From: Kelly Geppi, Health Coach
“I was curious to see if you would be able to provide me with a nutrition plan? I went to a personal trainer last year and was told to eat around 5-6 meals a day, 250 calories each meal, 22 carbs each meal, 24g protein and 7g fat per meal. I am 5’9” and weigh 151 lbs. I work out at least 5 days a week, 30 minutes of cardio and then weight training. I feel like I have hit a plateau and wanted to double check to see if what I was eating is right for my body? Thanks!!”
First of all, it’s difficult for each meal to have exactly the same carb, protein, fat and calorie composition so I’m sure you must be frustrated. Rather than look at each meal individually, I like to look at the day as a whole, making sure to include a source of protein, carbohydrates and fat in each meal but not counting the exact number of grams.
A lot of personal trainers are misguided about how much protein you need. A healthy adult should consume about 0.8 grams/kg of body weight of protein per day. It is suggested if you are very active, that you increase your protein intake to 1.2 grams/kg of body weight per day. Your protein consumption shouldn’t exceed this level. An abundance of protein in your diet can cause fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney problems and possibly lead to heart disease.
Your current diet breaks down like this: 40% protein, 35% carbohydrates and 25% fat. A low-carb, high protein “diet” can be okay if you’re still getting plenty of healthy carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and getting a lot of lean meats and plant-based proteins. Loading up on high-saturated-fat, high-cholesterol meats is a mistake. My suggestion would be a 20-30% protein maximum (and that is even a lot) and get some good plant-based proteins and lean meats/fatty fish, 35-40% carbohydrates and roughly 30% fat (most of it being the good fat, unsaturated fats and omega fatty acids).
My next suggestion is to increase the duration and the intensity of your cardio to get over that plateau. Start to combine your resistance training with your cardio so that you’re getting a more intense workout when you’re weight training. I would do 2 days of this type of interval/plyometric/resistance type exercise and then 3 days of your normal exercise; but increase your cardio time to 45 minutes on those “normal” days at least.
You have to “trick” your body so that gains can be made. Make sure these changes to your workout regimen can be maintained for the long-term. Also, always take the time to warm up and cool down and don’t forget the importance of flexibility and core training in any routine. Consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or your exercise routine.
Kelly Geppi, WCA Health Coach