I've just completed the fourth week of the routine my personal trainer created for me. (If you've read my previous posts here and here, you'll know that last year I lost 30+ pounds and wanted help from a personal trainer to learn how to maintain it.) In this first phase, I'm using weight machines instead of the free weights I've been using. My schedule is something like this with 160 minutes of strength training, 130 minutes of cardio, one yoga class a week, plus short, daily walks.
- Sunday: Upper body and core; 40 minutes cardio
- Monday: Lower body and core
- Tuesday: 30 minutes cardio
- Wednesday: Rest or active rest with yoga
- Thursday: Upper body and core
- Friday: Lower body and core
- Saturday: Spinning class (60 minutes)
I'm getting the firming results I wanted, but that's not the only reason I love strength training. Because muscle burns more calories than fat, even at rest, it's easier to maintain my weight loss the more muscle I have.
Muscle building requires protein. And while it's true that excessive protein can actually be harmful (see this and this), I do need to make sure I'm getting all the protein I should be, which is about 51 grams a day for me, and try to eat slightly more. Here's how I typically do it:
- 1 banana: 1 g protein
- Smoothie with 1 cup soymilk (6 g), 2 tbsp flax seed (3 g), 1 banana (1 g), 1 cup strawberries (1 g): total 11 g
- Homemade whole-wheat toast: 5 g
- 1 tbsp peanut butter: 3 g
- 2 slices Quiche with Greens: 13 g
- Mediterranean Bowl with 1 cup cauliflower (2.5 g), 1/2 cup chickpeas (6g), 1/2 cup brown rice (2.5)
- Salad with romaine, spinach, tomatoes & small handful of walnuts (4 g)
- 1/2 cup mexican-style black beans (7.5 g)
- whole-wheat tortilla (3 g)
- 2 cups steamed kale (4 g)
- vegan cheese sauce made with soymilk and nutritional yeast (3 g)
Daily Total: 64.5 grams protein
And that doesn't include fruit, veggies, and nuts I eat throughout the day as snacks. Another typical snack is a slice of wheat toast (5 g) and peanut butter (3 g). So I'm easily getting about 10 more grams of protein in addition to these meals.
Even though I'm strength training four times a week and building muscle, I easily meet my protein needs every day and then some. Here are some other good resources for good vegan protein sources: