Protein Before Workouts

  • Protein Before Workouts

If you haven’t consumed protein in the three to four hours after your workout, then it’s a good idea to consume between 30 to 40 grams before your workout. If you have ingested protein in the last few hours, though, then you don’t need to eat more. Instead, you can eat after your workout. Now let’s take a minute to dive into this advice because it helps you understand pre-workout nutrition better and nutrition and muscle building on the whole. We recall that as far as muscle building goes, eating protein does two vital things:

  1. It bumps muscle protein synthesis rates and suppresses muscle protein breakdown rates.
  2. It gives your body the raw materials that are needed in order to build muscle tissue.

This is why you must eat enough protein every day to maximize muscle growth. However, while there’s evidence that eating protein before a resistance training workout can magnify its effects on muscle protein synthesis rates, the results don’t appear to be strong enough to support the claim that having protein before an exercise is superior to not having it beforehand.

Instead, pre-workout protein is best viewed in the context of your entire diet.

If you haven’t eaten protein three to four hours preceding your workout, your body’s muscle protein synthesis rates are going to decrease to a low baseline level. Unfortunately, this means that your body’s muscle-building machinery will be idle, waiting for the next feeding of protein to kickstart it into action.

Reverse Dieting

-Reverse Dieting

▪️The majority of diets involve lowering your calorie intake to create a calorie deficit, meaning that you’re consuming less calories than you’re burning.

▪️Over a period of time, your body will start to adapt, which will slow down your metabolism in an effort to conserve energy.

▪️This can become a problem once you’re ready to start back to having a normal diet but want to maintain your weight — or when you hit a weight loss plateau and are unable to further decrease your calories.

▪️Reverse dieting normally involves increasing calorie intake by 50 to 100 calories per week above your baseline levels, which is the number of calories you have to consume to maintain your weight.

▪️This phase lasts between 4 to 10 weeks, or until you reach your goal, pre-diet intake.

▪️️Because protein intake is typically calculated for body weight rather than calorie consumption, your protein intake should remain the same throughout the reverse phase.

▪️Increasing your calories can boost metabolism and enhance fat burn through non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which includes everyday actions such as walking, talking, and even fidgeting.

▪️Reverse dieting can also stabilize your hormones, like leptin, which regulates your appetite and body weight.


Post Workout Meal

  • Post Workout Meal

▪️Lately I’ve been asked the question . “What foods should I eat after I finish my workout?” – so here are some ideas that you can follow if you have time to prepare or if you’re in a time crunch- the 4 on the left takes a bit of time and the 4 on the right are fast and on the go.

▪️️The main focus is to implement your protein and carbs. This is the best time to replenish your energy levels as your body can absorb food very efficiently after a workout.

▪️The amount of food that you consume will depend on what your goal is. Remember that you may feel hungrier than you actually are so make sure that you chew your food slowly and don’t overeat (if decreasing fat percentage is your goal)

Calorie Deficit With High Protein intake

▪️Protein is often identified as a critical macronutrient to consider in skeletal muscle repair. Resistance trained athletes have supported high protein diets for decades. Let’s get into the research on this matter. 

▪️When it comes to bulking and developing muscle mass through a surplus, an intake of 1.6-2.2 g x kg of body weight will build the most gains. 

Exceeding this upper range likely offers no further benefit and promotes amino acid catabolism & protein oxidation. 

▪️When the target is muscle retention, protein intake has to be increased in order to prevent 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘺. Current research suggests to keep the intake at 2.3-3.3 g x kg of lean body mass, as you get leaner. 



Nutritional Macros 101

Macros 101

▪️Protein: When you are consuming protein, your body starts to break down the protein molecules into amino acids and uses them to rebuild new muscle tissue. If you don’t take in enough protein, your body will not get enough amino acids, which will impair your ability to build and repair muscle.

