

The number of calories a woman should eat largely varies based on body type, her level of activity, the state of her metabolism and her goals.  That’s a lot of “it depends”.  However, a good rule of thumb for a healthy-weighted woman looking to control her weight while staying healthy, is to begin at 10-17 times her bodyweight in calories (10-12 if you want to lose weight, 13-17 if you want to maintain, 18+ to gain).  As you progress and want to shed more fat, you can lower your calories slowly over time, but we do not recommend going below 10 times body weight for any extended period of time or staying at 10 x your bodyweight forever.

Graphic:  body weight x 10-17 = calories

Do you think this number is too high?!  It can be a scary thing to eat MORE to lose weight! If you are a serial dieter and have cut calories for long lengths of time, you know there comes a time where you throw up your hands because you can’t eat any less and your body is still not changing!  You’ve stalled your metabolism; your body goes into starvation mode.  With a better plan and learning to eat to fuel your body, you can get it running again and you may be surprised that you can eat a greater amount of food and get leaner.

If you want to learn more about this area, I recommend you check out the GORGO Magazine article called “I Want To Lose Fat AND Gain Muscle?!” in our OCTOBER 2015

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Track Your Calories

Now that you have a target number to shoot for, it’s a good idea to track your calories for a while until you get in a rhythm of eating at this level or until you reach your goals.  This may be as little as one week or as long as a couple months.  I recommend using an app such as MyFitnessPal to help you track.

Do I Have to Track Everything Forever?!

It’s not realistic to track calories every day for the rest of your life.  At minimum it’s an annoyance and it could promote obsessive food behaviors which I don’t support.  Yet it is often very important to track your food initially to reach goals and to learn how much you consume.  Consider it a “Food-u-cation”.

To put it into perspective, let’s say you track your food all week and hit your calorie targets each day.  Then the weekend rolls around and you just want to relax a bit so you say “Screw it, I deserve to take a break.”  In just the 1 day (even 1 meal), you can undo the work you did all week long tracking.  You may think what you chose to eat wasn’t “that bad”, but the portion size along with what else you ate that day can take you way off track.  Until you innately know what portion sizes and food choices are in accordance with your goals, I recommend you track your food, otherwise be satisfied and accepting if your desired changes don’t materialize.

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PART 2: Your Protein Target Range

A key element in building muscle tone, is to eat enough protein to support the muscle growth. I’ve not met a woman starting out on a fitness journey yet that eats enough protein.

By following the workouts in this magazine, you are officially an active women who regularly strength trains.  This means you should aim to eat 1-1.2g of protein per pound of body weight.  Don’t let this overwhelm you.  I’m introducing you to this important concept because you work too hard in your workouts not to get the best results.  This is often a missing key for too many women.

Let me hold your hand here to implement this part:

  1. Track your total calories following the guidelines above using MyFitnessPal

  2. Find in the MyFitnessPal app or on your MyFitnessPal diary webpage where “Nutrients” or “Macros” are shown.

  3. Write down the total number of grams of protein you ate for the day.

  4. Divide the total number of grams of protein by your bodyweight in pounds (e.g. you ate 126g of protein / 140 lbs = 0.90 = too low in protein! Target is 1-1.2)

  5. If the number is less than 1-1.2, work at increasing your protein each day.

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By knowing your parameters and what that looks like on a plate throughout the day, you can begin to ease up and buckle down when needed.  Keep protein on the brain.  

 

6 Protein-Rich Vegan Foods For Muscle Building

6 Protein-Rich Vegan Foods For Muscle Building

Vegetarians and vegans, for instance, struggle to intake enough protein, thanks to an absence of meat in their diet. If you’re struggling to get your protein requirements, these meat-free options should help you achieve your goals and improve your body much more effectively.

Read More

I Want to Lose Fat AND Build Lean Muscle!

I Want to Lose Fat AND Build Lean Muscle!

“I want to lose fat AND build lean muscle” is the most common goal I hear amongst new clients. That would be amazing wouldn’t it? Reach your target weight at the same time your muscle tone and shape perks up to reveal shapely hotness.

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How to EAT TO SUPPORT A HEALTHY HORMONE BALANCE

How to EAT TO SUPPORT A HEALTHY HORMONE BALANCE

The topic of hormones is a big one, there is so much to know when it comes to the endocrine system, to be honest there’s a lot that’s over my head! However, from my own personal experiences, my education in Nutrition, and my experience from working with many female clients over the years, I’ve realized that what we eat and aspects of our lifestyle. truly does have an impact on our hormonal health.

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Oatmeal Power Bars

 Oatmeal Power Bars

Homemade bars are entirely customizable, and so easy to make that you’ll be making a different batch every Sunday for snacks throughout the week. You can add any variety of nuts and fruit, play around with different types of grains, like quinoa or puffed rice, and different kinds of natural sweeteners.

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Vitality Superfood Salad

Vitality Superfood Salad

This salad is great for traveling because it is all mixed together and has lots of crunchy vegetables for texture and to prevent soggy lettuce as the dressing is already mixed in when prepared. Simply pack a portion of this salad in a tupperware container and bring along with you. Don’t forget the spork!

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Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

I definitely crave warm, hearty dishes when the first hint of Fall arrives.  But until winter is here, I’m never completely ready for stews or chili.  So I have to find a happy medium, and this Slow-Cooker Mongolian Beef dish is just that! It’s still warm and filling, but still light enough to enjoy in the Fall and not nudge me into complete winter hibernation mode.

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