You just worked your butt off at the gym completing an awesome circuit including both cardio and weights and you feel awesome!
You shower and as you are getting dressed you notice that you are not starving but you do feel a little lightheaded.
Well it is time to eat a nutritious meal Missy. :)
After a good workout, your body has depleted all of its sugars which is why you feel light-headed.
Yep, whatever you ate earlier, you burnt it off working out.
Lifting weights breaks down your muscle fibers and when they repair back up they grow stronger.
This is how your body builds strength over time. So now you need to give them fuel to repair properly. Good stuff so they can get what they need in order to repair fast.
This is the time to eat healthy nutritious food. Protein is key here for muscle repair but complex carbs are also important as they will give you energy to move on with your day. Whatever you eat, as long as it has protein then you are good!
Fat Burn Window
Here is the best part. I am sure you have heard this before from a lot of people but when you do weights you tend to continue to burn throughout the day but you highest burn occurs within an hour of your workout.
So you better take advantage of this "fat burning window" because whatever you eat will be burn off quickly but retain the nutrition. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Here are some meal ideas for you depending on what time of the day you worked out.
If you worked out before breakfast:
- Boiled Eggs, Toast and Cottage Cheese
- Protein Shake
- A Scoop Of Protein Mixed in With Oatmeal
- Any Nut Butter on Toast
If you worked out between meals:
- Nuts and Dried Fruit
- Cottage Cheese with Fruit
- Yogurt and Nuts/Fruit
- Boiled Egg with Carrots/Celery
If you worked out before lunch:
- Chicken/Turkey/Tuna Sandwich - the real stuff, not cold cuts
- Tuna Wrap with Salad
- Pizza with Low Fat Cheese and Veggies
- Quinoa Salad, Veggies and Sweet Potatoes
If you worked out before dinner*:
- Chicken/Turkey with Veggies and Brown Rice
- Any Fish, Greens and Sweet Potatoes
- Any Beans in a Salad with or w/out Lean Meat (ex. Chicken, Turkey)
- Tuna, Boiled Egg and Veggies Salad
* If you are trying to lose weight then it is a good idea to cut/lower your carbohydrates especially around dinner time.
You don't have to go wild and go out and change your entire diet based on these suggestions but little by little try to incorporate a few of these options.
Since my clients usually do a pretty intense workout with me I get them to try for a few of these meals and they see major changes in their energy and also in their ability to build strong lean bodies.
If you want to have great workouts then make sure you eat well -- the energy needs to come from somewhere. I have seen many bodies transform as a result of eating well.
THE GOOD NEWS: Edamame is full of protein and fibre. SNACK TIP: Buy frozen edamame beans and keep them in your office freezer, says registered dietician Diana Steele of Eating For Energy in Vancouver, B.C. Pop them in the microwave and add cherry tomatoes for a quick and wholesome snack.
THE GOOD NEWS: Cucumber is packed with vitamin K (needed for strong bones) and low-fat cheese is full of calcium. SNACK TIP: Steele recommends making mini cucumber sandwiches by taking low-fat cheese and turkey and wedging them in between two slices of cucumbers — the kids will also love this one.
THE GOOD NEWS: Low calories and tons of fresh fruit. SNACK TIP: Start a smoothie club at work. Steele recommends having one person make smoothies at the office for everyone in the club once a week. Keep this role rotating and try flavours like mixed berries and tropical fruit.
THE GOOD NEWS: Apples can boost your immune system and natural peanut butter is full of protein. SNACK TIP: Dip sliced apple pieces in plain Cheerios for a crunchy snack.
THE GOOD NEWS: Eaten in portions, homemade trail mix can be packed with fibre, according to MyFitnessTrainer.com. SNACK TIP: For kids, Steele recommends making a homemade trail mix with seeds and dried fruits (avoid nuts because of allergies) and for yourself, add in popcorn or even whole wheat pretzels.
THE GOOD NEWS: When made at home, muffins are low in fat and packed with healthy oats and dried fruits or vegetables. SNACK TIP: No, we're not talking about the store-bought kind or the sugary ones you pick up from a bakery. If you still want to snack on muffins, Steele suggests making a batch of zucchini pumpkin muffins. Check out a recipe here.
THE GOOD NEWS: If you are buying tortillas from the store, avoid ones with excessive salt, sugar and corn, according LiveStrong.com. For the most part, homemade tortillas are not as bad as the store-bought kind. SNACK TIP: Take a whole wheat tortilla and spread almond butter on top. For an extra nutritional boost, wrap it around an banana. This is the perfect afternoon snack, Steele says.
THE GOOD NEWS: Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium, protein and probiotics (which is good for your digestive system), according to SheKnows.com. SNACK TIP: Mix berries or granola with a cup of sugar-free Greek yogurt, Steele says.
THE GOOD NEWS: Apples in general have been known to prevent types of cancer and sugar-free apple sauce is a great fibre booster in the morning, according to FitDay.com. SNACK TIP: Sprinkle crushed graham crackers over sugar-free apple sauce.
THE GOOD NEWS: Forget butter and salt, making popcorn in an old-fashioned pot over the stove with seasoning and a touch of oil can actually be a healthy snack. SNACK TIP: For a good evening snack, mix over-the-stove popcorn with flax seed oil and a bit of your favourite seasoning.
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