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Have you ever finished an intense workout and felt weaker or fluffier than when you started? If that’s the case, chances are that you’re not fueling your body properly post-workout.
What you eat post-workout can either make or break your progress, depending on when you eat your post-workout snack and what nutrients you include in it. Regardless of what type of training you’ve done, cardio or strength training, you should include a decent amount of carbohydrates and proteins in your post-workout snack. This means that drinking only a Gatorade or protein shake post-workout will not cut it. If you want to optimize your fat loss, you need to feed your muscles, as an increased muscle mass boosts the metabolism.
So, how and what should you eat post-workout to increase fat loss results?
A study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise suggests that an intake of 0.2-0.4g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight mixed with 0.8g of carbohydrates per kilogram of bodyweight would do the trick. The protein and carbohydrate mix will help replenish the glycogen levels and repair muscles faster post-workout, which will help boost your metabolism for the day for increased fat loss. To ensure even better results from your training, you should eat your post-workout snack 30-60 minutes right after you’re done.
If you don’t weigh yourself too often, or simply want to overlook the scale and mathematics, simply read the labels and try to eat between 40-50 grams of carbohydrates and 25-40g of protein post-workout. Keep fat intake to a minimum post-workout, as you want to feed your muscles so they can burn fat more effectively throughout the day.
Now that you know how and when to eat your post-workout snack, here are some great ideas to start including in your nutrition plan:
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1. Ezekiel Bread With Lean Meat
Ezekiel bread is one of the best breads you can eat post-workout, as it is spouted and contains lots of fiber and healthy carbohydrates without any fat or sugar.
Add in some white ham, chicken breast or other lean meat and you’ve got yourself the perfect post-workout snack. You can toast or grill the Ezekiel bread and add the lean meat in between for the added crunchiness.
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2. Bagel With Egg Whites
If you love bagels, you can enjoy them post-workout! Just make sure they are plain bagels, as other kinds contain a lot of fat, salt and sugar.
You can toast your bagel and add egg whites for a delicious and nutrient-dense post-workout snack. The protein from the egg whites will go directly to your muscles, repairing the damage done in training and the carbs in the bagel will restore your glycogen levels to help in fat loss and muscle growth.
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3. Berries With Protein Yogurt And Rice Cake
If you like your tub of protein post-workout, you can make a quick mix with yogurt and berries for a homemade protein fro-yo!
Since berries have a lot of carbohydrate from sugar, make sure you add one or two rice cakes to your post-workout snack to reach your carbohydrate snack without spiking your insulin level with too much sugar.
To make the protein yogurt, take one scoop of your favorite protein powder, mix in with some 0% fat plain Greek yogurt and add in your berries on top. You can also enjoy the protein yogurt on its own with some Ezekiel bread or bagel for your post-workout snack, instead of adding berries and rice cakes.
The important thing to remember when eating your post-workout snack is to eat it slowly. You want your body to process all the nutrients well, so eating slowly will facilitate your cell’s job in distributing the nutrients to your muscles. If you eat too fast, you can create stress in your nutrient distribution, which can make your body store a lot of the nutrients as fat, since it didn’t have time to process where the protein or carbohydrate should go in your body.
If you follow these simple rules, you should see an increased fat loss in your body.
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Guest post by Sarah Anton, who is a writer, editor, entrepreneur and foodie. Whenever she’s not training or writing, you can find her in the kitchen testing recipes or reading a good book with a warm cup of tea. Her life aspirations include owning a pet lion and traveling around the world to taste unique and exotic foods. You can find more of her writing at