Post Workout Nutrition

Unless the first thing you do in the morning is workout, breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day, your post workout meal is. Insulin and many other hormones responsible for recovery and optimal results are most sensitive within 30-120 minutes post workout. Its within this critical window, that you fuel all the hard work you just put in at the gym. Choosing a quick digesting protein and carbohydrate will shuttle nutrients into your muscles fast, maximizing lean tissue development and minimizing fat storage. Quick digesting proteins, like a whey protein supplement, eggs, or very lean meats, will help repair the muscle tissue that was broken down during training. Post workout is also the ideal time to consume starchy carbohydrates, as your body will most readily use these long chains of sugars to build lean tissue, and replenish glycogen stores for your next workout. Avoid fats within this post workout window as they slow down absorption, which would be a good thing at all of times of the day, allowing a steady stream of nutrients into the body, but would delay nutrients to your tissues post exercise. A 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein is a good balance during this time. Guys should shoot for 2 fist portions of protein, 2 cups,or 30-50g; women 1 serving, fist size, or cup. Above is a Super Shake version I often enjoy after training. Its nutrient dense and appropriately balanced. At approximately 500 calories, its a good appetizer to an additional whole foods meal I ll have within 2 hours of training.

2 Scoops Optimum Nutrition All Natural Vanilla Whey
1 Pint Blueberries
1 Banana
2 Cups Spinach
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
20oz Water
Calories 550, Protein 50g, Carbohydrates 80g - Sugars 50g, Fiber 15g, Fats 3

Lean Habits - Eating to Lose


Heres an adapted version of Precision Nutritions 5 Lean Habits that I share with my nutrition clients. This isn't a diet plan, its a lifestyle. Many of us are too sedentary, and consume far too many processed, high sugar, high sodium, calorie dense foods. The key to weight maintenance is daily activity, and a diet consisting of whole, natural, unprocessed proteins, fruits and vegetables. If its comes in a box, package, or bottle, its probably devoid of any nutrient value and loaded with empty calories. Best selling nutrition and culture author, Michael Pollan, summed it up best "eat often, not too much, mostly plants." For more information on my diet and exercise prescriptions, feel free to contact me here.

5 Lean Habits

 1. Frequent Small Meals. Eat every 2-4 hours - eating boosts your metabolism via the thermic effect of feeding (TEF), and promotes stable blood sugar levels, combating cravings and binging. It also affects several hormones, which set the body up for either fat storage or fat burning.

 2. Protein First. Protein comes from the Greek word Proteios, meaning first or most important. Amino acids are the building block of every cell in your body. Choose a lean protein (poultry, fish, lean beef, pork, eggs, 2% dairy, whey protein supplements, soy) every time you put any food in your mouth - Make protein the focus of each meal. Protein boosts the metabolism, as its harder to digest than other foods. It also promotes muscle development which is more metabolically active than fat. Your body can store sugars and fats, but cannot store proteins, so its important to fuel this need regularly, or your body will tap into muscle to get the proteins it needs to function, thereby decreasing your metabolism, promoting fat storage.

 3. Lots of Veggies. 1-2 servings (1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked or 1 piece) of veggies and or fruits (4:1 ratio) every time you eat something. Veggies and fruits are nutrient dense and low in calories. They provide good carbohydrates and displace bad calorie dense carbs (breads, pastas, sugars, grains)

 4. Time Your Carbs. Starchy complex carbs (whole grains, pastas, breads, rice, cereals, snacks, sugars) only 1-2 hours following exercise. Otherwise, these carbs are converted to sugars and stored as body fat. Starchy carbs are simply long chains of sugars molecules. Feed your muscles with starches post workout when insulin sensitivity is greatest. Avoid these carbs on rest, and cardio days.

 5. Eat fat to burn fat. Eat more healthy fats throughout the day (nuts, nut butters, avocados, olives, olive oil, fish oil supplements, marine foods, chia seeds, flax) Fats are calorically dense, and provide satiety, keeping you full between meals.  Many of the tissues in the body are lipid(fat) based. Eating more fat, will enhance weight-loss, mood, hormone production, fat soluble vitamin absorption, and immunity.

