Friday, November 15, 2013

Clean Eating - Day 11

Greetings friends! I must first say thank you for everyone who read my post yesterday about WHY we eat. I had over 100 views and I'm so flattered!

Today I want to talk about pre and post-workout nutrition, at the request of my dear friend Brittany! (Thanks for the request!) The more you workout, the more important these factors are to allow your body to recharge and refuel.

Eating before a workout makes sense to most people - you need energy to work your hardest, right? However, many people don't think about WHAT they eat and WHY. Eating the wrong thing before a workout can make you sluggish, or even get in the way of the fat you want to burn.

PRE-CARDIO WORKOUT - If your workout is focusing on cardio, stay away from carbs. By fueling up on carbs in your bloodstream, your body burns those instead of the fat stores already in your body. Yikes! Some studies say that cardio on an empty stomach is the best way to burn fat, but I personally have never been able to workout on an empty stomach. If you're like me, find some protein to eat before your workout. I personally enjoy a protein shake. It's not too heavy in your stomach, and your body digests it faster because it's liquid. No matter what your workout contains, you don't want something to heavy in your stomach. Otherwise you might make a big gross mess at the gym. :)

PRE-WEIGHT TRAINING WORKOUT - Here's where some carbs come in. Eat some fast-digesting carbs like fruit to keep you from crashing in the middle of your workout.  Don't go crazy, but carbs will help you push yourself through your workout and build the most muscle possible. You still want protein as well, though! So again, if I'm going to be doing weight training, I'll do a protein shake with fruit mixed in to give me carbs as well. Or fruit with nuts is another great protein/carb combo. Remember, you don't want to eat too much.

**Here I must put a disclaimer. Ladies. Feminine Friends. Eves. Goddesses. PLEASE DO WEIGHT TRAINING. You will not bulk up like a body builder. I promise. It's almost impossible for women to do that, and those who do have to try extremely hard. Weight training is great for your joints, supports your bone structure to keep good posture throughout life, AND lean muscle raises your metabolism to make it easier to stay slim. Plus you look more toned and generally fit. It's not that hard - lift a few weights 2 days a week. Please. I PROMISE you won't regret it.

On to post-workout! A lot of people skip food after a workout, thinking they can "save" their calories for later in the day. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking can completely counteract the effects of your workout! Here's the breakdown: During a workout, your muscles get torn apart. Literally. After a workout, they start to rebuild themselves. But without proper supplies, they can't rebulid themselves correctly. Your body is depleted of its resources, and it needs new supplies to help the muscles. Without those supplies, your muscles won't rebuild, and you won't get the full benefits of your workout! And I don't know about you, but I don't spend time in the gym for fun - I want all the good things that a workout brings!

POST-WORKOUT: No matter what kind of workout you're doing, your muscles need protein to rebuild, and your body needs carbs to refuel. (Healthy carbs & protein, ya'll, not pancakes & bacon.) But you don't need to eat a lot! Think of it more as a refueling snack than a full meal. I enjoy Larabars, personally, because I go straight from the gym to work, and I don't have time to heat anything up. But find what works for you. When I used to come home after a workout, I might have an egg and a piece of toast. Also important - eat NO MORE THAN 60 minutes after your workout. It's best to eat within 30 minutes, but 60 minutes is the absolute max. Right after a workout, your body is most actively rebuilding your body during that time, and it will be most susceptible to nutrition then. You could eat later, but again, you won't be maximizing your workout.

The moral of the story is - give your body the nutrients it needs, especially around a workout. If you eat small, nutrient-dense meals pre & post workout, you really won't be taking in many more calories than a big breakfast would give you. (For those of you counting calories - between my shake & Larabar this morning, I took in about 600 calories. But I burned 450 in the gym.) And by eating around your workout, it keeps you from being ravenously hungry later in the day, when you're more likely to eat unhealthy things. For some more great information on pre & post workout nutrition, check out these sites:

Now, on to the food log.

6:20am - Wake up

6:45am - Berry Blast Shake (see day 5 and 6 for recipe)

7:15-7:45am - Workout

8:30am - Blueberry Muffin Larabar. Black coffee.

11:30-12:00pm - Mid-day Walk

12:00pm - Turkey sausage sauteed with spinach, bell peppers and onions. Water.

3:30pm - Orange. Almonds. Sparkling water.

7:30pm - Grill salmon seasoned to taste. Peach and corn salsa (see day 9 for recipe). Roasted asparagus. Water.

9:30pm - Bedtime!

I was SUPER tired yesterday for whatever reason. Maybe it was the workout, or maybe it was the fact that I had late nights the two nights prior. Regardless, I listened to my body and went to bed very early. I woke up the next day feeling amazingly refreshed. Sometimes, people, you just need sleep! Don't deny your body of it - it can have serious effects on your weight loss.

That's all for today! Love, health and harmony to you!

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