Fuel Your Performance: A Guide to Eating Right

Posted on February 26, 2024 at 9:29 AM

Meal planning isn't a one-size-fits-all endeavor. The key is finding balance, moderation, and avoiding feelings of deprivation.

When it comes to my own meal planning, I prefer to stick to a 40/40/20 ratio: 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% fats. Depending on my activity level, I aim for a calorie intake ranging from 12 to 16 calories per pound of body weight. For instance, a 140 lb. individual would typically consume between 1,680 and 2,240 calories daily. Adjustments may be necessary based on activity levels and metabolism. Keeping track of meals and workouts through a journal can be immensely helpful, allowing for weekly adjustments to the plan.

Here are some guidelines I follow regarding meal timing for carbohydrates and fats:


Embrace Healthy Fats

On mornings without training, I opt for a protein and good fats combo for breakfast. For instance, I might have 4 egg whites, one whole egg, and half an avocado. Research suggests that starting the day with protein and fats aids in utilizing fat for energy throughout the day.

Time Carbs Around Training

I prefer to consume most of my carbohydrates around workout times. Roughly 90 minutes before training, I'll have about 30 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of protein, and a small amount of fat. For example, 4 ounces of chicken and half a cup of brown rice. Post-workout, I aim for 30 to 40 grams of quick-digesting carbs and 30 grams of protein, such as an apple and a whey protein isolate shake.

Capitalize on the Anabolic Window

The body is most receptive to nutrients post-workout, so any extra calories should be consumed within an hour or so after training. Experimenting with different macro combinations during this time can help determine what works best for your body.

Adjust Caloric Intake According to Training Intensity

On days when I train larger muscle groups, like legs or back, or engage in compound movements, I increase my calorie intake, particularly from carbohydrates.

Stay Full with Protein

In terms of protein intake, I prioritize it when feeling particularly hungry or when increasing calorie consumption. Protein is less likely to be converted into body fat and has a satiating effect, reducing feelings of hunger. Additionally, I generally don't weigh my proteins unless nearing a competition, preferring to listen to my body's cues instead.

Vegetables ALL DAY!

Vegetables are a staple in my meals and are considered "free" in terms of calorie counting. I load up my plate with colorful veggies and flavorful, healthy options. Presentation matters too – a full plate creates a sense of satisfaction. Sometimes, a large salad bowl filled with spinach, rice, and chicken does the trick, providing ample volume and nutrition.

Add Supplements to Optimize Performance

Proper nutrition is vital for achieving training goals, and supplementation plays a crucial role too. As someone who thought they'd reached their limits for strength and power, I've personally experienced the benefits of PEAK ATP® supplementation – it's been a game-changer for me!


Thanks for tuning in! Until next time, keep pushing yourself and train hard!

Erin Stern, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia




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