Working out helps us expend calories, push past that plateau in weight loss, and ultimately helps increase our confidence to rock out in the bodies that we live in! When we take care of our bodies and provide them with the nutrients, movement, and sleep they need, our moods will certainly thank us with happiness!
However, what happens when these components that create our healthy lifestyle are off balance? Is this what is preventing you from achieving your goals? Do you not get enough sleep? Do you feel you are always hungry and unaware of the calories you intake? Do you feel exhausted from working out all of the time and frustrated by the lack of results?
Working out is good for both the body and the mind. However, it can be detrimental to a person’s health if exercise, as well as the food or fuel used to recover, is inappropriately included in a person’s daily routine.
“Although many individuals workout for weight loss or maintenance, exercising burns fewer calories than you might think. For example, you burn about 100 calories for every mile you walk or run. Yet, the average energy bar provides about 250 calories and a 16-ounce fruit smoothie has 350 to 400 calories, so it is easy to overdo it when you think you’re just preparing for your workout.”
Do you know how to fuel your body without making the tank overflow? Here are a few tips to get you started to fueling for your activity’s success!
- The early riser. Preparing for the workout. Working out at a low intensity, such as a walk, a bike ride, or yoga does not require much energy to participate in. Therefore, minimal fuel is needed. Hydrate yourself with about two glasses of water and a small snack, around 100 calories, to break the overnight fast and prevent overconsuming.
Do you anticipate a workout at a higher intensity in the morning? You can experiment with a combination of protein and carbohydrates 1-2 hours prior to your activity, such as a yogurt with fruit or a protein bar. Try to stick to foods low in fat and low in fiber to aid in digestion.
- The after-work exercise enthusiast. If you like to blow off some steam at the gym after work, it is helpful to focus on the timings of your meals in order to give yourself time to digest before breaking a sweat! It is recommended that you eat a balanced meal 3-4 hours prior to your workout, such as a Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with a side of fruit. “A healthy lunch will provide enough calories to sustain a late afternoon workout, but give yourself a little energy boost 15 to 30 minutes before your workout by eating a banana, orange slices or a handful of grapes.”
Yes, exercise burns calories. So how can it inhibit our weight loss? When we skip meals, eat lightly throughout the day, or do not fuel properly prior to the workout, we can become so famished that we over-consume with high calorie foods at night. Break this cycle through the tips listed above. Remember, everything in life should always be taken and given in moderation.
How can we treat ourselves after a workout without reversing all that hard work at the gym? Treat yourself to a pair of new sneakers, not food.
Looking for a healthy snack or meal plan geared specifically towards YOUR lifestyle and routine? Call us at 609-738-3143 NOW to schedule an appointment with one of our dietitians to discover your energy at a whole new level!
Michele Wroblewski, RDN
Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC
1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3
Allentown, NJ 08501