8 Simple Steps

How you look is largely influenced by what you eat. Lack of muscle mass, high body fat, lack of energy at work or at the gym, bad skin, and digestive problems.  All of that can be caused by unhealthy nutrition. Since there’s a lot of confusion about what to eat and why, here are 8 simple nutrition rules that will help you build muscle, lose fat, and get stronger, when combined with a consistent workout routine. Remember that commitment is the key!

Eat breakfast everyday.

1. Eat Breakfast. You get energy from the first hour and you’ll be less hungry the rest of the day. It also sets the trend: you’ll tend to eat healthier if your day starts with a strong and healthy breakfast.

Your best bet: omelette, smoothie or cottage cheese. 

2. Eat Every Two Hours. Let’s assume that you have  breakfast at 8am, your day should look like this; breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, snack, dinner, snack.


  • Less Hunger. Eating more smaller meals vs. few big meals will decrease your stomach size. You’ll feel full faster and your waist will trim.
  • Less Cravings. Not eating for long periods usually causes overeating at the next meal or ending at the candy machine.

Eat at fixed times every day and your body will get hungry at those fixed times.  

Eat protein with each meal.

3. Eat Protein with Each Meal. You need protein to build and maintain muscle. Proteins also satiate: proteins keep you full longer than carbs.

How much protein should you eat daily? At least 1g per pound of body-weight. That’s 200g/day if you weigh 200lbs. The easiest way to get this amount is to eat a whole protein source with each meal. Some include:

  • Red Meat. Beef, pork, lamb, deer, buffalo, etc.
  • Poultry. Chicken, turkey, duck, etc.
  • Fish. Tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, etc.
  • Eggs. Don’t believe the cholesterol myths. Eat the yolk.
  • Dairy. Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.
  • Whey. Not necessary but great for post workout shakes.

4. Eat Fruits and Veggies with Each Meal. Most of them are low-calorie: you can eat your stomach full without gaining fat or weight. Fruits and veggies are also full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber which helps digestion. Some of my favorite fruits and veggies are: apples, berries, pineapple, oranges, bananas, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, pumpkin, beans, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy, romaine lettuce, and peas.

5. Eat Carbs Post Workout Only.
While you need carbs for energy, most people eat more than they need. Limit your carb intake to post workout only.

  • Eat Fruits and Veggies with all Meals. These contain little carbs compared to whole grains. Exception: corn, carrots, raisins.
  • Other Carbs Post Workout Only. This is rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, quinoa, oats, etc. Avoid white carbs and eat whole grain. Exception: If you’re skinny and you’re trying to gain weight: eat carbs pre and post workout.

6. Eat Healthy Fats. Healthy fats improve fat loss and health. They also satiate, digest slowly and are cheap. Eat healthy fats with every meal and avoid artificial trans -fats and margarine. Balance your fat intake.

  • Saturated Fats. Increase testosterone levels. Real butter, whole eggs, red meat.
  • Monounsaturated Fats. Protect against heart diseases and cancers. Extra virgin olive oil, olives, mixed nuts.
  • Polyunsaturated Fats. Increase testosterone levels, promote fat loss, decrease inflammation. Fish oil, ground flax seeds, mixed nuts.

    Drink lots of water.

7. Drink Water.  Strength training causes water loss through sweating which can impair muscle recovery. Drinking water prevents dehydration but also hunger since an empty stomach can make you think you’re hungry.

  • 1  Gallon Water/Day. Drink 1 cup of water first thing on waking up, 2 cups with each meal and sip water during your workout. Try also green tea, and water with squeezed lemon.
  • Ignore Water Intoxication. Eating healthy as explained in this post will make sure you replenish your electrolytes.

  8. Eat Whole Foods 90% of The Time.  To really get the results you want, 90% of your food intake should consist of whole foods.

  • Whole Foods. Unprocessed and unrefined (or little refined) foods that come as close as possible to their natural state. Examples: fresh meat, fish, poultry, eggs, veggies, legumes, fruits, rice, oats, quinoa.
  • Processed Foods. Usually contain added sugars, trans-fats, nitrates, corn syrup, sodium and chemicals. Examples: bagels, fruit bars, cereals, pizza, cookies, sausages, frozen meals, supplements.

