If you are looking to change your physique, whether it's building muscle or losing weight, you will need to get serious about your nutrition. I'm not sure about you, but I love ice cream(mint-chocolate chip is my fav!) Do you find yourself killing it at the gym and not seeing the results you want?
Losing fat or building muscle takes a lot of hard work in the kitchen, too! Without a solid grasp of nutrition, you won't get the results you're training so hard for. If you want to make the best out of our 3 month Find Your Way Challenge, you need to go in with a failproof nutrition game plan.
"You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable to have the body you want. " - Nicholas Poulin, CEO of, Raise The Standard
Listen, you aren't alone! I'm here to help! Implement these tips into your diet plan to burn fat and build muscle efficiently.
Adjust Calories On Non-Training Days
Many transformation hopefuls make the mistake of eating the same amount of calories on training days as they do on non-training days. People don't fuel appropriately during their transformation process; on training days, you need extra fuel to train and help your body repair.
Several factors that can affect your resting metabolic rate, including your age, gender, height, weight, body-fat percentage, body temperature, diet, physical activity level and genetic factors like how fast or slow your metabolism is. For instance, men tend to have more muscle mass and a lower body-fat percentage than women, so their resting metabolic rate tends to be higher.
This is how you apply the equation for men:
9.99 x weight (kilograms) + 6.25 x height (centimeters) – 4.92 x age (years) + 5
This is how you apply the equation for women:
9.99 x weight (kilograms) + 6.25 x height (centimeters) – 4.92 x age (years) – 161
Once you have calculated your resting metabolic rate, you need to multiply it by a certain number to account for your physical activity. This number varies depending on how active your lifestyle is.
- Sedentary lifestyle (if you have a desk job and get little or no exercise per day): Multiply your resting metabolic rate by 1.2
- Lightly active lifestyle (if you play a sport or get light exercise one to three times a week): Multiply your resting metabolic rate by 1.375
- Moderately active lifestyle (if you play a sport or get moderate exercise three to five times a week): Multiply your resting metabolic rate by 1.55
- Very active lifestyle (if you play a sport or get vigorous exercise six or seven times a week): Multiply your resting metabolic rate by 1.725
- Extremely active lifestyle (if you play a sport or get vigorous exercise every day and are either in physical training or have a physically demanding job): Multiply your resting metabolic rate by 1.9
This equation can help you estimate how many calories you need per day, and you can adjust it as you see changes in your weight or increase or decrease the amount of exercise you get. You can use a calorie tracker to estimate how many calories you currently consume per day, and then you can start regulating your calorie intake accordingly.
If you currently consume more calories than you require, cutting down your intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day should help you lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. Adding resistance training to stimulate muscle cells, eating enough protein, and getting adequate sleep should help you build muscle simultaneously.
Listen To Your Body
You might think that eating healthy is black and white: You stick to a list of diet-approved foods and never stray. However, it's essential to personalize your nutrition plan. Don't neglect to account for how your body responds to different foods.
A particular food might be healthy, but it may not make you feel very good. If your body doesn't react well to something, don't include it in your diet plan. If you cut something out, replace it with a different healthy option. Don't force yourself to eat foods you hate or react poorly to simply because your plan calls for them.
Don't Be Too Restrictive
There's no question that, to lose body fat, you need to make better choices in the kitchen. Not-so-healthy foods that may have filled your plate before will most likely be omitted in your new plan. Don't, however, eliminate everything you love to eat at the onset of your journey.
Focus on eating healthy foods as much as possible, but don't view any food as 'off-limits.' If you restrict yourself to only eating a few foods repeatedly, you'll go crazy, and your plan won't be sustainable.
Know that if you make healthy choices for most of your carbohydrate, protein, and fat servings, there's room for a treat here and there. Balance is key!
Power Up With Protein
A 2005 study in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that when healthy adults increased their protein intake from 15 percent to 30 percent, feelings of satiety were significantly increased, while caloric intake and fat mass decreased.
Consuming 20-30 grams of high-quality protein at each meal can also help increase protein synthesis rates and boost muscular growth. In other words, protein is king! So, now is the time if you started your transformation and haven't increased your protein intake yet.
Eating more protein doesn't necessarily mean you have to feast on meat every meal. Vegetarians can get their protein from lentils, beans, tempeh, and soy. It's also important to keep in mind that the quality of your food impacts your body, and the better the foods you put in, the better you'll feel.
Don't Fear Fat
Some people avoid dietary fat entirely because they think it doesn't belong in a fat-burning diet. However, the truth is that your body needs dietary fat to burn fat. Studies have shown that eating nutrient-rich healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids can actually assist in fat-burning.
One such study suggested that six weeks of fish oil supplementation actually increased lean mass and decreased fat mass in healthy men and women.
Healthy fats also help decrease the level of cortisol in the body, helping control stress levels. Additionally, combining fish oil with exercise has been shown to reduce body fat and improve cardiovascular and metabolic health.
I recommend a diet rich in healthy fats from fish, fish oil, nuts, avocados, olive oil, fibrous vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, berries, and ample protein.
Decrease Calories Slowly
Going from 2,500 daily calories down to 1,500 in one fell swoop can leave you hungry, deprived, and frustrated. It's much better to cut back slowly, and I suggest starting with a 200-calorie decrease [from what you're eating currently] and gradually increasing activity and intensity levels.
Decreasing your calories slowly will help ensure that you see lasting results. If you drop your calorie intake too quickly at the start of your journey, you'll have nowhere to go. Beginning with the minimum effective dose of dropping calories and adding cardio ensures that you'll be able to progress for the long haul.
Staying hydrated is crucial to the fat-loss process, so make sure you drink enough water.
Hydration can impact everything, from your metabolic rate to your energy levels. Too many people walk around in a partially dehydrated state all day, causing them to feel fatigued when they shouldn't be and eat when they really just need a drink.
How do you know when you're properly hydrated? The simplest way is to look at the color of your pee. Your goal should be to get your pee the color of lemonade—if it's looking more like apple juice, you need to increase your fluid intake.
Don't try to hydrate with energy drinks and coffee. Float it with some BCAAs or lemon slices if you don't like regular water.
Make sure to join the Raise The Standard in our 3 Month Find A Way Challenge! Starting April 1st to July 1st and get a chance to win 3 months worth of Raise The Standard Merch!