Beginners Guide to Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition, I’ve always taken a common sense approach when constructing my eating plan. Personally, nutrition shouldn’t be confusing, because when you get right down to it, it’s a very basic concept and if you remember to follow a few simple rules, you’ll do just fine.

Remember, it’s all about keeping things simple. I could go on and on about eating ratios, fat soluble foods, varying types of saccharides and the importance of glycolysis but really, what does it matter? The only thing that matters is that you feed your body the right foods, in the right amounts and at the right times. That’s it. If you can do this and do it on a consistent basis, you’ll start seeing some great results, sooner than later.

There is really no need for unnecessary confusion when it comes to nutrition. We aren’t going to worry about nutritional ratios, carbohydrate intake or any of that stuff. We are going to stick with what works, and that’s the basics. We are going to increase your intake of whole foods and get your body working the way it is supposed to be working.

What we want to do is slowly re-program your body to start utilizing quality nutrients in order to kick start your bodies internal building processes. With that in mind, I’m going to outline some basic rules that I want you to follow. After that, I’m going to provide you with a 3 day meal plan that will give you an example of how to construct a proper eating plan. The plan is a very basic meal schedule but the meals are very tasty and easy to make.

Rule # 1

I want you to cut out all junk food immediately. This goes for all pop, candy, chocolate, pastries, cakes, chips, or anything else that comes packaged in a plastic wrap. I want you to replace all junk food with healthy snacks. If you can get into the habit of eating healthy snacks and stop eating junk food, your half way there. This is a MUST do and the sooner you do it the better. I’ve added healthy snacks to the following menu.

Clear out your cupboards of all junk food. Give it to your neighbours, friends, or other family members, just don’t have it in your house. I know this from experience - If you have junk food laying around apartment or house, your going to eat it.

Also, cut down on your drinking. There are two main reasons why it’s a good idea to cut down on your drinking. Firstly, alcoholic drinks contains plenty of empty calories. You don’t want empty calories. Secondly, you CANNOT follow a healthy diet and weight training plan when your hung over. I don’t care who you are, you have to be in a healthy state of mind and body when you’re following a weight training plan. Keep the drinks to a minimum and don’t go overboard.

Rule # 2

I want you to start eating every 2 to 3 hours. Don’t worry, you won’t get fat and sloppy. By eating healthy, whole foods every 2 to 3 hours you keep your body in a positive state of growth. Remember, the whole point of weight training is to strengthen your body. You can’t do this if your body is in a negative start of growth (poor eating). We want to kick start your bodies internal metabolism and get it to start digesting healthy, whole foods.

I want you to train yourself to actually eat more. The trick is to get it to start eating healthy, whole foods.

Rule # 3

In order for any nutritional plan to work, you have to be consistent. By consistently following a healthy meal plan, you will slowly “train” your body to start digesting healthy nutrients. This rule is key and you MUST make a conscious effort to be consistent with your meal plan. A consistent flow of healthy nutrients will ensure your body is on the right track for positive growth.

Try not to skip any meals because you will only end up eating more than you need with the follow up meal. Remember, plan your meals and stay consistent with it.

Rule # 4

All foods must be from whole sources. That is, your food choices should come from as many unprocessed sources as possible. If it’s white and packaged, chances are it’s processed. I strongly suggest you try and purchase foods that as close to it’s natural form as possible. My buddy Trey Armstrong of www.3stepmusclebuilding.com says it best:

“If it doesn’t run, jump, swim, fly or grow from the ground, then don’t eat it. Anything from a box is poison. Put it down and choose something else.”

Our bodies are made to digest foods from whole sources so try and keep all of your food choices from natural, whole sources.

As a beginner to weight training, there’s really no need to worry about protein, carbohydrate, or fat ratios. At this point, your only goal is to start feeding your body healthy foods. Once you get into the habit of eating a healthy meal plan, your body will respond by getting stronger. Once you have completed the 6 week beginner course, you may start playing around with other advanced diet strategies.

