You are training hard and making fitness a priority, but are you seeing the results you should? If you aren't, or even if you are, you need to examine what you are fueling your body with. The right foods eaten at the right times can improve your health, energy, stamina, weight loss or gain, muscle mass and more. And if you compete, getting your diet right can have a positive impact on your performance.
If you are going to spend the time and money for personal training, fitness classes and gym memberships, you owe it to yourself to choose foods that will support your fitness efforts.
How to Fuel Your Body for Optimal Results
First, it is important to note that everyone is different. Differences in food tolerance, body chemistry and metabolism mean that there is no one perfect diet that will work for everybody. You can take basic guidelines about what works for many people and then tweak it to get it right. This requires some experimentation on your part. If you are training for a future competition, the time to get your pre- and post-workout regimen down is now, before you compete.
A good way to determine if your diet is bringing you the results you are looking for is to track your food intake. Keep a record of what you are eating and when. This will help you determine what is working for you and what isn't.
When You Eat Is Important
When you eat can have a huge impact on your workout. Simply tweaking your food intake before you workout can give you the boost to up the intensity of your workout or allow you to exercise longer. It also can mean you won't experience an energy drop in the middle of a competition.
Sometimes people are hesitant to eat before training, fearing it will make them sluggish or upset their stomach. If you are working out on an empty stomach, you aren't doing yourself any favors. If you are worried about digestive issues, train your body to handle pre-workout food. Start small, with a couple of crackers. Drink smaller amounts of liquid if you are concerned about drinking before exercise. Avoid carbonated beverages and fatty foods that are hard to digest.
It is a good idea to wait at least two hours after a full meal to work out. If you are planning on being active for more than an hour and a half, you will want to get some type of light, carb-rich food into your body so your blood sugar levels don't drop.
After strenuous activity it is important to refuel. Doing this soon after a work out will help curb your appetite so you don't binge later. If you have back-to-back fitness classes planned, it is even more important to plan your post-workout meals.
Getting in Shape with Fitness Classes and Personal Training
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