WEEK 4: 6 Week Fitness Challenge Post Baby

Starting a new week!  Only a few weeks left in the fitness challenge and I have already seen/felt a lot of great results throughout the challenge except for last week.  Here is a recap of what happened last week…

Recap of Week 3:

I was at IDEA World Fitness Convention in San Diego, California all last week.  I did not do many workouts because I was either working different shifts as an assistant, attending lectures, or had my baby strapped to me!

Blurry, but a picture of me and my 2 month old baby at IDEA World.
Photo Cred: Jenny Schatzle. She saw me carrying my baby around IDEA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I did not have proper workouts, I did A LOT of walking.  I walked WAY OVER 10,000 steps almost every day!  I did not pay attention to the food I ate because I was eating out, but I do not think I ate enough.  I was hungry most of the time.  The food that I ate was not very nutritious either.  And one thing that I noted was that I was COMPLETELY exhausted and my brain could not remember things nor did I feel like I could formulate complete thoughts halfway through the day!  Yuck!  I will definitely say that I needed proper exercise and nutrition!  I did lose weight and I lost inches from the previous week.

Weight loss: 1.2lb

Measurements: I lost 1/2 inch all around

This loss of weight and inches could be due more to dehydration than to fat loss.  Week 3 was definitely a wash!  Yikes!  I did not feel well at all!

Week 4 Goal: Get back on track with workouts and with nutrition!

Fitness Challenge:

Circuit/HIIT 4 days this week, but focus more on time under tension (TUT) in the eccentric phase of each exercise.  Something that I learned from a session at IDEA world this year is that if you slow down the exercises in the eccentric phase of the exercise, you will get stronger and build more muscle mass.  Thank you, Charles Poliquin!  Charles Poliquin is one of the best Strength and Conditioning coaches in the world!

I will incorporate exercises that will help improve my posture as well.

Nutrition:

Eat well balanced meals! And eat less of processed food!

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WEEK 3: 6 Week Fitness Challenge post baby!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the start of WEEK 3 of my 6 week fitness challenge post baby.

Here is a recap of what happened last week (week 2 of the 6 week fitness challenge):

I did circuit/HIIT style workouts.  I also watched a little closer what I ate.  Meaning, I cut out more of the junk and ate better, more balanced meals this past week.

My workouts this week were shorter in duration, but more intense in cardio.  I feel like I got more out of my workouts this way.  I was going to do lots of burpees and jump squats for cardio, but my hips couldn’t even handle running so I had to switch to no impact cardio exercise.

The Rower Machine was my best friend this week.  I love how you can still get a GREAT workout even if you have to modify it because of a limitation!

 

 

 

 

 

Results: 

.6lb weight loss from last week

I lost about a 1/4in on average from my measurements from last week as well!

I feel stronger and can lift more weight.

My cardiovascular system is stronger.  I don’t feel as winded while doing cardio exercise.

I took pictures, but I do not see much of a difference from last week’s pictures in my posture and stomach.  To be honest though, although I’m showing some of my results through weight, measurements, and pictures, I’m doing this fitness challenge more to improve posture, hip pain, and increase my cardiovascular stamina and less on my physical appearance.  I do not judge myself or others’ fitness level based upon physical appearance.  I know many women who are physically fit and athletes who do not fit the world’s view of what physically fit looks like.  Here are my pictures:

Note my posture. There is still a pronounced curve in the upper back. Next week I will take a profile of my face as well to see if the forward head has improved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I saw more results from changing my workouts this last week.  I had shorter workouts, but they were more intense.  I know that improving my nutrition last week also helped.

WEEK 3 Fitness and Nutrition Goals:

This week is going to be a little more difficult to stay on track of my 6 week fitness challenge because I will be out of town at a Fitness Convention.  I will be able to get workouts in, but I will be eating out this week.  I am really going to have to do some research on the restaurants in the area so that I can make the best choices.  I will also bring an ice chest and store healthy snacks in it so that I can snack on healthy things while I’m there.

My workouts are not going to be as structured because of the fitness convention.  I will do their workouts, but I will try to get to the hotel’s fitness center if time permits to give myself low impact cardio if necessary.

Stay tuned for next Monday’s blog post to see how this week’s unstructured workouts and challenge to eat healthy go.

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6 Week Fitness Challenge, 6 Weeks Postpartum Week 2!

Well, this is the start to week 2!  Just to recap what happened last week during my 6 week fitness challenge…

Week 1 Goals:

Fitness Challenge:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 15 minutes cardio on the elliptical and Full Body Resistance Training.  Tuesday and Thursday Power Walk for 30 minutes.

