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7 Foods You Should Not Eat After A Workout

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7 Foods You Should Not Eat After A Workout

Staying in shape isn’t all about hitting the gym on a regular basis. That’s only half the battle. In order to keep yourself lean, you must combine cardio and weight training with a balanced, nutritious, and healthy diet. Your exercise and your diet must work in conjunction with one another, as there are certain foods that should be consumed prior to working out that will help give you the energy and focus necessary to get through it. Of course, there are also certain foods that you should avoid after your daily workout so that you don’t ruin all the hard work you put in at the gym.

Here are seven foods you should not eat after a workout:

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1. Salty Processed Foods

It’s common to crave something salty after your workout, as your sweat not only deprives your body of water, but certain nutrients (including potassium) as well. Opting for a healthy meal can replenish your potassium level quickly and naturally, doing so without high calorie snacks. Bananas, which are known for having high amounts of potassium, are your best option, but any kind of dry fruit would be a preferable alternative to salty snacks.

2. Sugary Meals and Drinks

Drinking soda or other sugary drinks is the worst mistake you can make after a workout. Sugar slows down your metabolism, and a slower metabolism will make it that much harder for you to slim down and get the lean body you want. It’s important to read labels before you consume, as some products may have more sugar in them than you think. In addition to the sugar in them, sodas also cause bloating, which is the opposite of what you’re looking for after working out. If water or natural fruit juice aren’t available after your workout, your best bet is unsweetened iced tea, which will keep you hydrated and calm your sugar cravings.

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3. Fast Foods

It may seem obvious, but fast foods, fatty snacks, and oily foods should all be avoided after a workout. Your primary goal is to reduce the overall amount of fat, and consuming those foods will make it harder to do so; and that’s in addition to raising your cholesterol, which puts you at risk of heart disease. Moreover, fatty foods interfere with your body’s ability to produce glycogen (an important substance that’s produced and stored in the muscles and liver), an unhealthy by-product in addition to ruining the hard work you put in at the gym.

4. Raw Veggies

While raw fruits and vegetables should be a part of your diet, you shouldn’t focus exclusively on them, nor should you consume them immediately after a workout. Raw vegetables will not supplement the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you lost during your workout. Instead, you need to consume protein after your workout in order to support muscle development.

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5. Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate does have some benefits, as it can improve your memory and cognitive function. However, any chocolate you eat should be consumed before your workout so that you can burn up the extra calories while also indulging your sweet tooth. Eating chocolate after a workout will not help you to replenish the nutrients lost while exercising.

6. Pastries

Although your body needs high-quality carbohydrates after working out and pastries are full of carbs, they are not a healthy and reliable source of nutrients. Whole-wheat toast or dry fruits are better options than pastries or donuts, which should be avoided at all costs.

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7. Energy Bars

Energy bars are designed for pre-workout consumption only; they will boost your energy, which you need before your workout, not afterwards. These bars are filled with sugar, which decreases your metabolism and stimulates fat production. Once your workout is over, energy bars will do more harm than good.

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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