Are you busting your butt in the gym, only to sabotage your butt in the kitchen?
An hour of Zumba plus a full body resistance training circuit on Monday, spin class on Tuesday and more lifting, walking hills in the neighborhood on Wednesday plus squats and lunges, Thursday some yoga then more weights, Friday is your rest day then back at it for weekend warrior fun! Is this YOU?? Great work! Way to train! Way to commit! Oh wait, you went to Zumba on an empty stomach and didn’t eat until mid-day? Then, you ate a pint of ice cream on Tuesday because “you deserved it after spin and weights.” And, you went out for pizza and wings because “that’s what you do every Wednesday??” Maybe Thursday you ate clean all day then made Christmas cookies and ate ¼ of the batter and sampled a cookie every time a sheet came out of the oven? Does this sound familiar? Sounds like you are busting your butt in the gym only to sabotage your butt in the kitchen.
What are you gonna do about it? Most people are overwhelmed when it comes to making healthy food choices and eating clean. Here are some basic tips to get you started.
Water first! As soon as you wake up drink a glass of water. I keep one next to my bed. I’m pregnant so I wake up three times in the night. I sip on it when I return from my bathroom trip. Then in the morning, I chug the rest before my feet hit the floor. Drinking water first thing helps to get everything moving! Drink one gallon of water every single day. It seems like a lot at first, but you will feel wonderful!
Eat breakfast for heaven’s sake! Are people still skipping breakfast? Yes, they are. I know these people. Make yourself a breakfast that consists of protein, carbs and fat. Most people skip the protein part and think they are doing themselves a favor by eating a bagel– you are destroying all of the hard work you have done in the gym if you do not give your body the protein it needs to rebuild the muscle that you have ripped up so nicely while training so hard! Do not skip the protein at breakfast. Four egg whites plus a whole egg or about a cup of egg whites is a good amount to shoot for in the most important meal of your day.
Eat clean and eat often. Keep your metabolism running hot by fueling your body with clean, whole foods. Consume five to six small meals consisting of protein, carbs and fat every day. Most people do not get enough protein. Here are some sources: chicken, ground turkey, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, lean beef, fish, beans, tofu. Live by this rule — each meal MUST have a protein source.
Shake it up! Bring your post workout shake (consisting of a high quality protein such as a whey protein isolate) to the gym with you and drink it immediately following your training session. It is CRUCIAL to get that protein in your body prior to thirty minutes post exercise. Don’t go to the grocery store or visit with a friend before you drink that shake down!
Don’t go to bed hungry! Rest is SUPER important and it is the perfect time for your body to repair, build and burn. Forget about the “don’t eat before bed” myth. Eat clean and eat your protein, carbs and a small amount of fat before bed.
Keep up the good work at the gym or wherever you are enjoying your exercise! Remember that your nutrition is just as critical to your fitness success and sweating it up everyday. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to seeing the rewards of your hard work.