The Importance of Nutrition with the Gym and my favourite post-shake recipe!

by | Jul 11, 2024

A lot of confusion happens with our nutrition while weight training, the more energy you put into lifting weights, the more proper recovery you will need, and the healthier options in food is vital for recovery. Yet it is eating the correct amount of food according to your goals and being strategic about your meals. In the gym we are tearing the muscles apart, and are being repaired during sleep, and this is where you grow strong through your recovery process, based on how much water you drink and your nutrition habits. 

Suppose you are under-eating one day and then binging the next, then under-eating the next day if it is a continuous cycle this will be on your body, which adds more stress, and you won’t get the goals you set for faster. You won’t be able to build muscle properly and most importantly, feel good.  Many people think I eat very little, when it’s been the complete opposite over my fitness career. Also, keep in mind I am in a different chapter of my fitness journey and it takes time. This is also good news if you love food as much as I do! I highly recommend checking out the Canada Food Guide to help you get started on a balanced plate for your meals.

What are macronutrients, how much should I be eating and what does each one do?

Carbohydrates, aka carbs = glycogen, will help your brain and muscles and are your preferred fuel source—healthy amounts of dietary fibre such as fruits, whole grains and vegetables (aids digestion). Carbohydrates are absorbed faster than the other two macronutrients: 1g = 4 calories 3-5g per kg of body weight.

Protein is important to spread throughout the day. It is essential to grow, repair, and maintain body tissues such as muscle, skin, organs, bones, and blood. Protein is also essential in the immune system as antibodies against bacteria and viruses. 1g = 4 calories, 1.5-2.5g per kg of body weight.

Fats help protein and carbohydrates be used efficiently within your body. Remainder of calories, estimate 25-30% of your calories. 1g = 9 calories. It helps us feel full by slowing down digestion and controlling hunger. 0.8-1g per kg of body weight.

Using a TDEE Calculator, you can predict your maintenance calories. You want to focus on eating well-balanced meals with all the macronutrients each time. I suggest using MyFitnessPal to help create a habit of tracking your foods. It does cost a monthly or yearly fee to use their premium to help track your macronutrients. I highly suggest not using the macronutrients that the app suggests, and please contact a dietician if you need further help or need a particular diet plan. I am a Personal Fitness Trainer from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with my diploma and I have taken my nutrition course in school and with NASM along with my ten years of experience training in the gym and being a Natural Bikini Pro Bodybuilder. Again, check the Canada Food Guide to learn more about food. I offer nutrition macronutrient distribution and help with meal ideas. I also use my app and Myfitnesspal to teach you how to do this. 

If you need help with suggested food choices, here is a list of highly recommended foods. 

Protein

  • lean meats (eg. ground turkey, poultry, fish)
  • poultry (eg. chicken breasts)
  • Fish, shrimp, lobster etc.
  • Firm, soft or extra firm tofu
  • cottage cheese or dry
  • plain greek yogurt 0%
  • eggs
  • egg whites
  • protein powder
  • beans/chickpeas
  • Protein powder

Carbohydrates

  • Quinoa
  • Wild Rice
  • Brown rice
  • White rice
  • whole grain pasta
  • whole grain bread
  • oats
  • barley
  • whole grain cereals
  • Qia Cereal
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spaghetti Squash etc.

Fats

  • Avacado oil
  • avocado
  • almonds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • nuts
  • flaxseed
  • fish
  • butter

Your meals should be well balanced with all three—especially a good meal before working out, and a delicious protein smoothie afterward is my recommendation. Again, check out the Canada food guide to also help educate yourself. I have shared my own favourite protein smoothie post-shake. 

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 almond milk
  • ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt 0%
  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder
  • Add some water if needed.

“Remember…Results happen over time and not overnight. Work hard, stay consistent, and be patient.” Imot (thank you) for taking the time for me to help you along your fitness journey, whether you take my advice or not. I am happy to help and share with you and my Jeh Jeh. 

Yours in health, Charlene Muskego. See you next month!