This time around with my fitness journey (read about my re-commitment here, if you have not yet)  I am trying to simplify the “diet” portion.  With my busy schedule and small budget I do not have a lot of time to do a lot of prep work and meal plan.  I am sticking to foods that I know are packed with nutrients for my post workout nutrition. As well as paying attention to the carbs and amount of sugar I am consuming the rest of the day.

I am sure this is not what an expert would suggest but its what works for me, for now anyway. While, I do not currently use a calorie or fitness tracker, I do make an effort to look at the nutrition facts of the foods I buy.  Being aware is already making a huge difference in how I feel.

My Post Workout Nutrition

Right after a workout I eat a banana and drink a glass of chocolate milk. I have read multiple places that because of the potassium in a banana and protein and sugar found in chocolate milk, these foods are beneficial to your muscles, especially following physical activity.

Sometimes this is part of my breakfast, sometimes it is not depending on what time I workout.

So what do I look for in my breakfast foods, and all foods throughout the day? Along with low calories and low sugar I also look for high protein and fiber.

Why protein?

  • it helps muscles grow and tissue repair
  • it assists in burning fat
  • high protein foods keep you fuller longer.

If you are not eating protein, look into it and find out the best amount for you.

For more information, read this article.

Why fiber?

  • it is key to a healthy diet. It helps keep your system regular. I know its one of those weird things to talk about but when your digestive system is working properly,  you are getting the maximum benefits of nutrients and disposing of the things your body does not need.  No one likes to be bloated – get that stuff out of there!

Oh, and did I mention it aids in weight loss?

  • High fiber foods are more filling and have less calories

For more information, read this article.

And I cannot forget to mention something super important whether you are on a fitness journey or not, water.

Why water?

  • without adequate water, your body does not correctly breakdown the fiber which can lead to constipation or other digestive issues- eww. So, if you are not already drinking lots of water,  get to sipping!
  • water aids in circulation of the body
  • it removes toxins from the digestive system
  • water  hydrates your body.  Dehydration leads to overeating. Do I need to say more?

For more information, read this article.

A helpful hint when I am eating, especially food someone else prepared or at a restaurant, is to eat until  I am full. And theeeennn, STOP. Easy concept, probably a no brainer, right? But, not as easy said as done.  I have noticed how much better I feel when I stop eating at full rather then taking just a few more bites.

If there are nutrients that are important to you- it can be easy to incorporate them. Just be mindful. To clarify- thinking about what I am eating has truly made a big impact. I turn down the really salty foods, or the high calories snacks because I know that later I have something really yummy to eat. Before, when I did not think about it, I would just eat things when I thought I was hungry or because they looked good and then later in the day I felt heavy and gross.

Drinking tea instead of coffee or my 100 calories snacks have replaced the mugs of coffee and cookies I would eat at work.  I pack more fruit or veggies in my lunch bag and have turned to natural applesauce as my afternoon snack. I even switched my afternoon energy drink to something with half the calories, way less sugar and a full serving of fruits and vegetables.

It does take a little more time to be mindful. But like I find myself saying all.the.time, the more you do it the easier it becomes. Stocking these new foods at home makes packing my lunch easier, because those are the only options I have.

I have linked a few websites I found helpful above, and there are tons more available online.  But, do not forget to check with a doctor or pharmacist if you are making big changes.  Something that works for others may not be what is best for your body.  Even though I try to stick to regular foods, and not supplements and such, the items I listed may not be what you need for your goals.

What do you like to eat after a workout?

What are your go-to snacks?

I always appreciate feedback. What kind of posts would you like to see?

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