Most common food questions?

What to eat before and after a workout? How to increase muscle mass? How to decrease body fat? What is a macro? 

Macros in general:

Macros are macronutrients. Your body needs these nutrients in larger amounts in order to function properly as macro means large. In addition, all of these nutrients provide your body with energy measured in the form of calories or kcals. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. 

  • Carbohydrates contain 4 kcal per gram, Faster energy and the first/main location your body sources for energy 
  • Proteins contain 4 kcal per gram, Essential to get at least .8 grams daily per pound of LEAN body mass
  • Fats contain 9 kcal per gram, Take longer to burn and digest, extremely calorically dense 

Everyone responds best to different macronutrient ratios, but minimal requirements are not to have less than 10% of any type of macro. 

How to decrease body fat, is simple, but also complex. Essentially a caloric deficit is the only way to lose weight. Without a treadmill and university setting the second best best is to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate. 

Calculate Here or use the formula below 

Increasing muscle mass is best done through strength training. In the upcoming weeks I’ll be sharing some strength exercises, and I’m always posting strength training on my social media. Of course my clients receive custom programs tailored to their specific goals, form, strength and mobility issues or concerns, and the equipment that they have access to in their daily lives. 

So the final nutrition based question is what's' best to eat before and after your workout? Well, unfortunately this isn’t as simple. It's best to ask the question - What are you eating the rest of your day? While it would be simple to give a carbs prior for energy, and protein after for recovery, answer… that may or may not be applicable based on your nutrition needs, and what you are eating the rest of the day. Nutrient timing is not as essential as most people think it is, in fact some meals take 6 -8 hours to get into the large intestine and another 36 hours or more to fully process. Women in general do have more requirements for protein in the post workout window ( ideally 30 minutes ), than men do; but missing a post run protein is not going to overnight catabolize muscle. What will lead to muscle atrophy is under eating in general, disordered eating, lack of balanced training ( cardio only without strength & mobility), age ( unfortunately), and lack of use of muscles ( again strength training ). 

A podcast on these topics

 For Apple users

Good luck, and I'm looking forward to answering more food questions here! 


Dr. Alyx Barnett