▪️The average sedentary individual can “survive” with very little protein because of the survival mechanism that we inherited from our ancestors. These mechanisms allow us to reuse broken down protein. The fact of the matter is, you would die if you didn’t consume protein, but you can easily survive on tiny amounts. But if you’re reading this, chances are you’re not an average sedentary person, right? Since you regularly lift weights, your body will require more protein intake. In fact, research has discovered that athletes need to eat a high protein diet in order to maximize their performance.

▪️Fats: Dietary fat is the most calorically dense source of energy to the human body. Each gram of fat has twice the amount of calories as a gram of carbohydrates or protein. You can find healthy fats in dairy, meat, eggs, oils, nuts, and fish. These fats give your body the ability to absorb nutrients.

▪️Carbohydrates: A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that when participants were put in a 50% caloric surplus—either purely from consuming carbs or purely from consuming fats—after one day of overeating, the carb-only group stored only 10% of excess calories as fat, vs the fat-only group which stored a whopping 60%. In a nutshell, excess dietary fat will lead to greater fat accumulation than consuming an excess of carbohydrates.

▪️Looking at the bigger picture, this actually makes perfect sense. Especially since there are numerous sources of evidence that shows that carbs are inefficiently stored as body fat even when overfeeding. This process is due to a highly regulated metabolic pathway called de novo lipogenesis.

▪️Carbohydrates are sugars, starches and fibers which can be found in fruits, grains, vegetables and various milk products. Their main influence revolves around energy. This energy stems from a sugar called glucose. So, whether you are getting your carbs from candy or from brown rice, the carbs convert into glucose during digestion, which then becomes the preferred source of energy for both the mind and muscles.

Muscle Building Shopping List

Muscle Building Shopping List

▪️Ask 10 people why they fail to reach their fitness goals and 9 will tell you it’s due to nutrition.
▪️I get it. It’s much more difficult to make the right food choices on a daily basis than it is to go smash some weights for an hour a few days per week.
▪️Truth be told, however, nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated. Aim for at least .75 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, get 30% of your calories from fats, and determine how many carbs you need based on your goals (bulking or cutting).
▪️Once you’ve got that in order, it’s simply a matter of making the right food choices to meet those numbers (and of course you should always be tracking your weight and making adjustments accordingly). Which is why I’ve created this easy-to-follow shopping list. Use this as a guide to help you select the right foods to meet your goals.

Are You Eating Enough Protein?

Are you eating enough protein?

▪️When it comes to aligning your diet with your fitness goals, one aspect I see people constantly struggle with is consuming enough protein.

▪️(About 0.7-1g per lb of total bodyweight, or roughly 0.8-1g per lb of lean body mass if you have more weight to lose.)

▪️Of the three macronutrients (protein, fats, carbs), protein is typically the one that’s lagging behind.

▪️Why is eating enough protein so important?

▪️Protein is a crucial component in the muscle building and retaining process. You want muscle (you won’t get bulky, I promise) not just for the visual appeal, but for the many health/performance benefits as well. Fun fact…the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn just existing…this is a nice plus.

▪️Protein is also the most filling and satiating macronutrient, which is a big positive especially when restricting calorie intake. Staying full longer will keep you from sneaking back into the kitchen or break-room much sooner than you need to.

▪️The thermic effect of protein is another big plus. Your body has to burn more calories to digest protein than any other macronutrient, which is definitely a good thing.

▪️I’ve listed a few of my favorite ways to increase your protein intake in this graphic, there are definitely others as well.

▪️And if you are vegan/vegetarian, a few of my staple recommendations to bump up your protein intake are options like: quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, beans, rice, tofu, tempeh, almonds, edamame, etc.

Refeed Days vs Cheat Days



▪️I personally suggest that you should incorporate refeed days instead of cheat days when your goal is to lose fat.


