When trying to lose weight, regular exercise is crucial, but there are certain foods to eat and others you should to avoid before and after exercising.
If you are following the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge you’ll already have access to hundreds of healthy recipes that are perfect for pre and post training.
Five Foods To Eat Before And After Exercise:
1. Chicken salad
After a workout it’s important to nourish your body with healthy choices. A grilled chicken breast and a salad of leafy greens, and loads of vegetables is a great option. It’s not going to spike your blood sugar levels and will keep your mood stable as you come down from your post-workout high. We have lots of chicken salad recipes in the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
2. A sliced banana on wholegrain toast
A great combination with the natural sugars from the banana and the low GI bread. This breakfast or snack will keep you full without leaving you sluggish.
3. A small bowl of porridge oats with fruits, nuts or coconut
Yet another slow release energy food, oats are a great way to fill up with few calories. Add some berries for an antioxidant hit and you’ll sail through your workout without the dreaded hunger pains interrupting you. This is a great recipe for overnight oats from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge that you can prepare the night before.
4. Apple or pear slices with nut butter
For a perfect post-workout snack choose natural nut butters because they contain only nuts and no added sugar or salt. The protein will work to repair any muscle damage from your training, and the apple will help with hydration. Our healthy recipe for Pears with Peanut Butter and Chia Seeds comes from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
5. Greek yoghurt with nuts, seeds and berries
Instead of reaching for a muffin from the café, choose a bowl of yogurt and top with things like oats, crushed walnuts, fresh berries or fresh banana. This will take the edge off your hunger without adding any excess calories that you’ve just been busy burning off.
Five Foods To Avoid During Exercise:
In general, if you’re exercising (and even if you aren’t!) it’s best to avoid:
1. Sports drinks
They are packed with sugar which is not ideal when trying to lose weight. Despite the marketing of these products telling you that you need to replace the fluids you lost during exercise, you will find that water and healthy food will do the job much better.
2. Excessive caffeine
Too much coffee can make you feel nauseous at the best of times, let alone after a jog. Stick to one in the morning if possible and then try to incorporate green or herbal teas at other times.
3. Salty foods
If you are starving after exercise it’s best to avoid keeping things such as chips in the house as they are hard to resist. These salty foods will dehydrate you which is already an issue after training.
4. Greasy foods
Often we are tempted to think we can treat ourselves to some fast food as we have done some exercise. But in fact you are treating yourself badly if you give in to such cravings on a regular basis! Greasy foods like fast-food burgers and chips can cause digestive issues, especially after training, so are best avoided if possible.
5. Creamy or rich foods
If you’re heading out for breakfast after exercising, it’s best to steer clear of things like eggs Benedict that are covered in a rich creamy dressing that can upset your stomach. Instead, choose something like a poached egg on wholegrain toast with some fresh avocado.