Eat Well when Exercising

Watching what you eat is essential to get the results you are after. Fitness First offers some sound dietary advice

Seven Tips for the Right Diet when Exercising

Whether you are a seasoned gym junkie or a novice exerciser, the right food intake to help you sustain your regime is essential. Rob Richards from Fitness First gives seven tips that will help you maximise the benefits of your programme:

1. Eat every two to three hours.

You don’t need to eat a full meal every two to three hours if you are exercising, instead you should eat six to eight smaller meals and snacks that also conform to the following rules:

2. Eat lean protein foodstuffs each time you eat.

Eat a form of protein every time you have a meal or snack, as this will help you maintain the positive effects of your workout regime. If you don’t eat meat, this rule still applies – you need complete protein and should find a vegetarian source, such as whey protein shakes, which are available from health shops.

3. Eat vegetables every time you eat.

As well as a complete, lean source of protein, you should ensure that there are vegetables on your plate each mealtime.

4. Eat non-vegetable carbohydrates only after exercise.

If you want to eat carbohydrates that are not in fruit or vegetable form (such as rice, pasta, potatoes and bread), you should ideally wait until after you have exercised, as your body best tolerates these foods post-workout. Reward yourself after building up a bit of sweat by having a carbohydrate meal afterwards. For the rest of the day, eat your lean protein and a delicious selection of fruit and vegetables.

5. Eat healthy fats.

There are three types of dietary fat — saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Eating all three kinds in a healthy balance (equal parts of each) can dramatically improve your health and even help you to lose body fat. Saturated fats are found in meat, but are also contained in palm oil and coconut products for vegetarians. Monounsaturated fat should come from mixed nuts, olives and olive oil and polyunsaturated fats should be derived from flaxseed oil, fish oil and mixed nuts as well.

6. Drink more water and green teas.

Fruit juice and sodas should be removed from your daily intake, as most of these contain high levels of sugar. High fructose corn syrup in soft drinks has been linked by some experts to obesity. Your best choices are water and green tea.

7. Focus on whole foods.

Most of your dietary intake should come from whole foods. There are a few times where supplement drinks and shakes are useful, but most of the time you’ll do best with whole, largely unprocessed foods.

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