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Understand Your Body

The first thing you need to understand about nutrition is that everybody is different and what works for one person may not work the exact same way for you. With that being said, take all the information below and see what does and doesn’t work for you while trying to achieve your specific goals.

2 Typical Goals

1. Gain Weight (muscle, not fat)

For athletes this is usually associated with gaining strength and with greater strength will come greater speed and explosiveness if involved in the correct type of sports performance program. Do not rush the process of gaining muscle; you don’t want to gain an unhealthy amount of fat, which could make you slower and less explosive. Typically 1 pound of muscle a week is a good track to be on.

2. Lose Weight (fat, not muscle)

For athletes that need to reduce their body fat percentage the main thing is to take your time and not to rush the process. Very rapid weight loss will cause you to lose muscle instead of fat. Your muscle is what helps you to have an efficient metabolism. Cardiovascular exercise will be important while trying to lose weight along with a proper sports performance program that involves strength training.

Macronutrients (Muscle Builders and Energy Producers):

These are the important nutrients that your body needs to function on a daily basis. A wide variety of these will ensure that all your individual vitamin and mineral needs are met. Below are the three macronutrients.

1. Protein (4 calories per gram)

2. Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram)

3. Fats (9 calories per gram)


Ø Macronutrients where amino acids (building blocks of muscle) come from

Ø Used to generate or regenerate tissue in the body (build muscle)

Ø Must consume adequate amounts especially when involved in a regular weight lifting regimen or sports program

Ø 2 different types of protein: Complete and Incomplete Protein

Ø Complete contain all nine essential amino acids (essential because the body can’t make these amino acids itself)

Ø Incomplete do not contain all nine essential amino acids

Examples of Complete Proteins:

Beef: 3 oz. / 25g

Fish: 6 oz. / 35g

Dairy products: 8 oz. milk / 8g

Eggs: 1 large egg / 7 g

Lean pork: 3 oz. / 18 g

Soy: 3 oz. tofu / 6.9 g

Chicken: 3 oz. / 28 g

Turkey: 3 oz. / 15g

Examples of Incomplete Proteins:







Most Beans

Portion Sizes for Protein

Ø When cooking or preparing your plate to eat it is important to understand what the correct portion size is for the food you are preparing or putting on your plate.

Here are a few tips on eyeballing portion sizes for protein sources:

Ø Fish, Poultry, and Beef (visualize any of the 3 examples below)

• 3 ounces = ó inch thick and about the size of an smartphone

• 3 ounces = ó inch thick and about the size of a deck of cards

• 3 ounces = ó inch thick and about the size of the palm of your hand

• 1 large egg = 7 grams of protein

• 1 large egg white = 4 grams of protein

Note: 6 ounces of chicken, fish, or beef is roughly 30-40 grams of protein

Carbohydrates (Carbs)

Ø Macronutrient that is the most readily available form of energy for your body

Ø Athletes need carbohydrates to have enough energy for all activities they encounter on a daily basis

Ø Eat enough carbohydrates so your body will not try to use your proteins (amino acids) for energy, which are for building or rebuilding your tissue.

Ø All carbs are not created equal: 2 different types – Simple and Complex Carbs

Ø Complex carbs are broken down slower in the body, so they give you energy over a longer duration, and are best as the main sources of carbs in your diet.

Ø Simple carbs are broken down quickly within the body, and best eaten around your workout.

Examples of Complex Carbohydrates:

Corn: ó cup/ 15g

Wheat bread: 1 slice/ 12g

Wheat tortilla: 1 tortilla/20g

Potatoes (white): 1 medium sized/ 33g

Potatoes (sweet): 1 medium sized/ 27g

Black beans: ó cup/ 19g

Raw Fruits: 1 medium apple/ 19g

Vegetables: 1cup broccoli/ 6g

Examples of Simple Carbohydrates:

Table Sugar: 1 tbsp./ 12g

Some fruits: 1cup pineapple/ 20g

Fruit juices: 1cup apple juice/ 30g

Honey: 1 tbsp./ 17g

Carbs in milk: 1 cup/ 12g

Processed Foods:

Coca-Cola can/ 25g

Twix -2 bars/33g

Lay’s chips- 15 chips/15g

Portion Sizes for Carbohydrates

Ø Whether you are an athlete trying gain weight (muscle) or lose weight (fat) you need to consume carbohydrates for energy production.

Here are 2 things to remember when eyeballing carb portions:

1. If goal is to gain weight and you are unsure about how much carbs to put on your plate or cook – lean towards more carbs than less.

