4 Food Rules For Strength Training

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How your diet should (and shouldn’t) change when you amp up your workout routine

4 Food Rules For Strength Training

When it comes to eating healthy for a fit and active lifestyle, certain facts are undeniable: Water is essential, you can eat as many vegetables you want, and weight loss / maintenance is more a result of the diet exercise. As much as I’d like to think that the record more than 30 miles / week when training for a marathon entitle me to that giant slab of cake on Little Cupcake Bakeshop-unfortunately it is not. In fact, experts say that people tend to overestimate how many calories they burn and then compensate by eating more than you burn-a little simple math tells you end up gaining weight even though it is exercising a ton.

That said, your body has different nutritional needs when an amplifier of your workout routine, especially when it comes to strength training. So I turned to Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, founder of FoodTrainers and author of The Book of Delgado, to find how I eat to stay healthy and to complement my new routine of weight lifting as I try to work out at bootcamp 6 weeks. Here are 4 ways to eat well when you find yourself spending a lot more time in the gym.

Fuel up pre-training to improve performance
First, a word about fueling preschool: You do not have to eat before exercise if your goal is weight loss, you are exercising first thing in the morning, and not exercising for more than an hour says Slayton. But if your goals are related to performance, as mine are, it is suggested that you have something small before class. Doing so can give you more energy to help you work even harder in the gym (which means you’re probably going to burn those extra calories anyway).

Ideally, it would be a smart snack of 100-200 calories selection with more carbohydrates than protein (such as half a banana and a tbsp. Peanut butter), but since I am at 5:00 in the morning and have long time to digest, usually the scarf half a banana, which gives me an energy boost, but do not weigh me. Slayton says this is fine-and liquids are a great option if you are short of time, too. Try a medium milkshake Orgain ready to drink protein or applesauce with 1 tablespoon protein powder (I like Sun Warrior WARRIOR BLEND).

[Read Also: How To Make You Healthier, Regardless Of Your Lifestyle]

Timing is everything
It’s not just what you eat, but when he says Slayton. Try making a meal or snack within thirty minutes of exercise to aid muscle recovery and help you avoid overeating later in the day. That said, choosing to snack before or after your workout, but not both. So, if you have a pre-workout snack, their fuel recovery real food (well, time to finish your workout at breakfast, lunch or dinner). Or, if you exercise on an empty stomach, go for a 100-200 calorie snack after training that has more protein than carbohydrates (like a boiled egg and some fruit or Greek yogurt with berries.). “I think there is nothing better than post-workout-is a smoothie gets fluid, protein and some fruit, all in one,” says Slayton.

Try this Matcha Colada recipe from Little Book of Thin:

-4 to 6 ounces coconut water (or water)
-1/2 teaspoon matcha powder (like Panatea)
-1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple or papaya
-1 scoop protein powder
-1 cup greens (microgreens, spinach, or kale)
-1/3 avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
-1 slice peeled fresh ginger (the size of a penny)
-1 handful ice cubes
-6 drops NuStevia (optional)

Place coconut water (or water) in a high-powered blender followed by the other ingredients in the order given. Blend well and serve.

Eat more protein
I got a big surprise: Slayton recommends consuming 1 gram of protein per kilo of body weight. That means a 135 pound woman should eat 135 grams / day! I figured that my goal in grams and then my protein intake estimated from yesterday and was off by almost 50 grams.

[Read Also: How to Tone Your Legs and Butt With The No-Equipment Move]

“It’s very important to get enough protein when you are exercising to help maintain and build-all of that precious muscle,” says Slayton. I eat some fish, but I’m mainly a total vegetarian, making it even more difficult. My favorite sources of protein (approved by Slayton): Sunwarrior protein powder, boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, quinoa, soybeans, almonds, and shrimp. Slayton also recommends spirulina. In fact, it is in powder form of green algae, which may sound gross, but it packs 5 grams of protein in one scoop and works well as a smoothie add-in or mixed with yogurt.

Stock up on cherry juice
Tart cherry juice is high in antioxidants and, when drinking after exercise, can help reduce inflammation and aid in muscle recovery, says Slayton. Try 1-2 ounces of tart cherry juice mixed with mineral water just before bedtime or buy frozen pie to add to your smoothie recovery cherries.

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