I do have one suggestion. I’ve recently purchased a cook book by Dave Ruel called “Anabolic Cooking”. It has over 200 healthy recipes designed for weight trainers. It’s a great buy and will help you design your healthy eating plan. I suggest taking look at the cook book here.

I’ve designed a simple 3 day meal plan around evening workouts. I realize that some of you may have to work at night but you can easily adjust the meal schedule to match that of your work schedule.

Anyone can follow this meal plan because the meals are simple, tasty and made for any budget. I suggest preparing your meals in advance, such as on a Sunday morning. This way, you are prepared and won’t be tempted to skip any meals. You may have to invest in some tupperware and a small cooler bag to store your meals.

Meal Plans

Day 1

Breakfast

• ½ cup oatmeal
• ½ cup blueberries (or strawberries)
• 1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
• 1 slice whole wheat toast

Cook oatmeal according to instructions. Transfer to a bowl and top with yogurt and fruit. Serve with slice of toast.

Late morning snack

• ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
• ½ cup sliced pineapple (or other fruit)
• 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds
• 4 whole wheat crackers
• 1 teaspoon of organic peanut butter

Top cottage cheese with fruit and almonds. Spread peanut butter on crackers.

Lunch

• 3 oz of lean turkey deli meat
• 2 slices of whole wheat toast
• 2 slices of tomato
• 2 romaine lettuce leaves
• 1 tablespoon of low fat mayonnaise
• 2 cups of green salad
• 1 ½ tablespoon low fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Make a simple sandwich using deli meat, toast, tomato, and romaine lettuce leaves. Add mayo. Make a salad using 2 cups of green salad and top with vinaigrette.

Mid afternoon snack

• 4 oz plain low fat yogurt
• ½ cup blueberries (or other fruit)
• 2 tablespoons of walnuts

Mix fruit with yogurt and have with walnuts.

Dinner

• 3 oz chicken breast
• 4 oz asparagus
• ½ cup of organic brown rice
• 1 tsp raisins

Cook rice according to directions and add raisins. Meanwhile, add spices to chicken breast (I add onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and small amount of sea salt). Cook until done. While chicken is cooking, steam asparagus in a pot steamer. Cook until tender.

Workout

Evening snack

• 4 oz cottage cheese
• 1/4 cup blueberries (or other fruit)
• 1 tsp of sliced almonds

Add cottage cheese to a bowl and serve with fruit and almonds

Day 2

Breakfast

• 2 eggs
• 1 tablespoons red pepper
• 1 tablespoons sliced onions
• 2 slices low fat turkey bacon
• 3 tablespoons of no sodium chicken broth
• 1 slice whole wheat toast
• ½ cup of strawberries or other fruit

Mix eggs in a bowl and stir. Heat broth in pan over medium heat. Saute peppers, onions, and turkey bacon in broth until broth is almost gone. Add eggs to the pan and scramble until cooked through. Serve with fruit and toast.

Late morning snack

• ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
• ½ cup sliced pineapple (or other fruit)
• 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds
• 4 whole wheat crackers
• 1 teaspoon of organic peanut butter

Top cottage cheese with fruit and almonds. Spread peanut butter on crackers.

Lunch

• One small can tuna in fresh spring water
• 1 teaspoon of sliced celery
• 1 teaspoon of sliced onion
• ½ cup whole wheat bow tie pasta
• 1 ½ tablespoon of low fat mayonnaise

Cook pasta according to directions. Once cooked, add to a medium sized mixing bowl. Add celery, onion and mayo. Mix well. Transfer to bowl and enjoy.

Mid afternoon snack

• 4 oz plain low fat yogurt
• ½ cup blueberries (or other fruit)
• 2 tablespoons of walnuts

Mix fruit with yogurt and have with walnuts.

Dinner

• 4 oz cod
• 3 slices of tomato
• 1/4 red pepper, sliced into strips
• 3 slices of lemon
• 2 tablespoons water
• 2 cups green salad
• 1 ½ tablespoon low fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing
• 1 foot of aluminum foil

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. In the middle of the foil, place cod. On top of cod, place tomato slices, red pepper, and lemon slices. Add water to the foil (make sure foil is slightly curve at the ends). Fold foil together using the length wise ends until it wraps the fish. Make sure it is loosely wrapped. Add to baking dish and place in oven. Cook for 15 minutes or until fish is completely cooked.

