This week’s column is dedicated to helping you develop a nutrition strategy. The plan outlined below is an example of the type of nutritional guidance that I have given to my personal training clients. It’s an eight-week plan that requires modifications every two weeks. One of the reasons my clients have success following the plan is because it includes actionable changes. Every two weeks in my column, I will include what change needs to be implemented, so be sure to keep reading!
Since “one size fits all” plans rarely work, I’ve included some tips for customization since some of you may have dietary restrictions. Below, you’ll find multiple examples of each food source. Additionally, certain items on the accepted list are common food intolerances. If you’re not making progress or experiencing gastric distress, try eliminating dairy, eggs, or nuts for a time and see how your body reacts.
To track your progress, take weekly photos. This is a body recomposition plan, so scale weight won’t be a solid indicator of progress. If you know someone skilled at taking skin-fold measurements with calipers, that’s a great tool.
Good estimates for serving sizes are as follows:
Protein = 6 oz.
Vegetables = 1 cup
Fruit = 1/2 cup or one piece
Fats = either the size of a golf ball (for nut butters, avocado), a tablespoon (for oils), or 15 nuts
Carbs = 1/2 cup, precooked (oatmeal, brown rice), or one medium sweet potato
Meal 1: contains starchy carbs
Meal 2: no starchy carbs
Meal 3: no starchy carbs
Meal 4: workout nutrition shake with protein and carbs/sugar (on workout days only)
Meal 5: contains starchy carbs
Meal 6: no starchy carbs.
Follow the above for two weeks.
The meal plan (example):
Meal 1: eggs and plain oatmeal
Meal 2: chicken breast/fish/lean meat and vegetables
Meal 3: same as Meal 2 but smaller portion
Meal 4: Workout shake: protein powder and Gatorade
Meal 5: chicken/fish/lean meat with either brown rice or sweet potatoes with cinnamon
Meal 6: Cottage cheese or plain yogurt or egg whites or nuts
Meat sources should be natural, antibiotic free, and grass-fed whenever possible. Vegetables should be organic whenever possible. Whether carb cycling or not, quality of food has a huge effect on overall health and body composition.
Lean cuts of beef
Wild game (venison, bison, boar, elk, etc.)
Lean cuts of pork
Greek yogurt (plain, and if dairy is well tolerated)
Cottage cheese (if dairy is well tolerated)
Gluten-free oatmeal (100% rolled oats or Irish oats)
Raw or dry roasted nuts (except peanuts)
Natural (100% nuts) nut butters
Macadamia nut oil
Interested in learning more? Stop by Leverage Fitness Studio for a Fitness/Nutrition seminar on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:30 pm.
-Tim Hlivia is the owner of Leverage Fitness Studio in Forty Fort.