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You are when you eat

You are when you eat: Nutrient Timing & Portion Control

As a personal trainer delivering nutrition coaching in Clapham – James Staring has helped many clients transform their bodies and how they feel through adjusting their nutrient timing and portion control.

Knowing what and when to eat to maximise training benefits can be challenging to say the least. Here are four areas to focus on.

1. Meal types

There are two meal types to remember:

Anytime and Postworkout Meal templates


Anytime: to be consumed at any time of day, except for 1 hour after your training session.

  • A combination of protein, mixed vegetables and good fats
  • For the fats, make sure you vary your sources to include nuts and oils (i.e. olive oil or coconut oil)
  • For the vegetables, go for multiple colours to make sure you get a variety of nutrients

Post-workout: these meals are designed to be consumed within 1 hour after your training session. (This may need to vary slightly depending on your schedule, but use the 1-hour mark as a general guideline).

  • Notice the increase in protein: this is to help you repair the muscle you have used during your training session
  • The starches replenish the stored energy (glycogen) that you have used during your training session. This will improve your performance in everyday functions post-training, as well as help you recover faster so you are ready to train again
  • With the veggies and fruit, depending on your body type, make sure you pay attention to the best ratio of vegetables to fruits according to your body type (this is all explained below)
  • Use your post-workout meals to get your starchy carbohydrates. Your body is more capable of processing and benefitting from carbohydrates right after exercise, as opposed to storing the energy as fat.

2. Portion sizes

Try using the Portion Control Guide from Precision Nutrition. By using your hands you will get an instant measure of how much protein, fat and carbohydrate (both starch and vegetables) that you should be consuming…no maths or science degree necessary.

3. Macronutrient ratio

In addition to the timing of when you should have your meals, it’s important to understand the best macronutrient ratio for your body type (by macronutrients I mean protein, fats and carbohydrates). For a list of what the different types of macronutrients look like, click here for a reference list.

4. Body type

There are three basic body types, which reflect different levels of ability to process carbohydrate:


Somatotypes and macronutrients


If you are an ectomorph[i]: you process carbohydrates faster than most. This means that you can:

  • consume starchy/sugary carbohydrates during/immediately after training sessions
  • consume whole, unprocessed carbohydrates with each meal (use the Portion Control Guide to help determine your portion sizes)
  • At each meal, keep your vegetable: fruit ratio to 3:1 (this will help control your sugar intake through fruit).

If you are a mesomorph[ii]: you process carbohydrates at a moderate level. This means you can:

  • consume starchy/sugary carbohydrates during/immediate after training sessions;
  • consume whole, unprocessed carbohydrates at breakfast (so you have the whole day to metabolise them) or immediately after exercise (use the Portion Control Guide to help determine your portion sizes)
  • At each meal, keep your vegetable: fruit ratio to 4:1 (this will help control your sugar intake through fruit)

If you are an endomorph[iii]: of the three somatotypes, you process carbohydrate the slowest. This means you can:

  • Consume starchy/sugary carbohydrates during/after exercise only;
  • At each meal, keep your vegetable: fruit ratio to 5:1 (this will help control your sugar intake through fruit).


To learn more about healthy eating habits to achieve your fitness goals, contact James Staring, a leading personal trainer in Clapham, London.


James StaringJames Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham, London. His methods have featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced that most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, which he runs with his partner, Ali Page – James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.

[i] Berardi, Dr. J, and Andrews, R: The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, Precision Nutrition Inc., 2013: 362

[ii] Ibid: 362

[iii] Ibid: 362

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