What to Eat Before and After Workouts to Lose Weight

What you eat is important too, especially before and after your workout. What you eat before affects performance, and what you eat afterward is necessary to build calorie-burning muscle and replenish stored carbs.

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Workout Calories for Losing Weight

When you work out, your body burns extra calories, which is what you want when you’re trying to lose weight. A 154-pound person burns 280 calories an hour walking at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour, and 590 calories jogging for an hour at a pace of 5 mph. A pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, so a 154-pound person would have to walk 12.5 hours or jog six hours to lose that 1 pound.

According to a 2012 article published in Obesity Review, some people who exercise don’t lose as much weight as expected from their workouts because they may not be burning as many calories as predicted and they may eat more calories. If you’re working out to lose weight, you need to consider the total number of calories you consume in an entire day, in addition to the number of calories you burn. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says most active men and women can safely lose weight consuming 1,500 calories to 1,800 calories a day.

Before-Workout Eating

When you work out, what you should eat before depends on. Ideally, you should eat a healthy “mixed” meal, which means a meal with carbs, protein and fat, about three hours before your workout so your muscles have the energy necessary to push through. Good options include a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread with an apple and a nonfat yogurt, whole-wheat pasta with turkey meatballs and a salad, or baked potato stuffed with broccoli, low-fat cheese and pinto beans with an orange.

If you work out in the morning, you may not have the three hours necessary to fully digest a meal, in which case you may be better off eating an easy-to-digest carb with a little protein about 30 minutes before your workout– a hard-boiled egg and crackers, a toasted bagel with a slice of low-fat cheese or nonfat Greek yogurt with sliced peaches. Foods high in fat and fiber are difficult to digest and should be avoided right before your workout.

If you’re not properly fueled, you may tire quickly, which may affect the intensity and length of your workout. Because blood flows to your muscles during your workout, eating a big meal too close to exercising may lead to poor digestion and cramping.

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After-Workout Eating

The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns, even at rest, which may help your weight-loss efforts. The meal following your workout should include carbs and protein to help build muscle and replace glycogen stores.

Don’t Forget to Drink

What you drink before and after you work out is as important as what you eat. You should drink up to 20 ounces of water three to four hours before your workout, and another 8 ounces 30 minutes before.

Beware of Workout Foods

What you eat before affects performance, and what you eat afterward is necessary to build calorie-burning muscle and replenish stored carbs. According to a 2012 article published in Obesity Review, some people who exercise don’t lose as much weight as expected from their workouts because they may not be burning as many calories as predicted and they may eat more calories. Because blood flows to your muscles during your workout, eating a big meal too close to exercising may lead to poor digestion and cramping.

Ideally, you should eat a healthy “mixed” meal, which means a meal with carbs, protein and fat, about three hours before your workout so your muscles have the energy necessary to push through. It’s OK to eat these foods– however, like everything you include in your weight-loss diet, be sure to count the calories, even from foods marketed to help improve your workout.

From sports drinks to protein bars, there are a plethora of nutrition products touted to help make your workouts easier and promote recovery. It’s OK to eat these foods– however, like everything you include in your weight-loss diet, be sure to count the calories, even from foods marketed to help improve your workout.

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Copywright by  Katie W. Poynter


 

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