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7 Foods You Should Not Eat After A Workout

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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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