2. If goal is to lose weight and you are unsure about how much carbs to put on plate or cook – lean towards less carbs than more.

Ø Carbs come in a variety of shapes and form:

  • Most Grains (oatmeal, rice)/Cereals = 1 Handful (what you can fit in your hand without overflow)
  • Potatoes/Beans/Whole Wheat Pasta = computer mouse or palm of hand
  • Leafy Vegetables = 2 Handfuls
  • Non Leafy Vegetables =1 Handful

Note: The above portions sizes are typically 35 – 45 grams of carbs


Ø Macronutrient that is a concentrated form of energy

Ø Slows down the digestion process by slowing the release of HCL, an acid in the stomach that breaks down food

Ø Helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K

Ø Essential in regulating hormones in the body

Ø 2 main types of fats – Saturated and Unsaturated

Ø Whole food sources will contain either saturated fats or unsaturated fats and sometimes a combination of the two.

Ø Unsaturated fats are generally healthier, but remember that all fats contain 9 calories per gram and a little bit goes a long way.

Ø Saturated fats are the dominant form of fat in animal base products

Ø Unsaturated Fats come mostly from plant sources

Examples of Unsaturated Fats:

Olive Oil: 1 tbsp./ 13.5 g

Canola Oil: 1tbsp./14g

Pumpkin Seeds: 1cup/64g

Sunflower Seeds: 1cup/64g

Avocados: 1/2 medium sized/ 12g

Natural Peanut butter: 1tbsp/ 6g

Almond Butter: 2tbsp/ 13g

Almonds: 1oz/ 13g

Walnuts: 1oz/ 16g

Cashews: 1oz/ 10g

Peanuts: 1oz/ 10g

Salmon: 4oz/4g

Examples of Saturated Fats:

Meat: 3oz ground beef/ 6g

Cheese: 1 slice American / 4.5g

Eggs: 1 large egg/ 1.5g

Milk: 1cup skim milk/ .3g

Fried Foods:

1 large order fries / 3.5g

Butter: 1 tbsp./ 7g

Margarine: 1tbsp./ 1.5g

Ice Cream: 1 cup/ 9g

Portion Sizes for Fats

Ø When eyeballing portion sizes for foods with high fat content use caution because a little goes a long way. It is definitely good to eat plenty of healthy fat but it is still fat and overdoing it can still lead to unwanted weight (fat) gain.

  • Nuts and seeds = small handful
  • Natural nut butters = 2 tbsp. or golf ball sized portion
  • Oils/salad dressing = 1 -2 tbsp., never more than 2 tbsp.

Sleep, Water, and Supplements

These three things are very important to maximizing your results.


Ø The only time the body is truly at rest and can focus on repair.

Ø Paramount to building muscle and regenerating damaged cells within the body.

Ø Plays a critical role in the release of growth hormone, which controls the use of fat as fuel and as a hormonal precursor.

Ø Strengthens the immune systems during time of abnormal stress.

Ø For optimal sleep athletes should try to get 7-9 uninterrupted hours every night.


Ø Most important part of your diet as 70% of body is water.

Ø Regulates the temperature of your body and is essential in preventing dehydration.

Ø Helps create a fluid environment for cell metabolism, which is important when trying to rebuild muscles.

Ø Active individuals should drink 1 gallon of water a day, especially during the summer months. This is addition to any sports drinks or other “fluids”.

Ø Try to avoid caffeine as much as possible as excess consumption can lead to a state of dehydration.


Ø Additions to a well-rounded whole food diet.

Ø Helps to fill in the gaps where either the food itself, or your schedule is lacking

Ø Provides hard working bodies the extra nutrients it needs to perform at optimal levels.

1. Protein

o Powders and Meal Replacement Shakes/Bars

o To be used sparingly; 2-3 times/day maximum including post-workout.

2. Multivitamin/Mineral

o Ensures intake of essential vitamins and minerals from lack of variety in food.

o Can help to replace nutrients lost due to certain food preparation methods

o Replaces many of the minerals essential to proper muscle function in hard training individuals.

o Helps to strength the immune system during times of increased physical stress.

3. Fish Oils

o Helps with the repair of cell walls.

o Keeps your heart and brain functioning correctly

o Can help to manage inflammation in the joints.

