Fuelling muscle growth

Think Lite n’ Easy is just for weight loss? Think again.

Whether you want to get lean or gain muscle, dietitian Ashleigh Jones shares how you can use Lite n’ Easy to reach your fitness and physique goals.

Healthy, whole foods

They say you can’t out train a bad diet, and that really is true! If you’re an athlete, it’s particularly important that the energy you are consuming is coming from healthy, whole food sources. This is because regular, high intensity training sessions put an extra strain on the body, meaning you need more energy and other nutrients so that you can recover and perform at your best.

Lite n’ Easy meal plans are a great starting base, as they provide a foundation of wholesome foods that you can build on to meet your energy goals.

 

The power of protein

When it comes to nutrition for athletes, protein is the nutrient that gains the most attention. And rightly so, because athletes do require a little more protein than the general population. Protein is the main building block of muscle, and athletes need to consume more protein to support a larger muscle mass.

 

For the average adult, 0.75-1.07g protein per kg body weight per day is enough to maintain health and well being. For a 70kg adult, that’s 53-75g protein per day, which can easily be achieved with any of the Lite n’ Easy full meal plans (1200, 1500 or 1800 calories).

1200 Cal Meal Plan 1500 Cal Meal Plan 1800 Cal Meal Plan
Protein per day (average)

(includes milk allowance)

76g 87g 102g

 

However, athletes looking to gain and maintain muscle mass have slightly higher protein needs and should aim for 1.4-2.0g protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For a 70kg adult, that’s 98-140g protein per day. People with higher protein and energy needs can use Lite n’ Easy full meal plans as a foundation to which they can add extra high protein snacks such as yoghurt, eggs or cheese. This is particularly useful for athletes who need to create a calorie surplus to gain muscle. Other athletes might prefer to simply add individual Lite n’ Easy meals to their regular routine.

 

Protein timing

It can be tempting to try and meet all your protein needs with a huge steak at the end of the day, but expert sports dietitians advise that it’s best to spread your protein intake throughout the day. When we eat foods that contain protein, a process called “muscle protein synthesis” or MPS is triggered. This the process of growing new muscle tissue, and it’s essential for both maintaining and increasing your muscle mass. Research shows that 20-30g of protein, from high biological value sources such as meat, eggs, dairy and soy, will trigger the maximum amount of MPS.

This means that if you space your protein intake out so that you are consuming 20-30g per meal, rather than the majority of your protein in one meal, you are likely to enjoy the maximum muscle building benefits of protein.

Lite n’ Easy meals are ideal fuel for athletes as they are perfectly portioned and contain plenty of protein. Our Lite Meals contain approximately 250 calories and 20g protein, Mini Meals contain approximately 350 calories and 25g protein, while Dinners contain on average 400 calories and 30g protein. These options can all be kept in the freezer, so they’re ready for you when you need them.

 

Save time on meal prep and tracking macros

Anyone who has tracked macros before knows how tedious the planning, weighing, and tracking can be. With Lite n’ Easy you no longer have to dedicate your entire Sunday to meal prep or eat the same boring chicken, brown rice and broccoli each day. The range includes more than 50 dinner meals which are chef-prepared with guidance from expert dietitians and contain enough nutrients to fuel an athlete’s body. The macros are even printed on the label, so you can enjoy a huge variety of meals and still know exactly what you’re getting without weighing or measuring a thing. With a range of nutritious meals in different sizes, you can outsource your meal prep to Lite n’ Easy and use your Sundays for rest, recovery or extra training.

 

An athlete’s day on Lite n’ Easy

Below is an example of how an athlete with higher energy and protein needs could use a combination of Lite n’ Easy meals and their own prepared meals to achieve their physique and performance goals.

  • Breakfast: oats with milk and a tub of high protein yoghurt
  • Snack: fruit and yoghurt smoothie
  • Lunch: two chicken and salad sandwiches
  • Post-training snack: Lite n’ Easy mini meal (~335 calories, >20g protein)
  • Dinner: Lite n’ Easy dinner meal (~400 calories, ~30g protein)
  • Snack: 600mL flavoured milk

 

The above day of eating provides around 2,500 calories and more than 20g protein per meal and is an example of how an athlete with high energy demands could eat. People looking to lose weight can use our calculator to find a meal plan that suits their goals: https://www.liteneasy.com.au/how-it-works/recommend-a-meal-plan/

 

Summary

  • Athletes require more protein than non-athletes. Athletes should calculate their protein needs as 1.4-2.0g/kg per day.
  • 20-30g protein per meal is optimal to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
  • Athletes with higher protein demands can meet their requirements through a full Lite n’ Easy meal plan with extra high protein snacks, or by choosing from our range of individual meals that can be kept in the freezer until they are needed.
  • Lite n’ Easy ready meals are a convenient way to meet your macro goals without any meal prep or measuring required!

 

 

View the range of Lite n’ Easy meals here: https://www.liteneasy.com.au/our-food/meals/dinners/ 

 

Ashleigh Jones is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with extensive dietetics experience working across hospitals, corporate health, private practice and the food industry. A published researcher, she has collaborated actively across several disciplines including genetics, multiple sclerosis and sports nutrition.  Ashleigh specialises in endocrine disorders with particular interest in weight management, pituitary and thyroid disorders, and management of diabetes. Ashleigh is passionate about promoting healthy habits, especially for busy people and offers simple and sustainable nutrition solutions.