We all hear about how having a balanced diet with exercise is important. But actually how important is it to time my meals before a workout? What should I eat before, during or after a workout? These are all questions that come to mind once you start training.
We all know that if you are trying to lose weight that you will try to eat healthy, follow a high quality workout program and exercise daily.
But there is one big thing to consider that we often don’t think about – your meal and workout is timing!! It is one of the most important factors in achieving your health and fit goals. This factor gives you the maximum effect by the increasing fat burn and help to maintaining your ideal weight.
When you schedule your meals right, and exercise for the right amount of time, you will maximize your results!
Now, here is the ultimate meal and workout timing guide:
Start with Breakfast
If you are thinking on skipping breakfast – think again. It is one of the most important meals in your day and here are some important facts you should know about it:
• Eating breakfast will help with weight loss and in achieving general health.
• You should eat breakfast within 1 hour after waking up.
• It has been proven that people, who eat breakfast, consume fewer calories later in the day.
• Having breakfast lowers the chances of you getting over-weight
• Regular breakfast eaters tend to keep daily exercising habits
• When you skip breakfast, your body stops producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight
• Having a healthy breakfast helps improve concentration and performance
• Lowers cholesterol levels
These are just a few of the benefits that eating a healthy breakfast will do for you.
Here is a list of good foods to consume together for breakfast:
Nuts, like almonds, cashews, walnuts or peanut/almond butter
Seeds (Mince your seeds – our organism likes them better this way)
Whey or Vega Protein Isolate
Use these ingredients to make a smoothie, overnight oats, omelette or even pancakes!!
Experiment as much as you can. You will be surprised of how much you can do with all these simple ingredients!
Our Breakfast Formula is pretty simple: Protein + Fiber + Healthy Fat
Many people wander around this question: is exercising in the morning a good idea? Well… The answer is simple. Yes – as long as it’s the right type of exercise. When you are doing morning cardio it is always a good idea to eat breakfast and shower with cold water afterwards to help with circulation.
The truth is, not all types of exercises are recommended in the morning. For example, strength training may not always be the best idea in the morning. Before a strength training, you need to eat a full meal, at least 2 hours before your workout. Because your muscles are colder in the morning and your body doesn’t have very much energy it will make it harder to have effective strength training. Your body will also lack of water and food and will have low blood sugar. Doing your strength training on an empty stomach is not always a good plan, because you may find yourself burning muscle instead of fat.
If the only time you can do your weight lifting is in the morning, here is what you can do:
• Eat your breakfast and wait a few hours to allow good digestion
• Have a high energy snack before your workout or have a protein shake on your way to the gym
• Drink a lot of water
Eat small, frequent meals!
Avoid taking huge breaks between your meals. Eating every two to three hours can help:
• control cravings
• control your appetite
• prevent variation in your blood sugars
• avoid over eating
• avoid sugar craving
• your mood
• more energy
By meals every 2-3 hours, we mean snacks and meals! The optimal scenario is to have three main meals and 2-3 snacks between each.
Do not forget about this rule. It is the most effective way to control your hunger and cravings!!!
Your main meal should always be at least two hours before a workout. No less or no more. After two hours, your digestion has taken place and you are receiving the most energy from nutrients to perform your exercise routine.
Try consuming protein, veggies, fibers and healthy fats for lunch. Don’t exclude carbohydrates; they help you maximize fat burn when you have the right amount of it. Keeping your carbs around 25g each meal will help maximize this effect.
Choose healthy carbs, like: Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Beans, Lentils, Squash, etc.
Pre Workout Snack
A healthy snack will give you some extra energy to feed your workout. For example, you could have some fruits, a protein bar, Greek yogurt or a smoothie.
Aim for something that is high carb and protein for before your workout – this will provide you with good energy during training. Be careful with high fat snacks, like nuts, peanut butter, or avocado before a workout. High fat foods take more time to digest and will prevent you from having enough energy in time for your workout.
Get your Fitness on!
Some people wonder if there is such a thing as a better time of the day to work out for weight loss. Like we mentioned earlier, two hours after a meal is usually the best time to start lifting. Usually, in the afternoon (2 hrs after lunch or supper) is the best time.
Here is a good example on how you could proceed in the gym:
Warm Up for 5-10 minutes
Strength training for 30-40 minutes
Cardio 20-30 minutes
Stretching for 5-10 minutes
Don’t confuse cardio with your warm up – in order to count as cardio, you would have to do 15 minutes or more of it.
Post Workout Meal
Your post workout meal should be no longer than one hour after your workout. So sometimes it is just better to eat right when you get home from the gym. At this point, your muscles are seeking for proteins. For a post workout meal, it is good to have protein, carb and healthy fat.
Here are a few ideas of what you could have after your workout:
• Chicken with veggies
• Protein powder and Fruit smoothie
• Salad with chicken or fish
• Greek yogurt with fruit
• Omelette with veggies
Protein powders are better consumed around your workouts. This is the time your body will make the most use of protein. So the more you can have – the better.
Alcohol, in moderation is okay. We recommend that you have it at the end of the day so that it doesn’t interfere with your digestion and appetite during the day and before or after your workout. Alcohol, in excessive amounts, does have significant effects on hormonal levels in the body, which can make it harder to lose weight.