If you want to lose weight, it’s important to know what foods to eat, and when to eat them. The meals and snacks you consume before and after exercising give you energy, prime your metabolism, and help you drop more pounds. Study these tips before you head to the gym.
How to Eat Before You Work Out
Forget the myth about exercising on an empty stomach. You’re likely to wind up losing muscle, and your performance will suffer. Give your body what it needs to train hard.
1. Choose carbs and protein. Gear up with a helping of complex carbohydrates and fast-digesting protein. Some good choices include Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or an egg with broccoli.
2. Drink water. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 2 to 3 cups of water within 2 or 3 hours of your workout. You may want to drink a little more or less based on your body size and the weather.
3. Keep it light. You want just enough calories to sustain you without weighing you down. Go easy on the fats. Wait at least 3 hours after any large meal before starting intense exercise.
4. Limit fiber. While a high-fiber diet is great for many reasons, including lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar, save the bran for later. You can fill up after you’re done sweating.
5. Play it safe. Midway through a dance class is an awkward time to discover how your body will react to unfamiliar foods. Stick to your regular fare and save the culinary experiments for your downtime.
How to Eat After You Work Out
Exercise uses up the glycogen stored in your muscles. In order for your body to recover and keep burning calories efficiently, you need to replace those stored carbohydrates. Here’s how to refuel.
1. Act fast. Some studies suggest that your body’s ability to replenish glycogen peaks soon after your workout. Plan on eating right away or at least within 2 hours.
2. Balance it out. It’s time to enjoy the same complex carbohydrates and proteins you ate before, but now you can add more healthy fats into the mix. Feast on baked salmon with your favorite vegetables or stir fry some tofu with bok choy and red peppers.
3. Control portions. Of course, if you’re trying to reduce, you want to burn up more energy than you take in. Online calorie counters can help you calculate your individual needs so you can figure out effective serving sizes for each meal and snack.
4. Focus on quality. At the same time, keep in mind that evidence is building that not all calories are the same. For the sake of your overall health and fitness, filling your plate with whole foods is preferable to eating the same amount of processed products.
5. Replace fluids. Plain water is usually adequate for staying hydrated. Carry your water bottle with you so you can drink while you’re exercising and drink at least 8 ounces afterwards.
6. Restore potassium. If you sweat heavily or work out for more than an hour, consider sports drinks to replace potassium and other electrolytes. Coconut water and various fruit and vegetables juices will work too.
Lose weight faster and more safely by putting the power of nutrition to work for you. Enjoying delicious and nutritious snacks and meals before and after exercise will give you the energy you need to lift weights or run for miles. You’ll slim down without having to go hungry when you combine physical activity and a balanced diet.
Have you ever wondered how doctors really lose weight? Although not all medical professionals are slim, some seem to have discovered weight loss secrets that could help you.
Doctors often fight their own weight loss battles, so they’ve learned how to keep the pounds off and away. You can learn from their secrets and use them to lose weight too.
Try these effective techniques:
1. Avoid watching the scale. Doctors admit that they don’t pay attention to the bathroom scale. Instead of watching every pound they gain or lose, they share that they focus on how they feel, and how their clothes fit.
* It’s more pleasing to watch your jeans or pants fit you better than to obsess about the numbers on the scale. Your weight will naturally fluctuate on a daily basis. This is mostly due to water retention, so it’s important to focus more on the big picture.
2. They count calories where it matters. Instead of calculating the calories in each piece of lettuce, most doctors pay attention to calories where they matter.
* For example, they don’t worry about calories in fruits and vegetables because these foods have fiber and other nutrients that strengthen your health.
* However, they pay close attention to the calories in snacks such as granola or trail mix. You may be surprised to learn how many empty calories are in some of your favorite snack foods. They may look healthy, but in reality, they pack in the calories.
3. They pay attention to diet supplements. Sometimes, even doctors consider magic pills like diet supplements.
* What separates doctors from most consumers is that they carefully study the ingredients before they take any supplement. They understand that some of the ingredients can have serious side effects in addition to weight loss.
* They also check with other professionals if they need more information.
4. They avoid letting diet failures stop them. Doctors sometimes cheat and fail at their diets. After all, they are human. Failures will happen, but the way you respond to them matters. Doctors understand that they can start a diet again without issues.
* Many doctors admit that some of their diets haven’t worked in the past. Nevertheless, they’re always ready to start again and keep going to reach their weight loss goals.
5. They understand stress eating. Their jobs are filled with stress, so they know that stress eating is a reality. However, they also know that when you eat because of stress, you can seriously damage your weight loss efforts.
* Doctors have stressful jobs that often involve overtime and worrying about their patients. They also have to deal with late payments from patients, insurance companies, pharmaceutical reps, difficult staff members, and huge medical school loans.
* They’ve figured out other coping mechanisms to deal with the worry and anxiety that don’t involve food. One of the best ways to stop stress eating is to exercise or get active. Dancing, running, walking, or hiking can help you fight stress without adding extra calories to your day or night.
