When I first started to get my life in the healthy lane, I really couldn’t seem to lose any weight. It wasn’t as if I didn’t eat right. I ate all of my recommended dosages of fruits and vegetables and concentrated on lean meats. But ironically after my workouts, everything derailed: I’d come home starving and eat all kinds of junk—yes, I’d even pass through a fast food restaurant on occasion. I was being counterproductive.
Getting hungry after a good workout is natural; your body starts to crave the energy is just used up. But you have to make sure that you replenish your body with the right foods, otherwise you’ll end up just staying the same or worse, gaining more weight. Eating the right foods within one hour of recovery time can actually help you restore your muscles—which in turn can help you burn more calories too. That said, to learn some foods you need stocked in your pantry for when you come home sweaty and hungry, continue reading below.
Lean Chicken, Turkey
When you exercise, you actually deplete precious amino acids like valine, glutamine, and leucine. These amino acids are what actually help create hormones, strengthen bones, and of course help build muscle. To help with muscle restoration, you need to replenish these amino acids found in protein such as lean chicken, lean turkey, eggs and protein shakes. If you’ve already eaten dinner, try snacking on a hardboiled egg and whole wheat crackers. If you’ve haven’t had a full meal, try whipping you up some lean chicken breasts with a side of brown rice, which leads us to our next post work out food—
Brown Rice, Oatmeal
When you exercise, your body uses up its storage of glycogen for fuel. Your body typically holds about 1,800 worth of calories as glycogen—well enough for a full, hour-long workout. But to shake off that tired feeling in the morning, it’s best to fuel your body back up with the proper glycogen levels with carbohydrates. We’re not talking about making a big batch of mashed potatoes and smothering them with creamed gravy. Instead, you need to try filling yourself up with some “healthy carbs,” such as brown rice, oatmeal, whole grains, and of course fruits and vegetables like spinach, carrots, melon and broccoli. Peppers are great and are excellent sources of vitamin c, especially red sweet peppers. Slice them up and eat them like chips.
Low Fat Chocolate Milk
Some researcherssuggest that chocolate milk can actually help restore muscles better than water and sports drinks since its good at both rehydrating and has tons of calcium, something water does not have. Similar to sport drinks, it also has the same amount of electrolytes. Not to mention the chocolate makes the drink a little heavier, which means you’ll actually feel full.
Plain, Low fat Greek Yogurt
Lastly, if drinking a tall glass of chocolate milk after your workout repulses you, then opt for fermented dairy instead: Plain Greek yogurt. It’s low in fat (about 100 calories per 6 oz servings), low in sugar, and is filled with tons of protein and calcium. Not to mention is has live cultures that can help with digestion. If it’s too tart for your taste, try adding in some blueberries or other fruits to sweeten it up a bit.