What I would recommend for a meal schedule is something like this, for a ‘normal’ day - adjust the times as I go … since I’m just writing to the average person. This is more in tune with my personal goals at the moment but you can adjust to fit your life. Or not use it at all. It’s up to you.
6:15 – Morning cardio Meal ~200 cals–Protein shake, or something high in protein and low carb, either before or after your morning cardio. Depends on your stomach.
* 6:30 – Hop on treadmill for 30-45 mins, low speed, full incline *
8:00 – Breakfast, ~500 cals– heavy on carbs, with protein and fish oil or other supplement for fats.
10:15 – Mid-morning snack, ~300 cals– moderate carb, high protein, little fat
1:00 – Lunch, ~600 cals -moderate carb, high protein, little fat
4:15 – Pre-workout meal ~600 cals –mass/weight gain protein shakeORhigh carb snack with some fat and protein
* 5:15-5:30 WORKOUT *
7:00 – Post workout shake ~400 cals– My recommendation is a protein shake, with 2-3 scoops of dextrose (or gatorade powder) for quick absorption of calories.
8:00 – Post workout meal ~500 cals –Protein and healthy fats! Boiled chicken, vegetables, lightly oiled with virgin olive oil or something similar. Your body will convert excess carbs into fat, you don’t want very much after your post workout shake! Vegetables, maybe a small portion of rice for some carbs.
10:00 – Before bed– this is a good time for casein protein, low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, steak, something high in protein to help keep you anabolic instead of catabolic while you’re asleep.
That’s about ~2800 calories a day, adjust your meals accordingly (if you’re trying to gain weight, lose weight – of course, this is dependent upon your basal metabolism and not the recommended 2,000 calories a day!) Average person burns about 2500 calories, in my opinion, so this would work well for an above average person who does both cardio (going for a jog or treadmill), and does a weight training workout to maintain muscle, lose fat, and overall just get fit.
This is a very flexible plan and if you need more calories simply add more meals, I feel it’s better to consume food more often rather then bigger portions. +/- 100 calories over 8 meals makes for 800 extra calories a day, over a week that’s 4,000+ calories - and if your body doesn’t use them, what does that become? Fat! One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories - so think, for all the extra you eat gets added up over years, day in and day out. That could equal to 20-30 pounds a year (some days you’re active, some you’re not, Christmas you eat huge portions, but summer time you may never take the time to eat). Over 10-15 years, this number just keeps getting bigger and bigger until you’re very unhealthy, and unhappy with yourself. Make the change sooner, rather than later!
I talk about pretty bland meals, but you can spice things up accordingly … just think of what you’re trying to accomplish, staying high-energy (eating more carbs), staying lean (eating more protein), or pre/post workout if you don’t like shakes!
Remember, everyone has there own thing that works for them. The above may not work for you, but you won’t know that until you try.
What does your nutritional breakdown look like? Maybe you can share with us what you eat?