Mike L.




Keep hanging in there ladies and gentlemen.

Easter has passed and so has the post-Easter-rainy-Monday-morning. Time to get back on it. And I don’t mean working out, although you need to keep that going as well.

No. I’m talking about your nutrition. I probably post more nutrition articles than any other topic. I’ve been reading about and studying nutrition and experimenting for years. There is so much nutrition information available and so many diets that the overload has caused many to not have a plan at all. They all seem to contradict each other.

There are some main points that seem to cross-over with most of the diets. If you need a guide to get you back on track I suggest you read the nutrition articles we post (like the one above) and experiment with your diet.

In the meantime follow this outline, realizing that you will have to tweak whatever you decide to do. You will also have to decide how lean you are willing to be and what you’re willing to sacrifice. And what you’re not.

Keep real food (not processed) in your house. Throw out the stuff you know isn’t taking you toward your goal.

Start out your day drinking water, 12-24 ounces. Your body needs to be properly hydrated to function at maximum capacity. May as well start the day by hydrating. Dehydration decreases your body’s ability to burn fat.

Have a protein and complex carb with every meal. (Slow cooked oatmeal and sweet potatoes are my favorites). You need healthy fat but fat is calorically dense, twice as dense as protein and carbs so you need to go easy with the healthy fat (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds).

Eat 3-4 times a day. If your goal is to lose weight you need to eat less than usual. We need to figure out your calorie expenditure on a daily basis, what your macro breakdown should be, what food restrictions you have and what you like to eat. This doesn’t have to be perfect but it helps to have some idea. I believe it’s a good idea to weigh and measure food at least in the beginning. I do not believe you have to spend the rest of your life measuring your food. You’ll get a good sense of it if you pay attention to measuring for a few weeks. You can also “divide” your plate into sections and go by that for a rough estimate. If you need help with this please let me know.

If your goal is to stay at the same weight but recomposition (lose fat, gain muscle) or your goal is to increase your body weight you still need to know the above information. The “plan of attack” will be a little different.

Supplements? I am an advocate. If you eat incredibly well you don’t need supplements. I like to err on the side of caution. We like supplements that have been studied and proven to work and be safe: fish oil, curcumin, whey protein, creatine, vitamin D3 (particularly if you don’t get enough sun), vitamin C, ZMA and Vitamin B-Complex. There are more, most likely, but these are the ones I have researched, take or have recommended to others with positive results. I’m a big fan of Probiotics, IF, you get one of the better ones available. There are some supplements that are good for certain conditions but that is a topic beyond the scope of this article.

Don’t eat until you feel “full”. If you think you need more food wait a few minutes. The feeling may pass. Hunger is unreliable and not an accurate gauge for how much you should eat.

I mentioned establishing how lean you’d like to be and what you are willing to or not willing to sacrifice. Do not snack if you are looking to get very lean. You may not want to have sweets. You may have to reconsider how much alcohol you will consume or giving it up if you want shredded abs. You need 7-8 hours of sleep for health purposes but you definitely will need at least that much if you want to have shredded abs. Personally I don’t want “shredded abs” if it means me restricting things I really want. I’ll restrict for health reasons but not so much for body composition reasons. You can be lean and healthy and not have shredded abs.

Yes. There are exceptions to these rules. There are people who can consume a case of beer and have shredded abs. There are people who will eat pizza covered with mayonnaise and have shredded abs (I’ve seen it). These are EXCEPTIONS. This is not you or you wouldn’t be reading this far down.

These are very basic guidelines but if you need to tune-up your diet or you need a place to start this will do. Spending more time at home probably means you need a “jumpstart” to a better nutrition plan.

We are here to help!

4 Responses

  1. JaneM

    I am going to start tracking my food. I don’t typically snack during the week. Weekends kind of lend themselves to snacking but I don’t think I consume excessive amounts of snacks.
    I drink plenty of water throughout the day. I supplement with collagen, fish oil and Vitamin D. I assumed once I started working from home I would sleep more. Prior to this I would go to sleep at 10:30 – 11:00 timeframe and get up at 4:50. Definitely not enough sleep. Insomnia has returned. Now I find myself waking up at 11:30 or 12:30 then 2:00 and then 4:00. Most days I cannot fall back to sleep so I have not been able to get decent sleep even with the luxury of being able to sleep later.

    I have been consistent in doing home workouts. Obviously the intensity and weight is much different than what we are used to. Although a few have been very intense. 200 squats should be quite the test today.

    So here I sit feeling fatter with less endurance.

    Calgon take me away!

  2. George

    Thank you for sharing Janie!

    Tracking is a good idea since most people think they know how much food they are consuming but when they accurately track find they were usually wrong.

    I’m not sure about insomnia. It could be stress. It could be that your mind and body are used to doing much more than they are doing now. It could be that your routine has been disrupted, even if it isn’t your sleep routine. My best guess would be stress. The melatonin and ZMA combination works well for me.

    The “feeling” of being fatter is mostly mental. It’s from being out of your routine. If you’ve been consistent with your workouts I seriously doubt that your endurance level has dropped. Again, most of the feeling is mental.

    Keep getting after it, Janie!

  3. Ben

    I just made another batch of brownies…. they have eggs in them…. eggs are good…. brownies can’t be that bad…. don’t mention the 2 cups of sugar, doh!!!

    1. Spartan


      Cool! Tomorrow I’m posting an article on eating comfort food and not worrying about gaining weight during the pandemic since we have enough to worry about I figure I should add to the conflicting information that the news and politicians are putting out. :).

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