How to Fuel Your Workouts
Good nutrition can help you build a strong foundation for your workouts, boost your energy and speed up recovery time! Here's are Seven's top tips for a nourishing and fulfilling diet.
Plan your meals
Planning your meals makes all the difference when it comes to sticking to a healthy diet. Not only will planning your meals make your grocery shopping 10x easier, it will prevent you from reaching for unhealthy alternatives in moments of desperation and save you money from dining out. It’s a triple threat!
Keep it real
Try to stick to whole foods as much as possible. Not only will this boost the amount of vitamins and minerals you take in, it will protect you from hidden nasties in processed foods. 'Real' foods are lower in sugar and higher in fibre than processed products, which will help keep you satisfied and prevent overeating. This means that when you eat whole foods, you can focus less on ‘dieting’ and restricted foods, and more on the wide variety of food filled with goodness!
Be mindful of portion sizes
If you're looking to lose weight you'll need a calorie deficit, which means working out isn't a free pass to overeat! Overly large portion sizes can lead to mindless eating and weight gain. Eating mindfully can help you to manage your portion size, reduce binge eating and help you feel good while maintaining a healthy weight.
If you're new to mindful eating, start by thoroughly enjoying every bite, and making sure to notice all the flavors before swallowing. It can also help to eat until you’re 85% full, giving your fullness signals time to catch up. For most of us, this is around a fist-sized portion of protein, half a plate of veggies and a teaspoon of fat.
Balance is key
Though carbs and fat have often been demonised, cutting any food group out of your diet can be risky and difficult to sustain in the long run. To get the most out of your meals, you’ll want a good balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Each macronutrient has an important role; for example, protein helps your muscles recover after a workout, while carbs help replenish glycogen stores. Healthy fats (such as those found in avocados, oily fish and nuts) are essential for any healthy diet, improving heart, skin and brain function.
Manage your expectations
Just like for your workout routine, consistency is key when it comes to healthy eating. However, this doesn’t mean eating healthy 100% of the time, but instead making healthy choices a habit, not an exception. As long as 90% of what you eat is good for your body, don’t be afraid to allow yourself the occasional treat to make your brain happy too.
Shake it up
Sometimes it feels like the only options available to us are chicken, rice and broccoli on an endless loop… No wonder so many of us drop off the healthy-eating wagon! Invest in some delicious spices to add some variety to your meals, and don’t be afraid to experiment with fresh ingredients. Visiting a fresh food market can make exploring new foods and recipes an exciting adventure for your tastebuds.
Drink enough water
Cutting out soda (even the sugar-free kind!) and alcohol can have a substantial impact on your health goals. Sometimes, we can confuse the sensation of dehydration and hunger, especially when we're working out a lot. Try drinking a glass of water before your meals to make sure your thirst is quenched! If plain water doesn't do it for you, why not add some fresh lemon, cucumber or ginger for some extra flavour? You’ll be surprised how quickly your taste buds adapt!
Check out our nutrition essentials for an in-depth look at the most important food groups and how to adapt your diet to include them!