You’ve heard this before (parents say it at least a dozen times a day), but eating is really important. You won’t survive long without it.
When it comes to weight loss and meeting your fitness goals- WHEN you eat is also very important. Many people think of working out as a simple “burn fat/build muscle” equation. But if you aren’t refueling after your workout your body will go into starvation mode; holding onto the fat you are trying to burn and withholding the nutrients needed to turn your efforts into muscle. NOTHING good comes from starving your body.
Ideally you should be eating within a half hour of ending your workout. Not a half hour after getting home- but 30 minutes from the time you call it a day and start looking for a shower. Eating so soon after your workout signals to your body that “more energy is coming in- it’s ok to let go of the reserves.” This means your body will release what you currently carry as fat and provide the nutrients needed to restore and rebuild your muscles.
What you are eating also affects the signals your brain is sending. The rule of thumb is to eat 4 grams of carbs for every 1 gram of protein. Good news: Chocolate milk is an almost perfect ratio. Some other great ideas are:
Oatmeal with protein powder
Cottage cheese with fruit
Bananas and almonds
Crackers and peanut butter
Tuna and a sweet potato
In addition to the starvation example, not eating after a workout will often leave you feeling sore, fatigued, and can even affect your metabolism by slowing that down as well. In a nutshell- a workout without a post workout snack/meal is a wasted workout.
It’s worth it:
Building muscle is hard work; if you could only see all that your body goes through to make muscle mass a reality! To be successful at the lose weight/build muscle equation you really need to take care of your body. So many people see less than desirable results- even though they’re working really hard- because they’re not properly caring and replenishing their bodies. Successful weight loss/muscle gains require exercise, eating the right things (at the right time), rehydrating resting, and getting adequate sleep. And everyBODY is different so that equation can look very different from person to person.
If you need help figuring out that equation for you– don’t hesitate to come talk to us.
We wish you good health,
Columbia Basin Racquet Club
Photo Credit: ThouroughlyReviewed via Flickr