Lots of inner-athletes hit the gym in the wee hours of the morning or during the post-work rush hoping to train lean & mean. Boot camps, HIIT classes, CrossFit, and Kettlebell classes really rev to the metabolism. Burn, baby, burn, they say. You can burn off some serious calories in these intense athletic inspired workouts. However, if you don't stoke the fire, you will fizzle.
I've had clients fizzle in the middle of training sessions or small group classes. It's not pretty. Suddenly they turn sheet white feeling like they are going to throw up and pass out. Their workout just ended for the day. Period.What happened? There wasn't enough fuel to burn, so the body went on strike.
Another problem with improper fueling is loss of muscle mass. One client was upset with me.It was all my fault, according to her, that she wasn't getting the results she wanted. She wanted to lose the weight and build a lean, muscular physique. But she was losing muscle mass. Yes, her weight was going down alright. But her body fat barely budged after a month. The problem? Improper fueling of her body for the burn.
If you plan to do intense workouts, it's important to fuel your body properly. When you do, you will see the results you want.
- Eat breakfast. Everyday. If you don't have at least a breakfast shake, you lose momentum at work or school. Not good. This is one of your most important meals of the day. It will affect you all day.
- Don't skip meals. Period. Eat your larger meal for lunch. Have a smaller meal for dinner.
- Eat a protein and carb snack one hour before the workout. That could be yogurt with granola, natural peanut butter on whole grain crackers/bread, my power snack mix, you get the idea. You need the carbs to keep your body going during your workout, with the protein regulating the burn.
- Keep everything low fat. Did you notice the word "low"? You have to have some fats for various functions within your body. Also watch for sugar and sugar alcohols.
- Post workout fuel is low fat protein. You need to feed those muscles so they build and the fat burns. If you don't, your will burn muscle as the fuel and keep the fat. It could be a whey protein shake, your dinner with lean broiled chicken breast with a salad. Use veggies that are higher in carbs instead of bread, pasta or potatoes. You need some carbs to keep you from crashing after the workout, but you want to burn fat.
- Keep your between-workout meals healthy. In order to keep from putting fat back on the great muscle you are building, you have to keep eating tight. If you aren't sure what that should look like for you, have your personal trainer or a nutritionist help you figure what your food intake should be.
Don't crash! burn! You will easily see the results you want while avoiding the mistakes other people made. A bit of prevention will take you a long way. Burn, baby, burn!
May God bless you!