...So how can we ensure we’re getting the most out of our workouts and refuelling the way we should?
DON’T STARVE YOURSELF:
A lot of people think the less you eat, the more you burn right? No necessarily. Muscle is metabolically active (meaning, it burns calories), but in order to do so it needs to be repaired. If you’re looking to build muscle, you’ll need to give them something to repair themselves with, so starving yourself is not the answer. It will also disrupt you insulin, the hormones that regulate your appetite and also your energy, which can set you up for trouble later in the day.
It’s important to switch out of the exercise = chocolate mind set. Exercises to make up for an indulgence can be a slippery slope, and creates frustration and anxiety in the long run.Something that could take an hour to burn off can (unfortunately!) be consumed in 5 minutes, so it’s important to be mindful of what and how we eat after a training session. Take time to decide what is the best way to refuel, eat moderate portions and as always, chew. Try not to scoff down the first thing you see and consciously decide how you want to refuel.
This makes the above a heck of a lot easier. If you’re dehydrated AND have low blood sugar, it can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure you replace fluids after a training session and if you’ve had an extra sweaty one, throw in some electrolytes or lemon juice to add some vitamins and minerals. Often our brain confuses hunger with dehydration so make sure you’re topped up!
COMBINE PROTEIN WITH CARBS:
After a sweat session it’s important to replace the glycogen lost during your workout and give the muscles building blocks to repair. The general ratio as a rule of thumb is 4:1 carbs to protein. This is the perfect balance to help your body repair itself from muscle damage and replenish your energy levels. Choose healthy carbs and easily digestible proteins (smoothies are the perfect post workout fuel).
MAKE EXERCISE FUN:
Research has shown that if you think of exercise as less of a chore and more fun, you’re less likely to want to binge eat post session. We couldn’t agree more! Exercise should feel challenging and hard but also a fun and dynamic workout! Find something you love so that you’re positively motivated to train.