This past week, I’ve been working a lot for our corporate wellness business doing body compositions and nutrition counseling for those who participate in the program. A lot of people’s results came out to have a lower amount of muscle than what they had last body comp, 90 days ago. This tells me either A. you’re being lazy and not doing any strength training, let alone any physical activity and/or 2. you’re not eating enough to feed your body what it needs to rebuild itself. You can exercise and lift all you want, but if you’re not feeding your body enough to build that muscle back up, you’re going nowhere with muscle growth, and may even be losing muscle.
First, let’s think what happens when you exercise- you break down muscle fibers, which is the first step in building muscles. Step 1- break down muscle fibers, step 2- rebuild muscle fibers during recovery. Muscles get stronger during the recovery period following the exercise, not during the actual workouts. After you have a high-intensity strength training day (whether it’s legs, chest/back, full body…) those muscles require 48 hours of rebuilding until the next time you workout and break them down again. Nutrition plays a HUGE roll in this recovery process.
Deficiency in just one nutrient could slow or even stop your recovery process, aka: YOUR MUSCLES WON’T GROW QUICKLY OR EVEN AT ALL IF YOU DON’T FEED IT THE PROPER NUTRIENTS. Even if you’re not exercising/lifting as much as you should but eating what your body needs to feed those muscles and burn fat for energy, you shouldn’t be losing much muscle mass.
Aside from muscle recovery, I’ve talked to numerous people about being in “starvation mode” which is an instinct of the body to slow the metabolism and burn lean tissue for energy in response to the lack of food. Sounds fun, right? Wrong, my friends. Don’t want to burn your hard earned lean tissue for energy? Then eat the amount of food/calories that your body needs for daily energy and rebuilding. Simple as that 🙂
I’ve done a myfitnesspal food journal to show how a day of eating should look like for someone my size (it’s what I’m eating today!) I’ll be doing a hard workout so I may add a handful of almonds for that little bit of extra calories that I burned during the workout.
Remember- net carbs are total carbs minus fiber, so I’m at 24 grams of net carbs. A little higher than what I have it set at for my goals, but that’s fine if it’s real food and not processed junk. I was a piggy this morning because I was starving, so distributing the avocado throughout the other meals is fine, too. The nutrition plan you should be on is just eating real food. So there you have it! A day in the life of Cola’s nutrition. Not saying I don’t think about chocolate every day… it’s hard, but the results are worth it.
Eat well, build well, and be well.