Fueling your workout properly will help you to maximize the benefits of your efforts. The average exerciser (someone who works off 200-500 calories 3-4 times a week) with weight loss or maintenance as a goal, doesn’t need to add additional calories to their daily allotment to compensate for exercise. With an eating pattern of six small protein-rich meals/snacks already in place, simply time meals/snacks to support workouts.
As weight is lost, the body’s daily calorie needs decrease. After all, it’s a lot easier to move without the burden of excess weight. Regular exercise helps to make up for this slowdown in the metabolism, along with all the other awesome benefits it provides.
Before Your Workout
Eat a 100-150 calorie snack approximately 30-60 minutes before a workout. Your pre-workout snack should contain some carbohydrate along with a little protein (10-15 grams). Be sure to hydrate all day long, not just when you feel thirsty, especially on workout days.
Pre-workout Snack Ideas
- A fruit and/or veggie smoothie with a scoop of Greek yogurt or protein powder—drink ½ before your workout and ½ after
- A small fresh apple, pear, or banana with 1 tablespoon of peanut or other nut butter
- Greek yogurt with fresh berries
- A slice of light bread with a thin smear of peanut butter, topped with banana slices
- A glass of low-fat milk
- Low-fat cottage cheese and fruit
- Light cheese and crackers
- Hummus and ¼ pita bread
- ½ cup of cooked oatmeal made with milk or a little protein powder added