The ideal diet for working out supplies enough energy and fuel for the body, so that it can perform at its best during a workout. If a workout programme does not include proper nutrition, meal planning, or sufficient foods, the body will suffer immensely and training will be adversely affected.
Different diets are appropriate for different workouts just as the timing of your workout will determine the timing of your meals. However, all workouts require nutrient-dense foods in order to make the body stronger and allow it to fully recover.
The body requires food so that it can function. Rather than focusing on specific foods within a diet, a diet for working out must include a combination of proteins, carbs, and fats. These are imperative to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and achieving your fitness goals.
As your fitness levels increase, your metabolism speeds up thus expending more calories at a basal metabolic rate. If your goal is weight loss, reducing your calorie intake by 500 calories will help you achieve your goal. If your goal is weight gain, add 250-300 calories to diet.
If your workout programme becomes more challenging over the course of time, it is important that you increase your calorie intake so that your body receives enough energy for your workout.
It is important to note that this diet for working out is not a quick fix nor is it temporary. This diet is written to be a sustainable way of eating for the rest of your life.
The recommended diet for working out involves eating meals every two to four hours, which is approximately five meals. This frequency allows you to optimize your metabolism and supply you with enough energy for your workouts.
It is important to note that each individual is different and you should experiment with what works best for you. It is also important to time your meals before and after your workouts.
Again, this is subjective to the individual but eating a light meal an hour before a workout or working out three hours after a heavier meal will improve overall performance.
Now for the workout diet itself
Each meal will be about 400 calories give or take a hundred. You have the flexibility to tailor your caloric intake based on your personalized goals however, five meals is mandatory. All of the meals will include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Like I mentioned before, this is a lifestyle diet, not a fad. You have the freedom to create your own meals as long as they stay within your calorie range and have the three necessity components. I suggest eating high protein meals first thing in the morning and in the evening.
This will allow your muscles to recover throughout the day and rebuild at night. By eating meals with more fat during the day allows your body has a chance to burn it off more efficiently than it would at night.
Remember: every bite, snack and additive counts! Drinking water will keep you hydrated throughout the day and will help you stay on track.
Protein is absolutely necessary in order to stay satiated throughout the morning. Protein gives your body energy for your workouts and increases lean muscle mass as well as fights cravings. Suggested proteins include: protein powder, cottage cheese, smoked salmon, yogurt, egg whites, and nuts.
Carbs supply your body with energy and are a good source of fibre. Suggested carbs are: oatmeal, whole-grain bread/cereal and whole wheat bread/tortillas.
Fats are healthy! Fat helps keep you fuller longer, adds flavour to your dishes and nourishes the body. Suggested fats include avocados, beef, tuna steak, olive oil, cheese, peanut or almond butter and egg yolks.