Eating and the Exercise of Timing: Healthy Food Choices
You have taken the plunge. You got that exercise bike or treadmill and you are ready to get in shape. You finish your first workout and yeah, it feels great! But something is wrong. You crash right after the workout or even worse, you binge eat. What happened?
You’ve probably made a dietary mistake. It is important to know what to put in your body before and after you exercise. Most people beginning an exercise routine fail to plan for the food they eat before and after their workout.
You are Not Alone
40% of adult Americans are considered obese by the CDC, Centers for Disease Control. Obesity is a preventable condition that requires an active approach to correct. People argue that diet alone or exercise alone will solve the problem, and they may be right. It’s all about you and the best way your body responds to your efforts. Time Magazine has a great story that basically says it is all about different strokes for different folks. What works for you? It’s all a matter of trial and error. When should you eat? What is the best diet? You have to explore your options and decide for yourself.
Some Simple Truths
No matter which diet or exercise routine you choose, they will all agree on one thing. Hydrate. Drink a lot of water. Drink it before you exercise, drink it while you exercise and drink it after you exercise. The only time you shouldn’t be drinking water is when you are sleeping.
Need a mental boost? Next time you feel your mental performance diminish, skip the cup of coffee and drink some water.
One of water’s many benefits is an increase in brain power. Since your brain is made of 73% water, drinking it helps you think, focus, concentrate, and stay alert. As a result, your energy levels also improve.
According to research, it doesn’t take much to feel the impact of dehydration. “Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills, as well as assessment of the subjective state.”
Healthy Food Choices
Fruit will never steer you wrong. Every shopping list should be populated with bananas, apples, oranges, and strawberries. Fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. Vegetables should also be on your list. Green veggies rule the roost and are also low in calories while high in the nutrients your body needs. What should be scarce on your shopping list? Anything processed or with boatloads of sugar. Yes, these “fast foods” are convenient, but in the end game, they will counteract all your efforts.
Another truth seems to be never eat directly before or after your exercise. Give your body some time to prepare or relax before hitting that Elliptical. Always keep some water and a snack close by and listen to your body. It knows when it wants to eat or drink.
Congratulations on making the decision to get in shape. No matter what your path, you have taken a step in the right direction. Timing the how and when to incorporate all the advice you’ll see is part of the journey.