Example Diet. Forget about portion size and calories. Just eat your stomach full. You won’t get fat eating healthy foods. Especially not if you exercise and with all the veggies. Example diet using the above 8 nutrition rules:

  • Breakfast: eggs with veggies, orange, green tea
  • Snack: mixed nuts, pear
  • Lunch: tuna, romaine lettuce, olives, olive oil
  • Snack: cottage cheese with apple
  • Post workout: ground round, quinoa, spinach, banana
  • Dinner: chicken, spinach, baby carrots, blue berries
  • Pre-bed snack: cottage cheese, strawberries, ground flax seeds, fish oil

Food prep is very important, nobody has time to cook six times per day. Prepare your meals and snacks, ahead of time. Plan your meals for the day/week and shop accordingly. It makes this lifestyle change a whole lot easier.

If you’d like to see more on this diet, check out www.stronglifts.com

  1. Kaori says:

    I love this. Thank you.

  2. This is terrific. Could you please clarify one point? When you write about carbs should be eaten only as post workout, you go on to say that if you want to gain weight you should eat carbs post workout. That confuses me. I am trying to lose weight so should I NOT eat carbs post workout? I may be reading it wrong it just seems a bit contradictory so hope you can clarify for me. Thanks.

    • Thank you for pointing that out.

      I’ve adjusted the post to make the point a little clearer. If you’re trying to lose weight you should eat carbs post workout. If you’re trying to gain however, you can eat pre and post workout.

      Also on a more personal note, I’ve found that if you have your carbs in the morning or at lunch, and kept your dinner, and p.m. snacks light, it really helps!

      • That makes sense! Thanks so much!

      • Skills says:

        I was going to comment on that … carbs only after work-out. Overall, I think this is a great post! But, I disagree with that part. First, you do say fruit and vegetables at all meals and clarify later that they are carbs, but I think it’s really important to ensure that people understand that fruit and veggies are carbs, so I would differentiate between “starchy” carbs and “fibrous” carbs. Second, I think it’s important to have a complex carb like whole oatmeal for breakfast to give sustained energy and reduce cravings. I also always recommend a carb for each meal if training … even yogurt is carbs. But, generally I have recommended oatmeal for breakfast, potatoes (sweet, red or white – small to medium) or brown rice for other meals and staying away from refined starchy carbs. I am always able to get to my fighting weight using that type of diet, though I may gradually reduce dinner carbs when I hit a plateau and re-introduce them once I get past it. Now, if only I would take my own advice;).

  3. Reblogged this on Sandra Does Life and commented:
    Great post from a blog I follow, Socially Fit. These are all things my trainer and nutritionist say to do.

  4. In: Eat Fruits and Veggies with all Meals. These contain little carbs compared to whole grains. Exception: corn, carrots, raisins.

    Why are corn, carrots, raisins an exception?

  5. jrsgifts says:

    Loved this post! When I decided to lose weight, the first thing I did was adjust what went on my plate – e.g. instead of 1/3 potato, 1/3 veg, 1/3 meat, I now do 1/2 veg, 1/4 potato 1/4 meat and feel full after every meal with about half the calories and carbs! I can definitely feel the difference… well, my waist is more toned though my weight hasn’t changed much but I shall persevere! 🙂 I also make sure I have a glass of water before I plate up in case I’m feeling dehydrated and mistaking it for hunger

    • I know exactly what you mean about your weight, my trainer likes to refer to it as “shape shifting”… I’ll trade fat weight for muscle weight any day!!

      • jrsgifts says:

        me too! I weigh exactly the same but look thinner because my curves have reappeared on my waist and my legs have even more definition… just a shame I still have the post-baby belly after nearly 3 years! 😮

      • Are you participating in (HIIT) high intensity interval training? If not, you should… it would most def take care of the belly. That combined with your clean eating is a win, win – just give it time.

  6. Yay wicked list, I try to do all of these things! The small meals thing is one of the best tips around!

  7. delpercente says:

    Reblogged this on From the mind of Del… and commented:
    Thanks so much for this! You know I especially like the part about the egg, I keep reading stuff about not eating the yolk, so I’ve been eating egg whites and loading it up with vegetables, it’s actually pretty good. Thanks again!

  8. My accupunturist recommends water wtih fresh squeezed lemon in the morning first thing as a kidney cleanse. I usually have it warm. 🙂

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