02/12/2013 12:26 EST | Updated 04/14/2013 05:12 EDT

What to Eat Post-Workout

group happy people in aerobics...

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?

Meal Ideas

Here are some meal ideas for you depending on what time of the day you worked out.

If you worked out before breakfast:

  1. Boiled Eggs, Toast and Cottage Cheese
  2. Protein Shake
  3. A Scoop Of Protein Mixed in With Oatmeal
  4. Any Nut Butter on Toast

If you worked out between meals:

  1. Nuts and Dried Fruit
  2. Cottage Cheese with Fruit
  3. Yogurt and Nuts/Fruit
  4. Boiled Egg with Carrots/Celery

If you worked out before lunch:

  1. Chicken/Turkey/Tuna Sandwich - the real stuff, not cold cuts
  2. Tuna Wrap with Salad
  3. Pizza with Low Fat Cheese and Veggies
  4. Quinoa Salad, Veggies and Sweet Potatoes

If you worked out before dinner*:

  1. Chicken/Turkey with Veggies and Brown Rice
  2. Any Fish, Greens and Sweet Potatoes
  3. Any Beans in a Salad with or w/out Lean Meat (ex. Chicken, Turkey)
  4. 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.

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