After leaving the gym, the FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Diet becomes easier to manage. Assuming the morning shake contained 30 to 40 grams each of whey protein and carbohydrates, this allows for four or five more “meals.” It works best to eat more often than just the three squares, as this will help one to avoid getting ravenously hungry (the kind of hunger that makes the words “super size” so seductive). Also, as no one meal is overly large, it’s easier to avoid overeating. Most of the food choices are considered low-glycemic. These foods don’t stimulate a large release of insulin and allow for a greater daily secretion of growth hormone (GH). GH has both anabolic (muscle-building and soft-tissue healing) and lipolytic (fat-reducing) properties, so it’s easy to understand why maximizing this hormone is ideal.
Since eating is social as much as functional, it helps to save a little for lunch and supper. These meals can be whole food, comprised of a lean meat (fish, chicken, pork or beef) and vegetables. In addition to being an important source of protein and saturated fat, meat is also high in an omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid (AA). AA is a precursor to several hormone-like messengers that signal a variety of physiologic events. One key messenger is prostaglandin F2a. AA is believed to be a key element in maintaining the anabolic environment of the muscle cell and is depleted with exercise.30,31 A little extra-virgin olive oil dressing on salads and vegetables and a complete meal is made. If the olive oil is kept in a decorative pourer with one of the spigots like the bartenders have on liquor bottles, it might even impress your wife or girlfriend. Smaller servings will keep these two meals at about 400 calories each.
Thus far, approximately 1,100 calories have been consumed. The meals are small and don’t last four to six hours like a rib-sticking pot roast, but this allows for two or three “snacks” to be consumed throughout the day. Here’s where the FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Diet focuses on healthy choices. A piece of fresh fruit and cottage cheese or unsweetened yogurt and almonds are excellent choices. The summer is wonderful because of the fruit selections available everywhere. The vitamins, fiber and phytonutrients are important to attaining a balanced diet. Dairy proteins have been associated with weight loss, possibly because of the calcium content.32 Almonds are a great source of healthy fats, having the additional benefits of low-carbohydrate and moderate-protein content as well. One study suggests that adding almonds to a hypocaloric diet increases weight loss, reduces the waistline and lowers blood pressure compared to a similar diet without the nuts.33
Other Important Considerations
Up to this point, the FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Diet recommends a pre- and post-workout shake, three snacks and two smartly selected meals. A sugar-free, low-carb whey protein shake immediately before the workout is an inexpensive supplement choice that will enhance amino acid uptake into exercised muscle. Creatine is one of the most effective muscle-building supplements ever marketed, but since it’s so familiar, people forsake it in search of the latest and greatest. Creatine will help with muscle size and strength gains.34
There are several schools of thought on when to take creatine. It’s best taken after workouts, preferably along with a meal, post-exercise whey protein shake, or snack. Five grams per day is sufficient. Immediately before bedtime, a slow-release, casein protein may be helpful as well. Products containing casein appear to release more slowly than whey. A piece of turkey breast is another option.
One final supplement worth taking is branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine). Recent research has shown that supplementing the diet with branched-chain amino acids, especially leucine, can decrease muscle protein breakdown and enhance muscle protein synthesis.35 British researchers have found that adding the amino acid leucine to a protein and carbohydrate mix is best for promoting muscle protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophy compared to carbohydrate and carbohydrate plus protein drinks.36
The environment established by the combined FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Diet, the FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Workout and the FitnessRx Ultimate Cardio, Fat-loss Workout can become stressful; people may see a rise in cortisol.37,38 Though some products advertise cortisol-fighting effects, this has been challenged by others. Phosphatidylserine is one promising supplement for fighting cortisol and may improve mood, but it’s cost-prohibitive for many people at effective doses.39 The physical stress of this combined program makes it necessary to emphasize the need for a full night’s sleep as often as possible. Lack of sleep is being associated with obesity in adults and children, even more strongly than activity habits in some studies.40
Though it’s not part of the FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Diet per se, get a little sun. A tan is healthy and may help with losing weight.41 Avoid getting too much sun, watching for redness or burns. Also, if you have any suspicious skin lesions, get those checked.
Also, recent research has shown that taking an amino acid or protein supplement one hour before overreaching high-intensity resistance training and after can prevent muscle protein breakdown, enhance protein synthesis and maintain biologically active free testosterone.44
Sample FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Diet
|5:30 a.m.||16 ounces water, 200 milligrams of caffeine (from 2 cups of sugar-free coffee or thermogenic fat-loss supplement), a sugar-free/low-carb whey protein isolate shake (30 to 40 grams of whey protein isolate), a branched-chain amino acid supplement (preferably a 2:1:1 leucine, isoleucine, valine ratio)|
|8:00 a.m.||End of exercise: a whey protein/carbohydrate shake (30 to 40 grams each of whey protein isolate and a high-glycemic carbohydrate such as maltodextrin or dextrose), 5 grams of pure creatine powder, a branched-chain amino acid supplement (preferably a 2:1:1 leucine, isoleucine, valine ratio)|
|10:00 a.m.||One cup of low-fat cottage cheese and a piece of fruit|
|12:30 p.m.||9 ounces of salmon, sautéed spinach or other vegetable and small salad with extra-virgin olive oil dressing|
|3:00 p.m.||Unsweetened yogurt, a handful of almonds|
|6:00 p.m.||8 to 16 ounces of lean steak, steamed broccoli and cauliflower and a small salad with extra-virgin olive oil dressing and 3 grams of fish oil capsules|
|8:00 p.m.||Unsweetened yogurt, a handful of almonds|
• During the day, drink at least 2 to 4 liters of water.
• Before bed, take a slow-acting casein powder shake or lean meat such as turkey breast.
• For best results, combine with the FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Workout and the FitnessRx Ultimate Cardio, Fat-loss Workout.
Prepare for a New Look
The FitnessRx Ultimate Muscle, Fat-loss Diet is actually easy, no more expensive than regular eating and can be tasty. A morning whey protein shake before and after the workout, a few snacks of yogurt and almonds or fruit and low-fat cottage cheese and two quickly prepared meals of lean meat or fish, veggies or salad dressed with extra-virgin olive oil. Sounds like a summer on the bistro and if the effort is put into the program, it might replace the pale, wintry impostor inhabiting your clothes with the tanned, buff and beachy real you.