Not sure what to eat before you train?
What about after a lifting session?
Here are some great guidelines to follow when planning your pre & post workout meals:
- Keep fat to a minimum
- Go for a protein + carb combo
- Consume your starchy carbs at this time
- Stay away from high fiber
- Stay away from very spicy foods (most important for pre-workout if you don’t want any indigestion while you workout 😉 )
Good carb (starch) sources
- Rice (white rice if you want something quickly digesting)
- Bread, bagel, english muffin, wrap/tortilla, etc.
- Rice Cakes
- Low fat/fat free froyo (post workout)
- Cream of Rice
Good protein sources
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 96/4 lean ground beef
- Deli Turkey
- Extra lean ground turkey
- Whey protein powder
- Nonfat or low fat greek yogurt
- Egg whites
- Protein Pancakes/Protein Waffles
- Fried food
- High fat foods
- Greasy foods
- Foods that make you feel really heavy and/or have a lot of fiber
Basically when you go into your workout, you want your stomach to feel light and not weighed down. However, you do want an energy boost that comes from proper nutrition and fueling yourself correctly.
This is all said on the basis that you are consuming a balanced diet of all three macronutrients: protein, carbs, fat. When tracking your macros, this becomes easy to manipulate your meals and know what you are consuming pre/post workout so that you can adjust your other meals throughout the day accordinly to reach your goals.
If you are flexible dieting and tracking your macros, I would suggest dividing your macronutrients up evenly among your meals throughout the day and usually that will keep your fat low enough for your pre/post workout meals. However, if your calories are high you might have to reduce the fat at those two meals and make it up at your other meals.
If you are not tracking and are eating intuitively, (eat when your hungry/stop when your full) just make sure that you follow the tips above to ensure you feel good, energized, and strong in your workouts.
For those who work out super early in the morning, you may chose to not eat anything before your workout. If that is the case, I would suggest buying a good quality BCAA (branch chain amino acids) powder to drink during your workout. This will ensure your body burns fat, not muscle during your workout. It will also help with recovery and aid in protein synthesis (We love this brand, lemon lime is the BEST).
Overall, whether your goal is weight loss or to build muscle, you have to EAT. Proper nutrition is so crucial. If you are not eating for your goals, you will NOT reach your goals. And extremely restricting your calories (AKA just not eating or hardly eating) will NOT lead to good results, and vice versa.
So eat, just eat SMART 🙂
Want to learn more about “Flexible Dieting” and how you can eat the foods you love and still reach your goals? No food restrictions, just learning how to fuel your body properly with balance & flexibility.
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