For many people, winter seems to bring a certain degree of weight gain. The introduction of cold weather comfort foods, sugar laden warm drinks, holiday party overload combined with the tendency for decreased physical activity can lead to the packing on of a few extra pounds. However, it's not necessary to succumb to these "natural" tendencies. My preference is to retrain my mindset: Instead of focusing on the possible causes of unhealthy weight gain during the winter months, use the off-season and crummy weather as an excuse to hit up the gym more and put on some muscle mass!
Quick tips for building muscle in the gym:
1. Strive to lift 2-4 days per week.
2. Establish a rotation of muscle focuses for each workout
3. Use supersets to add a cardio component to your lifting routine, rev your metabolism, and get the most of your workout in a short time period. I recommend using a jump rope between sets if you really want to get your heart rate up!
4. Alternatively, focus on shorter, heavier sets with full rest for the best muscle gains. By that I mean reps below 10 per set with rest of 60 seconds or more.
Quick tips for building muscle in the kitchen:
1. Focus on protein intake, specifically after your workouts! Without adequate protein intake, your workout gains will go to waste. Standard recommendations are 1.0-1.2g protein per kg body weight. A little more won't necessarily hurt you, but anything above 1.5g/kg is excessive in my book.
[ Body weight (lbs) / 2.2 ] x 1.0 - 1.2 = Your protein needs
2. As mentioned in #1, be sure to eat a high protein snack within 60 minutes of finishing your workout! Your muscles need fuel to recover and rebuild stronger, make sure you're getting it in! Time your workouts so your recovery meal corresponds with breakfast, lunch or dinner to taking in too many extra calories.
3. Carbs are important too! Each meal and snack should consist of a complex carbohydrate and lean protein source. Examples may include: Rice and beans, yogurt and granola, PB sandwich, protein shake with mixed frozen fruit.
4. Stress quality of foods in your diet, not quantity. Choose whole foods more often than not. Overall diet quality along with hard work in the weight room are two components of muscle gain.
5. Take good notes! Write down each workout that you do & keep a food journal.
Best protein sources: Again, it's definitely NOT necessary to eat animal products to gain muscle mass. Here's a breakdown of some of the best (whole foods) protein sources from both categories:
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and triathlete residing in southwest Virginia with her husband and dogs. Follow along as she shares favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
Another year has flown by, which means it's time to sit back and reflect on the past season. It has been a season of challenge in many regards, and most definitely not the season I had hoped or planned for. Thinking back to my coaching meeting in January, coach Jim and I had discussed taking things to the next level and I set some pretty high goals for myself. That remained the plan through June, until I through a complete 180 by dropping Chattanooga and deciding to focus on my health. I can vividly remember that day, sitting next to the pool after a short workout when coach asked if Chattanooga was still in the cards. I don't remember whether or not I actually responded, but I do remember the emptiness and defeat I felt in that moment knowing in my heart that the answer was no. I consider myself a "fighter"... being Italian makes me stubborn to the core and I am very loyal to the commitments that I make. However, in that moment God was calling me to let go of my own personal plans and trust in Him instead. As humbling and difficult as it was to walk away from Ironman training this past season, I'm incredibly glad that I did.Hearty Miso Soup
My Motto for 2018
2017 End of Season Wrap Up
Training Updates: 3rd Quarter 2017
Asian-Inspired Fish & Veggie Platter (The Recipe Redux)
Peace is always beautiful
Tart Cherry & Orange Sports Drink
Crew Report: Tahoe Rim 100
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Stress Buster Trail Mix
Proud Athlete Of
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