When it comes to fitness and health, there are a few universal questions that I get all the time:
How can I lose weight faster, burn the most fat?
How do I feel energized enough to power through every workout?
How do I build lean muscle faster?
Two of the common answers to all of those questions is to not only eat the right foods at the right time but to make sure your digestive system is working properly so that you are absorbing all the nutrients from the foods you are eating.
The diet and fitness world has successfully overcomplicated the food, and I hope to simplify it for you today.
Things not to eat before a workout:
big meals - heavy meat
We all want that flat belly and toned body; exercise is vital to that, but food is even a bigger part to that formula because food is what are muscles, organs, tissues and skin are formed from. The quality of those things is going to be fully dependent on the quality of the food we eat.
A study published in the Journal of Obesity, took 200 people and increased their workout to 5-6 hours a week and kept their diet the same. At the end of the year, at average weight loss was less than 4 pounds.
Don’t get me wrong, exercise is very important for toning, anxiety, depression, overall happiness, and just being one with your body; nothing will replace. However, if it’s weight loss you’re looking for, the right foods are a necessity.
The purpose of a pre workout meal
Reduce muscle breakdown.
Reduce post workout cortisol levels.
Provides optimal energy power through the workouts
Research shows the body burns the same amount of fat, whether you eat or not before a workout. However, you can actually cause muscle loss if you regularly work out on an empty stomach. Here's why: When you're hungry, your body goes into survival mode and draws protein from muscle instead of your kidneys and and you liver. When this happens, you lose muscle mass, which can ultimately slow your metabolism and make it harder for you to lose weight. Plus, if you exercise on an empty stomach, you're not giving yourself the fuel you need to power through the workout.
You also may be famished afterwards, which can lead to overeating - and we don’t want that for many reasons. The physical affects of it and the emotional - because it’s often followed by guilt and we NEVER want to associate the feeling of guilt with food.
The foods you want to eat before a workout is nothing fancy, just protein and carbs coming from normal foods 1-2 hours before working out is best. When you eat protein, our body’s fat storage is mobilized to provide energy. Carbs gives you the immediate energy.
Examples of pre workout foods:
Brown rice (1/2 cup) with black beans (1/2 cup) with 1/4 avocado
Carrots with hummus (3 tablespoons)
Oatmeal (1/2 cup) with berries (1 cup), sweetened with honey or maple syrup
Apple and walnuts or almonds (1/4 cup)
Also taking 1 tsp ACV before a workout gives you energy to blast through workouts.
Organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains malic acid that increases energy through the breakdown of fat. Malic acid in apple cider vinegar also increases energy through its ability to dissolve toxins that cause fatigue and weakness. Therefore, one of the side effects of ACV can be weight loss.
What to eat after a workout
For optimal recovery, you want to replenish within 30-60 minutes after a workout. The goals of the POST workout meal is to accomplish the following:
Replenish glycogen in our muscles that was depleted during your workout.
Reduce muscle breakdown caused by exercise
Increase muscle building
Reduce muscle soreness and fatigue so you can workout the next day
Enhance overall recovery
Reduce cortisol levels
During exercise, your body extracts glycogen from your muscles, and breaks it down to give you energy. After your workout, your body is primed and ready to accept protein and carbs so it can immediately begin putting these nutrients to good use. The carbs will restore the glycogen, which re builds and repairs your muscles that were broken down, and helps keep your metabolism burning strong and build lean muscle, which will help you lose weight faster.
You also want some good fats in there. When you consume fat, you stay fuller longer , helps decrease your cortisol levels, and slows down the rise in blood sugar. What that does is limits fats storage.
Examples of post workout foods:
Smoothie made with half of a banana, one handful of spinach, almond or organic soy milk, and 1 tsp of PB
Salad with chickpeas (1/2 cup), olive oil and Balsamic vinegar
Stir fry with Sautéed vegetables (1 cup) with organic tofu (1/2 cup)
Quinoa tabulleh (1 cup) with cilantro, onion, tomato, lemon and olive oil and pecans (1/4 cup)
One of the other things you can do to recover from muscle soreness is add turmeric to your foods. Simply drinking a non dairy milk before a bed with turmeric can really give you relief from soreness the next day.
These are some great foods to eat post and pre workout. If you feel like you are working out a lot and not losing the weight, or eating the right foods and still not losing weight, you may want to look into your digestion, because it can be a digestive issue. They are very common, but a lot of people don't realize they its have them.
Signs of digestive issues are frequent constipation, bloating, gas, heartburn, or nausea. There are embarrassing, so we don't really talk about it and overtime we start to think that this is normal.
If you’re having bowel movements only 2-3x a week or having diarrhea, cramps, bloating or gas after eating something, these are signs of an improper digestive system. Skin conditions like acne, eczema, or roseca are also signs that the food you are eating is not being properly broken down and being absorbed.
Although they are very common, they aren’t necessarily healthy and are a signs that your digestive system isn’t functioning at its best. Poor digestion contributes to decreased vitamin and mineral absorption, which can interfere with weight loss.
If you are experiencing these symptoms regularly and by that I mean monthly or weekly, you really may want to dive deeper into that.
These symptoms are not normal and you don’t have to suffer through them; they are very uncomfortable but very fixable. Ideally, you should be having 1-2 bowel movements a day. Our bodies are designed to have have clear glowing skin, vibrant energy and sharp thinking ALL THE TIME, not some of the times. All of this can be achieved throughout optimal digestion.
Once your digestion is fixed, everything falls into place - your weight, your skin, energy levels. Ayurvedic medicine, which is an ancient indian medicine says that our body’ health is dependent on our digestive system, and now western medicine has finally caught up and science has proven that its actually true
If you feel that you have have been doing everything you can to achieve you results - putting in time workout out and eat the right things and still aren't achieving the results you desire, set up a FREE 15 MINUTE CONSULTATION here to see if I can help point you in the right direction.