Thank god; the gym membership is finally signed, sealed and delivered. Now, you can focus on getting fit and toning up for summer. There are only a couple more weeks before the season is officially here, people! Hold a minute because maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves. Before the abs look solid and the limbs shiny and elegant, the diet has to change. And no, this doesn’t mean you’re eating poorly right now. Indeed, you may have done a lot to try and transform your eating habits.
Still, once you join a gym, they need changing to fit the new lifestyle. The chances are gym rats will spend a lot of time burning calories on the rowing machine or pumping iron. If this is the case, the body needs the right fuel at the right times. When you neglect this aspect of health and fitness, the point of eating healthily and working out will be negated. Sorry to be a buzzkill but it’s the truth!
Here are the basic ways to change your diet to suit a gym membership.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
They say it’s the most important meal of the day and the experts aren’t wrong. For those who are thinking “I’m not working out in the morning,” it doesn’t make a difference. The morning is when the body’s blood sugar levels are at their lowest so they need a boost. Eating breakfast gives it the fuel it needs to get through to lunch, but it also sets you up for the rest of the day. As someone who doesn’t skip the most important meal of the day, you’ll suffer less from fatigue. In general, this means you should have the energy to exercise at any time of the day without the pre-workout jitters. You know the ones. It’s the feeling of “I can’t be bothered to get off the sofa!” Try scrambled eggs on whole wheat bread with lean ham, or simply eggs ala carte. A smoothie is another great option because it’s full of fiber and protein.
What this doesn’t mean is that you can gorge on anything one hour leading up to the gym. No, it’s important to be selective with ingredients and timing. Lean meat such as turkey and chicken is perfect for weightlifting as it contains lots of protein. Cardio nuts will want a carb-rich meal instead. Pasta, for example. Try and eat two to three hours in advance.
Once the hard work is over, the muscles and organs need filling up again. Hey, no one said the average human body was fuel-efficient! You won’t get many miles to the gallon, especially as it ages! With this in mind, don’t go home, take a shower and relax on the sofa before hitting the hay. As appealing as this routine sounds, it means the body has to go hours without sustenance. Since you sweated out buckets of fluid and burnt off tissue, this is a bad idea. The trick is to eat the right balance of nutrients. Because the muscles suffer from DOMS, they will need protein to repair the tiny tears. Glycogen is another thing which needs replacing, as is the water imbalance. A grilled chicken breast with a protein smoothie should do the trick. An excellent tip is to find a fitness center location that is close to home. Eating late at night isn’t healthy and it isn’t very comfortable. Going straight to the kitchen and cooking up a storm, then, is the best option.
Drink Plenty Of H2O
Your diet shouldn’t only focus on what you eat. Anything that goes into the body can have an impact, and water is the prime example. Without H2O, the average human would last three to four days before collapsing in a heap. Not to scare anyone, but dehydration is likely to happen during exercise if you don’t take on fluids. This probably seems like the easiest change to make, and it is in many ways. Still, don’t assume it will happen overnight because it’s a process and you need to drill the routine in. All it takes is a water bottle before, during and after working out. By doing this, the water-debt should be less and the body won’t suffer as much. Plus, being hydrated means you are efficient at metabolizing fat and burning calories. If there was ever one reason to sip and dip, it’s this one! To go one step further, mix water with Gatorade. Energy drinks are high in electrolytes and replace the sugars lost during exercise.
The saying which you are bound to hear at some point is: getting in shape is about eating fewer calories than the daily amount. In general, this is true because reducing the number of calories should lead to weight loss and muscle tone. However, don’t take a broad approach. Instead, tailor the diet to the routine at the time. For example, are you looking to lose weight and boost your bikini bod? In this case, you’ll need foods that speed up the metabolism such as broccoli, peas, and lentils. As well as being low in kcal, they contain plenty of protein too without the fats of meats. As a rule, research the diets which are in tune with your fitness regime.
How do you attempt to merge your diet with a gym membership?