Having a strength training meal plan is vital to your fat loss success. Cardio and weights are only two components of a solid fat loss routine. Having a well crafted meal plan is just as important (if not MORE important) than anything else. Eating has become a major complication for most people.
We simply forgot how much and when to fuel our bodies. In keeping with the spirit of this site… let’s keep this page about your strength training meal plan simple. Simple yields action. Complex instructions lead to frustration. So let’s talk about nutrition using very basic facts.
Your strength training meal plan must include protein, carbs and fats. I am also going to be radical and suggest you eat 5-6 times PER DAY. I know what you may be thinking right now. “Has she lost her coconut??” No, I haven’t 🙂
Here are the facts:
- You need to eat every 2-3 hours in order for your blood sugar levels to stay even.
- You must eat within an hour after waking up in the morning. This jump starts your metabolism for the day.
- You need to eat at least 5-6 times per day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, bedtime.
- Each meal should include one protein and one carb. The protein should be lean and the carb should be complex.
- You need to eat the proper amount of calories per day for your goal. If you barely eat or if you get around 1200 calories or less per day, then you are most likely sabotaging your fat loss.
Your strength training meal plan should be built upon those basic nutrition facts. I do not recommend spending all day counting calories. However, I do recommend taking a few days and logging everything down.
Once you know how many calories you bring in per day, compare that against how many you SHOULD be bringing in. Use this calculator to determine how many calories you need per day to MAINTAIN your current weight.
If your goal is fat loss, then subtract 350-500 calories from that number. Most people will select sedentary or lightly active as their Activity Level. If you have a construction job or are an athlete then you can select a higher level. In the end, your strength training meal plan must include the proper amount of calories for your goal. Eating more will cause weight gain. Eating less could destroy your metabolism and cause gluconeogenesis to occur (eating your muscles for fuel).
Since each meal should be one protein and one carb, I thought I would provide a few examples.
- Chicken on Top of Green Salad
- Egg Whites and Oatmeal
- Cottage Cheese with Berries
- Tempeh with Brown Rice
- Salmon with Steamed Cauliflower
- Honey Glazed Turkey with a Sweet Potato
Do you see how each meal has one protein and one carb? For the most part your strength training meal plan can include lots of veggies. Limit the fruit to 1-2 servings per day and try to eat them in the beginning of the day. If you eat meat, keep the protein sources lean (chicken, salmon, turkey, etc) and not fatty (sausage, pork, bacon, etc). If you are a vegetarian you should eat leafy green veggies, beans, tofu, tempeh, soy, cottage cheese, etc for as your protein source.
Before your workout eat a protein/carb meal. Some people can eat 30 minutes before working out and others need to eat 1 1/2 hours before working out. Find what works for you. But definitely eat before working out.
After your workout, be sure to re-fuel the body with another protein/carb meal within 30-60 minutes after you finish. A protein drink is a favorite after a workout.
I recommend keeping protein drinks and protein bars to a minimum in your strength training meal plan. You can have them, but nothing replaces good, fresh, whole foods. Nothing. If you use a protein powder or bar be sure it has low carbs and low sugar. Some bars claim to be healthy, but are nothing more than sugar sticks with protein mixed inside.