Prepping for my competitions has shown me one simple fact: You do not have to kill yourself in order to get into killer shape. Applying some easy guidelines as to “When” and “What’ to eat will add some much needed ease and efficiency to getting into shape. Moreover, knowing when and what to eat makes it easier to develop healthy eating and snacking habits, which will make it a little less stressful to plan meals.
Below I have listed some key points of the day where utilizing food intake will make a major difference.
Nutrient Timing: When (and What) to Eat
The body has been in a fasting for about 12 hours. Now is a good time to throw in some of the following macronutrients:
- Fast acting protein that will immediately feed the body with amino acids.
- Combine Simple and Complex carb sources
- Include some EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) into this first meal. Flaxseed Oil or Canola Oil are a couple good choices.
- 2-6 Scrambled Eggs
- 1 cup Whole Grain Oatmeal (Top with Walnuts, Blueberries and Strawberries)
By this time your body is most likely rebounding a bit from your huge anabolic breakfast. Avoid sweet temptation by eating the following:
- Grab a mixed protein source that will provide your body with some quick amino acids and additional ones that will last another few hours.
- Try your best to take in a moderate amount of low glycemic index carbs. I love bananas for this type of meal.
- 12oz Glass of Chocolate Milk
- 1 Large Banana
Lunch is the second largest meal of the day. By now your body should feel pretty balanced and ready for some more fuel. Here are some tips to get the most out of lunch:
- Go for a quick acting protein like Chicken, Egg Whites, Fish or Whey.
- Still keep your focus on a low glycemic index based carb. Do your best as well to keep it sugar free.
- Get another good dose of EFA’s. If you choose fish, it will naturally have some in it.
- Skinless Chicken Breast
- ½ Cup Cooked Brown Rice
- ½ Cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Afternoon Snack Tips
To prevent the energy slump you may feel later in the day, grab a snack!
- Use a slow acting protein. Casein is a good choice.
- Your focus should now be on a carb that will mildly elevate your blood sugar.
Snack – Nutrition Bar
Try a Quest Nutrition Bar! They are delicious, well balanced, and easy to snack on-the-go.
The last meal of the day, and an important one at that. This is the last bit of food your body will take in for the next 12 hours. Overnight, your body will typically be anabolic until about 2am. After that it will turn catabolic, eating fat, muscle, and glycogen.
- Time to pack in the protein! Slow acting proteins are a must if you’re going to burn fat and sustain muscle while sleeping. Try a lean red meat or casein protein.
- When it comes to carbs, opt for fiber-rich and low-sugar sources before bedtime.
- Add good fats to this meal as well. Some include canola oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds
- Lean Sirloin Steak
- Spinach Salad topped with diced tomatoes balsamic dressing
- Half a baked potato
After reading this, I’m sure you can see how easy and important it is to Eat the Right Food at the Right Time!
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Timothy B. Roberts
NASM CPT FNS
“Invest in yourself”