When it comes down to losing weight, many people believe that you just need to eat less and exercise more to achieve your goals. In reality, you need to eat the right foods, at the right time, at the right portion. More importantly, feeding your body before and after every workout is crucial for burning calories, keeping energized, building lean muscle, losing weight, and speeding up recovery time. If you work out on an empty stomach often, you’ll only lose muscle and not actually burn fat. Eating before a workout will ensure you draw protein from the right sources, maintain your metabolism, and have enough energy to power through your workout!
What to eat before working out:
- Brown rice with black beans (1 cup)
- A sweet potato with steamed broccoli in olive oil (1 cup)
- 1 Whole banana with 2 tablespoons of almond butter
- Multi-grain crackers with hummus (3 tablespoons)
- ½ cup Plain Oatmeal with berries (can be sweetened with a little stevia or agave)
- 1 Whole Apple and walnuts (1/4 cup)
You’ll need to start refueling 30 minutes to an hour after your workout! After exercising, your muscles will be depleted of glycogen, which fuels your energy to workout. Consuming protein and a little bit of carbohydrates after your workout will refill energy stores, build and repair muscle, and help keep your metabolism burning.
What to eat after a workout:
- Protein shake: 1/2 banana, one scoop of protein powder, almond milk. (Add hemp seeds for extra protein!)
- Salad with roasted chickpeas (1/2 cup), light olive oil and vinegar
- 1 Cup of Sautéed or steamed vegetables a ½ cup of tofu
- 1 Cup of Quinoa with 1 cup black berries and ¼ cup pecans
- 2 Slices of multigrain bread with 2 tablespoons of raw peanut butter
- Burrito Bowl: beans (1/2 cup), brown rice (1/2 cup), guacamole (2 tablespoons), and salsa