According to a 2019 survey conducted by Mintel, 64% of Indians lead a sedentary lifestyle and do not engage in any form of exercise and physical activity. However, people are becoming aware of the need to exercise regularly because working out reduces your risk of falling ill and keeps comorbidities of COVID-19 such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma in check. Despite this growing awareness of fitness and nutrition, most people do not reap all the benefits that exercise has to offer because they are not complementing their exercise regime with the proper diet. It is no secret that the effects of exercise can be amplified with the correct foods. Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand.
Here are some pointers to consider when charting your workout diet plan in order to make the most out of your daily exercise routine.
- The Importance of a Healthy Breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast that consists of whole-grain cereals, bread, bananas, yoghurt etc., can provide you with the energy needed for a satisfying and rejuvenating morning workout. Breakfast should ideally be the biggest meal of the day in order to maintain a healthy balance between exercise and diet. Therefore, you need to be mindful of the fact that skipping breakfast may cause loss of energy and even dizziness and lightheadedness during workouts.
- Control Portion Sizes
If you consider making breakfast a relatively large meal, then it is best to tailor your workout diet plan in such a way that you exercise not before three to four hours after breakfast. However, if your routine places workout in the evening hours, then you can eat a moderate-sized meal (like lunch) about at least two to three hours before a workout. More importantly, it is much more effective to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of the standard 3 large meals when aiming for weight loss.
- Pre-exercise Snacks
Although consuming small energy-boosting snacks before a workout may not always provide a massive increase in energy levels, it does help to maintain blood sugar levels as well as reduce unwanted hunger pangs during a workout. These snacks can include granola bars, peanut butter sandwiches, fruits and other protein or energy bars. One of the most important nutrition tips when considering pre-workout meals or snacks is that you should never consume them less than an hour before working out.
- Post-workout Meals
After a successful workout, it is important to replenish your body with carbohydrates and proteins for muscle recovery. A good fitness and nutrition plan includes a healthy balance of protein sources like lean meats, lentils, fats. For example, yoghurt and fruit, peanut butter sandwiches, pasta with meatballs and chicken with brown rice make for healthy post-workout meal options.
- Don’t Completely Cut out Fats & Carbohydrates
It is a common misconception that fats are bad for a healthy workout diet plan. The fats contained in foods like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and egg yolks are in fact good for your body. These fats can help improve digestion, nutrient absorption and can even boost testosterone levels in men. Moreover, the complete exclusion of carbohydrates from your diet can be counterproductive as well. Just as proteins like chicken breast, lean-cut beef and all kinds of fish help to build muscle, good carbohydrates and fibres found in brown rice and whole-wheat bread, cereals and fresh fruits can aid the metabolism of your body and provide energy.
- Other Factors to Consider
Apart from food, water also plays an important role when it comes to exercise and nutrition. According to the recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine, drinking two to three cups of water before working out, half to one cup of water every 20 minutes during a workout and two to three cups of water for every pound of weight lost after working out is a healthy practice. Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking if you want to see added health benefits.
With the help of these nutrition tips, you can develop a healthy workout diet plan at home and achieve the required results of either building muscle or weight loss or both. However, it is recommended that you consult a professional like a dietician and/or nutritionist in order to get expert advice on exercise and diet that is best suited for you depending on your individual needs. The amalgamation of the right nutrition and optimum exercise can yield fruitful results for a healthy body,
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.