After a great workout it’s nice to reward yourself with a nice cold drink or a quick fast food meal with friends, but your post-workout habits could be hindering your fat loss progress/results. Here are the
5 worst mistakes that will make your body hold onto fat
1.Not providing your body with nutrients post workout
After a hard workout your body is looking to soak up nutrients to help the recovery stage. If you don’t give yourself those nutrients, your body can actually go into a fasted state in which it wants to turn a bigger percentage of what you eat into fat to store it. Trust me, that’s the last thing you want to do if your goal is fat loss and body composition. This is because fat is your body’s preferred form to store excess energy once your muscle glycogen is refilled.
What to do: refuel your body within 90mins of working out to start the recovery process and avoid a fasted state
2. Not providing your body with THE RIGHT nutrients
Not only is it important to give your body nutrients to refuel after a workout, it’s crucial you intake the proper nutrients! If you feed your body poor quality carbs and fat after a workout it won’t respond the way you want it to in terms of fat loss or muscle growth. You will end up feeling sluggish and you won’t see the fat loss results you’re looking for.
What to do: Instead of having a post-workout #4 combo from your favourite fast food place, try ingesting a high quality protein shake. Research shows that high quality protein is best post-workout. This is due to its great amino acid profile (which is most important in the recovery process), high satiability (keeps you feeling full longest) and generally tastes great! You can use whole foods such as eggs, fish, lean meat, Greek yogurt to name a few. If whole foods don’t go down easy after a workout, opt for a protein shake. There are endless recipes out there for delicious protein shakes, however be aware of what you are putting in, because you don’t want to add too many carbs or fats to the drink.
3. Bingeing on alcohol
Alcohol consumption is one of the worst things for someone who’s got fat loss on their mind. It can put protein synthesis and growth hormone (responsible for fat burning and speeding up your metabolism) to a halt, slow down recovery. Alcohol itself has 7cal per gram compared to 4cal per gram of protein and carbs which is why beer is generally referred to as “empty calories”. You get a dense nutrient without many micronutrients. When alcohol is metabolised it can turn into fat and is stored in the liver or as visceral fat (belly fat). There is a correlation linking higher visceral fat with high alcohol consumption, which can lead to many diseases.
What to do: Avoid alcohol on training days (or nights). If you are going to drink, try and limit it to 3 or 4 drinks and avoid sugary mixed drinks. Opt for red wine, and try to stay hydrated throughout the night.
In today’s fast paced society it is difficult to manage stress. High stress is related to chronically elevated cortisol levels, which can make fat loss even more challenging. Not only will chronically high cortisol levels increase hunger, and decrease the satiability of your meals but it also interferes with the ability to lose weight and makes it easier to store fat if you’re eating isn’t up to par.
What to do: Find ways to help manage your stress levels. Doing activities that make you happy is one of the best proven ways to combat stress. This can include: Laughter, physical affection, hot baths, meditation etc.
5. Rushing out the door without cooling down
A cooldown from a workout can be more beneficial than you think. If you finish workout and run out the door ASAP, you might be ignoring a couple of factors that will aid in recovery and fat loss.
What to do: A proper foam roll can improve bloodflow to muscles to increase recovery and stretching can help you relax to bring down those cortisol levels. Focus on deep relaxed diaphragm (yoga) breathing for best results.