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.
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
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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