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Nutrition Questions

  • Following HIIT training in a starved state, do you think that it is optimal to have a post-workout shake immediately after or to wait 30-60 minutes?

    Speaking from personal exerience, I always performed HIIT after a series of meals and often a pre-shake during my cut. However I would always consume a post shake immediately after. I found by consuming a post shake immediately, my recovery was enhanced significantly - not inhibiting the intensity of the workouts to come over the next week.

    By performing such an intense form of exercise, you are going to put your body in a catabolic state - absolutely crying out for nutrients. If you starve it (by not feeding it pre- AND post-workout), you are going to a) inhibit recovery (which is essential with this very taxing form of training), b) slow down your metabolism - something not wanted for fat loss and c) sacrifice precious lean muscle mass.

    By consuming a post-workout shake, you are not going to suddenly get fat and undo your hard work.  The main role of this is to aid your body in recovering.  If your body does not recover, you are not going to effectively burn fat or build muscle - this is when you WILL undo your hard work!

    This form of supplementation has proved to be very effective with me - especially when I was doing 10 HIIT's a week. My post shake would typically only be basic - consisting of Whey Protein Isolate, L-Glutamine and dextrose (along with Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Glucosamine/Chondroiton).

    It's always good to experiment with different diet and supplementation strategies to see what's effective for yourself.

  • Hi Jay, I've got a question about dieting towards the end of my 12 week challenge. What I really want to know is how to eat in the last week, to get your muscles to look really full on photo day. Is there a trick you can do with carbs in the last day or two to get the muscles fuller?

    Towards the end of my challenge, there were a number of techniques I implemented to really enhance my physique and show off my hard work over the 12 weeks.  One of these consisted of carbohydrate loading.

    Over the course of the 12 weeks, I gradually lowered my carbohydrate intake until I was ingesting approximately 180g of carbohydrates per day for quite a few weeks leading up to my photo shoot.  My muscles were looking very flat as a result of both a restricted carbohydrate intake combined with such a high exercise load.

    In order to give my muscles a healthy and full appearance, four days out from my photo shoot I increased my carbohydrate intake from 180g/day to 280g/day.  The next day I increased my carbohydrate intake to 350g/day.  Finally in my last day before the photo's, my carbohydrates were at 465g/day - more than double a few days ago!

    During the time in which I carbohydrate loaded, I paid extra special attention to my physique.  If at any time I began to appear bloated, I would have eased off the carbohydrates.  On the flip side, if I was still looking flat (as I did), I would increase my carbohydrate intake until I was happy with my appearance.  On the third day of carbohydrate loading, I was in top shape and maintained this diet until my photo shoot the following day.

    Finally, my main carbohydrate source was from oats.  This has been a staple of mine for quite a while now.  Apart from it tasting so great, it is absolutely packed with essential micronutrients along with some high quality carbohydrates!

  • Congratulations Jay, not only on your transformation but your new website. Are you able to provide a snapshot of one of your days, the meals you have and training done all together. I am in week 9 of my first challenge; I am making progress but nothing to write home about. I believe I am going wrong with the eating, you mention 14 meals. Working full time with 3 kids I always like to know how people incorporate eating/training in their lifestyle.

    Hi and thanks for your question!

    Yep I consumed up to 14 meals a day - some people call me crazy but it's all worth it in the end.  A "meal" is what I referred to as each time I consumed something - whether it be supplements and/or food.  Such a diet initially was a bit hard to adjust to, but eventually it was like clockwork - I didn't even think about eating, it was automatic.  Each meal was fairly small, quick and easy.

    Being self employed, an eating plan like mine suited my lifestyle perfectly.  If you're working full time, 14 meals a day might be a bit of an obstacle - depending upon your training, 5-6 meals a day can still be very effective.

    Now during my challenge I varied the diet up quite a bit, depending upon how my results were going.  For example, if my fat loss slowed down, I could eliminate calories across the board.  Below is my diet from week 4 where I was performing a weights session in the morning and a cardio session in the evening.


    Time Weight (g) # Food
    7.30 AM 50   Oats
      200   Skim Milk
      30   WPI (Protein powder)
      100   Strawberries
      4   Flax
      5   Creatine
      5   L-Glutamine






    Vitamin C 1000mg


    Vitamin E 400 IU


    Multi Vitamin
    9.30 AM (PRE) 5   L-Glutamine
      20   WPI
      25   Dextrose
      5   Creatine
      3   GABA
    10 AM (TRAIN) 500   Gatorade
    11:00 AM (POST) 28   WPI
      25   Dextrose
      5   L-Glutamine
      5   Creatine


    1000 mg Vit C


    400 IU Vit E


    11.30 AM 28   WPI
      25   Dextrose
      5   L-Glutamine
      5   Creatine
    12:00 PM 35   Lean Meat (Tuna/Chicken)
      130   White Calrose Med-Grain
    1:00 PM 25   Oats
      20   WPC (Protein Powder)
      200   Skim Milk
      4   Flax Oil
    3:00 PM 80   Meat
      90   Kiwi Fruit


