Seems like everyone is a fitness enthusiast these days! With a swarm of fast food chains taking the world by storm and easy availability of ready-to-cook meal packs, obesity is one of the most common medical conditions amongst youth today.
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However, where there are food lovers and junk eaters, there is also an intense obsession with healthy eating habits, rigorous workouts and extensive diet plans. When it comes to staying fit, there are specific questions that all health experts and fitness trainers are obligated to answer, including- “How can I maximize the workout output?” “How can I lose weight faster and burn maximum calories?” “What should I eat before & after my work out?”
One of the most accurate answers to these questions is; ‘Eat the right kind of meal at the right time.’ However, the bigger question that arises is, what is the right kind of diet plan that you must follow through when training?
If you don’t have a proper diet plan, your workout will bear no results. It is possible that you are using the best workout program and it has absolutely zero impact on your body, if you don’t eat what you are supposed to eat.
To get the desired results, a strict but healthy diet plan is as important as the workout routine itself. Henceforth, as the article by Aaron Caroll in the New York Times concedes, there is a dire need to follow a diet regime that suits your workout routine the most.
For your convenience, here’s the ultimate guide to creating your perfect diet plan:
Keeping a track of calorie intake
All fitness enthusiasts believe that the best way to lose weight is by doing rigorous compound exercises and waiting until lunch/dinner to eat a wholesome meal. However, the key to achieving that desired weight is integrating exercise with the right amount of meal proportion at the right time.Follow @AboutLifting
Thus, according to the article by Anson, R. Michael, providing your body with sufficient amounts of nutrients is key to burning maximum calories, keeping your muscles active hours after the work out, losing weight and improving metabolism.
Common recommendations for daily calorie intake are as follows:
- If you are aiming to lose fat, you should have a deficit of daily calorie of about 20% less than your maintenance level.
- If gaining strength or building your muscles is the aim, you are required to create a surplus of around 250 calories more than your maintenance level.
- A right amount of healthy supplements is also recommended for strength and muscle toning.
Each day, there are a certain number of calories that you need to consume so that you maintain your current weight. This is actually your calorie maintenance level. There are many ways to calculate your maintenance level but the easiest and simplest way is to multiply the current weight of your body by 14 and 18; within this range will lay your daily calorie maintenance level.
If you consider yourself active, or you feel you have a fast metabolic system, then you should consider the higher end of the range. If you think you are mostly inactive or have slow metabolism, you should consider the lower end of the range.
Eating before your workout
Research states that eating or not eating at all before exercise eventually burns the same amount of fat in your body. Not only that, if someone works out daily on an empty stomach, there is a high risk of muscle loss. This is due to the absorption of protein from the muscle instead of from the kidneys and liver when you’re hungry.
As a result, your body loses muscle mass which ultimately leads to slow metabolism and creates a hurdle for you to lose weight. In order to survive through your intense training session, you must not exercise on an empty stomach.
Things to eat before your training session
In order to keep yourself active and energetic during your work out session, here are some of best pre-work out meal techniques which will keep you motivated throughout your training.
– Have 1/4 cup of apple and walnuts and 10 multi-grain crackers with 3 table spoons of hummus.
– 1 banana with 2 tablespoons of almond butter.
– Sweet potato with salted and steamed broccoli.
– Oatmeal with berries.
– ½ a cup brown rice or ½ cup black beans.
Eating after your workout
Meanwhile, when you are exercising, your body takes up glycogen which is stored in your muscles, for energy. Once you are done exercising, the level of glycogen store tends to deplete. Therefore, eating or drinking that comprises of both protein and carbohydrates around an hour after your work out fills up energy levels in your body, repairs broken muscles and activates your metabolic rate.
Study by Corbin & Le Masurier provides evidence that if you wait to eat for two hours after your work out as compared to eating it immediately, your body’s ability to fill up muscle reduces to 50 percent. Thus, it is better to plan and carry a light snack or a healthy drink to the gym once you are done exercising.
The perfect post-workout meal
Having a proportionate protein intake with a dab of carbohydrates works best immediately after work out. Here are some of the meals that you can have after your work out sessions that will help increase exercise benefits, speed up recovery and assist in maintaining muscle to help you lose weight.
- Roasted chickpeas with salad, vinegar and light olive oil.
- Whole wheat bread with raw peanut butter (2 tablespoons).
- ½ cup burrito with beans with ½ cup brown rice with 2 tablespoons of guacamole and salsa.
- Protein shake made with ½ a banana, one scoop of protein powder in almond milk.
- 1 cup of Quinoa bowl with black berries and pecans.
- ½ cup of sautéed or steamed vegetables.
- Having a cup of decaffeinated green tea post dinner is also recommended.