Being consistent with your workouts and being a regular at the gym may be one of your resolutions in the new year. But gym sessions need to be accompanied with a healthy and balanced diet to achieve the desired results. The American College of Sports Medicine says, “Adequate food and fluid should be consumed before, during and after exercise to help maintain blood glucose concentration during exercise, maximise exercise performance, and improve recovery time. Athletes should be well hydrated before exercise and drink enough fluid during and after exercise to balance fluid losses.”
Keep these simple tips in mind if you are a beginner at the gym.
Eat a balanced plate with three macros
Macros or macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein and fats. Carbs act as the body’s primary fuel source, while protein keeps the blood sugar level in check for longer periods of time. Fat acts as a fuel source that helps with satiety and give an enjoyable eating experience.
Go for plant-based diet
Plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are foods that are high in fibre content and antioxidants which reduce the risk of developing lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart conditions. As most vegetables are low in calories, one can go for one more bowl of cooked vegetables.
Keep a check on your portion size
Even healthy foods contain calories. Therefore, it is important to control portion sizes especially of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The portioning helps in following up with calorie goals.
Don’t skip breakfast
Made up of carbs and protein with some fat, a big breakfast helps keep blood sugar levels steady and hunger pangs away. Opt for something satisfying for your stomach and taste buds — like egg-whites with whole wheat toast.
Shape up the core
At least five minutes each of push-ups, lunges, and squats (in 30-second intervals) can help build and maintain muscle mass. The more muscle one has, the higher is the metabolism rate which helps burn more calories.
Here are other points to keep in mind
*Ideally, fuel up two hours before you exercise with 3-4 glasses of water.
*Avoiding saturated fats and even a lot of healthy protein without advice — because these types of fuels digest slower in your stomach and take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles.
When you start working out, make sure to stick to a routine and keep challenging yourself in consultation with your trainer.