The Best Foods for Building Your Booty and Leaning Your Legs

Sarah Cann

You ladies have heard me talk about how important it is to work legs/glutes at least 2-3x per week in order to really produce change.  I encourage working legs frequently because they’re one of our largest muscle groups and result in bigger calorie burn post-workout.  If your goal is to drop body fat, you’ve got to consider working your lower half more often than you probably do now.  

Today we’re going to talk about the nutrition piece of building a strong booty & leaning your legs.  Doing the exercises is crucial to having great glutes, but what determines how your butt looks will be almost all nutrition!

So here’s the plan of action with your nutrition you need to start to effectively shed fat, grow your glutes, and reshape your legs:  

1) Eat Enough Protein.  You need to fuel muscle with both carbohydrates and protein. To simplify things a bit, protein provides the building block for muscle while carbs provide the right hormonal environment for growth. Most people have no problem eating enough carbs. Carbs for breakfast, carbs for lunch, carbs for dinner. Let’s throw in a carbtastic snack and you have carbs all day long! But getting sufficient protein is a much more difficult task.

I’ve found this to be the case with almost all my female clients. Even if you’re eating few eggs for breakfast, a salad with protein for lunch and eat a serving of chicken or fish at dinner –  that’s still only about 50-60 grams of protein which is not enough. I like to target about about 1 gram of protein per lb. of target bodyweight. 

If you’re not consuming enough protein from your diet, your body will not be able to repair and grow new muscle tissues. And even more damaging is what happens when you eat a calorie deficit with insufficient protein — your  body could start breaking down muscle tissue for energy. This is not good. 

2) Eat enough calories.  Calorie restriction, juice cleanses, detoxes – these all work in the short term because you are severely restricting calories. This is basic physiology. But this will wreak havoc on your metabolism in the long run. Your metabolism will eventually slow down and most likely you’ll gain the weight back once you return to a normal eating pattern.

If fat loss is your primary goal, it is true that you will have to eat at a slight calorie deficit, but the key word here is SLIGHT deficit.  You’ll want to determine your maintenance calories using an online calculator from healthy eater.com or IIFYM or you can use one I created a few years ago here.  

You’ll start with a 15-20% decrease in your calories, set your macro percentages with an even split between 30P/40C/30F.

So now we know you need to increase protein and make sure you’re eating enough calories. But what foods should you eat if you’re trying to drop fat and still shape your booty??

Once you have your target calorie/macro intake figured out, focus on getting this nutrition from whole food sources.  If you put high quality foods into your body, you’ll get high quality results, meaning you’ll gain muscle, not body fat.
Choose lean proteins whenever possible like chicken, fish, lean beef, egg whites, and whey protein powder.  Having a protein shake within an hour or so post-workout is a great way to help hit your protein goal for the day.  
 
Eat the right kinds of carbs, which are packed with tons of minerals and vitamins. Complex carbs, such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, legumes or beans  are perfect for your body. Stay away from refined carbs which you can find in any kind of junk foods, candy, white bread, white pasta, artificially modified foods and soda. These foods are typically packed with sugar or salt and have little or no nutritional value. Plus, the production of insulin increases and as a result, your blood sugar levels spike, which promotes the storage of fat cells, typically in your belly area.

Don’t forget fats do not make you fat.  Do not skip hitting that important macro daily.  The right kinds of fat can actually be good for you and your legs/booty. Nuts, coconut oil, avocados and salmon, for example, are loaded with healthy fatty acids that offer a range of health benefits.

If you need to shed body fat and reshape your booty, you must sign up for the Chiseled program!  There’s still time to join us for the round starting on Monday April 2.  You’ll learn your exact macro ratios to produce fat loss and build fat burning muscle plus the exact meals needed to make that happen!  Checkout the details here.