Workout Dietary Commandments
No matter how much time you spend in the gym, the most important aspect that cannot be forgotten is your diet. Whether you are exercising for weight loss, body building or weight training it is crucial that you pay attention to the food you eat and also to your eating habits. While your exercise routine stretches and works your muscles, it is important that your body has the energy to sustain the exercise effectively.
Below are ten dietary commandments:
- Supplement with a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral daily.
- Always eat breakfast, preferably a low GI meal.
GI or glycemic index is the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed into the blood. Some carbohydrates will be absorbed very quickly (e.g. most breads and mashed potato) and some more slowly (e.g. sweet potato and rye bread). The more slowly absorbed carbohydrates (low GI) are preferable, as they do not result in a very quick rise in blood sugar levels.
For breakfast, oatmeal (non-instant) or muesli is satisfying, filling and a great high-fiber way to start the day.
- Try to eat six meals per day. The human body relies on food for fuel in order to keep it going. Throughout the day your body uses this energy for daily functioning and to help it perform during exercise and activities. However, unlike a car, you cannot fill your body with fuel (food) until the "tank" is completely full. You need to give it a constant, steady supply of nutrients throughout the day. So instead of three ‘square’ meals per day, break those down into six smaller sized portions and eat every two to three hours.
The trick to keeping your body and energy levels sustained is taking your three square meals (remember breakfast, lunch and dinner) and breaking them down into smaller portions of six. So, at the end of the day you are getting in the same amount of food, just at a slower, steadier pace which will benefit your body and boost your metabolism.
- Aim at consuming 20g of protein per meal. If you find this difficult, add a supplement to your meals to increase the protein content.
- Eliminate excess trans-fats salt and simple sugar from your diet immediately, recommends Fitness magazine. This includes all soft drinks, cookies, chips and deep fried foods, which have no positive nutritional value.
- When preparing meals use spray oils rather than saturated fats like butter and margarine. Non-stick pans are also winners.
- Make low glycemic food choices part of your eating plan.
- Ensure you are drinking water throughout the day. Set yourself a goal of drinking at least 10 cups of water per day. Limit the consumption of drinks other than water, even diet drinks — these contain Aspartame and other sweeteners which force the body to release insulin and store fat.
- Don’t overlook the importance of the post-workout meal. According to Fitness magazine, it is during this glycogen-deprived state that the body is best able to absorb nutrients. Immediately after exercising, eat a meal of simple carbohydrates and protein to take advantage of this. As time elapses, the window for absorption decreases, returning to normal after about 40 minutes.
- Allow yourself a cheat meal or two every week. This is not a license to go off the rails, but rather a once-off opportunity to enjoy in a fried or creamy meal and even a decadent dessert. Eventually these ‘cheats’ will become unnecessary, and ultimately they will be eliminated altogether as you will no longer crave them.