Should you drink protein shakes after workouts? Check out my surprising answer..
When you are running a fitness business you absolutely must have a presence on social media. Or so they say. Who are "they" anyway? What else do "they" say?
You must have your post-workout shake within minutes of your last set or else all your lifting will be wasted and you will not grow any muscle... so they say..
"They" say a lot of things. Full range of motion. Compound movements first. Machines are worthless.. squat ass to grass..be hardcore, hustle.. Most of which I have learned. Then I learned to forget them.
I've been doing this all my life.
Whenever I didn't do this and I did what I was supposed to do, my results were average at best. It doesn't matter what I was doing. And more importantly, I am not happy when I go according to the "rules"..
What does this have to do with you and your fitness pursuits? Glad you asked.
You have to learn the basics first. Of nutrition and training. The most effective ways to lift weights, burn fat, gain muscle and strength..
Once you learn your way around and you achieve some results you can start to tweak to your own design. Eventually you may break every rule.
I'll use myself as an example- I ate every 3-4 hours, decent amount of lean protein, small amount of carbs, very small amount of fats. I saw some results.
I also made sure to focus on the "most important meal of the day"- breakfast and the post-workout shake. I got some results.
Eventually I started to break those rules. And guess what, I got results that way too.
So yes, you need to learn the tricks of the trade. Gain some discipline and make some progress. Then you will hit a plateau. This is normal.
Then you start to experiment. Find out what really works for you. What speaks to you. What do you really enjoy and know that you will be consistent with?
Maybe one exercise is not effective for you or makes you feel too much pain in a joint. Or maybe it's one specific food you think you're supposed to eat, according to the rules, but you can't stand the taste of it and dread packing it in your lunch..
Break the rules. Find your own way.
As Jim Morrison once said "Learn to forget"..
That's what we need to do. In fitness and in life. There's only one you and I believe that within each of us there's some sort of wisdom, an instinct and knowledge that we can align with, that will give us great strength and lead us to evolve and adapt as we go through life.
I had the most amazing beef brisket burger today. Just wanted to share that.
How do you fit those types of meals into your eating plan?
One way is to count your macros/calories. If you want to lose fat you eat less than your body needs per day. (or over the course of a week)
The other way is to eat "clean" most days of the week and to have a meal or two one day a week where you go off the normal diet plan.
Either way works. Any diet can work.
For how long? And will you have a big rebound?
Here's a big concern that no one really thinks about. Ok, you lose 20 lbs. in 6 weeks. Then what? What does your diet become after that? Can you sustain it?
Or do you go right back to where you were before ?
Diet and training are simple yet complex at the same time.
The human body is an adaptive machine. Our body doesn't want to be super lean. It wants to survive, which means having more fat stored up.
We have to constantly work with our body and understand it. The best diet is the one you can stick with and adapt as you go. As you change, as you age, go through different transitions, transformations, have new goals etc..
The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn to listen to your body.. Pay attention. Write down what you experience. Take notes on what foods make you feel bloated, what foods give you great energy, what drinks give you a headache etc..
What I want to say is this - have that brisket burger. Enjoy it. And don't worry about it. When the meal is over, that's it. It's over. No guilt. No starving yourself for a half a day. Have a plan, stick to it 80-90% of the time depending on your goals. If you want more fat loss then go more towards 90% but you can still enjoy that apple pie or burger or whatever treat you want.
Don't stress about it. Just eat the damn burger already.
How important is the post-workout meal?
We have all been led to believe that it's the most important 'meal' of the day.
Some say breakfast is the most important but it depends on who you listen to.