Whenever someone is starting on a new exercise program one of the first questions I get is what should I eat?? And if it isn’t the first question I get, it is the first question I ask…what are you eating? It often becomes an exercise unto itself, to figure out what to eat before and after a workout. Here are a few key tips to follow to get you going…
1) Eat approximately 1 to 2 hours prior to your workout. The closer to your workout it is the less you should eat. (One of the first things that happens when you are exercising is the blood gets redirected from your digestive system to your muscles so you want to make sure all your food is digested before you start or at best it will sit there like an uncomfortable lump, at worst your body could expel what is left in there!) ps-exercising without eating is not a better way to burn more fat, it is a recipe for low energy and a bad workout.
2) Eat approximately 1/2 to 1 hour after your workout to replenish your energy stores. The size depends on when your next meal is going to be. The closer to your next meal, the smaller it should be…unless of course it is your next meal!
3) Choose snacks or meals that are a combination of proteins, carbs and good fats.
Here are some 150 calorie snack ideas that are perfect for before or after a workout/run:
Yogurt and Berries: 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt + 1/4 cup blueberries + 1/2 tbsp ground flax
Crackers and Cheese: 13 Mary’s Gourmet Crackers + 1 oz low fat cheese
Veggies and Dip: 1 cup chopped veggies + 5 tbsp hummus dip
Fruit and Nuts: 1 apple and 10 almonds
Soynuts and Raisins: 1/8 cup roasted soy nuts + 2 tbsp raisins
Smoothie: 15gm protein powder + 6 oz water + 1 cup frozen mixed berries + 1tsp flax oil
Christine is a yoga instructor, personal trainer and nutritionist who specializes in weight loss and womens health at Four Forty Fitness for Women in Burlington, Ontario. Check out the website at www.fourfortyfitness.ca