Eating a proper diet impacts results in the gym to a far greater degree than most people think. Depending on what your actual goals are in the gym (for instance, weight loss), an appropriate diet can be just important to achieving the results you’re after as the workout itself.
There’s lots to talk about relating to how nutrition affects your personal training results, so we’ve broken down some of the your “need to know” information in bite size morsels (pardon the pun).
Food is the fuel by which you get your energy. You need adequate fuel for your workout routine, so it only makes sense that you should eat adequately before any fitness routine, and to also “refuel” after an exercise routine.
If you exercise in the morning and choose to skip breakfast, your body will use up its stored energy supply. If you refuse to eat breakfast in the morning, try eating a piece of fruit.
Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats
It’s recommended meals that are high in complex carbohydrates (your source of energy) be consumed before exercising. For more strenuous exercising, a slightly larger meal consumed at least a few hours in advance of exercising works best. Healthy carbohydrates such as oatmeal , whole grain breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, rice and pastas. Combining healthy carbohydrates such as the ones above with a lean protein such as lean chicken, fish, eggs and beans will allow for better absorption of your food and keep you feeling full much longer, while stabilizing your blood sugar and have a more positive effect on weight loss. Adding healthy fats to your diet such as low-fat dairy products, like 1 percent milk, olive oil, an avocado or other sources of healthy fats is also essential in a balanced diet containing optimal body nutrition. Try to have a combination of items from all three of these food groups at each of your major meals.
If your goal in exercising is specifically to lose weight, eating 5-6 smaller “fist size” meals daily, mixing healthy carbohydrates, proteins and fats high on the glycemic index will go a long way to helping you achieve your weight loss goals much more quickly. After all, your body’s metabolism functions like a fire – by stoking it with smaller meals that burn for longer periods of time, you’ll keep the fire burning stronger and longer.
Meals After Exercise
After exercising, your body refuels and rebuilds muscle tissue. Proteins form the ingredients for your body’s muscles. After workout meals should be high in lean protein to ensure your body recovers and rebuilds itself properly before your next exercise routine.
A Word on Clean Eating
For best nutritional, health and fitness results and increased well-being, processed foods should be avoided wherever possible. A food that is processed comes in some sort of packaging and is usually altered with additives, preservatives and other items your body will see as foreign elements.