Are you looking to add muscle mass to your physique? Or tighten and tone what’s there for a long, lean look? Do you hate weights, but never miss a cardio class?
Any and all of the above are great, and it’s important to find the fitness goals and challenges that suit you. While you’re doing so, be sure to target the right types of food, and when you should be eating them, to support all that hard work.
Eating and exercise are longtime companions. You’ll hear it said that it’s “80% kitchen, 20% gym” when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, and there’s truth to that. A poor diet can make you sluggish or, worse yet, keep you from getting the body you want no matter how hard you push on the exercise front. Want diet and exercise to play nice? Here’s what to do:
Don’t skip breakfast
If you work out in the morning, get up early enough to have a sensible breakfast (piece of fruit, oatmeal, eggs, or a protein shake) an hour before hitting the gym. Your body needs the fuel after the overnight hours, and your exercise will be improved in terms of both duration and density with some food on board.
If you’re pressed for time before your workout, make your meal smaller — but don’t skip it. A rule of thumb is to wait three or four hours after a large meal before exercising, or to have a small meal or snack one or two hours ahead of time.
It is what you eat
That meal, or snack, should be part of an overall healthy diet. A candy bar and diet soda, for instance, are not ideal. A meal consisting of lean proteins and vegetables is going to absorb into your system quicker, and provide more nutrients to support exercise, than a fast-food burger, for instance. And water — don’t forget hydration is key!
Eat when you’re done
You can’t drive a car forever on a single tank of gas. After a hard workout, have something on hand for a quick pickup, or plan a meal shortly afterward, so that your newly stretched muscles get the protein and other nutrients they need to properly function. A good post-workout option would be a quick digesting carb such as fruit and lean protein. Keep the healthy fats for your next full meal.
Above all else, let your experience help define your diet. A marathon runner needs a different caloric makeup than someone who takes a leisurely evening stroll every day. Even so, they both have a lot of similarities in terms of eating the right mix of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Pay attention to how you feel before and after you eat, and before and after you exercise. Find what works for you by trial and error.
And if you need some help putting it all together, My Pure Life has the experienced team to build you the right meal plan. Easy to prepare, easy to stick with — and delicious! Talk to us at My Pure Life about what we do, and how we can help you make sure your diet and exercise goals are partners in progress.