Success Coach Kenneth Ferrer shares his guide for balancing diet and exercise.
The more you exercise, the more you need to eat. Think of your pre-workout meal as the last meal you eat the night before exercise, as that is the nutrition that will be most readily available for you by the time you exercise. Think Moderate for this meal: eat a moderate portion size, and a moderate, even balance of your macronutrients, which includes complex carbohydrates (like brown rice, quinoa, or farro), a moderate amount of protein from a complete protein source (like chicken, turkey, or a white fish) and a moderate amount of dietary fat from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (aka the good fats- avocados, nuts, or olive oil). Kenneth reccommends going into exercise on an empty stomach, but very hydrated. If that doesn’t work for you, and you like to have food before you exercise, try the smallest possible portion (that will satisfy you) of a balance between mostly complex and simple carbohydrates and protein, with a little bit of fat, two hours before exercise to avoid digestive issues during exercise.
During post-workout, your body has a 30 minute anabolic “window of opportunity” of something called glycogen overcompensation. In simple terms, means that since your body needs to recover the energy it just expended, your muscle tissue will become more receptive and absorptive to carbohydrates. More specifically, within this 30-45 minute window post-exercise, it is good to consume simple carbohydrates, which are broken down by the body quickly, and therefore available to your muscle more quickly.
Weight Loss, Carbohydrates, and Macronutrient Ratios
Your body uses carbohydrates for optimal brain function and muscle recovery, which is why it is important to have them around your workout. However, carbs can lead to weight gain. If you’re trying to lose weight, eat less overall, while still respecting the following ratios: Pre workout meal: 33% Protein, 33% Carbs, 33% Dietary Fat. Post-Workout Meal: 40% Carbs, 40% Protein, 20% fat, any other meal throughout the day: 40% Protein, 40% Fat, 20% carbs.
Eat to Thrive Approach
The Eat to Thrive Approach is my personal approach to nutrition, and it is designed to help you establish a healthy relationship with food. This is something applicable for healthy adults who are not on specific diets due to health issues. If your doctor recommends something different than this for you, listen to your doctor.
1. Every day drink at least 2/3 of your bodyweight in water in ounces (For me that calculates to 138.6, which ends up being a little over a gallon of water)- a lot of water is necessary to maintain literally every system in your body.
2. Have Protein in every meal- proteins are the building blocks of muscle, the more muscle you have, the easier it is to keep fat off.
3. Eat with awareness, and when your body is satisfied (no longer hungry), stop eating- try to avoid eating to feel full.
4. Eat 90% whole foods- meaning non-processed foods.