Shortcut To Size: Phase 2, Week 8, Day 56

Active rest for the body, more knowledge for the mind. Follow the doctor's orders for best results!
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Doctor's Orders: Post-Workout Food

Think of the post-training meal as two-tiered. First comes the liquid protein recovery drink and fast carbs, mentioned yesterday. Second, about 30-to-60 minutes later, comes a large solid-food meal high in protein. To really maximize mass-building with the Shortcut to Size program, you also want to consume a significant quantity of slow-digesting carbs at this meal (at least 30-to-60 grams) from foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, or whole-wheat pasta.

If you train right before dinner, be sure to add these carbs to the sample dinner menu that focuses mainly on protein and fibrous carbohydrates from vegetables. Piggy-backing another meal on the post-workout shake and carbs helps keep muscle protein synthesis turned on for longer, and that can lead to greater muscle growth. Plus, since the carbs from these two post-workout meals will be used to replenish your glycogen levels, there is little chance they will get turned into fat, regardless of what time of day it is. Yes, even at night.

If you lift very late at night and then go to bed within an hour or so of your workout, follow your post-workout shake and fast carbs with a whole food meal that consists of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt to take advantage of the slow-digesting casein. With that, have a cup of cooked oatmeal, a medium sweet potato, or ½ cup of cooked brown rice.

Active Rest

Remember that every rest day should be an active rest day. Rest days are for recovery; they're not an excuse to be lazy. Get out and hit 15-30 minutes of HIIT cardio today, or perform 30-60 minutes of your favorite activity: hiking, biking, walking, playing a sport, etc.

Get Your Daily Meal Plan Here

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I've published more than 100 fitness articles and became the 2012 Male Writer of the Year. My goal is to help you get in the best shape possible!

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About The Author

Jim holds a doctorate in exercise physiology and has been the personal nutrition and health consultant for numerous celebrity clients...

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Please tell me: why is this not in the beginning, under nutrition? I workout before dinner (and in accordance with the nutrition plan, after afternoon snack and before dinner). But I had to wait 56 days to find out that slow digesting carbohydrates are essential after working out, because the nutrition plan apparently recommends you essentially do not eat ANY slow carbohydrates after working out. I don't get it - if this matters, really, put it first instead of randomly sandwiched somewehere. Not to knock the rest of the plan, but really.

May 13, 2013 10:48pm | report

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I workout at 3PM every day and don't usually have dinner until 7PM. I'll have to figure out a wat to work yet another meal into this scedule. I'm not sure what the best way to do this is? Maybe cut down on the breakfast meals and have a cottage cheese and oatmeal snack?

I agree with JKoswima... why not mention this upfront? Probably because for a newbie the whole thing is kind of overwhelming to start and this 'fine tunning' stuff can come later... I guess?

Jul 23, 2013 11:29am | report
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