Working out. Eating balanced meals, getting fitter, leaner and ripped. Despite all your efforts, you may still struggle to reach your goals for the new year. The first question you need to ask yourself is, “Are You Eating Right?” The food you eat, the timing of your meals, as well as the portions make a big difference to the way your body responds.
Confused? Demotivated in the first few days of your efforts? The key is to “Feed your Need”. Lean bodies are made in the kitchen and we are here to show you how!
Remember this: When you are trying to build up or tone down, it is important to eat well. So that the proteins you eat build your muscle rather than turn into fat. This formula holds true if you want to bulk up your muscles or work towards a taut, lean look.
There are lots of fat-burning diets and fad diets, but if you want lean and healthy muscles as well, here are some useful secrets to help you tweak your meal plans and get you closer to your goal:
Get the right balance
- Why protein-rich meals are a must: If you are trying for a leaner look, you need plenty of proteins and fibre that boost your metabolism and keep you full for longer. A weight loss diet may not help you towards a leaner look always as that burns the fat but does not get you stronger.
- The amount of proteins you need to maintain a lean body is 1.2 g per kg body weight for females and 2 g per kg body weight for males. This means almost 25% of your daily total calorie intake needs to be from proteins. 60% is from carbs and 15% of the calories from essential good quality fats.
- Any additional protein, your body starts to recognize it as excess and stores it as fat.
- If you go on a low carb diet, your body starts to use your proteins instead as the source of energy. So your proteins have to do the work of carbs for you.
- Cutting carbs will also end up cutting muscle and not your fat! Carbs are a source of energy, and you cannot fool your brain into burning fat instead. Be smarter, plan your meals right by balancing carbs and proteins. Striking this balance is critical in planning your muscle:fat ratio in a healthy lean body.
- When we start cutting carbs to lose weight we must remember that the body is still going to continue it’s functioning, nothing stops. If your source of sugar ( in the form of carbs) is reduced or taken away then the next best source your brain identifies as source of energy is unfortunately your protein and not fat. Hence, your muscles start to break down to perform the jobs your carbs were doing thus leading to muscle loss.
- Carb loading is preparing your body to perform high stress activities as well as fuel your muscles with sufficient glycogen ( a reserve of sugar). Something that athletes follow, and is useful for all of us too. We increase natural sugar and protein in order to bulk up the muscle and enhance strength. Loading is done with dairy, fruit juices, fresh fruits, lean meats, supplements and sufficient carbs.
- Drink water, stay gorgeous! Drinking water helps nutrients reach the cells keeping them hydrated and plump – and plump cells can help your skin look firmer.
Food plan guidelines
- Pre work out meals: The food you eat before and after a work out matters a lot. For a boost of energy, carbs before a workout is best. However, a work out after a protein rich meal may be counter productive as proteins take a long time to digest.
- Pre-workout proteins are also a must: Don’t put your muscles at risk. Your body starts burning muscle for fuel in the first 20 mins of your workout till your metabolism is pushed high enough to break down the stubborn fat.
- Time your meals: Plan you next big meal within 45 minutes after your weigh lifting workouts, so that the muscle can quickly get replenished. If you go any longer without eating, you delay the muscle protein replenishing process. The result- you take longer to get the abs you have worked so hard towards.
- Post work out protein shakes: Don’t! Guzzling a whey protein shake immediately after a workout is not a good idea! Your body needs to use sugars like dates/figs/fruit for immediate energy first. Saves the proteins for muscle repair and growth with a protein drink 15 minutes later.
- Milk shakes: Mixing your whey protein with fruit juices or milk may cause fat storage or slow down protein uptake instantly. So, dont!
- Pre-workout: use slow acting or long acting proteins. These could be dairy, paneer, chicken, pulses. Combined these with starchy foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes etc.
- Intra workout booster: use instant absorbing electrolyte rich amino acids commonly known as BCAA (branched chain amino acids) for boosting performance and strength.
Post workout: leverage fast absorbing protein such as chaas or whey in water.
A few recipes and meal ideas to help you along:
- Broccoli-feta-omlette for breakfast. You get the carbs from the broccoli, the egg and feta cheese provides you with proteins. A power breakfast that gives your body a much needed energy boost to convert the carbs into muscle and not fat.
- Spiced green tea smoothie flavored with cayenne spices, lemon, and agave nectar gives you the nutritional benefits of green tea and will fill you up, to boot.
- Try a banana based dessert! Bananas are a rich source of resistant starch, a type of healthy carbohydrate that helps you burn calories and eat less. Adding semisweet chocolate to the dessert adds healthy fats to further rev your metabolism.
- Banana on whole-grain rye bread are high in resistant starch, to help boost metabolism. Spread some almond butter to add hunger-curbing protein and healthy monounsaturated fats. One slice contains just 280 calories, but it’s guaranteed to keep you full until lunchtime.
- Post work out drink ingredients. Pick a milk base (cow milk, soy, almond, anything). Choose your chocolate- syrup, cocoa, melted bars or chips. Sweeten if the chocolate is unsweetened- candy cane, honey, maple syrup. Add a flavour enhancer- espresso, vanilla extract. Add a topping- marshmallow, cinnamon, orange zest.
Work out on schedule, meals in control, but there are times when your weight still plateaus. This is because your body gets used to a certain level, and all it needs is a little tweak in your meals to boost up your metabolism.
For those who would like to get on to the PERSONALIZED meal plans immediately, we offer Muscle and Endurance plans that also help to build your ripped look. Click http://bit.ly/MuscleNEndurancePlan.
If you are unable to visit our office, or want to work with us online, we offer the same diet plans online. At no extra cost, but we do expect a greater commitment to follow the plans and report your weight and other statistics. Call us on +91 22 4010 0414 for the initial links and payment details.
Good luck, and we hope you achieve your goals this year. Happy New Year, everyone!