A common question to my workout routines is how do I incorporate eating with the schedule so that I lose weight? Many of you are on Weight Watchers and other various diets that can easily be mixed with my workouts, but you do need some help in making sure you are eating ENOUGH foods, the RIGHT foods, and at the correct TIMES.
Let’s talk about my basics to eating to lose the most fat. Now, this is designed to be coupled with a targeted strength and cardio plan so if you are not exercising you do not need to worry with these suggestions.
1. Eat every 2-3 hours; about five to six meals a day. Each meal, or eating opportunity, should be similar in size and calories.
2. Eat complete, lean protein each time you eat. Complete proteins are: lean read meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and dairy products. Protein Powder (whey) can be used but whole food is preferred for the majority of your meals.
3. Eat two servings of vegetables during as many of your meal opportunities as you can. Fruits can be eaten 1-3 times a day, but veggies should be your primary source of good, fresh, wholesome foods. Don’t drink juice. If you want Vitamin C…peel an orange.
4. Eat the starchy carbs (potatoes, oats, rice, grains, breads, cereals…not beans, carrots, and corn because you can have them anytime) within three hours POST exercise.
5. Learn to love healthy fats. Enjoy mixed nuts, olives, and olive oil. Incorporate flaxseed oil, fish oil, or ground flax seed into your daily regimine.
6. Rather than having a treat (100 cal snack pack, pudding, Skinny Cow, etc.) each day, have one or two splurge meals a week where you eat rich satisfying foods. Then get right back on track.
7. Develop food preparation strategies. Read my blogs regarding bulk meal prepping and carrying coolers.
8. Have healthy variety but make sure you can live with it. I eat the same foods day in and day out for one week. The next week I try to eat a different set of foods to keep myself from getting bored and nutritionally in a rut.
9. When you workout, get in a protein/carb shake IMMEDIATELY after your workout. Around 200 cals should do it for most people. Not eating after a workout of more than 30 minutes of moderate-high intensity will cause you to burn LESS CALORIES during the next 24 hours.
Try doing the above with counting calories. If you are math nerd and need the facts…I rarely advise a client to be under 1400 cals a day. Most active women should eat between 1400-1750 cals a day. 1400 for non-active days and 1750 for active days. For WW members that is between 23 points for non-active days and 29 points for active days. Non-active days are your days off and active days are considered as 30+ min. of moderate-high intensity work or better.
If you take your diet a step further (but is not necessary following the guidelines), you will eat your macronutrient breakdown into: 25-30% fats, 30-40% protein, 30-40% carbs. Using a software like sparkpeople.com will allow you to see your macro breakdown. Again, this isn’t necessary but can be useful if you are interested.
I hope this helps and feel free to ask questions. But remember, keep it simple. We overthink it too much. The main things are: journal, exercise, and eat. Do the basics without cheating a single one and you will change your life.
Workout Journal: No exercise today unless I can get in a treadmill walk. I have a doc appointment and still recovering so I may just take a DOR.
B – egg white and spin omelet
S – homemade protein bar
L – chicken salad and cantaloupe
S – protein shake
D – sir tips salad with baby carrots and hummus
S – Fage and apple
Do you eat the fat free fage or the 2%? Also, do you eat whatever they consider to be a serving?
I eat both. When I need more fat for the day I eat 1 container of the 2%. If I’m just looking for protein before bed I’ll stick with 0%. I buy the individual containers because they are cheaper here than the big ones.
okay, couple more questions…
i got tosca renos book…fabulous and helpful tool to get myself moving in the right nutritional direction..i also follow weight watchers philosophy..the problem is i am not disciplined everyday and consistent..my weight is constantly fluctuating especially from vacation or friends visiting…is constant discipline and consistency the key? i weigh 137 and want to weigh 125…i am 5.5 tall. i want to get lean, lose the fat around my belly and just look tight and lean and tone…so these are my goals..any suggestions?
thanks so much.
i get your newsletter everyday and you are really inspirational and motivating. i have about 10-12 pounds to lose…i am a faithful exerciser and do some weights…2 days, maybe full body. i have so many questions to ask you…
okay first…do you weigh daily? if so, with weight training does it help you to lose weight…or did you lose the weight you wanted first and then weight trained…second…what do you think of female testosterone to help keep lean mass and burn fat and increase libido…not too much of a problem…but you know every bit helps at 45! anyway..my bodybuilder friend suggested that for me and also taking a b vitamin shots to help me lose weight, have energy…i’ve been doing a bit of research on those two things…and i’m not sure how i feel about them.
i think that’s all for now.
thanks so much.
You want to drink it right after your workout. The key is to flood the muscles with the liquid protein. To make it more effective it needs to be combined with some simple carb so either make 1 scoop with milk or blend 1 scoop with some fruit, ice, and a touch of water. For a woman trying to lose fat 1 scoop is plenty. Your breakfast can be eaten after you get ready for work, on the way to work, or at work.
I have a quick question regarding post workout refueling. I workout every morning from 5:30-7am and normally come home and have breakfast. However, today I went to GNC with my boyfriend and purchased Whey protein powder for shakes/drinks. Should I have this right after wroking out and then have breakast later or should I have this as a snack later in the day?
I tried the shakes you rec after weight training and though I had to force myself to beat my old thinking it is really working well. I feel a lot better – I am also trying to eat more frequently and basically not only do I feel better but it seems to have kicked my metabolism back on- so now I have pounds to go with those inches lost.
Thanks- now I just have to figure out how to refuel after my runs. That I still don’t have down but I am a believer now!
Thanks for sharing. I just now got to read this – busy week. On maintenance I get 24 pts on non-exercise days and I get 3-4 AP pts per workout day. I was hoping I was on track with that. I just need to clean up my diet a bit more! I appreciate your e-mails!!
I just checked out The Metabolism Advantage from the library…..looks very interesting!!!! Once again, thanks for a great topic!
Thanks for this, Corinne. It was a good reminder. And you are so right, we DO tend to overthink this whole thing. I know I do.
This is an amazing blog! Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom. I plan on spending some time reading through the wealth of information you’ve posted, here.
I am doing well overall on eating the only problem I have is that post exercise refuel. I am not hungry after I exercise and I hate eating the points- I really do- I know it is wrong but I am really having trouble.
I am doing your Big Mo plan – would you rec the refuel after that and I run 3 x a week 30-45 minutes each run- again would you rec the refuel for that as well?
Thanks for all your help and blogs.
I posted a similar question on the WW board yesterday and you are always a wealth of knowledge. This post is exactly what I needed to read. The part about how many pts to eat on an active day really helps brings things into focus. Thank you so much for sharing your helpful tips and advice.
Jen…you have to. Just drink it and be done with it. It’s not wasting points; it’s using your points to burn the fat. If you don’t then you will just burn less fat and see less results. Trust me. If you want more info on this…email me and I’ll look or find some of my links on post-workout refueling for you. 🙂 I’m off to the doc right now but I’ll put it on my list to do.
Oh…most of this is learned through a book my girls and I are reading called The Metabolism Advantage. It’s a great book. It goes into a ton of detail. I’ll post a link in the “Stuff I Recommend Page” later.
No problem! My goal is to turn this into a little primer and include it with my strength programs. Of course, I have clients to attend to this week so it may take a little time but as soon as I do it will help people out.
BTW…if you ordered a program and I get this included in the strength programs you’ll be able to email me to get a copy for free. 🙂 Just give me a few weeks to get it done right. 🙂