Working out is a great way to stay in shape, help kickstart your weight loss goals, and just make you have a healthier outlook on life. No matter if you’re working out at the gym or walking with your local neighborhood buddies, we all work up an appetite after breaking a sweat. But don’t make these post workout eating mistakes and throw away all that effort! Use our tips to stay on track and make the most of your fitness plan.
Waiting too long
Some of us think that if we eat right away, our workout was a waste and we start to feel guilty about eating anything. But right after a workout, your body is depleted and the best time to eat a proper snack is within 30 minutes of your exercise session. This will ensure that your blood-sugar levels remain steady and fight off fatigue and hunger. And refueling soon after a workout is crucial because it helps you rebuild muscle. Since the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism, which is great for weight loss. Just make sure you eat both carbs and protein into your post-workout ritual!
Speaking of protein, it’s a great recovery nutrient that helps rebuild muscles torn during a workout, but your body only needs so much! Try to balance your protein by incorporating complex carbs, like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. These will provide you with steady energy that your body needs, while the protein works to repair your muscles. If you’re on the go and want to get a small amount of protein before sitting down to a proper meal, try our nutrition bars, which have 10 grams of organic protein.
You’ve just left the gym, your aerobics class is over, the sweaty clothes are off, and you want to dive into that ice cream as your “reward” for a job well done. Well not so fast! Research shows that most of us definitely overestimate how many calories we burn working out. While occasional indulgences are smart — and necessary — don’t use your workout as an excuse to help yourself to junk food. Space out those “cheat days” and remember that these rewards are not going to get you to your fitness goals faster. Remember, the best reward you can give yourself is optimal health!
What’s in that drink?
You’re feeling a little dehydrated and reach for that day-glo sports drink…not so fast! Sugary sports drinks can replenish electrolytes, but if you’ve just finished a short workout, you definitely don’t need the extra calories that are lurking in those drinks. Only drink those or coconut water for intense workouts lasting more than an hour, or for workouts in hot weather. Drink good old fashioned water, which will not only rehydrate you, it will help you feel fuller until you can get a chance to sit down and have a proper, well-balanced meal.
Heading over to the smoothie bar after your workout? Be careful because there’s often ingredients in those big drinks that will sabotage your weight loss goals. They’re often full of fruit and sugary fruit juices that can put the calorie count over the max. Opt for a small glass of natural, fresh squeezed fruit juice if you’re stopping by the gym bar on the way out.
Now that you know these post workout eating mistakes, you’ll make better choices about eating after leaving that spinning class!