Nutrition: 

Eat 3 well balanced and nutritious meals and 1-2 snacks to fuel my body.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED:

Fitness: I followed it exactly.

Nutrition: I did not do so well.

Well, I did well on the fitness challenge aspect of my journey to getting my body back to where it was pre-pregnancy, but my eating habits were not so good.  I ate a lot of snack food.  I did well the first day of the week and it went down hill from there.  One thing that I did that helped a little bit was getting the snack foods in a cupboard where I could not see it!  I suggest that to anyone struggling with the same thing!  Get it out of sight.  In fact, I was told that the only food that should be in sight is fruit in a fruit bowl.

Despite my nutrition set back, I made a little progress.  I lost 1 pound!  Ideally if you are striving for weight loss, you want to lose 1-2 pounds a week.  Something else I noticed is that I do not have as much pain in my hips as I did last week.  I thank my Resistance Training exercises from my 6 week fitness challenge for this.  My hips are not aligned correctly from the pregnancy and have seen (or I should say feel) improvement!  Yay!  I do not see too much improvement in my thoracic curve or lordotic curve just yet.  I will continue to do upper back exercises to strengthen my upper back and abdominal exercises to get rid of the lordosis.  I will also add some hip flexor stretches as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results:

Weight loss: 1 pound

Improvement in the hips (less pain)

Week 2 Goals:

Fitness Challenge: 

Circuit that combines Resistance Training Exercises and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for cardio.  There are lots of burpees and jump squats in my future!

Nutrition: 

Write out a weekly food plan that incorporates 3 nutritious balanced meals and 1-2 small snacks and stick to it!

Keep following me and next week hopefully there will be even more positive results!

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Follow me! 6 week fitness challenge after having a baby! DAY 1, WEEK 1

Hey everyone!  I just hit 6 weeks postpartum and went to the gym for the first time today in 6 weeks.  Follow me as I do a 6 week fitness challenge.  Here are a few pictures of day 1.  I have a lot to do to get back to the body that I would like to have.  You will notice extra flab on my belly, but what I really notice the most is my posture–forward head, slouched shoulders, and an excessive lordotic curve (curve in the lower back).

Picture of belly that was not there pre pregnancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can really notice posture deviations here: Forward head, hunched shoulders, and curve in lower back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During these 6 weeks, I will be addressing the extra fat that I gained, muscle loss, and postural deviations.  Follow me on my 6 week journey to getting my body back to the way that it use to be pre-pregnancy.

Pre-pregnancy weight: 138lb
6 weeks postpartum: 148lb

Goal:

My goal in this 6 weeks is to get my healthy body back!  How I will do that is addressing my postural deviations through strengthening my upper back and abdominals as well as stretching tight muscles.  I will address my weight gain through good nutrition that will fuel my body and cardio exercise.

Week 1

So, I am going to take it easy this week since it is my first week back after not exercising for 6 weeks.  I also want to listen to my body since there have been a lot of changes that my body went through these past nine months.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 15 min low-moderate intensity cardio and Full Body Weight Training 2 sets, 12-15 reps

Tuesday and Thursday: 30 minutes of walking

 

Let’s see this transformation!  I’m super excited to see the results!  Are you?

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To go organic or not organic? That is the question.

Hey everyone.  Do you ever wonder if you should be eating organic fruits and vegetables, but don’t want to pay extra for it?  I do sometimes.  I usually end up buying non-organic because it is cheaper.  The only time I end up buying organic is when it’s on sale and cheaper or the same price as the non-organic fruits and vegetables.  But that’s just me.

I have not found any study that shows harmful long term effects on the body from eating non-organic foods.  I know there are a lot of people, especially the pro-organic community, that beg to differ.  So it can be a controversial topic…organic or non-organic…Where ever you lie on the organic or non-organic scale, maybe this can be a cheaper alternative if you want to eat less pesticides on your fruit and veggies, but want to keep a little more money in the wallet.

According to an article “Bobbing for Apples” in the IDEA Fitness Journal, written by Matthew Kadey, MS, RD talked about a study that was done at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst of washing apples that were exposed to common pesticides.  They were comparing three different ways of washing the apples.  One was with a bleach solution, another was a water-baking soda mixture, and the third was rinsing them over plain water to see which would come out the cleanest.  According to the study, the water-baking soda mixture is what made them the cleanest.

After the apples soaked in the baking soda water for 2 minutes, it removed more chemicals than the bleach solution or running tap water.  But the baking soda water took up to 15 minutes to get rid of the chemicals completely.