▪️When it comes to refeed days, calories are raised to maintenance or a slight surplus, through an increase in carbohydrates which will serve as a mental and metabolic  break from dieting. ⁣

▪️Overall, when you are planning your diet, it’s a good idea to add at least one or even two refeed days every one in a while (frequency should be based on the person’s leanness), and it won’t cause  any “damage” to the progress being made in a diet. ⁣⁣⁣


▪️Refeed days can also help you reduce water weight because of the increased amount of carbs, which can help decrease stress levels and cause water weight to drop: as a result you generally feel tighter/leaner/fuller, you will also have more energy during your workouts and even your mood your mood will improve.⁣


▪️And it doesn’t just stop there! ..2 or more (consecutive refeed days) generally referred to as “Diet Breaks” have a positive impact on our Leptin levels, which is the hormone that is responsible for regulating our metabolism. From my experience I’ve seen that Multiple Days spent at maintenance with an increased amount of carbs will increase my energy expenditure and will allow me to train better, without regaining the fat back since the calories are still kept around maintenance. 


▪️However, on the other hand “Cheat Days” will never be anything more than an excuse not to diet. Cheat days really don’t serve a purpose and will only slow the process down due to the fact that the calories consumed will generally be very high (it’s called “cheat” for a reason). ⁣

▪️Also the mental aspect of a cheat day, which mostly (not always) tends to make people feel guilty and more likely to quit the diet afterwards. ⁣⁣⁣

▪️Am I saying that you should never have a cheat day? Certainly not, there are some occasions in which you could cheat a little, however, if the goal is losing fat they would only slow down the process.

Losing Weight Too Fast

♠️The Truth Behind Rapid Fat Loss♠️

▪️Energy balance is the prime element to lose weight; it’s essential that your expenditure exceeds energy intake.

▪️Although aggressively dieting can increase fat loss, it will also reduce muscle mass. This sparks the question if losing weight as fast as humanly possible is the most optimal strategy.

▪️A case study inspected the effect of two different rates of weight loss on body composition. One group lost weight rather quickly (1% of bodyweight per week), while the other group lost weight at a  more slower pace (0.7% bodyweight per week).

▪️After 5.3 weeks, the aggressive dieting group lost 4.2 kg or 9.2lbs of bodyweight. On the other hand, the slower dieting group took 8.5 weeks to lose this amount.

▪️Even though both groups lost an equal amount of weight, the body composition of the lost weight was different. The aggressively dieting group lost more muscle mass  and less fat in comparison to the slower dieting group. 

▪️Therefore, this study concludes that more aggressive weight loss goes at the expense of losing muscle gains.

▪️So technically aggressive dieting is effective for rapid weight loss, but suboptimal if you want to keep the muscles that you worked hard for.


Intermittent Fasting

♠️Intermittent Fasting♠️

🔹 There is a new study by Templeman et al. that was recently published and it doesn’t look too good for those who likes to fast…

🔹 The analyst compared weight loss diets with 25% daily energy restriction vs. fasting diets  with 0% energy intake during the 24-hour fasts and 150% energy intake in between. The study was practiced on healthy adults.⁣

🔹 Both groups had the same weekly energy intake and macros but either with long fasting or without.⁣

🔹 As a result, the fasting group lost less body fat. This is because they experienced a significant reduction in energy expenditure from physical activity, especially later on into their  fasting. ⁣

🔹 Many other studies have directed towards the reductions in physical activity levels during fasting, which is the reason why I don’t recommend intermittent fasting during periods of high physical activity, and not fasting too long in general.⁣

🔹 The fasting group also lost a substantial amount of lean body mass, although this was not significantly different from the other group.⁣

🔹 Furthermore, the fasting did not conclude to a significant cardiometabolic health improvements, including insulin sensitivity and blood blood sugar levels after eating.⁣

🔹 And here’s the kicker: the fasting group  did not result in any beneficial changes in gene expression of inflammation and autophagy. ⁣

🔹 My recommendations: ⁣

– Don’t fast during long periods of high physical training. ⁣

– Don’t fast longer than ~20 hours, ideally no more than ~16.⁣

– If you want to include short, aggressive deficits in your diet, do protein sparing modified fast (PSMF) periods. This will  maintain a high protein intake during the ‘fast’ to keep your metabolism up and stop muscle loss.