Precision Nutrition System

Precision Nutrition System
Healthy Eating For Fat Loss

Monday, April 23, 2007

Are You Cheating Yourself Out Of Your Hard-Earned Results?

By Nick Nilsson

What Every Trainer, From Beginner to Advanced, NEEDS To
Know About Post-Workout Nutrition and The Four-Hour
Window of Opportunity.

I have one question for you. What is your post-workout nutritional regimen?

If you answered "nothing," you are cheating yourself out of results that are rightfully yours. You may be wasting as much as 50% of your effort in the gym by not maximizing your post-workout nutrition!

When you exercise, your body burns carbohydrates for energy and breaks down your muscle tissue (especially if you are weight training). Immediately after a workout, the body has an enhanced ability to utilize nutrients such as glucose (sugar) and protein (your body's main building blocks) in order to rebuild and recover from your exercise.

What this essentially means is that your body is turbocharged and ready to grow! This period of power lasts for approximately four hours after a workout, hence the name "Four-Hour Window of Opportunity."

Taking in nutrients immediately after exercise helps you to recover faster and feel better after a workout. This can help you to not only gain muscle faster, but also keep your metabolism fueled so that you lose fat at a faster rate too!

But what happens if you don't eat immediately following a workout? Let me put it this way: it's definitely a situation you want to avoid.

First, your body starts breaking down muscle tissue in undamaged areas of your body in order to get raw materials to help repair the areas you just worked. Over time, this will result in a loss of muscle from your whole body.

Stress hormones in the body (primarily a hormone called cortisol) speed this process along. The stress hormones are produced because working out is a stress on the body - it's a totally natural but results-stopping reaction. How do you control the effects of cortisol? You eat as soon as you can.

But what do you eat after a workout to maximize your results? Both protein and carbohydrates are important for fast recovery.

Protein - Immediately following a workout (within a few minutes of completion) take in some protein. The easiest and best way to do this is in the form of a protein powder (whey is an excellent choice), though a food source such as milk will do.

Taking protein gives your body something to rebuild with instead of tearing down its own muscle tissue for raw materials. Do not take protein right before a workout as it will just sit in your gut and possibly cause bloating. Try to get about 30 to 40 grams of protein in as soon as you can after you're done.

Carbohydrates - Take in about 60 to 100 grams of carbohydrates to help the body refuel. Your body is most efficient at rebuilding its carbohydrate stores immediately after a workout. It's important to take advantage of this period.

A few common examples of healthy carbs to take after a workout include juices, fruits, and sports drinks. Examples of protein foods include milk, eggs, poultry, fish, meat, or soy products. Flavored yogurt is an excellent example of a post-workout snack. It contains carbs, protein and calcium all in one.

Post-Workout Meal - About one hour after your workout, take in a high quality source of protein (as in the examples above) and a good supply of carbohydrates such as grains, potatoes, cereals, etc. At this time, the body has settled down from the stress of the workout and is looking to rebuild.

If you're looking to get as much from your workouts as you possibly can, you can see that post-workout nutrition is critical. By supplying an ample amount of raw materials right after you're done, you will be preventing the body from breaking itself down in order to recover. This means more results from the effort you put into your workouts!


Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 16 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of" all available at ( He can be contacted at

Monday, January 29, 2007

Fewer Calories or More Exercise

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &
Metabolism reveals that dieting alone is equally effective at reducing
weigh and fat as a combination of diet and exercise--as long as the
calories consumed and burned equal out.

Newswise -- When it comes to body composition and fat distribution, a
calorie is a calorie, regardless of whether it's controlled by diet
alone or a combination of diet and exercise.

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &
Metabolism reveals that dieting alone is equally effective at reducing
weigh and fat as a combination of diet and exercise--as long as the
calories consumed and burned equal out. The research also indicates that
the addition of exercise to a weight-loss regimen does not change body
composition and abdominal fat distribution, debunking the idea that
specific exercises can reduce fat in targeted areas (e.g., exercise to
reduce fat around a person's midsection).

"It's all about the calories," said Dr. Eric Ravussin of the Pennington
Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and senior author of the
study. "So long as the energy deficit is the same, body weight, fat
weight, and abdominal fat will all decrease in the same way."

Other researchers on the Pennington Biomedical Research Center team
include Drs. Leanne M. Redman, Leonie K. Heilbronn, Corby K. Martin,
Anthony Alfonso, and Steven R. Smith.

For the study, the researchers followed 35 overweight (a Body Mass Index
greater than 25 but less than 30) but otherwise healthy adults who were
randomly assigned to follow one of three diet and exercise combinations
during a six-month period. The first group was the control group, and
followed a healthy diet designed to maintain the participants'
bodyweight. The next group followed a diet that reduced their caloric
intake by 25 percent, which equaled between 550 and 900 fewer calories
per day. The final group reduced their calorie intake by 12.5 percent
while increasing their physical activity to achieve an additional 12.5
percent increase in calorie expenditure.

"It was critical for our study that the calorie deficit for both groups--
the one following the diet and exercise regimen and the one simply
consuming fewer calories--be equal," said Ravussin. "This ensured that we
would be able to measure the impact of exercise on body composition and
abdominal fat."

The study began with a 5-week baseline period to carefully establish
individual energy requirements. During this time, the researchers
calculated the energy intake required for weight maintenance and the
energy deficit necessary to achieve the desired caloric restriction.

During the first three months of the study, participants were provided
with all meals. Later, participants self-selected a diet based on their
individual calorie target, though calorie consumption was still
monitored. Participants in the exercise group also underwent a
structured exercise regimen 5 days a week. In addition to controlling
diet and a guided exercise program, all participants attended weekly
meetings to not only teach subjects how to adhere to their meal and
exercise plans but also to boost motivation and morale.

Participants in both the calorie restricted group and the exercise group
lost approximately 10 percent of their body weight, 24 percent of their
fat mass, and 27 percent of their abdominal visceral fat. The
distribution of the fat in the body, however, was not altered by either

"The inability of the interventions to alter the distribution of fat
suggests that individuals are genetically programmed for fat storage in
a particular pattern and that this programming cannot easily be
overcome," said Ravussin. "It also helps settle much of the debate over
the independent and combined effects of dieting and increased physical
activity on improving metabolic risk factors such as body composition
and fat distribution."

The researchers did note, however, that exercise improved aerobic
fitness, which has other important cardiovascular and metabolic
implications. "For overall health, an appropriate program of diet and
exercise is still the best," said Ravussin.

The researchers also acknowledge that additional research is necessary
to investigate in a large number people all the independent health
benefits of calorie restriction and exercise.

Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a campus of the Louisiana State
University System.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism is a publication of
The Endocrine Society.

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest,
and most active organization devoted to research on hormones, and the
clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society's
membership consists of over 13,000 scientists, physicians, educators,
nurses and students in more than 80 countries. Together, these members
represent all basic, applied, and clinical interests in endocrinology.
The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

An on-line, Rapid Release version of the paper, "Effect of calorie
restriction with or without exercise on body composition and fat
distribution," was published January 2, 2007. The final paper will
appear in the March 2007 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology
& Metabolism. The abstract is here: