The Essential Guide
More powerful than just a meal plan is the education to make the right decisions that fit your goals and lifestyle.
Don't just follow a meal plan - learn for yourself how to align your health, weight loss and/or training goals to both look and feel your best.
Why do we need to learn how to eat? Shouldn't it be natural and straight-forward?
Well, it's not really anymore. Historically, the human species survived by eating the most calorie-dense foods available to us. In today's world, that same behavior will kill us. Donuts, pizza, and other foods are loaded with salt, fat, and sugar, in order to keep us buying more. Often the easiest option available to us is the least healthy.
Eating for health doesn't have to be hard though. By making educated decisions about what goes into your body, you can both look and feel better than you thought possible.
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What to eat
Food quality alone has the potential to dramatically improve your quality of life. What you put into your body has a significant impact on how it functions. By changing what foods you are eating, you may see improvements in body composition, energy levels, digestion and bloating, complexion, anxiety, cravings, workout performance, and mood - to name a few.
At each meal, have each of the following:
Protein provides the amino acids, or building blocks, needed to build lean muscle mass. Certain plants also provide small quantities of protein, but do not contain all of the essential amino acids we need.
- Lean beef
- Game meats
Starchy carbs provide fuel for high-intensity exercise, such as CrossFit, weightlifting, high-intensity interval training, and endurance training. They are especially important to eat before and after your workouts.
- Rice (white or brown)
- Potatoes (any kind)
- Rolled oats
Fats are an essential part of our diet. They help your body absorb vitamins, keep your hair and skin healthy, and help produce hormones. It also plays important roles in your immune and nervous systems.
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Grass-fed butter
Vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals we need to keep our bodies functioning properly. They also help digestion move along at the right pace, which helps the absorption of nutrients.
Dark leafy greens
How much to eat
Portion sizes vary from person to person based on their size and activity level. Knowing how much to eat ensures you have steady energy throughout the day, helps you manage your weight, and makes your workouts more productive.
Not eating enough slows your metabolism, encourages your body to hold on to fat stores, and makes it difficult to lose weight.
Eat four meals each day. Each meal should be made up of the following:
How much water should I drink?
Water intake of roughly 50-75% of your bodyweight in ounces per day is an excellent starting point. That means for a 200lb athlete 100-150oz (or 3-5 liters) of water a day is a safe bet.
The addition of electrolytes can dramatically improve speed and effectiveness of hydration. We love Electromix made by the company Alacer. It’s cheap, clean, and effective.
When to eat
Once you've got a hang of food quality and portion sizing, you can start planning when to eat. Timing your meals appropriately helps you maintain steady energy throughout the day.
Having breakfast within an hour of waking up will start your day off on the right foot. Space subsequent meals 3-4 hours apart.
Eat 1-3 hours before your workout. Your meal should include veggies, protein, carbs, and fat, with a larger amount of carbs and less of fat.
If you workout first thing in the morning and prefer to have some food in your stomach, have a small protein shake and some carbs, like half a banana or a small cup of oatmeal.
For workouts less than 90 minutes, it's not necessary to fuel during the workout. For workouts more than 90 minutes, have some carbs, such as a banana or liquid carbs (Karbolyn, Glycofuse, Gatorade).
It's important to get in some quickly-digested protein and carbs immediately after your workout. Doing this will help you recover and allow you to feel good hitting your next workout.
Post-workout protein includes whey protein isolate. This will help stop the catabolic breakdown of muscle tissue and jumpstart the process of anabolic rebuilding.
Post-workout carbs should be high glycemic index and glucose rich. Some examples include bananas, gluten-free cereals, powdered Gatorade, or supplements like Karbolyn or Glycofuse. These will help get fuel to your muscles quickly.
The post-workout protein and carbs are digested rapidly, so having a meal within 60 minutes post-workout is important to continue refueling.
Personalizing your meal plan
Getting food quality, portion sizing, and meal timing down is a great place to start, and often provides everything you need to look and feel great.
If you have specific aesthetic or training goals, we can get more specific. We can customize portion sizes and meal timing according to your workout and workout schedule, as well as take into account your gender, age, bodyweight, height, and body fat percentage.
Mobile-friendly app. Many enjoy the customized meal plan they get through our app. The app shows you how much to eat and when, while providing food options that won't promote inflammation, allowing you to both look and feel your best.
Private coaching. Others enjoy the guidance and accountability of working one-on-one with one of our coaches. Our private coaching program includes daily checkins and support from a coach, troubleshooting any problems specific to your circumstances, and an assessment of how lifestyle factors - such as sleep, medications, and food allergies - might affect your progress.