You Can't Out -train a Bad Diet

In a recent online discussion with some industry leaders, the topic of a fitness professionals role in dispensing nutritional recommendations came up. You can follow that discussion here, but I  wanted to expand it on a little. You cant out train your diet. Most of my general population clients have weight loss or body comp goals. While its easy to present the value of moving and feeling better, shifting the focus away from aesthetic goals, most clients are more vain than that. Another large client base are athletes with performance goals. You cant out perform a bad diet either. As a CSCS and nutrition minor, I feel confident and qualified to dispense general nutrition and supplement guidelines as stipulated by my governing certifications and degrees. However, clients need to recognize the qualifications of the fitness pro they are working with and take what they say with a grain of salt, or sans salt :). Ask about their credentials and know only a registered dietician should be giving specific caloric suggestions and food combinations. Adverse side effects from too much or too little of certain nutrients or calories can leave an unqualified professional liable. I often take for granted, how little people know about nutrition and how it plays a role with their goals. I find most often, the aspiring Manhattan chic predisposes clients to infrequent eating, followed by poor choice binging at restaurants that don t have their guests nutrition in mind. Combine these heavily salted, high fat, high calories meals with excessive alcohol consumption, and a sedentary lifestyle, and you have a recipe for a US obesity epidemic. Simple changes such as 4-6 small meals a day, lean proteins, healthy fats, high fiber carbs, and increased non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic fluids, can be life changing. Many clients fail to realize an alcoholic drink of any concoction, is going to exceed 100 calories, and a gram of alcohol is almost as calorically dense as a gram of fat. (7kcal/g vs 9) 2 drinks a day, over the course of the week, easily adds up to an additional 2000 calories. A pound of fat is 3500 calories. How long will it take you to gain another pound?? The average adult gains 2 pounds a year. Cutting your alcohol intake by 50% could dramatically drop your caloric intake. Eating more meals at home that out is an easy way to know what you are putting in your body. Restaurant foods are salted, sweetened and larded for pleasure, desensitizing our palettes to salt, fat and sugar. Even with healthy menu options its hard to turn down what we want in the moment versus our long term goals. Having said that, I do not believe there are "bad" foods, its the quantity of those bad or calorically dense foods. Learn portion control. A fist size of protein and high fiber carb is more than enough for most people. You do not have to clean your plate, save it for later. Skip the dessert and cut back on the alcohol. Little modifications over time can make all the difference over time. Be consistent with your diet and exercise. Make moderate eating and exercising a lifestyle. Consult a qualified fitness professional and nutritionist to help you get on the right track. Some mainstream applications I like for tracking calories and being more mindful of eating habits can be found at or, both are conveniently available on blackberries and iPhones too.

For the fitness professional, remaining within ones professional scope of practice and referring out is important. But for many, simple lifestyle modifications can be more than an ounce of prevention, and fitness pros are the first in the line of defense for many diet related diseases and preventative care.

Fiber and Your Diet

We are all aware of the importance of fiber in the diet. Few of us however, know why it’s beneficial, how to eat more, and most importantly, how it will affect our waist lines.

Fiber is like natures intestinal mop to clean out the digestive tract helping our bodies to fight high cholesterol, certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes.  Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Both are found in fiber rich foods and are usually higher in one form or the other.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and creates a gel like substance that helps to carry fat out of the body reducing cholesterol and aiding in stabilization of blood sugar levels. Legumes, certain fruits and vegetables, oats and whole grains are all good sources of soluble fiber.

Insoluble fiber aids in the bodies regular movement of waste through the intestinal tract and can be found in whole wheat cereals, wheat bran, whole wheat breads, and some vegetables.

Here are some simple ways to add more fiber to your diet.

-       Try to attain your fiber thorough whole fruits and vegetables rather than from juices. Fiber is found mainly in the peel and pulp that is usually removed from juices.

-       Add dried fruits to your diet such as raisins dried cranberries and peanuts

-       Sprinkle wheat germ or flaxseeds over your oatmeal, dried cereal or yogurt.

-       Keep the peal on. Eat the peels, which are loaded with fiber, whenever possible on your fruits and veggies. A medium potato with skin contains almost double the fiber of a naked potato – 5 grams compared to 2.5

Take a look at your diet and see if you are getting the fiber you need for your digestive tract and add more if necessary. For more information let us at Train Daly help you with your dietary needs through our expert nutritional counseling.