No matter how well determined you are to go to the gym or practice a sport and eat healthy, you have to admit that it happens sometimes after working out to eat what you shouldn’t have because you believe that if you train hard the food you ingest won’t turn into fat. Big mistake! Working out doesn’t always help us get rid of all the extra calories. It’s what you eat before and after workout that will turn these calories into fat or energy. So, if you want to take full advantage of the time spent jogging in the park or working out at the gym, here are some tips that will help you out:
1. When you come home after workout, indulge on a snack in order to make sure that you will not attack the fridge as soon as you enter the kitchen door. You can go for a yoghurt with a spoonful of crunchy granola, a veggie omelet with a slice of toasted brown bread with seeds, an apple or a turkey sandwich.
2. If you’re working out hard and you’re also on a diet, don’t forget that your body needs proteins in order to tone your muscles. So don’t cut off from your menu a hardboiled egg and some white meat.
3. If you’re starving with a wolf’s appetite, don’t give in to temptation of eating something sweet or full of fats as cookies, butter biscuits, chocolate bars or pastries, chips or some French fries. If you do, you should know that the time and effort spent at the gym was futile. A small piece of fruit or a handful of berries would be okay.
4. If you go to the gym at night, after school or work, wait for 45 minutes or even an hour before eating and go for a big salad without dressing. Remember that your body burns the least amount of calories while you’re sleeping, so even if you have had your workout before bedtime, you should make a nighttime snack very light (under 100 calories). A high protein snack is best: a piece of string cheese, or a turkey slice and celery, for example.
5. If you’re weight training, your muscles may tear and they must be repaired for your exercise sessions to be effective. In other words, you need to eat something to expedite the repair. For this you need to have a protein-based meal because your body uses the proteins to build and repair muscle. After workout, go for a protein shake made with low fat milk or soy milk, a bean and cheese burrito, or chicken with broccoli and brown rice.
Therefore, make sure that your after-workout meals are nourishing, light and balanced – carbs, protein and a bit of fat. And whatever you choose, never, EVER eat it in front of the TV.