    6:00 PM (POST CARDIO) 28   WPI
      15   L-Glutamine
    7:30 PM 80   Meat
      4   Flax Oil
          Multi Vitamin
    10:00 PM 200   Cottage Cheese


    10.30PM 3   GABA
    10:45 PM  


      5   L-Glutamine
    3:00 PM (IF AWAKE) 28   Protein Powder Mix
  • I've been doing a similar routine to what you have done, I do high intensity cardio on a stationary bike, as well as heavy duty weights.I would like to know what are the KEY elements and supplements to use to make sure I build muscle while I strip unwanted fat?

    The absolute key supplements I took were:

    - dextrose
    - WPI powder
    - WPI/WPC powder
    - Creatine Monohydrate
    - Glutamine
    - Vitamin C
    - Vitamin E
    - Flax seed oil/LSA Mix
    - Multivitamin

    These are what I classify as my staple supplements.  Pre and post workout I would consume a shake containing dextrose, WPI, creatine and glutamine.  After each intense workout I would also have a vitamin C and a vitamin E tablet as these are both powerful antioxidants.

    The WPI/WPC mix I would consume during the day as a couple of my meals.  Generally I would alternate between a meal of lean meat, veggies etc and the next meal would be WPI/WPC, oats and a bit of skim milk.  This provides a great source of protein that's convenient and tasty :)

    I also highly recommend a good fat source like flax seed oil or LSA mix.  During my 12 weeks I used flax oil as my primary fat source.  I have recently also incorporated LSA mix into my diet for variety.

    Other supplements I took (which I classify as extras, not requirements) are as follows:

    - GABA
    - Chondroiton/Glucosamine
    - Casein based protein powder
    - CLA
    - NAC

    I found GABA has really improved my sleeping patterns and hence enhanced the intensity of my workouts.  There's a bit of research on this supplement suggesting that it boosts HGH levels and increases fat synthesis too.

    For the joints I use a Chondroiton/Glucosamine tablet.  This is just for the long term - lifting so heavy is sure to speed up the aging process of your joints.

    The casein based protein powder I have handy in case I wake up in the middle of the night.  I'll get up and down the shake next to my bed as to minimize the amount of time my body is starving (and hence reduce muscle catabolism).  This definitely isn't a requirement - you could always substitute this with the WPI/WPC mix.

    CLA has a bit of research to suggest positive effects on protein synthesis and also fat metabolism.  I'm not convinced it has aided my training significantly though.  There are also many health benefits to this so I take this supplement regularly.

    NAC is an amino acid that has been shown to increase fat metabolism and increase protein synthesis.  Again I'm not convinced that this supplement has worked for me - there's relatively little scientific evidence to back up these claims too.

  • Congratulations Jay on the results you achieved and winning the BodyBlitz challenge. I am interested in your eating habits as that was not shown in IronMan. Thanks Jay - Regards, Charmaine

    Thanks Charmaine!  I implemented quite a few strategies so that I could simultaneously gain muscle mass and metabolise body fat.

    Calorie reduction

    I would monitor my progress very closely and if my physique was not improving, then I made the appropriate caloric reductions in my daily diet.  Initially I started on a 2734 cal diet (233g Protein, 357g carbs, 42g fat). By the end of the challenge I was down to 1854 cal (224g Protein, 172g carbs, 30g fat).

    As you can see, I didn't go crazy with cutting out my carbohydrates. I'm a big fan of them for performance, growth and recovery.

    Meal frequency

    I was eating 12 - 14 meals every 24 hours (bearing in mind that a protein shake is classified as a meal)   By increasing my meal frequency, this would in turn boost my metabolism.  I would also ensure that a constant and consistent supply of nutrients was entering my system.

    Meal timing

    The vast majority of my caloric intake was consumed around my workouts (both cardio and resistance training).  I would typically consume a protein shake immediately before a workout, after a workout and another a half hour after my workout.  After this another two small meals would be ingested within the next two hours.


    I am a strong believer in the benefits of vegetables for training and general health.  Many vegetables are very low in caloric content whilst absolutely packed with micronutrients your body needs to function effectively.  Apart from that, they are great hunger suppressors - so I ate a lot of veggies!  The vegetables I ate on a regular basis included broccoli, pumpkin, cauliflower, tomato’s and carrots.

    Unprocessed Foods

    Disregarding supplements, my diet was based very heavily upon unprocessed foods.  This included whole oats, fruits, vegetables, meats, egg whites and milk.


    As soon as I awoke I would consume a bowl of oats, protein, milk and flax oil.  The last thing I would want to do is starve my body (thus inhibiting recovery, slowing my metabolism etc.), so I made a priority to eat as soon as possible.

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