Nutrition is often the most overlooked aspect of a physical transformation. The best in the business are extremely strict and calculated when it comes to nutrition. Many models and weightlifters measure their meals down to the microgram.
Brooke Erickson, on the other hand, struggled to eat.
It wasn't a matter of meal timing or protein/carb/fat ratios. No, the entire aspect of eating inhibited her from living a healthy life. She starved herself trying to get lean. Once she realized that healthy living required healthy eating, she made a serious shift. Her trainer freaked her out with her initial nutrition plan: She needed to gain weight and food was her vehicle.
Brooke Erickson's Fitness Program
Watch The Video - 14:46
Brooke Erickson's Nutrition
Brooke has come a long way from the 89-pound woman she was a few years ago. Not only is she healthy, but she is a Figure model, competing on stages across America, showing off the body she was so ashamed of for most her life. She didn't get to the stage because of her deadlift max. Her diet put her there.
"I personally believe that nutrition is at least 70-to-80 percent of your results," Erickson said. "I think educating yourself, not only about food, but what's in food, is important. I think it's important to listen to your body and determine what works for you. People need to understand macronutrients and how many calories a gram of protein yields."
Food is hard to swallow for most people suffering from anorexia and other eating disorders. These are not ailments for girls who want to be skinny.
These are psychological disorders that never really go away.
Forget luck. Brooke needed passion to overcome her disorder, and she obliterated it.
Brooke's approach is holistic, with every ounce of food noted in her daily log. She eats carbs, proteins, fats, but everything in proper portions.
"If we don't have carbohydrates, our body's not going to fuel itself," Erickson said. "I log everything"
Brooke's daily caloric intake is roughly 1,800 calories. She divides that equally among seven or eight meals spread strategically throughout the day. She has trained her body to expect food every 2 hours, and she does not disappoint it. 30 percent of her carbs come in the morning, to literally break the fast from the night before.
"I am not perfect, but I do try to time all of my carbs (my nutrient timing) around my workout," Erickson said. "I try to have at least 30 g of a complex carbohydrate about an hour before my workout and then I try to have at least 40 g right after my workout."
Since Brooke busts her gut in the gym, her diet includes more calories than a normal person her size would need. If you're working, you're burning fuel and you don't want to run dry. Every few weeks she will adjust her calorie intake by 100-150 calories, based on her aims.
"Here's the thing about cheat meals," Erickson said. "I understand the concept that people want to have ice cream. And I don't believe in completely depriving yourself. So, do I think you should have a cheat meal like every week? No. But do I think you should allow yourself to have something every once in a while in your body wants it? Obviously everything in moderation, 'cuz you don't want to erase everything you've just worked so hard for."
Brooke's Nutrition Plan
"Nutrition is highly underestimated. You have to know what you are putting into your body, or the time you spent training will be lost. So many people go to the gym day-in and day-out, but they blow it in the kitchen. I found that most people lose the battle with food due to lack of education. Rather than seeing food as fuel, it slowly becomes the enemy; it doesn't need to be. Nutrition is actually simple, depending on what your goals are; it's calories-in versus calories-out. There is a lot of freedom with food if you take the time to understand what you're eating and what it can do to your body."
1 Calories: 170
Fats: 6 g| Protein 20 g| Carbs 24 g
1 scoop Calories: 106
Fats: 0 g| Protein 24 g| Carbs 1 g
Almond Milk Blended w/ Ice
4oz Calories: 30
Fats: 1.25 g| Protein .5 g| Carbs 4 g
2 Calories: 232
Fats: 2 g| Protein 4 g| Carbs 48 g
1/2 tbsp Calories: 45
Fats: 3.5 g| Protein 1.25 g| Carbs 2.75 g