If you’re someone who enjoys exercise, then your daily trip to the gym is probably already hammered out in your schedule. You might be an early morning person, hitting the gym before work. Perhaps you go during your lunch break or after work.
It’s not when you go that’s most important, but making sure you go in the first place.
While many people believe that the gym alone is where they’re going to be getting their results, many nutritionists and fitness experts like to remind people that a healthy lifestyle is 80-90% kitchen and just 10-20% gym.
That’s quite a swing!
Below, we’re going to run through some of the dos and don’ts to keep you healthy and help you reach your goals.
DO: Eat Something Before Working Out
You might have heard about many people who wake up and head straight for the gym or an early morning run. The truth is you’re doing your body more harm than good. Without any energy, you’ll feel tired quicker and not have as much energy.
Eat a protein bar or some fruit before your workout, something with a bit of carbs. Don’t eat too much though, as a full stomach is going to slow you down.
DON’T: Avoid Eating Protein Because You Don’t Want to Look Bulky
This tip is more for women who often say the reason they don’t want to work out is because they don’t want to look like they have big, bulging muscles.
Just eating protein isn’t going to make you all beefy. Your body needs protein to build up muscles after working out. Working out is going to tear down your muscles, and protein mixed with rest is going to help them recover and become stronger. Getting to that big, beefy stage requires months if not years of constant dedication to a rigorous diet and workout plan.
DO: Meal Plan Your Week
Meal planning is not only going to save you time at the grocery store, but it’s also going to help you make sure you stick to a particular diet. Sit down on a Sunday afternoon or whenever you want to start your week and check out what you’ll be eating.
If you’re not sure where to start, try picking out a healthy diet. The Meditteranean diet is one that is both incredibly healthy and beneficial for active people. You’ll have plenty of carbs, protein, and delicious foods to eat.
DON’T: Eat Super Late at Night
While Googling about eating late at night, you’re bound to find a number of different results. While the overall effects are still debated, the general consensus is you should hold off from eating late at night.
Reasons for this include your body storing those calories as fat, poor sleeping patterns, and messing up your metabolism. The last one is the most important for active people, as your metabolism is key to keeping up with your fitness and weight goals.
DO: Eat Soon After You Work Out
After you’re finished with your daily workout, your body is craving fuel to refill itself. You may be preparing for a meal which is perfect, but if it’s not time for lunch or dinner yet then try a protein smoothie.
They’re quite easy to make and you can get creative with them. Make sure you’re adding fruit in there for taste and health purposes. If you’re not a smoothie fan, make sure you’re getting protein and carbs in your system.
DON’T: Rely on Sports Drinks to Refuel You
Almost everyone has seen a Gatorade or Powerade commercial in their lifetime. They look so cool with the glowing sweat and athlete endorsement.
But, you shouldn’t be relying on them to replenish you after a workout. While they do have plenty of necessary substances and nutrients, many are quite high in sugar which does more good than bad for you.
It’s OK to drink a little after a workout, but making sure you’re getting plenty of water as well. You can also give coconut water a try if you want something with different flavor.
DO: Plan Out Some Cheat Meals
The general rule is two cheat meals per week. Give yourself a break from the strict diet and exercise regime to cut back a little. This could be a night out with your friends or ordering take-out Chinese from down the road.
Not only will you be rewarding yourself, but that food tastes so much better when you have it sparingly. Just remember to cut yourself some slack!