I started doing F45 with the intention to lose weight and build muscle. Although I used the F45 Challenge app, I didn’t like their recipe library and the meal plans that the app suggested.
I decided to reach out to several fitness experts and other F45 Training community members to their ideas about what food they eat to stay in shape.
This was the most eye-opening experience I’ve ever had and it completely changed the way I look at my food.
What is the F45 meal plan?
I felt a little disappointed after using the F45 Challenge app. The app shows how many calories I should eat and provide a meal plan based on the details I entered.
Here’s a photo from my F45 Challenge app calorie recommendations.
According to their app, I was supposed to be eating just over 2,000 kcal a day. I assume they calculated this intake based on my age, activity level, and the type of work I do.
Apart from the daily calories, the app also suggests a meal plan that is divided into 3 meals and 2 snacks.
Here’s a photo of my F45 meal plan.
To be honest, I like the idea that the F45 app gives me meal plan suggestions with already calculated calories for the day. The problem is that I don’t normally eat 5 times per day!
My goal was to design a strategy that allows me to lose weight and build muscle while eating max 2-3 times per day. (Something similar to intermittent fasting.)
I could not find the option to adjust the meal frequency. This made me think that their meal plans are not really personalized, but rather automatically generated.
(I was looking for that.)
F45 Training nutrition
My goal was to find a healthy diet that keeps me satisfied throughout the day. I was sick and tired of snacking in between meals.
After reading a number of articles published in The Journal of Nutrition, I understand that with eating 2 meals a day, my priority was to add as many proteins as possible.
I understood that no matter how many cups of coffee, or pieces of dark chocolate I had, it didn’t satisfy my hunger without enough proteins.
Now, I make a better effort to remember on eating protein-rich meals in the morning (I used to eat cereals for breakfast) and choose foods that have a low glycemic index.
Which diet do I follow on F45 Training?
Sweating in the F45t studio twice a week was a great way to feel good, but without good nutrition, I was spending a lot of energy in exchange for mediocre results.
Here’s a photo before I started to think seriously about my nutrition plan.
You can see I did have some muscle in my upper body from all these burpees and kettlebells. You can also see my love handles are still sticking out. Without a realistic nutrition plan, I was getting nowhere.
I rarely like to follow a one-size-fits-all diet or meal plan. I started to practice nutrition as a lifestyle and try to stay away from processed and sugary foods.
At the same time, I give a lot of effort to eat whole, minimally processed, and nutrient-rich foods. My goal wasn’t to follow a specific diet.
Things I don’t eat
There are some foods I try to avoid completely, and others I stay away from as much as possible.
I stopped to bring any cooking oils to my home. Before I would buy in bulk and use it to fry my meals. Now, I barely fry anything and switched vegetable oil for extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
Before I used to add sugar to my coffee, tea, and even salads. I love my coffee (probably too much though) and on some days I have no problems wot drink 5-6 cups.
Cutting sugar means I drink only back, but I have a fruit smoothie (as a treat) on weekends.
Here’s a photo of my mango smoothie and black coffee I order at my local shopping mall.
I used to be crazy about sausages like salami, kabanosy, and other processed meats. Now, you won’t see any other protein source in my fridge apart from chicken, turkey, beef, or pork.
Here’s a photo of my fridge after my weekly shopping trip.
I also stopped buying any processed meats
According to the study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, “consumption of processed meats, but not red meats, is associated with a higher incidence of CHD and diabetes mellitus.”
And since heart disease and strokes are common in my family, I try to limit my processed food intake as much as I can.
My wife often laughs at our fridge looks like a mini vegetable stall, but if the food had to be processed in the factory or has a number of ingredients on it, I don’t buy it.
Things I eat a lot
We started to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Although I’m not particularly eager to follow any diet, I would describe our eating style as a mix of paleo with plant-based.
We love to have a lot of leafy greens, beans, lentils, and tofu, but we also eat meats, eggs, and dairy products.
Here’s a photo of my typical shopping bag after we visit a local farmers market.
My diet plan included foods that are high in protein, fiber, and several macro and micronutrients.
- Lean meats
- Whole foods
- Greens and veggies
- Dairy products
- Nuts and seeds
Plus, my and wife I love to eat peanut butter and use it for a bunch of meals and homemade cookies.
