See below for some strategies that you could implement as a part of your daily routine;
Please note, I’m not a dietician or Nutritionist so I can only share my experiences with you and what has worked for me.
What you eat pre-exercise should help you to sustain energy, boost performance, preserve muscle mass and speed up your recovery.
I would recommend eating 2-3 hours prior to training (if possible) to ensure your food has had the chance to digest properly before commencing exercise.
To ensure this I would recommend eating between 20-30g (approx.) of protein with and 50 -60g of healthy carbohydrates (e.g. brown rice, sweet potato, cous cous, oats/porridge, toast, pasta etc). Try to limit simple carbohydrates with lots of sugar i.e. fruit and lollies as these will spike your insulin levels leaving you feeling tired before you even turn up!
Protein consumption in the few hours before exercise can help you maintain muscle and also build muscle which is important for those wanting to improve health, a lean body composition or performance during training. Many people have the misconception that you only need to eat carbs if you are training for more than an hour or two when in reality carbohydrates can enhance your performance and provide more energy during high intensity workouts of approx. 1 hour. Carbs also help to stimulate insulin, and when combined with protein it improves protein synthesis (muscle building) and prevents protein breakdown.
Post Exercise Nutrition:
Post exercise nutrition is very important! The right nutrition can assist in recovery, building muscle and improving the quality of your future training sessions. You will also find if you are eating enough food in between training days, you may feel less muscle soreness!
Just like pre workout, post workout should include a source of protein (20-40g) and carbohydrates with vegetables and a small amount of healthy fats e.g. unsalted nuts, avocado, fish etc.
A Few points to Consider throughout the day:
- Over time I have learnt that many people simply aren’t eating enough. When you are participating in high intensity exercise, your body needs the fuel
- Try eating 6-7 smaller portioned meals per day every 2-3 hours in order to your metabolism moving (this is how I eat). Eating regularly helps to curb cravings and it doesn’t give you a chance to get to the point where you are starving and want to binge! Also, when you have hours in between meals, your body thinks its starving (extreme, I know. But it’s true). Your body is then more inclined to hold onto fat as it is in ‘survival mode’.
- Make sure you are eating a nutrient dense breakfast (don’t skip it!) as your body has just had around 10 hours of no food! A good example would be eggs and avocado on toast or oats with banana and berries (personal choice, however it is quite likely it would be something different for you).
- Time your carbs. Try and time your carbohydrate intake depending on what time of the day you exercise. For example, I would always include carbs in the morning for breakfast and then throughout the day until after I have trained (generally late afternoon). For dinner I tend to limit my carb intake as my body will be going to sleep and won’t require too many carbs for this.
I hope you Ladies can all gain something from these tips. Remember, everyone is different and what might work for me, may not work for another – however I’m sure you’ll benefit from at least one of these ideas.
Also remember life is about balance! Restricting yourself too much can leave you feeling dissatisfied and you are likely to fall off track more often.
Monday to Friday I’m strict. Saturday and Sunday… Wine and chocolate is welcome!