Who doesn’t love their carbs? Still, the mantra dictates, cut out cabs, lose weight. I haven’t (refused) to believe this for a very long time, and although I know that eating slices of pizza at every meal isn’t going to lead to healthy weight maintenance, complex carbs in moderation are a good thing. Here’s a great article in favour of dispelling this and other diet myths.
Consider this: If you eat well before classes, it can help maximize energy levels, protect your hard earned muscle and keep it growing; and with all the hard work you put in at Bodycamp, you need the right fuel to reap these benefits. Everyone has different genetics and metabolisms so it may take a few experiments to see what foods and timings work best for you.
First off, we have fat, protein and carbs. Between the three, fat takes the longest to digest, next protein, followed by carbs. A low fat, small to medium sized meal will serve you well, with moderate protein and higher carbs before exercising. A high fat meal could lead to cramping while a sugary snack will cause a crash mid-workout. Note: Eating too much too soon before you workout could result in indigestion.
Should you be able to eat 1.5-2 hours before your workout (sensitive stomachs may need slightly longer) here are some examples:
small chicken breast with a sweet potato
sliced turkey with wholegrain bread
low fat greek yogurt with oats and blueberries
2 eggs, 2 egg whites with peppers and side of oatmeal
protein powder mixed into oatmeal with banana
you would rather eat closer to the workout (1-0.5 hours before),
a protein shake with a piece of fruit
should do the trick!
Should you have no time to eat before than perhaps keep a carbohydrate gel (like the ones runners use) in your bag so you’re never left with an empty tank. If it’s been three hours since you last ate then definitely have a snack prior to class. Please always eat a balanced breakfast and healthy meals/snacks as well throughout the day. Let us know if you have any questions and see you at class!
Spring Boot Camp has started, but you can still register.
Dan and I were talking the other night and we thought it would be a good idea to go over a few facts and suggestions about post-workout nutrition.
When we exercise during boot camp, there are obvious aesthetic benefits, not to mention numerous health benefits. That’s why you’re there! You’re burning fat and increasing lean muscle. That’s just to name a few, but the benefits are countless. That being said, exercise puts stress on the body. After exercise you’ve depleted energy stores and caused minor damage to the muscles. Without the proper post-workout nutrition, our immune system can’t come in and fix everything so that your aerobic system improves and your muscles become stronger for the next workout.
Whether you are male or female, whether your main goal is to lose fat or build muscle (or both), you need to ingest protein and carbohydrates within an hour after working out. The sooner the better, as your muscles are primed for recovery during that hour window. This is why you may have seen Dan and me drink a shake during our stretching routines. It’s the quickest way to digest protein and carbs because it’s a liquid (30 mins to an hour), whereas a solid food meal can take 2-3 hours to reach your muscles. To make a shake, mix approximately 20-30 grams of protein powder (I use whey isolate, but you could use hemp, soy, pea, etc. ), with some quick digesting carbs (I use 25-50 grams of maltodextrin, but a banana blended in your shake would also work).
Should you wish to eat a whole food meal when you get home in lieu of a shake, by all means do it! I personally do both but most people will not need to do this and one whole food meal will suffice. Keep in mind that this meal should be as fat-free as possible. Although healthy fats are essential to your diet, eating them post-workout will slow digestion and affect the absorption of food. Basically, you want a protein (such as a lean meat, hummus, greek yogurt, etc.) and a carb (such as sweet potato, fruit, quinoa, etc.).
Here are some suggestions for your post-workout snack:
fruit & cottage cheese
spinach salad & lean chicken breast
whole grain wrap & turkey
egg omelet & peppers
fish & sweet potato
berries & greek yogurt
rice & steak
hummus & crackers
beans & quinoa
Should you want any vegan options Dan is very knowledgeable. Hope this helps and let us know if you have any questions.
The Toronto Star published a good article on the merits of moderation and the myth of the “diet”. It reads: There’s no magic formula for weight loss.
Still, there is one “diet” that works. It’s really more of a guideline, but it’s the closest to my personal philosophy about food:
The diet with the most robust evidence is the Mediterranean diet. Instead of food rules or absolutes, this is more about moderation: less meat, more veggies, and fruit for dessert. In this way of life, people shop for single-ingredient food at the market or the outer aisles of a grocery store, not the processed foods for sale in the inner aisles.
In combination with regular workouts (minimum 2 session/week), following these longterm habits will pay off.
Jennifer Lawrence has the right idea about dieting.
“I don’t diet,” she tells Glamour Magazine. “I do exercise! But I don’t diet. You can’t work when you’re hungry, you know?”
We agree! And kudos to Lawrence for speaking out against dieting. At HomeBodyFit we promote a healthy lifestyle and not fad or crash diets. Our clients are encouraged to never diet and instead feed their bodies nutritious foods when hungry in order to keep their energy levels up. HomeBodyFit founder Matt Johnson writes:
In fact, I eat more now than when I was overweight, I simply changed what and when I ate certain foods. I have developed a program that works for me and our clients. We can show you how.
