As I mentioned in the workout plan, a muscular physique and ripped body is built more in the kitchen than in the gym. The calories you burn during a workout are miniscule compared to what your body actually burns just going through your daily life and while you sleep. In fact your sleep time probably accounts for more of your daily caloric expenditure than many people realize. While it is true that certain forms of exercise and movements trigger a greater metabolic burn than others; you’re talking about numbers that are just insignificant when taken as a whole. A net gain of even 10% more calories over a 24 hour period sounds impressive but really that’s just 1-200 more calories that are easily offset by even one helping of food more than is suggested.
This is exactly the problem many people run into with their diet. They feel that working out vigorously gives them license to eat junk. “I’ll just put in a few more rounds at the gym,” they’ll say. Not only is this manner of thinking ignorant it’s dangerous. Fitness is a lifestyle not something you do and it lasts all day everyday not in the hour or two spent in a gym. Once again I use the example of many urban CrossFit devotees. I’m not picking on them or bashing the sport but its popularity has highlighted a problem afflicting many exercisers today. Their workouts are barn burners but their diets are jokes and shameful. They could see really astounding results if they matched that intensity they have at the gym with common sense and self-discipline in the kitchen.
I don’t want this to be complicated nor should you need to keep a list of approved foods with you at all times so you don’t stray. My eating plan is simple if for no other reason than I don’t have time or the patience to go through a bunch of arbitrary rules that are neither cohesive nor practical. The short and tidy version is this; No Grains, No Dairy, and no added sugar. Avoid when possible these foods, eat a total calorie load of between 1500-2200 calories a day depending on your size and goals and for the love of all that is holy drink at least 100-120 ounces of ice-cold water each and every day no excuses!
If you’re eating out on the weekend and something you order has one of the ingredients above it’s not a big deal and you will not die if you eat it, in fact try making a habit of going out for one meal every weekend to indulge. Don’t be that prick that everyone hates who expects underpaid restaurant cooks to alter the menu just to accommodate them. If it’s that important to stay with your diet than you probably shouldn’t be eating out to begin with.
If you eat it at home try for organic foods, especially meat. It’s better for you and your kids, less, chemicals, less hormones, and less antibiotics which not only help create “super-bugs” but have been shown to increase weight gain and fat retention in cattle, chicken and pork. Think about it! I say no grains because modern grain specifically wheat has been linked to a whole host of diseases and conditions including Diabetes and gout, not to mention the dreaded rise of Gluten Intolerance. Quinoa is okay and so are oats in small quantities, if you have no Gluten issues.
Beyond that I believe anything that is high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins is fair game, just be smart. You are an adult fast food, processed foods, and artificial creations are bad for you. Anything that says “hydrogenated, trans,” or contains processed sugar is just empty calories in disguise which brings us to fruit. I’m not a supporter of the Paleo-Diet movement and I’ve stated my reasons many times but there are some aspects of it with merit. One of these is the avoidance of fruit. Yes it’s got a lot of fiber but it also has a lot of sugar that until recently was not part of our diet as a species. Nuts are also touted for their health benefits but remember a serving size of nuts is 12-18 a day not a whole cup or can. The same goes for peanut butter, a serving size is a tablespoon not a heaping scoop.
Now that I’ve gotten all that out-of-the-way let me give you an example of an eating plan, in fact it’s the one I use every day. Notice that breakfast and lunch are normally the same and that’s for simplicity and consistency. Dinner and the weekends are my times for variety and flavor exploration.
On Waking– 2 scoops of Whey Protein (yes its dairy but it’s cheap, refined and easy protein. They do make soy if it’s that important to you!) 56 grams of protein
Pre-Workout Drink– 30 minutes after protein shake 2 scoops of No-Xplode, 5 grams creatine
Post- Workout– Breakfast of 2 slices bacon, 3 whole eggs; I cup Spinach or Oatmeal with at least 16oz. cold water and multi-vitamin est. calories- 450-500
Mid-Morning Snack– Protein Bar or Shake 30-50grams total protein
Late Lunch– Around 1pm, One Turkey Burger patty grilled and chopped over Romaine Lettuce, chopped carrots, onions olives, sunflower seeds, and Baby Spinach with Italian dressing est calories 500
Late afternoon -Protein Shake before Workout, 2 scoops of Whey, 56 grams protein total 30 minutes late 1 scoop of NO-Xplode followed by workout or running
Dinner– I’m trying to eat dinner around 6-7pm this consists of a meat, lean beef/chicken/ wild caught fish, quinoa, a cup of vegetables and water. Est. calories 575
Bedtime Shake– Depending on what workout I did that day and have planned for the next I will consume either a protein shake or creatine drink mix around 9pm.
In general I have 1500 calories coming from food and another 600 from protein shakes or bars. I also drink my shake before working because despite all the hype even fast digesting Whey Protein takes on average an hour and a half to two hours to hit your bloodstream and be available for synthesis. Drinking before the workout and allowing at least 30 minutes for digestion insures that there are carbs and protein ready and primed immediately after my workout. This amount of calories is right on track for someone of my height and weight who wants to add some mass and works out intensely. In general, to figure your target calorie goal take your desired bodyweight and multiply it times 10 for a ballpark figure. There are specific calculations for determining exact calorie expenditure and limits for losing weight. I will be posting those in a future article or you can contact me directly for a free estimate of your own.
This is just an example of the type of diet that can help you achieve your results. I should add that I also take a multi-vitamin, Fish Oil caplets, pro-biotics, and Green Tea extract. My Pre-workout drinks contain a blend of caffeine, amino acids, creatine, and protein. I also down on average 4-5 24 ounce bottles of water throughout the day that are chilled and filtered from a Brita Pitcher. Finally remember this most off the shelf protein powders have a proportionate amount of carbs for each gram of protein. This is in fact a good thing especially when taken right before or after a workout. Carbs, and glucose specifically are the fuel for every exercise and your muscles. They are depleted after a rigorous workout and need replaced. Not replacing them will actually encourage your body to store more carbs as fat. Your normal ration of carbs to protein in an active individual is 3:2:1 Carbs:Protein:fat. Of course if you’re trying to cut or lose weight zero-carb powders are available.