The hardest part of training the body for every client I work with on a daily basis is what and how to eat on a regular basis. I get more questions on this topic, see more puzzled faces, find more hidden secrets about what they are really doing from every good intentioned person on this topic. It is a puzzle for most people. The what, the how, the when and the nagging argument if the choices made were the right ones.

Most of us are actively in pursuit of the loss of a few pounds, the cinch of the waistline and the tightening of those legs and glutes. My clients work hard in their hours with me - on the floor in Pilates, in the gym or the park Strength Training, on the treadmill or the track running circles for miles of Cardio
calorie burn. Consistency in the area of activity is key. But if you come home and chow down on the wrong foods because you "don't have time," "don't know what to eat," or "get tired of the same old thing," then you have probably given into failing the true lesson of living a fit and healthy lifestyle.

It is not about how much weight you can press, push or pull. It is not about how many reps you put into a set. It is not about how many perfect Rollups or Teasers you can make happen. If you take the time and energy to spend hours a week sweating to burn the calories, you may as well take the time and energy to feed the muscle you are trying to shape, tone and build.

The work is the same for everybody. Fitness consultants, yoga or Pilates teachers, athletes, coaches and you! You need energy to fuel a good workout and you need to honestly and effectively replenish the fuel with the right food after the workout.

Here is an example of summer time eating that I have been using
regularly to stay on point and ready to deliver all my energy for the next client session - while still maintaining my body in its shape and form.

My morning starts at 5:00am when I get up and make a great strong (french expresso roast) cup of coffee. I never seem to finish the oversized cup, but I keep making a large one anyway! I generally have 4-5 slices of Louis Rich Turkey Bacon (I don't eat pork and the turkey is a leaner protein source).

Whether summer, winter, spring or fall, I always have a large bowl of Quaker Oats oatmeal; add teaspoon of Olivio olive oil for the good fat it provides and a half-teaspoon of maple syrup. I am out the door for a 6:00am client session.

Today I taught a 9:00am Pilates class of 12 men and women, following the two early morning client sessions. My breakfast held me until the end of the hour. But by 10:00am, on most days, I am hungry again! Before I start my own workout, I drank a whole container of a Muscle Milk Ready-to-Drink shake. I needed the extra fuel at that point, to support my 1.5 hour gym workout; cardio for 45 minutes, using the treadmill (15 minutes), recumbent bike (10 minutes), vertical bike (10 minutes), elliptical (10 minutes). Then a combo upper/lower body routine consisting of balance (single-leg) squats, deadlifts, cable abduction/adduction followed by frontal/lateral planks to pushups using the Bosu Trainer, followed by abdominals.

By 11:30, I left the gym and was famished.

Now here is the good part. I got home at 12:00pm and I don't want to sound at all like Martha Stewart (she is surely not my style) but the last thing I wanted to do was wait a long time in preparation of a meal. Just like you, I needed it to be quick, simple and easy!

SummerTime Meal - For Lunch or Dinner

So, I pulled out a bag of frozen vegetables (medley of broccolli, cauliflower, carrots, summer squash) poured a little olive oil (splurged on flavor by using White Truffle, Extra Virgin - so deliciously decadent!) in my wok, sliced up one clove of garlic and sauteed it with the veggies till the edges were brown. Added
a little water to fully steam the veggies. Simultaneously, I warmed a chicken breast (from the day before) in the microwave and by 12:20, I was eating the lunch of great protein and colorful vegetables and decided to blog about it as encouragement for you!

Any healthy protein (fish, chicken, beef or legumes) combined with brightly colored complex carbs (vegetables and low-sugar fruits) are the recommended ingredients to fuel your body and your workouts for the summer, winter, spring and fall.

The same quick preparation of veggies with a piece of salmon, halibut or even a grilled steak would be a great meal in the evening.

Hope this helps as another way to close the loop in the fitness puzzle for you.

Author's Bio: 

Gina Jackson, MBA, CPT, holds Advanced PFT recognition as a member of the International Association of Fitness Professionals (IDEA); maintains affiliate membership in the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) and is certified as a Power Pilates Teacher and a proud Business Member of the Pilates Method Alliance.

Gina made a conscious career and lifestyle change to fitness in 2000 and assists clients in lifestyle fitness training programs; she is the Fitness Consultant, creator and energy behind which provides fitness resources, tips, articles and MP3 downloads to assist your fitness goals in becoming a reality.