You have probably heard the saying, "Abs are made in the kitchen" and it couldn't be more true.
Regardless of what type of training you are doing, if your diet isn't in line, you aren't going to see the results you desire. I hope that by now you understand the importance of strength training for your overall health, BUT weight training is also one of the best and fastest ways (if done correctly) to lose weight!
Research has found that the more muscle your body has, the more calories your body will burn at rest. If you are properly weight training your heart rate will remain elevated the entire time which will allow your body to burn fat and build muscle at the same time…WIN! But like I mentioned above, your success is not only determined by what you do in the gym, but outside of the gym!
Experts say that people tend to overestimate the number of calories they burn during a workout and then compensate by eating more than they burned-which a little simple math says you’d end up gaining weight even though you are working out. So when it comes to healthy eating for a fit and active lifestyle, certain facts are undeniable. That being said, your body does have different nutritional needs when you are weight/strength training. Take a look at some important tips below…
Water is crucial
Eat as many veggies as you want- stay away from butters and oils please!
Fuel up before your workout- Doing so can give you more energy to help you work even harder in the gym which means more calories burned!
Eat a snack before your workout- a smart snack before a workout would be around 100-200 calories and about 30 minutes before your workout. You don’t want to have something too heavy in your stomach! Shoot for a carbohydrate and a healthy fat for energy! (Ex: banana and nuts)
Get in your protein- Getting in enough protein is important when strength training to help you maintain and build all of that precious muscle that you are building!
Eat regularly throughout the day- for some people that is 6 small meals, and for others it is 3 larger meals. Do whatever works best for you and your schedule!
Limit saturated fats, added sugars and alcohol.
Stay active- this does not mean that you need to be in the gym 7 days a week! Set a goal of 3-5x per week, and do other activities like walking, hiking, bicycle riding, etc.
REST. Rest is just as important as your workouts.
Don’t overthink it. Eat regularly balanced meals throughout the day, stay away from processed junk, drink plenty of water, stay active, and enjoy the process.
Keep in mind that people who exercise regularly have different requirements to sedentary people because the greater expenditure of energy usually requires a greater intake of food, BUT this does not mean that you can eat whatever you want! I made that mistake before. Your weight training is to assist with fat loss while attempting to maintain/build muscle. When we are trying to lose weight it gets a bit tricky…we want to hold onto muscle and bone while shedding fat. This is why weight training is SO important in any weight loss regiment: it helps to maintain muscle while you lose fat.
So be sure to pay close attention to your nutrition. “You can’t out exercise a bad diet.” Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions regarding your specific nutritional needs. I am here and happy to help you along this journey!
Written by: Kelly Mahoney