This study was only done on apples.  So it is unknown if it would have the same effect on other fruits or vegetables.  But, if you would like to buy cheaper and eat pesticide-free apples and possibly other fruits and vegetables, this is how you do it:

Put 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 2 cups of water and soak your apples or other fruits and vegetables in it for 2 minutes or up to 15 minutes for completely pesticide-free apples (and possibly other fruits and veggies).

Happy eating and money saving, everyone!  Let me know what you thought of this blog post in the comments below!

You can follow me on social media (See side bar for links).  If you liked this post, please share it!

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Set-Point Weight. What is it and can it be changed?

Todays fit tip is about set-point weight.  I’ll be discussing what it is and if it’s possible to change our set-point weight.

First of all, what is set-point weight?  Basically, set-point weight is the weight that your body is most comfortable staying at.  Have you ever wanted to lose weight, and maybe you did, but you always came back to the same weight eventually or maybe gained a little more?  This is why.  Your body has a set-point weight that it likes to stay at.  Paraphrasing what Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP (Pediatrician and Registered Dietitian) said in the IDEA Fitness Journal “Understanding Set-Point Weight”, that set-point weight is a lot like how your body likes to maintain a body temperature of 98.6 degrees.  Your weight tends to do the same thing.  Your body likes to maintain a certain weight.  In fact, if you diet or restrict your eating habits, it slows down your metabolic rate to maintain the weight that it wants to stay at.  A research study showed that those who lose weight have a 3-5% lower resting metabolic rate than others in the control group.

That’s crazy to me!  So what does that mean about dieting?  Or those trying to lose weight through diet and exercise?  And can your set-point weight be changed?

According to the same article, it said that set-point weight really can’t be changed.  It actually depends more on “genetics, environmental exposures and many other variables we don’t fully understand.”  It is said that those who lose weight about 50% of those people gain back the weight within 5 years after losing it and a lot of people gain it back much sooner!

Well, that sounds discouraging if weight is all that you focus on!  This blog post is not meant to discourage those trying to lose weight, but hopefully bring some answers to those who are frustrated with the same results.  If you are so focused on weight loss or looking a certain way, it is time to shift your thought process and realize that you can me healthy and fit and not be a size 2!

If you eat nutritious meals and control your portions and exercise regularly, you will feel better and be happy and healthy.  It is not what you look like that should determine your happiness.  It is how you feel.  Are you doing everything in your power to be healthy? If you are, then that’s all that matters.  I promise that once you change your mind set to focusing on eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis, you will feel better about yourself than if you were trying to look a certain way or weigh a certain weight.  Not to mention, you will have more energy and have a healthier body!  Let’s change our mind sets and stop worrying about body image and focus on living a happy and healthy life!

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Kick Butt Tabata Workout





 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Everyone!  Here is another workout for you!  This one will be super fun.  This workout is a Tabata Workout incorporating cardio and resistance training.  NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED for this workout…unless you want a jump rope!  This can easily be done at home.  This workout is a quick workout too.  It will only take about 20 minutes.  Get ready to sweat, burn lots of calories, and tone muscle with this workout.  Beach body here we come!

Tabata refresher: 20 seconds at 100% effort and 10 seconds rest.  You perform that 8 times (4 minutes), then you get a 1 minute rest, then move onto the next set of exercises.

You can easily download a Tabata timer app on your phone or other electronic device.  I have found this most helpful!

1. Jumping Jacks and Plié Squats

Alternate between jumping jacks and plié squats for the 4 minute Tabata.  Jumping jacks for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest. Then plié squats for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.  Then you get a minute rest and then move onto the next set of exercises.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jack Starting position.
Jumping Jack ending position. Jump with both apart and bring arms up above head. All movement is done in the Frontal Plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plié Squats (Holding a weight is optional) 

Plié Squat Stating position. Make sure feet are turned out and legs are wider than shoulder width apart.
Bend knees to 90 degrees. Make sure knees do not go past the toes. Push through the heels back to starting position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Mountain Climbers and Push ups

Alternate between mountain climbers and push ups for the 4 minute Tabata.  Mountain climbers for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest. Then push ups for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.  Then you get a minute rest and then move onto the next set of exercises.

Mountain Climbers

Get into a pushup position and bring the knee in towards the chest then bring other knee to chest and switch legs back and forth quickly.

Push ups

Starting push up position
Lower your body down towards the ground keeping the back flat. Bend elbows about 90 degrees, then return to the starting position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Burpees and Plank

Alternate between burpees and plank for the 4 minute Tabata.  Burpees for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest. Then plank for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.  Then you get a minute rest and then move onto the next set of exercises.

