Working those muscles for the first time, in a long time?
Protein is key. When you perform resistance training you are creating tears in your muscle tissue. Those tears need to be repaired and we get there with two key activities.
1. Eating Protein
2. Getting Rest (aka sleep)
The combination of resistance training, proper nutrition (specifically protein) and rest will help you build lean muscle tissue. This is the metabolically active tissue that burns calories, not just when you are working out, but when you are going about your day to day activities as well. Your goal is to increase lean muscle tissue and decrease adipose tissue (fat) from your body.
On the topic of Protein. It packs a punch helping your body to repair, maintain and build muscle; a critical component in promoting weight loss and making sure those jeans fit - amazing. Since your body can not store protein for later, your nutritional goal needs to ensure you are consuming protein throughout the day to ensure you maximize the benefits.
Here are some simple tips to ensure you are getting 20-40 grams of protein every 3-4 hours. (volume of protein will depend on factors like your physical characteristics, intensity of your workout and your goals).
Make sure to include protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner, making room on the plate to pack in satiating protein sources to stay fuller longer.
Start your meals with the Protein first, leaving any carb laden items for last (when you are less likely to over indulge).
Consume about 20 grams of protein after your workout to support the rebuilding process by delivering important amino acids to the muscles.
Consider adding a protein rich pre-bedtime snack of about 20-40 grams to encourage muscle recovery at rest. (I like to use Casein Protein before bed)