The biggest mistake I made in the past was to eating the same foods over and over again.
This was a dumb idea becasue it felt like I was getting bored with my meals.
Other things I eat a lot includes:
Although I rarely count my calories or track my macros, I eat between 1,600 to 2,200 calories, depending on the day.
When I do F45 Training I typically eat more. (On weekends I even do F45 twice in one day).
How do I create a meal plan on F45?
For me, the meal plan should not only supports my goals (whether that’s improved performance or body composition) but also matches my current lifestyle and taste preferences.
Below you can find the list of tips that my wife and I personally used to lose weight with the F45.
1. I eat more proteins
What I like about eating a lot of proteins is they keep you full for longer.
“If I start my day by eating bagels and toast, my energy crushes, and I feel sleepy,” says Karen, an F45 Training community member.
“Once I start my day with a plate full of proteins, I felt less hungry, more energized,” says Karen.
For me, adding protein-rich food to my F45 meal plan not only helped me reduce my hunger but also makes the workouts easier.
According to the article published in The Journal of Nutrition, “12 adults who followed 10 days of calorie deficit without eating enough proteins had their muscle protein synthesis reduced by 19%.”
To me, it looks like dieting may accelerate muscle breakdown and people who are doing calorie deficits have much higher protein requirements, compared to people who are not dieting.
I don’t count proteins. I ensure half of my plate is made of proteins.
2. I eat slowly
“Eating slowly was the simplest, yet most powerful tool that helped me transform my relationship with food,” says Karen.
I followed her advice and I started to pay attention to how much time I spent on my meals. Now, I focus to Put my fork down between bites and chew a little extra longer than usual.
I also try to eat mindfully without watching TV or other distractions. My goal is to finish my meal no sooner than 15-20 minutes. That’s when I feel full, without even finishing my plate.
3. I eat fiber-rich foods
Apart from getting more protein, I also include fiber-rich foods.
Here’s a photo of how I stock up on vegetables in my home.
Some of my favorite choices are the veggies that don’t require cooking.
Also, I find that having a variety of vegetables helps to balance my regularity and stomach issues. If I skip veggies, I don’t have regular bowel movements.
4. I use supplements
I decided to take multivitamins and electrolytes because I sweat a lot. And according to my GP, replacing electrolytes after a workout can help with muscle cramps.
According to my physician, the best supplements include marine-based omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, protein powder, and creatine monohydrate.
Here’s a picture of my Optimum Nutrition protein powder.
These supplements help with reducing muscle soreness, increasing performance, and help to maintain lean body mass.
5. I choose healthy fats
I often find that taking 2 spoons of coconut oil can not only help with my energy but also increase my satiety.
Apart from satiety, coconut oil is also a good source of energy.
According to an article published in Mechanisms of Ageing and Development Journal, after you eat coconut oil, the body immediately sends it to the liver to oxidize for energy, bypassing digestion.
When do I eat?
I like to eat after my F45 workouts, as long as it’s a morning session. If I train in the afternoon, I eat early lunch and wait at least 2-3 hours before I train.
If my wokrout start at 9 am, I only drink coffee. If I wake up crazy early, I may eat a banana with peanut butter.
What I eat before a F45 Training?
I try to eat something that is easy to digest and does not stay long in my belly. I stick to fruits and smoothies and I try to avoid nuts and meats.
Before I train I mostly eat:
- protein shake
- corn on the cob
- cottage cheese
For drinks I stick to water and coffee.
What I eat after a F45 Training?
After the training is done, I often start with something light.
Here’s photo of my typical post workout meal.
It has plenty of tuna, eggs, carrot and sweet corn. Later on I eat some carbs to replenish my glycogen.
I often eat immediately after I finish my workout.
You can lose weight with F45 without dieting?
I tried and it didn’t work. Focusing on what I eat makes a huge difference. Without dieting, I would have to do F45 training together with the normal gym, which from the time perspective, is unrealistic.
F45 diet meal plan is not complicated, but it takes time to see results. However, because it’s a slow process, eating the same foods can be tedious.
That’s why I like to add variety and change things up.