Let's be real… with the inevitable tidal wave of wine and matzo from Passover or the ham and mashed potatoes from Easter, that Coachella body of yours is in dire need of a reset. I am going to run through a quick explanation of how to recover from your cheat weekend.
Both Passover and Easter, in relation to diet, are about as blind to health as Holidays come… plentiful salt and carbohydrate intake are combined with boozing as you watch your team's NCAA championship hopes dwindle. Those types of dietary intakes will leave you about as bloated as the Michelin Man, covering up those hard abs you’ve been killing yourself over for the past few weeks as your coachellitis has been growing increasingly more rabid. Don’t be a marshmallow in the desert, aint no body got time for that.
Watch out, I'm gonna science you up real nice and deep like, and then I'm gonna give you a basic guideline for the next few days in plain English. All those delicious potato-based dishes you wolfed down over the weekend stuffed your body full of glucose; that glucose was either converted into glycogen and was stored in your muscle tissue/liver OR it was converted into body fat. As your glycogen stores remain full, your body uses excess carbohydrates to build more fat.
Over the next few days, your goals will be fat-loss and lean mass retention. In order to achieve those goals, you'll need to incorporate the following principles: intermittent fasting, carb cycling, and water/salt depletion. Your diet should include all whole foods aka non processed foods… if you read the nutrition label on something and you can't pronounce an ingredient or do not know what it is, put it down. You can usually get away with some processed foods, but this is a 4 day crash course, you have to keep optimal nutritional habits to get the results that you are looking for. Since at this point your glycogen stores are likely full, you are going to be focusing on high fat, high protein meals, with minimal carbohydrate intake. When I say minimal, I mean 50g of carbs or less a day. To put that into perspective, 1 medium sweet potato has about 35g of carbs… a banana has about 25g. You want to time your carbohydrate intake around your daily exercise, and pair it with a lean protein. For many people, this would be a protein shake with a banana in it or if you are eating a whole food meal, have a sweet potato with chicken breast or lean ground turkey. Carbohydrate intake should be tapered as you get farther away from the period in which you exercised.
In terms of food timing, I would recommend putting an intermittent fasting system into place, as it allows your body to increase the amount of “fat burning” potential you have. The longer that your body’s insulin response is controlled, the more time that your body will be able to continue to burn fat. I usually put a 16/8 system in, where you fast for 16 hours and have an 8 hour eating window. This translates to skipping breakfast and eating your first meal at noon, with your last meal at 8PM. Place your exercise in whichever period that works for your schedule, but for optimal results, exercise fasted in the AM after taking 5-10g of BCAAs and Acetyl-L Carnitine. If you don’t know what any of that is, don’t worry I'll do a blog post specifically on that later on - so just limit the amount of time during the day that you are eating, focus your small carb intake around your exercise period and pair it with a lean protein source.
The final piece of the puzzle is water and sodium intake. You are going to want to drink about 2 gallons of water a day every day up until Friday. Extra credit if you are putting down lemon water, even more extra credit if you dice up some cucumber in it as well… it's delicious, DO IT. Keep your sodium intake minimal, as it is a factor in water retention. On the final day, you keep water minimal and carb up. As weird as it may sound, carbohydrates pull about 2.7g of water into your muscle, and since your body has been in flushing mode (due to the 2 gallons of water a day for 3 days) your body will use the carbohydrates to soak up the excess water in your body on Friday. Ironically… all those sugary drinks and copious amounts of beers Friday through Sunday will be the perfect carb up that will create that dry and lean look that you are looking for while you shark the pool parties for your Coachella love bird. DISCLAIMER*** do NOT continue limited water intake… as you will be dehydrated as all hell from the heat and party favors of all flavors … enjoy looking like a greek god/goddess, but not at the cost of your health! You will lose a bit of the super lean look by Saturday afternoon and through Sunday, but you will still be looking pristine!
So I know your attention span is less than that of a squirrel in a room of tinfoil as Coachella nears… so I'll summarize in plain English:
- Avoid foods that cause inflammation/bloating (no processed foods i.e. grains, breads, snack foods, sugar)
- High Protein at every meal
- Small Carbohydrate intake (50g/day) in your post-workout meal
- Emphasize healthy fats when carbs are not present in your meal
- Eat in a caloric defecit (just don’t stuff your face, no need to count calories)
- 8 hour eating window, 16 hour fast
- Low sodium intake
- 2 gallons of water a day, add lemon juice (Tues-Thurs)
- Cut water and carb up on Friday … and enjoy your weekend!
Sample Workout (Tues-Thurs):
- KB Swing x 20
- Plank x 30 sec
- Ab Rollout x 12
- Bodyweight Squat x 15
- Jog 100 Yards
- Sprint 40 Yards
AMRAP (As many reps as possible) 20 Mins
Brent Totty is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, whose primary emphasis is on efficient, mindful incorporation of healthy lifestyle habits into the lives of those around him. Through the hybridization of many different schools of thought within the field of nutrition, paired with specialized training protocols focused on functional movement, Brent aims to simplify the ever daunting landscape of fad diets and workout plans. "My goal in the health industry is singular: to provide the insight that I gained through years of self experimentation to those that do not have time or interest to research as I did. If someone is able to improve his or her life in minutes with a single tip that took me years to understand, then I am fulfilled"
Contact Brent directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit him at www.provolving.com