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Eat Right

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Despite working out regularly and avoiding fatty food, are you still unhappy with your physique? Maybe you are making some eating mistakes after your workout, says Priyanka Singh

There are people who invest time in working out but still do not get the desired results. In spite of following a healthy diet along with their exercise regime, several fitness enthusiasts don’t get the most out of their workout because of the eating errors they make. We tell you about five post-workout diet mistakes you might be making, which restrict you from getting the optimum benefits out of your exercise routine.

Nutritionists suggest including good fats in every meal. When they say good fats, they mean avocados, nuts and seeds. However, some health freaks are so wary of gaining weight that they don’t even consume good fats because they think that they will be fattening. Getting healthy fats into your system is very beneficial even if you are aiming to lose weight, because they keep your stomach full for a longer period, increase satiety, shut off hunger hormones and boost antioxidant absorption, which is associated with leanness and increases your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories. In fact, fat is one of the most vital nutrients in your diet, because it’s a structural part of your cells, which means you can't heal a cell or construct a new one without enough fat to perform these important jobs. Cutting back too much can result in fatigue, chronic hunger, irritability, depression, a weaker immune system and an increased risk of injury.

If you sweat heavily, work out for more than 90 minutes, or exercise in hot, humid conditions, reaching for a sports drink rather than plain water is a smart way to stay hydrated and replenish the electrolytes lost in sweat. But, if you’re exercising for less than an hour and a half in a climate-controlled gym, plain water is good enough. The carbohydrates in sports drinks are designed to keep you going when you can’t stop to eat, but if your muscles don’t need the fuel, you are consuming unnecessary sugar.

Overcompensating for a workout by eating a big plate of pasta will throw your entire workout down the drain. But, not eating anything is also harmful — striking the right balance is the key. Working out strains your body and it needs nutritious food to repair itself and overcome the brunt of it. It is not just the training that tones your body, but the healing from it that mends muscles, boosts metabolism and keeps you fitter. So, you should eat something healthy afterwards in order to allow your body to recover.

There is a rampant misconception about how eating protein after your workout is very important. In addition to lean protein, such as a small size of protein rich fish, chicken or lentils, you should also include a healthy fat source, a small serving of whole grain to replenish lost glycogen, some green vegetables and of course, water. All of this will increase the benefits you will reap.

If you are going to work out and then eat a proper meal (heavy breakfast, lunch or dinner) after an hour or so, then there is no need to grab an energy bar or a smoothie, that is, a recovery meal after the workout. Several people have a small meal immediately after working out and then eat a big one in an hour or so. Consuming these ‘snacks’ just an hour or so before eating a regular dinner, will give your body far more than it needs to recover, which results in feeding your fat cells, rather than shrinking them. If you’re going to be eating a meal within an hour of leaving the gym, skip the small meal. If it's going to be a little longer, munch on something such as almonds, which are packed with lots of protein, good fat and nutrients.

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