In Reference to Energy Drinks:

• Recommended for individuals 18 years of age and above

• Does not help in long term athletic performance

• Dehydrating

• Creates an unneeded increase in heart rate

• Most contain as much or more sugar than soda

• Not a regulated substance by the FDA

Here is an article from the Chicago Tribune about the marketing of energy drinks to kids:

Here are two excerpts from the above article:

“Energy drinks have no place in the diet of children or adolescents,” said Dr. Holly

Benjamin, a pediatric sports medicine specialist at University of Chicago Medicine

who has researched the beverages’ effects on young people.

“Young people are being taught not to listen to their body but to take a drug,” he said

as he pointed to a display of popular energy drinks. “What we have here are drug

delivery systems for caffeine.” – Dr. David Zich, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

How to find Daily Caloric Intake:

1. Multiply your Weight x 12 calories = this gives you your resting metabolic rate (or the number of calories you need to live)

2. Determine how many calories you’ll need for your workout. If you lift for 1 hour you’ll need 1.9 calories/lb of body weight/hour. If you are running you’ll need about 4.2 calories/lb of body weight/hour. If a 200lb athlete lifts for an hour, take 200lbs x 1.9cal/lb/hr = 380 calories. If a 200lb athlete runs for a half hour, take 200lbs x 2.1cal/lb = 420 calories

3. Next you need to figure out how many calories you need for daily activity. You can do this by multiplying your Resting metabolic rate by your activity level.

Activity Level % Added

Active Rest 20-40%

Active 40-60%

Very Active 60-80%

200lb athlete will be fairly active. 2400 calories x 50% = 1200 calories

4. Finally add #1, 2, & 3 up. This should add up to your daily caloric intake. 2400 calories + 380 + 420+ 1000 = 3800 calories on that day. For those trying to gain weight, add 500 calories to your caloric intake. For those trying to lose weight, subtract 500 calories from your caloric intake.

Protein Intake

Take your weight x .8 to 1.25g/lb of body weight.

Example: 200lbs x 1g/lb/day = 200g of protein/day

200g of protein/day x 4 g/cal = 800 cal/day

Athletes trying to Gain Weight

Keys to Gaining Weight (muscle):

• Consume more calories than you burn throughout day

• Make sure to eat the correct amount of Protein, Carbs, and Fat each meal

• Eat every 2.5-4 hours, never go past 4 hours without eating a meal or snack

• Consume protein and carbs within 30 minutes of finishing a workout

• Be careful with how much caffeine you have throughout day

• Eat within an hour of waking and within an hour of your bedtime

Example Daily Food Log for a Hard Gainer (150lb athlete):

Each of these meals consists of roughly 25-40 grams of protein, 30-40 grams of carbohydrates, and 12-20 grams of fat


3 egg whites

3 whole eggs

1/2 cup of dry oatmeal / about a cup cooked

1 Banana or other fruit


Zero Impact or Muscle Milk Protein Bar


Turkey Sandwich

– 5-7 ounces of Low Fat Turkey Sandwich Meat

– 2 slices of whole wheat bread

– 1 Tablespoon of mustard

– 1 Tablespoon of mayonnaise

– Lettuce, tomato, etc…

Greek Yogurt (plain or w/ fruit)


Homemade Meal Replacement Bar (see recipe below)


6-8 ounces of Honey Mustard grilled Chicken (see recipe below)

1 medium sweet potato

1 Cup of Broccoli or your choice of vegetable

Before Bed:

Chocolate/Peanut Butter Protein Shake

– 1 scoop of Chocolate protein powder

– 4 ounces of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt

– 8 ounces of low fat or non fat milk

1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter

Athletes trying to Lose Weight

Keys to Losing Weight (fat):

• Burn more calories throughout the day than you consume

• Make sure to eat the correct amount of Protein, Carbs, and Fat each meal

• Eat every 2.5-4 hours, never go past 4 hours without eating a meal or snack

• Consume protein and carbs within 30 minutes of finishing a workout

• Be careful with how much caffeine you have throughout day

• Eat within an hour of waking and within an hour of your bedtime

Example Daily Food Log for Fat Loss (250lb athlete):

Each of these meals consists of roughly 35-45 grams of protein, 30-40 grams of carbohydrates, and 12-20 grams of fat


5 egg whites

2 whole eggs

1/2 cup of dry oatmeal / about 1 cup cooked

Small piece of fruit

1 Tbsp all natural peanut butter


1oz Dry Roasted Almonds (about a handful)

2 scoops of Whey Protein

4-8 ounces of Water


Turkey Sandwich

– 5-7 ounces of Low Fat Turkey Sandwich Meat

– 2 slices of whole wheat bread

– 1 Tablespoon of mustard

– Lettuce, tomato, etc.…

Small mixed greens salad with 1 tbsp. oil based dressing


Homemade Meal Replacement Bar (see recipe below)