Doctors know that weight loss is a long-term goal and not a short-term fight. You don’t have to invest in complicated programs to achieve long-term results. You can use slimming secrets from doctors to keep the pounds away and stay lean.
Mind-body fitness, like mind-body medicine, honors the connection between your physical and mental well-being. Learn how to integrate outer movement and inner focus with these suggestions for peaceful and empowering workouts.
General Principles Behind Mind-Body Exercise
Pay attention. As you would imagine, mindfulness creates the foundation for integrated workouts. Let go of daily concerns. Be aware of your movements, thoughts, and feelings. Enjoy the changing sensations.
Breathe deeply. Abdominal breathing is one way to calm your mind and energize your body. Experiment with three-part breath filling and expanding your abdomen, your lower chest, and finally your upper chest. Reverse the flow as you exhale.
Relieve stress. Physical activity is a constructive response to tension. Exercise lowers your levels of stress hormones and raises your endorphins.
Be flexible. Listen to your body to tell when you’re ready for a change from your planned workouts. Maybe you need an active rest day doing gentle stretches instead of your usual run.
Practice deliberately. There’s a natural tendency to gravitate towards tasks we’re already good at. You’ll make more progress if you structure your workouts to target the areas where you want to grow.
Boost your immune system. A little time at the gym can help you manage chronic conditions and catch fewer colds. You may even recover from surgery faster.
Develop spiritually. Incorporate your beliefs into your routine. Study chakras or give thanks to God for your body.
Feel happier. Twenty minutes of exercise can enhance your mood for up to 12 hours, according to one University of Vermont study. Plus, those effects seem strongest when you start out feeling blue.
Specific Workouts for Mind-Body Exercise
Practice yoga. Yoga’s original purpose was to condition the body to be comfortable in seated meditation. You can experience benefits whether you follow the spiritual teachings or just like downward dog.
Do Pilates. Pilates is much younger than yoga, but many of the exercises are similar. It may be a good option if you’re less interested in the spiritual aspects of yoga.
Study martial arts. Meditation in motion is a term often used to describe martial arts, as well as yoga. Tai Chi can be an especially good choice for seniors because it’s gentle and challenging.
Take a walk. Treadmills have their place, but heading outdoors makes exercise seem like less work. Aim to take more steps each day.
Dance around. Dancing gives your whole body a workout while your mind is busy learning the steps. Take a class that suits your ability and plays the music you love.
Work on balance. Remember balance while you’re training for strength, aerobic capacity, and flexibility. Being steady on your feet sharpens your thinking, and may even help you to live longer. Ride your bike or try standing on one foot while you’re on the phone.
Sit and meditate. Have you been dreaming about a workout that would let you remain sitting down? You’ll probably need to do more than meditate, but some advanced practitioners believe that a supple body is one result of deep and prolonged contemplation of virtuous objects.
Train your mind and your muscles. Mind-body exercise will enhance your mental and physical fitness. Taking an integrated approach to your workouts allows you to enjoy exercise more and achieve the long-term results you need for greater health and wellbeing.
July 6, 2016, something kind of unexpected happened to me – I accidentally found a connection with a whole bunch of other people across the world, who, luckily, included my kids.
In fact, I was far from alone – and within 24 hours of the game hitting the US app stores, the game had more active users than freaking Tinder!
Yeah, I’m talking about Pokemon Go, the app that has taken over your Facebook news feed and has already changed the lives of millions. But this one’s different than Candy Crush and all kinds of other games I never managed to get addicted to – it’s a whole other thing.
See, the way the game is played, it almost forces you to go out and move your butt a little, and to do so in places in the community around you.
You’re a Poke trainer and you are tasked with a few different things – including collecting/catching/hunting these little Pokemon creatures (monsters?) who you can then train and use to battle other players at the Pokemon gym.
But here is the reason I’m talking about this today – I believe that this app could literally change our society.
I’ve met neighbors I didn’t know before. I’ve run into all kinds of people that I couldn’t have or wouldn’t have ever run into – and I’ve got a whole new way to connect with my kids.
And what’s better is the latest news: apparently, people are reporting lots of benefits – in addition to the obvious benefits (moving your ass and getting into the community more often), there’s the whole mental health factor.
(Not to mention that local landmarks and businesses are seeing more traffic than ever – our St. Louis Zoo seeems to find itself busier than ever since that date).
And, while I’m brimming with ideas on how this app could change the whole world, I’m even more excited about the mental health part.
“In terms of the phenomena of people expressing the benefits of playing the game to their real-world mental health status, I think that’s very unique and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that,” Dr. John Grohol, the founder of Psych Central, told Engadget.
“The research is really, really clear on this, that the more you exercise, the more it would help decrease feelings of depression,” he told the tech news site. “It actually works as an anti-depressant and it has a really, pretty strong effect. It’s probably one of the most beneficial things a person with depression can do, especially if they’re not accessing other types of treatments, such as psychotherapy or medication.”
“That way of taking a break and letting the mind think about something different is better than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, which is what a lot of people do to de-stress,” he said.
