By now you probably know WHAT to eat and not eat, but do you know WHEN to eat and not eat? Discover the best times to eat and not eat to reach your goals.
Breakfast: What do I eat first thing in the morning?
It’s of the utmost importance that you don’t avoid breakfast. Experts recommend eating within one hour of getting up to get your metabolism started. Try eating more protein in the morning. Studies have shown that eating protein in the morning will stave off cravings for sugar later in the day and may even reduce your risks of heart disease and other threatening conditions.
Eat small meals every 3-4 hours.
While eating 6 meals every 3-4 hours may seem unusual at first, but over time it will actually leave you with less rumbling in your tummy. Try snacking on a yogurt with some berries and granola to make a complete meal. Ideally each meal should be around 300 – 400 calories and include a protein, healthy fat and complex carbohydrate.
When can I have carbs?
After a work out is the optimal time for carbohydrates. Enjoy your post-workout meal within 45 minutes of your workout. Avoid fats completely, and instead have a carb-heavy smoothie with filled with leafy greens, fresh fruits and a scoop of protein powder to restore your body and replenish your energy.
And while we are talking about carbohydrates, always consume complex carbohydrates, rather than simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates include green, leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils and squash. Avoid simple carbohydrates like cane sugar, maple syrup and fruit drinks.
Do I eat before working out?
Never work out on an empty stomach. Just as it’s best to have a snack 45 minutes after you work out, you should also have a small 100-200 calorie snack 30-40 minutes before working out. Aim for a protein-heavy snack, like Quest Bar.
When should I have my last meal?
Have your last meal at least 3 hours before bed. Eating any sooner will get your body functions going from raising body temperature to increasing blood sugar, which will interfere with sleep. If you go to bed at 10pm, don’t eat after 7pm. For the nights you can’t resist, reach for protein rather than carbs.
Remember the goal is to build muscle while losing fat and excess weight. Following the above tips will help you stay on track towards your health and fitness goals.