Burpees

Burpee Starting Position.
Bring the arms down to the ground while bending your knees.
Jump backwards so that you are now in a starting push up position.
Jump again but bringing the legs in and knees towards your chest.
Jump up just like the jump squat toward the ceiling bringing arms above the head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plank

Wrist directly under shoulders. Toes on the ground. Hold this position for 30 sec-1 min.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Jump Rope (or imaginary if you do not have a Jump Rope) and Jump Squats

Alternate between jump rope and jump squats for the 4 minute Tabata.  Jump rope for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest. Then jump squats for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest.  Then you get a minute rest and then move onto the next set of exercises.

Jump Rope

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jump Squats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is your 20 minute Tabata workout!  I hope that you enjoyed it!  Let me know what you think of it in a comment below!  If you would like to get weekly emails of the workouts, then subscribe to the email list below.

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Ab and Booty Workout!





 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Everyone!  It has been two and a half weeks since my last post!  I’m sorry.  First, I sprained my ankle which put me out of commission for a week and a half.  And now that I’m well into my third trimester it has been hard for me to do certain exercises.  All my recent workouts have been in the water.  Alright, enough with the excuses!  Here is another FREE PRINTABLE WORKOUT for you since I have failed to get you a workout two Mondays in a row!  This workout is an ab and booty workout.  It is super quick depending how much time you have to devote to your workout today.  You can make this a 10-30min workout depending on your schedule!

Click on the link below for the FREE AB AND BOOTY WORKOUT:

Ab and Booty Workout

Below are some pictures of the exercises that are in the workout!

Squats

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Plank

Wrist directly under shoulders. Toes on the ground. Hold this position for 30 sec-1 min.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glute Kick Backs (Make sure you do both legs!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridges

Starting Bridge Position
Lift the hips up squeezing the glutes. Put all your weight into the heels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers Starting position
If you can keep your legs straight even better! my flexiblity is not the greatest at the moment. Bring legs to right side.
Bring legs straight back up in the starting position.
Bring legs over to the left side.
Return to the starting position and repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modified Windshield Wiper

Modified windshield wiper. It’s the same as the straight leg windshield wiper except that your legs are bent at 90 degrees

Supermans

My husband’s helping me out on this one.  I cannot do this exercise while pregnant! Thanks, David!

Superman Starting Position
Lift both arms and legs off the ground. If you have lower back problems, this is NOT the exercise for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chops (Do chops on both sides!)

Chop starting position. med ball or any weight at hip.
Turn torso and pivot foot while reaching the weight toward the ceiling on opposite side of your starting position. Do 10-15 reps then repeat on the other side!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought of the workout!

In case you missed the link above, here is the Ab and Booty workout again.  Ab and Booty Workout

 

 




High-Intensity Full Body Circuit Workout




This week’s workout is a high-intensity cardio workout and will work every muscle group.  I call it a 2 for 1 deal!  You get two components of fitness in one and it will only take you 30 minutes to complete it.  What a great deal, right?  Below is a free printable of the workout as well!  I ran this workout with a couple Young Men from my church one Tuesday night to show them how they can exercise on their missions and one had trouble finishing the workout.  So, go at your own pace.  But I think that you will be able to handle it!  Have fun and let me know what you think of the workout in a comment.

Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, Mat, Chair or Sturdy surface for dips, Jump Rope (optional), Pull up bar (you can switch to bent over row using dumbbells or bands if you do not have a pull up bar)

Below are pictures of a few exercises that are in the printable workout.  Not all are pictured.  To actually follow the workout how it was designed, you need to click on the printable workout.

full body circuit printable

Squats

Squat Start position
Sit back like you are sitting going to sit in a chair, then return to start position. Make sure your knees do not go past your toes and keep your chest up.

Lunge

Starting Position
Bend knees to 90 degrees. keep shoulders back and knees shouldn’t pass the toes. Place all the weight in front heel as you return to starting position.

 

Jump Squats

Jump Squat Starting Position
Jump Squat Ending Position. From the starting position with the arms back, jump up toward the ceiling swinging arms up above your head.

