7 Healthy Post Workout Snacks for Fat Loss
When I first began working out, my goals were to lose weight and look better, my first obstacle was not knowing what to eat after my workout. I found myself not eating enough or eating foods that were not filling.
I am sure I am not the only one who has tried to figure out what to eat after a workout to lose weight and build muscle. As we begin to lose weight we also lose a certain percentage of body fat.
I realize there are some women that can probably afford a nutritionist, that was something I could not afford and had to do my own research and find what worked best for me.
After some trial and error, I learned a lot about the benefits that quick post workout snacks offer. I also learned what not to eat after a workout.
In this article, I will tell you what foods worked best for me. I hope they may also give you an idea of what foods you can eat to help you with gaining muscle and lose fat.
Before I go into detail about what to eat, let me explain why quick post workout snacks are important.
What is post-workout?
There are three phases of a workout, the warm-up period which helps prevent injury, the workout where you start your primary exercise or training regimen, and the post workout which helps rebuild muscle and replace the nutrients your body loses during the workout.
Why you need a post workout snack
As you workout your body is depleting stored glycogen which is your body’s main source of energy. If you don’t replenish those levels with carbs you feel drained and exhausted. This is what makes you feel sleepy with a lack of energy.
During your workout you are also tearing muscle fibers that need to heal, muscles require protein to heal and build muscle, this is how you grow stronger.
A good post-workout meal should consist of healthy carbs and adequate protein so your body and muscles recover quickly.
Consuming plenty of protein after your workout ensures your weight loss comes from fat stores and not muscle tissue.
Post workout foods are important, especially for women who are trying to build muscle or lose body fat. A quality pre workout meal can help your muscles recover faster.
The food you eat can make a big difference in how you feel.
For example, if you work out early in the morning, you have the rest of the day ahead of you, eating something heavy may reduce your energy levels throughout the day.
Those of you who train later in the day or evening may be able to get away with eating foods that are more filling and may sit heavier.
For me, a post-workout snack works the best, it helps me stay at a healthy weight and keeps my body fat under control.
What to eat
I try to eat snacks that range between 100-200 calories, of these calories I make sure that they contain 10 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein.
Eating a snack within an hour after your workout will give you the best results, this is because your body quickly absorbs glucose and amino acids. This is when your body can best utilize the nutrients and prevent muscle loss and give you energy.
Suggested snacks include:
1. Plain greek yogurt sprinkled with nuts such as almonds, pecan, granola along with a handful of berries.
2. Nuts or dried fruits make the perfect post-workout snack, a handful of almonds (approximately 23) contain 6 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, and both unsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
3. Cottage cheese with a slice of whole-grain bread.
4. One cup of sliced apples, pears or a banana is low in fat and will provide you with plenty of post-workout energy.
5. Whole eggs are easy to prepare and are one of the foods of choice of many fitness models and bodybuilders and why wouldn’t they be? Eggs contain healthy proteins to help muscles recover and burn fat and get you ripped fast.
6. Sweet potatoes can be cooked and pureed with some honey and cinnamon or baked in the oven, you can slice them and coat them with some ginger powder.
7. Quinoa tastes good and it’s loaded with both protein and dietary fiber, for people who want are on a vegan diet and want something that is gluten-free quinoa fits the bill.
One thing I would also recommend is that along with your post workout snack is that you accompany it with a healthy serving of water to ensure you are well hydrated after your workout.
Post workout foods to avoid
Sodas and sports drinks are not only loaded with sugar and caffeine they contribute to unhealthy calories plus they make you feel bloated.
Fatty or fried foods some people feel that after a hardcore workout they are entitled to a hearty meal, unfortunately, fried foods slow down the digestion process which makes it hard fro your body to receive nutrients in a timely manner, plus fried foods are loaded with unhealthy saturated fats.
Chocolate is a food that some may crave after a workout, but if you are looking to stay lean you will want to avoid that chocolate bar, after a good workout your metabolism is running in high gear, the last thing you want to do is slow it down with all that sugar.
Simple carbs including white bread, pastries, and donuts, just like fried fatty foods they slow down your body’s metabolism and the sugar content will work against you especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Protein and energy bars, I know what you are thinking these are supposed to be healthy, right? Well, not exactly. While it is true that many of these protein and energy bars are loaded with nutrients they also contain a lot of sugar, if you dont believe me read the labels, you would be surprised and not only how much sugar they contain they are also calorie-dense.
Getting in shape does not have to be complicated, if you are working out hard there is no sense it ruining your efforts by not eating the right food. Eating a healthy post workout snack will not only give your body the nutrients it needs, but it will also give you energy and contribute to fat loss.