Eating and Exercising on Phase 1, 2 & 3

Hey, you. Yeah, you. I’m proud of you! You’re doing all the right stuff and making positive choices. You care enough about your body to make this life-changing journey with me, and whatever phase you’re in, I’m sure you’re seeing changes in your body, inside and out. You’re exercising and eating right, following the prescribed plan in each phase. But occasionally you jet out to a workout on an empty stomach, and then there are the times you follow up a workout with a nice nap – on an empty stomach. Uh oh.

How important is nutrition to working out? Let me put it this way: Very! Exercise and eating right go hand in hand, like the perfect pair. Never, ever get up and exercise before you’ve, at the bare minimum, eaten a snack at least 30 minutes before you exert yourself. If you don’t, your adrenals will stimulate a hormone to break down muscle for fuel, eating up the very muscles you’re trying to build. (What a waste that would be!) And, when you’re through with your workout, 10 to 20 grams of protein will help rapidly repair your muscles. Of course, this is just an overview, so here’s a detailed look at how to get the most out of your workout, before and after, during every phase.

Phase 1: Unwind

I call Phase 1 the high-carb rich-cardio phase. In this phase, you’re doing, at least, one day of vigorous cardio, like running, using the elliptical trainer, or taking an aerobics class. I’ve seen low-carb dieters panic when they see the list of foods for this phase because they’ve been taught that carbs are bad. No food is bad – if you choose healthy sources. Before your Phase 1 cardio, I’d like you to have a piece of fruit (an apple, a peach, a pear, some pieces of pineapple, a few strawberries or even watermelon). Or fruit and a carb (brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, rice milk) before – followed by lean protein (turkey, lentils, lean beef) and a vegetable after. Cardio combined with eating the right foods in Phase 1 will set your body up for success as you move on through the phases.

Phase 2: Unlock

Phase 2 is all about strength and unlocking your inner power: Focus on lifting heavy weights in low reps. Lifting will only increase your metabolic power. But before hitting the gym, select a healthy lean protein like turkey bacon or hard-boiled egg whites. Then, after your workout, I want you to zero in on alkalizing green, low-glycemic vegetables like kale, arugula, and lettuce – any kind of lettuce, well except iceberg!

Phase 3: Unleash

It’s time for stress-reducing Phase 3. Do at least one day of yoga or deep breathing – or even treat yourself to a massage to increase blood flow to the fatty areas of your body. Before you “work out” in Phase 3, I want you to partake in a healthy vegetable like sweet potatoes, artichokes or eggplant. Then, immediately after your workout, I want you to zero in on alkalizing greens, low-glycemic vegetables like kale, arugula and lettuce (no iceberg) and carbs like sprouted-grain bread, quinoa pasta or oatmeal.

Listen, what happens if you do the same exercise, in the same way, every day? You plateau; you stay stagnant. What I want is for you to see results, and do it by treating your body like the king and queen it is. Exercise in each phase, and feed your body good, worthy foods before and after. Why? You’ve earned it.