Power Jacks

Start Position
Jump laterally with both legs out to the side as if doing a jumping jack. But come down into a squat position. Then jump up into a standing position.
Ending/Starting Position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Push Ups

Lower your body down towards the ground keeping the back flat. Bend elbows about 90 degrees, then return to the starting position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burpees

Burpee Starting Position.
Bring the arms down to the ground while bending your knees.
Jump backwards so that you are now in a starting push up position.
Jump again but bringing the legs in and knees towards your chest.
Jump up just like the jump squat toward the ceiling bringing arms above the head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jack Starting position.
Jumping Jack ending position. Jump with both apart and bring arms up above head. All movement is done in the Frontal Plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bicep Curls

Start Position. Shoulders back. Stomach in. Feet hip width apart. Arms straight next to body. Palms facing up.
Keep elbows touching your sides. Bend elbows. Bring arms up towards chest. Return to start position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jump Rope (or imaginary if you don’t have one)

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLank

Wrist directly under shoulders. Toes on the ground. Hold this position for 30 sec-1 min.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side Plank with Rotations

Starting Side Plank Position.
Rotate shoulder towards the ground. Come back up to starting position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Climbers

Bring one knee towards the chest, then the other. The key is to switch legs very quickly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are 4 exercises that are not pictured above in the printable workout–Pull ups, Dips (you can do this with a chair), Sprints (down hall and back), and Bear Crawls.  If you need a demonstration of any of these exercises, let me know and I will post them!

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Leave me a comment below about what you thought of the workout.

Here is the FREE printable workout again in case you missed it!

full body circuit printable




4 Healthy Eating Tips to Fuel your Body for Workouts




1. Eat well balanced meals throughout the day

You should be eating well balanced meals throughout the day.  This will help you have the energy to do your workout.  This is especially true for evening workouts.  If you do morning workouts, you should have a pre-workout meal or snack.  We will go more into detail about pre-workout meals and snacks in the next tip.

According to Choosemyplate.gov, a little more than a quarter of your plate should be a complex carb, a little less than a quarter of your plate should be a lean source of protein, a little more than a quarter of your plate should be non-starchy veggies, and the last quarter of your plate should be fruits.  There should also be a cup or glass of a dairy or calcium source with each meal.  See a picture of what this looks like here.

I know that it can be hard to get vegetables and fruits at every meal.  I find this especially difficult in the mornings, especially if I’m in a hurry.  Below I provided a few examples of what you can do.

Breakfast examples:
Omelet with bell pepper

In the morning you can have an omelet with cut up peppers.  You can cook the omelet in a little bit of olive oil.  You can have a snack a couple hours later that incorporates a fruit, for example: apple slices and natural peanut butter or any other nut butter.

Oatmeal, eggs, grapefruit

This morning for breakfast I had oatmeal with a little bit of honey to sweeten it up a bit (not a lot!), 2 two eggs and a grapefruit.  That seems to help sustain me to lunch time.  But since it is missing a vegetable, I can have a snack in between breakfast and lunch of carrots and a little bit of hummus.

Plain Greek Yogurt, granola, mixed berries

This is my 2-year old’s favorite meal!  We usually have it for lunch.  I get low-fat or non-fat plain Greek yogurt.  I mix a serving size of granola and add a mix of blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries in with it…depending what’s on sale that week!  I usually add a tiny bit of honey to sweeten it up a tiny bit.

As you can see, some of these meals do not hit every food group on choosemyplate, which you can add to that meal to make up for it.  I sometimes eat what is missed during a snack in between meals.  If you also noticed, I did not add a calcium source for the first two examples.  You may want to consider having one for breakfast.

2. Have a pre-workout meal or snack

Pre-workout meals or snacks are very important to have.  If you are going to have a meal, you should eat it 1-2 hours before your workout.  If you will not be able to eat 1-2 hour before a workout, you should have a pre-workout snack about 30 minutes before your workout.  An appropriate snack would be something that has carbs and protein, but low in fiber.

3. Have a post-workout meal or snack

You need to get at least a snack in within 30 minutes after your workout.  This snack should be higher in protein to help rebuild and repair your muscles and include carbs. If you are looking for fast and easy post-workout snacks, here are a few examples:

Whey protein shake

Chocolate milk (at least 2% fat milk)

Peanut butter jelly sandwich

4. Hydrate!

Yes, I know.  This is not something in regards to eating healthy, BUT it is really important.  You should be hydrating throughout the day, before, during and after your workout. You’ll know if you are getting enough water based on the color of your urine.  If your urine is a dark yellow, you are not drinking enough water.   The ideal color should be a pale yellow or lemonade color.

This doesn’t happen too often, but if your urine is clear then you have overhydrated and should drink a little less water.

 

Following these tips will help you to use food (and water) to fuel your body.  You will have more energy which will give you better workouts.  You will then see better results and see your fitness goals become a reality!  Eating healthy will also help you feel better throughout the day which is a big aspect to being able to function and doing your daily tasks and activities.  I hope you liked this post.  Let me know what you think in a comment.  And feel free to comment and let me know if there is any other nutrition tip that you would like to hear about.

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