Best proteins, carbs to eat after exercise for optimal fitness results
Foods to eat after a workout for optimal weight loss  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: Adopting the right training plan is crucial to shedding those unwanted pounds, but you shouldn’t devoid your body of good nutrition. Perhaps, eating the right nutrients after you exercise is just as important as what you eat before a workout. A good post-workout meal or snack is vital to keep the burn going. When you’re working out for weight loss, you’re making your muscles work really hard. You’re stretching them to make sure you achieve your fitness goals.
Whether you’re up for strength and endurance training or cardio exercise, your body does use up all its energy during a workout. So, it’s important to nourish your body with the right nutrition after a good workout. Most people are concerned only about pre-workout meals. They’re constantly concerned if bananas or oats are enough to give them the required fuel to get through a workout session. But if you want optimum results for all the efforts you put in to lose weight and slim down your waistline and belly, you should also focus on what you eat post-workout. Read – Weight loss: Importance of pre-workout meal, 11 foods to eat before exercise to burn belly fat & gain muscle
Why is a post workout meal important for weight loss?
According to fitness expert Shivani Patel, Founder of Sculptasse, to find out which foods are good for you after a workout, you need to first understand how exercising affects your body. During any kind of physical activity, your muscles use glycogen stores as a source of fuel for it. So, after a workout, the glycogen levels in the muscles drop. Proteins inside the muscles are also broken down.
After a workout session, your body will try to rebuild itself by getting its glycogen levels up and re-growing muscle proteins. Hence, after a workout, it is your job to make sure you that your body is getting its job done faster by consuming the right kinds of food.
What kind of foods and when should you eat after a workout for optimal weight loss?
To help your body recovers faster and aids weight loss, you need to consume carbohydrates and proteins. Carbohydrates will help in replenish glycogen levels, while proteins will provide amino acids that are needed for rebuilding muscle proteins and building new muscle tissues. Read – Vegetarian diet for healthy weight loss: 5 low-calorie vegetables to eat for weight loss and burning belly fat
It is recommended that you consume proteins and carbohydrates within 45 minutes after a workout. For the best results, mix proteins and carbohydrates together. A ratio of 3:1 carbohydrate versus proteins works the best to aid your body for quick recovery after a workout. This helps build and repair your muscles that were broken down, keeping your metabolism strong and healthy. This, in turn, can aid in weight loss.
You can actually calculate the exact amount of protein and carbohydrate that your body needs with the help of a simple formula. Here it is:
- Amount of protein needed = 0.25 grams/pound of your target body weight
- Amount of carbs needed = 0.25-0.5 grams/pound of your target body weight
Check what your results are, then go on to plan a post-workout meal for yourself.
Here are some foods that make for great post-workout snacks and meals:
For Carbs: Sweet potatoes, Quinoa, Oatmeal, Bananas, Pineapple, Kiwi
For Proteins: Eggs, Paneer, Greek yogurt, Chicken, Tuna
Combinations of the foods listed above can yield the best results. You can also use some good fats to the mix. Avocado and dry fruits are recommended. Read – Weight loss: 5 best protein powders that will help you lose weight and flatten your tummy
Healthy post-workout meal recipes for weight loss
If you are struggling with post-workout meal recipes, here are some combinations you can try out for yourself.
- Omelet with avocado spread on toast
- Oatmeal with almonds, whey protein and banana
- Hummus and pita
- Cottage cheese with berries
- Greek yogurt and berries
- Quinoa with avocado, dried fruits and nuts
- Scrambled eggs
- Soybean and chickpea salad
Foods to avoid after a workout to lose weight
You’ve sweated it out in the gym to shed that unwanted flab around the belly and you’re really hungry after a good workout. On the way back home, you see dessert parlours and street vendors selling your favourite delicacies. It can be really tempting to just stop by and hog some pizzas, ice-creams or burgers. But DO NOT give in to the temptations.
If you consume fried, oily, and fatty food after exercising, it can be counter-productive for you. All the efforts that you just put in to lose that stubborn belly fat just go wasted if you load up on calories. Here is a list of foods that you should stay away from after a workout session:
- Spicy Food
- Fried Food
- Carbonated Drinks
- Sugary Juices
- Fast Food
- Raw Veggies
Make sure that you avoid post-workout foods that are high in fat and sugar and low in protein, especially if your goal is weight loss. Cutting back on unhealthy foods means you’re more likely to achieve your fitness goals faster while also improving your overall health.