Mix salad and top with vinaigrette dressing. Serve with fish.

Workout

Evening snack

• 4 oz cottage cheese
• 1/4 cup blueberries (or other fruit)
• 1 tsp of sliced almonds

Add cottage cheese to a bowl and serve with fruit and almonds

Day 3

Breakfast

• 1 egg
• 2 egg whites
• 1 tablespoon red pepper, diced
• 1 tablespoon diced onion
• 2 slices low fat turkey bacon
• 1 tablespoon no fat sour cream
• 2 tablespoon low fat salsa
• 2 slices whole wheat tortillas

Heat chicken broth in a medium size skillet. Saute pepper, onion, and turkey bacon for about 5 to 10 minutes until peppers are tender and broth is almost gone. Mix egg and egg whites in a mixing bowl. Add egg mixture to the pan and stir frequently. Once egg is almost cooked, add salsa to the pan and mix well. Once all liquid is gone, turn off heat. Lay out two tortillas and add egg mixture to both. Add sour cream to each and fold into a fajita. Enjoy.

Late morning snack

• 1 banana
• 1 Whole grain bagel
• 1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese

Lunch

• 1 can salmon, drained- 3 oz
• 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
• 1 tsp horseradish
• 1 green onion finely chopped
• 1 tbsp toasted pecan, chopped
• Dash of parsley
• 2 slices whole wheat toast

In a bowl, flake salmon, remove skin. Mash bones with salmon. Stir in mayonnaise, horseradish, onion, pecans and parsley. Serve on whole wheat bread.

Mid afternoon snack

• 4 oz plain low fat yogurt
• ½ cup blueberries (or other fruit)
• 2 tablespoons of walnuts

Mix fruit with yogurt and have with walnuts.

Dinner

• ½ medium carrot thinly sliced
• 1 small onion thinly sliced
• ½ medium celery thinly sliced
• 1/4 tsp cumin
• 1/4 dried oregano
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp olive oil
• ½ tsp salt substitute or sea salt
• 3/4 cup brown Basmati rice
• 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
• 1/3 cup low fat yogurt
• Juice from ½ lime

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a heavy saucepan, heat olive oil and add 1/4 cup of low sodium chicken broth over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and celery. Cook and cover until most of the liquid is gone and vegetables are soft (About 5 minutes). Add cumin and oregano and stir for about 40 seconds until mixed in. Add rice to mixture and stir until well mixed. Add chicken broth. When broth begins to boil, reduce heat to low and cover pan with a lid. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is done. Fluff rice mixture.

While rice is cooking, combine yogurt, chilli powder, garlic, lime juice and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Line a rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil, and lightly coat with cooking spray. Roll chicken breast into yogurt mixture, generously coating all sides. Add to baking pan and cook for about 20-25 minutes (Until chicken is done). Serve chicken over rice pilaf. Serves one.

If you want, before rolling chicken in the yogurt mixture, save 3 tablespoons and put aside. Serve with chick mixture or add as needed for additional taste.

Workout

Evening snack

• 4 oz cottage cheese
• 1/4 cup blueberries (or other fruit)
• 1 tsp of sliced almonds

Add cottage cheese to a bowl and serve with fruit and almonds

Here are some other important points to remember:

• If you can, try using a food journal to track your meals. It’s a great way to keep track of what your eating and how much. You can get sample meal logs here.

• Drink one glass of water with each of your meals.

• Remember to prepare your meals in advance. I suggest doing this on Sunday morning, however, choose a day when you have a bit of time to yourself.

• If your looking for healthy recipes to add to your meal schedule, try heading over to Dave Ruel’s website here.

• If you have any questions, please email me at buildingmuscle101@vianet.ca

I've added a grocery list of all the ingredients for the above mentioned recipes. They are included in the pdf report of the beginners guide to weight training. You can view and print the journals and grocery list here.

Good luck and all the best,

Blake


Go to beginners weight training guide





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