6 ounces of Lean Steak

ó cup of cooked brown rice

1 Cup of Broccoli or your choice of vegetable

Before Bed:

2 scoops Whey Protein

1 ounce Dry Roasted Almonds or 1 tbsp. olive oil

Healthy On The Go Snacks

• Piece of fruit and small bag of nuts or seeds

• Low fat yogurt/Greek Yogurt with handful of nuts

• Trail mix with nuts, seeds and dried fruit

• Cottage Cheese with piece of fruit

• Baby carrots with hummus

• String cheese with piece of fruit

• Crackers and peanut butter

• Hard-boiled egg with piece of fruit

• Half sandwich with piece of fruit

Post Workout Recovery

• Whey Protein and Gatorade

• Chocolate Milk

• Whey Protein and white bread

• Weight gainer shake

• Whey Protein and fruit

• Whey and Protein and Dextrose

More Options for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner


• Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin: 2 whole eggs, 1 egg white, English muffin, ó cup

spinach, 1 slice American Cheese, 1 piece Canadian Bacon.

o Total amount of protein is about 40g

o Total amount of carbohydrates is about 30 grams

o Total amount of fat is about 25g

• Greek Yogurt, 1 bowl Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal, 8oz. milk

o This comes to about 35 g of carbs

o This comes to about 28g of protein


• Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (3 tbsp. all natural peanut butter, 1 tbsp. jelly, two pieces whole wheat toast), 8 oz. milk, ó meal replacement bar (see recipe section)

o Total amount of protein is about 28 g w/o bars

o Total amount of carbohydrates is about 25 g w/o bars

o Total amount of fat is about 25g

  • Schoolroom lunch, WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS!

o 1 slice cheese pizza, 8 oz. milk

§ Total amount of protein about 20 g

§ Total amount of carbohydrates about 35 g

§ Total amount of fat is about 10g


• 6 oz. grilled tilapia, 1 medium baked potato with 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. sour cream.

o Total amount of protein is about 35g

o Total amount of carbohydrates is about 35 g

o Total fat is about 14 g

• 6 oz. grilled lean pork tenderloin, 12 spears asparagus, 1/2 sweet potato

o Total amount of protein is about 45g

o Total amount of carbohydrates is about 30g

o Total amount of fat is about 6g


Homemade Meal Replacement Bar:


– 2 – 2.5 cups dry oatmeal

– 6 scoops whey protein powder (vanilla or chocolate works best)(20-25 grams of

protein per scoop)

– ó cup natural peanut butter

– 1 cup of water or milk (adjust to consistency)


– Mix all ingredients together in a bowl

– Press into a 9-by-9 inch pan lined with wax paper.

– Freeze for 40 minutes and cut into bars.

Total Protein: 164

Total Carbs: 108

Total fat: 65

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken:


– 1/3 cup Dijon mustard

– 1/4 cup honey

– 2 tablespoons of mayo

– 1 tablespoon of steak sauce

– 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts


– Preheat the grill for medium heat.

– In a shallow bowl, mix the mustard, honey, mayonnaise, and steak sauce.

– Set aside a small amount of the honey mustard sauce for basting

– Dip the chicken into the remaining sauce to coat.

– Lightly oil the grill grate.

– Grill chicken over indirect heat for 18 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until juices run clear.

– Baste occasionally with the reserved sauce during the last 10 minutes.

– Watch carefully to prevent burning!


NSF’s Certified for Sport® Program helps athletes, coaches and trainers make more informed decisions when choosing sports supplements. The program is recognized by NFL, NFLPA, MLB, MLBPA, PGA, LPGA, and CCES. It has been designed for participating manufacturers and their products that include product testing for +165 banned substances, label content confirmation, formulation and label review, production facility and supplier inspections, as well as ongoing monitoring in line with substance prohibitive lists: NSF Annex A, NFL, and MLB. A current product list is available at Please be aware that the companies listed on the NSF s may produce additional products that have not gone through the certification process.


The information in this booklet is meant for instruction, and is in intended for use in addition to proper exercise training. The authors advise readers to take full responsibility for their safety and know their limits. Before performing any of the exercises in this book, be sure that your equipment is well maintained, and do not take risks beyond your level of experience, knowledge, training, and fitness. The technique and dietary programs in this book are not intended as a substitute for any exercise routine or treatment or dietary regime that may have been prescribed by your doctor. As with all exercise and dietary programs, you should get your doctor’s approval before beginning.

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