Healthy Fitness Meals
Everyone has different fitness goals – whether it’s building muscle mass or losing weight. While hitting the gym plays a huge role in achieving these goals, so does what you eat. However, meal planning, calorie counting, portion control, and grocery shopping can all seem overwhelming – especially when you also have other priorities in life. On the flip side, not planning what you eat for your meals or snacks can set you back from your fitness goals as it becomes tempting to pick up a cookie or a bag of chips or order takeaway.
Having healthy food options at hand makes life so much easier! Read on for our top tips on how to plan your meals and snacks to make all those hours you put in at the gym count.
- Pre-Workout Meals
While a healthy breakfast is essential an hour or two before you work up a sweat in the mornings, what you eat the night before matters too. Including healthy carbs into your pre-workout diet can improve your workout performance. Your muscles use the glucose from these carbs as an energy source helping you workout longer without feeling lightheaded. Naturally, each meal needs to be balanced with the ideal amounts of protein and fat for optimum performance.
Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes And Gravy, Shepherd’s Pie, and the BBQ Chicken Flat Bread are all great options for the nights before an intense workout.
- Pre-Workout Breakfast
Hopefully, you manage to wake up early enough to eat at least an hour before your workout. If you don’t have much time, fruits like apples or bananas can provide a quick pre-workout energy boost. Preliminary studies show that eating a healthy breakfast before working out not only helps you burn more carbs during exercise but also help boost food metabolism after you’ve had a post-workout meal.
Check out our Chocolate PB Over Night Oats for a high protein and fibre breakfast packed with oodles of energy.
Breakfast or not – everyone gets hungry around 11. What you choose to snack on can have a major impact on your fitness goals. High protein snacks help your muscles repair themselves after a workout. It’s a good idea to eat a balanced snack with both proteins and carbs if your workout has lasted more than hour, especially if your main meal is more than two hours away.
- Lunch and Other Meals
If you work out, you probably need more protein than others who don’t. A light, protein-packed meal balanced with the right amount of carbs and fats (you can learn more about that here ) i.e., healthy grains and vegetables will keep your muscles working at their optimum levels.
- In a Pinch
If you do find yourself in a pinch without a ready to eat healthy meal option, don’t be tempted by highly processed snacks or fast food including energy bars which are usually full of sugar. Although they may help you get the quick energy boost you need, they are often loaded with unhealthy ingredients as well as empty calories that don’t contribute to your health. Try and find items that are the least processed such as nuts and seeds, whole grain foods or fruit.