After you exercise, you continue to burn more calories than if you haven’t exercised at all. The body has to return to its normal temperature, heart rate, breathing, and hormone levels. The types of food that you eat and when you eat them could maximize your after burn benefit from exercising. Here are some tips:
- Eat breakfast, including a source of whole-grain, complex carbohydrate and lean protein. This might be a whole wheat English muffin with egg whites and a slice of low fat cheese.
- Have a mid morning snack such as a handful of almonds and a piece of fruit.
- Eat lunch from home, again, including carbohydrates and protein.
- Have a mid-afternoon snack with carbohydrates and protein. This might be a Greek yogurt with roasted pumpkin seeds.
- After a workout, have a granola bar or drink 8-12 oz low-fat chocolate milk as soon as you walk in the door.
- Fix a healthy dinner with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, and one source of complex carbohydrate.
Remember to include strength training, as this encourages the use of fat as energy, increases lean tissue, and discourages the breakdown of muscle, as long as you are eating after exercise.
By: Jill Koegel