One question we get frequently is how to adjust food intake when injuries (or a big surgery) come into play. Whether it’s a nagging shoulder injury or a recent transition to post-surgery life, the logic basically goes: “Welllll, I’m less active, so I should slash calories”. Surprising answer: Not necessary.
Let’s roleplay an extreme-case scenario where a person sustained an abundance of 3rd degree burns: To heal itself, the body actually requires a slight SURPLUS of food/carbs to repair & heal.
Similarly, in a gym or post-surgery setting: If we have a new injury, we NEED adequate calories/carbs for the body to bounce back.
Every gym has the member that’s chronically sick or injured – they are probably under-recovering due to too much stress on the body, not enough rest days, and/or insufficient cals/carbs across the board.
If dealing with pain or on the comeback from surgery, body comp goals will need to hit pause & the immediate priority MUST shift to recovery.
⚡️CARBS help with recovery
⚡️FATS do NOT (although we DO still also want to be consuming ample healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, etc).
Recently Injured/Just Had Surgery?
⚡️Hang tight the first 7-12 days & hold same food routine as usual
⚡️THEN after a week or two, consider making adjustments as needed depending on activity level/what the scale is doing
The injury may not be as serious as you think & we COULD very well could be back to the gym after just a few days of rest. But if we immediately slash calories the second we get injured, we may actually stay injured longer
Quick Tips on How to Maximize Recovery:
⚡️Prioritize sleep (8-10 hours daily)
⚡️Prioritize reducing inflammation as much as possible (aka REST & get out of the gym)
⚡️Consume adequate protein (bodyweight in grams)
⚡️Supplement with fish oil, collagen, bone broth, turmeric, & glucosamine
⚡️Minimize inflammation from food by avoiding processed foods, sugar, dairy, and gluten temporarily
⚡️If surgery happened, gut health took a BIG hit from all the antibiotics/pain meds – up the ante on gut health with probiotics, fermented foods, collagen, & bone broth
Love these types of nutrition and health guides? My ebook (The Badass Nutrition Guide) is the ULTIMATE guide to your BEST you & has 125 pages of nutritional education, macro cheat sheets, information on how much to eat, tips on fat loss, deets on hormones, guides on cooking, macros, & SO much more!