Lawrence also told Glamour, “It’s nice being in shape for a movie, because they basically do it all for you. It’s like, ‘Here’s your trainer. This is what you can eat.”
Let us count the reasons we’re obsessed with protein. For one, you need enough of this benevolent macronutrient to build and repair muscle. It also plays a role in revving fat-burning metabolism and reducing the hunger pangs that can lead to an attack on the vending machine. Additionally, protein works to slow the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream, which can prevent the sudden spikes in blood sugar that are thought to encourage fat storage and sagging energy levels.
Here are three tips for healthy eating and better balance
How to enjoy dessert…guilt-free!
The goal at HomeBodyFit is to help our clients achieve better balance in their lives. We assist clients with incorporating the optimum amount of exercise into their their week; followed by plenty of rest for recover and muscle repair and healthy eating habits. But what’s also included in achieving balance? INDULGENCE! That’s right, life is for living and what good is looking and feeling your best without enjoying something decadent and sinful once in a while.
So the next time you’re craving dessert, here’s a tip for enjoying it guilt free (while making room): omit the carbs (e.g. rice, potatoes, bread) from your lunch or dinner plate, substitute with more veggies and greens (see below) and dig into that brownie and ice cream with abandon.
Add spinach or a greens powder to your smoothie, steam kale and serve with meat or fish for lunch or dinner…whatever your preference, eat greens at least once a day.
“Greens benefit every cell of your body and deliver more nutrients calorie for calorie than just about any other food on the planet.”
M.D., founder of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City
Protein for breakfast
Our clients hear this one all the time…enjoy a protein-rich breakfast every morning. It satisfies one longer so you’re less likely to snack; you’ll also make better choices for the rest of the day…and it refuels your body after sleep.
Try two scrambled eggs with half a cup of egg whites, avocado and two slices of turkey bacon on thinly sliced sprouted grains toast.
Or if you’re breaking a serious cereal habit, try a protein shake with half a cup of oats to satisfy your sweet tooth.
It used to be that eating before bed was considered to be a big no-no for weight-loss. This is no longer the case. In fact, if you’re working out on a regular basis and eating considerately throughout the day, a bedtime snack is ideal for weight-loss and muscle gain. However, this doesn’t mean that bags of chips and ice cream are on the menu. Instead, choose wisely so that your snack fuels your body and assists with important repair processes. We like sugar-free options…
1 cup of 0% cottage cheese with a tablespoon of unsweetened peanut or almond butter
Unsweetened 0% Greek yogurt with cinnamon
Baked chicken breast with steamed broccoli
However, if you absolutely need something sweet, Cellucor athlete and WBFF Fitness ProJen Jewell (BodyBuilding.com) offers this protein treat which pleases both your taste buds and body.
Protein Cookie Delight
• 3/4 cup frozen or fresh berries
• 3/4 cup raw old-fashioned oats
• 1/3 cup light/unsweetened almond milk
• 2 scoops Cellucor Red Velvet flavored whey protein powder
• Chocolate or rainbow sprinkles (optional, but great when not cutting)
• Honey to taste
1. Place berries in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Once finished, mash with a fork.
2. Add remaining ingredients to create the batter. Make sure to stir thoroughly so all ingredients are evenly mixed.
3. Place 2-3 tablespoons of batter onto a plate to form each cookie, then place in microwave for 45-60 seconds.
4. Remove, let cool for a minute or two and enjoy.
NUTRITION FACTS Serving Size: 1 serving Recipe Yields: 2 servings
Amount per serving Calories 262 Total Fat 2.5g Total Carbs 29g Protein 31g
What comes to mind when you see the word “thermogenic?” Heat, probably, since the word itself means “heat generating.” Or maybe you think of a stimulant supplement like caffeine which is known to speed up your metabolism and increase energy expenditure. Maybe you’re taking one of these right now, in the hopes of slimming down. One thing you probably don’t think of is a coconut and especially the oil extracted from its flesh. Not that long ago, coconut oil ruled alongside partially hydrogenated soybean oil as the worst of the “bad fats.” Maybe you know them by their other name: trans fatty acids. These were the fats that were shown in repeated studies to increase the risk for heart disease and obesity, in addition to being linked to everything from depression to infertility. They’re the reason you stopped buying movie-theater popcorn!
Given that reputation, it’s OK if you’re skeptical about what I’m going to say next: Coconut oil is shaping up to be one of the world’s premier natural thermogenic agents. But before you go running to the Cineplex, there’s a catch: The processed coconut oil of the past has about as much in common with the healthy virgin coconut oil as Chief Wiggum does with Robocop.
Intrigued? You should be. Let’s crack open the coconut for a closer look.