And, he added, in addition to making people less isolated, an augmented reality game like Pokemon Go does force people to go outside and exercise.
Maybe even better, if you’re hanging out at a Poke-stop and there are 10 or 20 other people there all catching Pokemon, guess what? You’ve got something to talk about.
Of course, it’s a well-documented fact that physical exercise is one of the best ways to combat depression, and almost every other mental health issue. And in addition, the social aspect and the whole changing your scene deal are also standard practice when it comes to getting through the tough times.
Some users say that the game has actually become a better treatment than anything their doctors could prescribe and anything their therapists recommended.
So that’s what I’ve got for today – how about you – are you playing? What do you think about this phenomenon? What other unique ways have you found to get through the hard times? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section and let’s discuss it.
So you want to lose weight, but you don’t want to be miserable in the process. I feel you! And I’ve got good news for you. It can be done, but it’s not necessarily going to be a cakewalk (pun totally intended).
Here’s how you do it: you re-program your brain. You “re-wire” it so that it believes that it PREFERS the food you NEED to eat to lose weight.
This means that you need to teach your body to WANT the foods you need to eat to get the healthy body you really desire.
But sometimes, that’s easier said than done, am I right?
Well, why is that? Let’s take a look at some recent statistics that might give us an idea.
A recent study found that less than 10% of Americans are eating enough vegetables.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 14% of Americans are consuming the recommended 2 to 4 daily servings of fruit.
The CDC also notes that less than than 9% consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables.
So how do you overcome those kinds of statistics?
Now, don’t fall over when I say this, because it’s the truth, and if you are willing to make it happen, you CAN, despite how impossible it seems.
Here it is: If you’re going to beat the odds, you may need to rewire your brain so you crave broccoli more than bacon. Each time you choose healthier foods, you’re strengthening your desire for them.
I’m not going to lie to you. There are so many healthy foods I really love – but it’s not because they’re healthy (though, to be honest, that doesn’t hurt my opinion). The reason I love healthy food at all is the same reason I love unhealthy food – because it tastes good.
In the course of losing 100 pounds and keeping it of for the last nearly 4 years (so far), I learned to sort of “trick” my body into actually preferring healthy good. So how’d I do that? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The Mind-Body Trick to Make Your Body Beg for Healthy Foods
Take a look at these suggestions for changing the way you think and eat and let me know what you think in the comments.
Weight Loss Hack: Change Your Mind
1. Remember your purpose. Focus on why you want to eat nutritious whole foods. Cutting down on empty calories can help you look and feel your best. You’ll have more energy, and you may even save on medical bills.
2. Plan ahead. Ask yourself if a few minutes of munching on corn chips is worth the consequences. Would your future self be better off if you snacked on baby carrots?
3. Study nutrition. The more you know about how your diet affects your health, the stronger your motivation will be. Schedule a session with a registered dietician or browse online to learn more about reading food labels and restaurant menus.
4. Form new habits. It’s easier to start a positive new habit than to break an old routine. If you’re used to eating a donut with your coffee, treat yourself to a few almonds instead of going hungry.
5. Focus on nonedible rewards. If emotional eating is a concern, you may need to seek gratification elsewhere. Reward yourself by watching a movie or spending time with friends.
6. Enlist support. Speaking of friends, social support is vital. Surround yourself with others who are trying to eat well so you can share encouragement and feedback.
Weight Loss Hack: Intentional Diet Tweaks to Reprogram Your Cravings
1. Add healthy fats. You may have noticed a recent shift in nutritional advice. Experts are now talking less about avoiding fats, and more about choosing healthy fats. Broccoli can be a lot more appealing when you drizzle on olive oil. Personally, I cannot say enough good things about coconut oil.
2. Hunt for bargains. Maybe the high price of some superfoods is dampening your enthusiasm. Shop for seasonal produce or grow your own. Stock up on inexpensive staples like beans and lentils. Visit the bulk bins where you can save on packaging costs, and sample small quantities until you discover your favorite grains and seeds.
3. Beautify your place settings. Presentation makes a big difference. Sit down to eat. Create an attractive centerpiece or light candles. Use colorful dishes and bowls.
4. Branch out. If kale and iceberg are starting to bore you, experiment with other salad greens like oakleaf or mizuna.
5. Try new recipes. Get busy and Google it – or sign up for cooking classes or visit the library for more ideas about what to make for dinner. A lot of grocery stores offer cooking classes.
6. Carry your own snacks. Bring hummus or yogurt to the office with you for your afternoon break. You’ll soon like your own fresh food better than the packaged goods in the vending machines.
6. Make it convenient. The foods we crave are often the ones that require minimal effort like cookies and frozen dinners. You can make healthy substitutes just as handy. Keep a bowl of fruit on your dining room table. Buy whole-wheat pizza crusts you can top with cut vegetables and cheese for a hot meal in minutes.
Imagine looking forward to a bowl of beets with the same enthusiasm you usually reserve for double-fudge brownies. Some simple mental training, along with adjusting a few lifestyle habits, will have you craving food that’s good for you. You feel me?