Post Workout Foods To Eat After Your Fitness Session

Make the most of working out by ensuring that what you eat after training will help you get the best nutrients into your body and not hinder your post-workout recovery. Put the best fuel in your body and you supercharge the restoration of your body’s energy stores and the growth of your muscles. In your everyday life, it may be better to eat low GI foods which digest your meals more gradually like certain types of fat and fibre. But after a tough exercise session you want food that can be absorbed rapidly by your body so your post-exercise session recovery can begin in earnest.

So, what should you eat after your workout? For optimal nutrition after exercising, you should eat carbs and protein primarily. These types of food help your body increase muscle protein synthesis or growth, rebuild your reserves of glycogen energy and generally enhance your recovery. Eating the right protein and carbohydrates soon after you exercise will help your body recover faster and make you feel ready sooner for another trip to the gym!

When to Eat After a Tough Workout

Don’t delay eating after an energising session. Try to get some food into your body within 45 minutes of working out and definitely eat before two hours has elapsed. The timing of your post-workout meal does matter as you want your recovery process to be as efficient as possible and to start as soon as possible. In some studies, gym users lost up to 50% of their glycogen restoration by delaying their after-workout feed for more than two hours. If you want to maximise the muscle-building and fat-losing benefits of your gym workout, then you need to eat as soon as possible after your exercise session finishes.

Drink First for Effective Post Workout Recovery

Before you eat your fill of carbs and protein after your workout, make sure to take in plenty of liquid. Keep rehydrating after your exercise as you will have lost plenty of water and electrolytes through all that sweat. Replenishing these with water or a healthy liquid after a workout can really help your recovery and maximize your fitness results.

refuelling after workout - post workout foods blog

Feed Your Fitness with Plenty of Protein

Protein helps repair and build muscle so it’s ideal for your post-workout snack or meal. During a sweaty gym session muscle protein is broken down. By eating a sufficient amount of protein after exercising you provide your body with the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. You also offer your body the material required to add new muscle tissue. Simple and easily digested protein sources that you could include in your after-training meal include:

Animal or plant-based protein powder

  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Protein bar (but check the label for ingredients, particularly sugars)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
protein food - post workout food blog

Cram in Some Carbs After Your Gym Exercise

You’re usually panting after an energetic session in the gym and no wonder. Your body’s energy reserves, glycogen stores, have been expended in your fitness workout. A great way to help replenish glycogen after exercise is to eat some carbs. As cardio causes your body to use more glycogen than strength training you might need to consumer more carbohydrates than a weightlifter typically would. While eating, both carbs and protein can maximize protein and glycogen recovery so you should try constructing your after-exercise meal in a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 3:1. Carbs that are ideal ingredients in healthy post-workout meals include:

  • Dark, leafy green vegetables
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits (particularly pineapple, berries, banana, and kiwi)
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Sweet potatoes

Foods You Should Avoid After a Workout

What foods should you avoid post-workout? As we mentioned above, fat and fibre should be avoided for the most part after training. Why? Fat and fibre slow down the rate of digestion at just the moment you want foods that are rapidly absorbed so you promote weight loss and muscle growth. Fat won’t however reduce the benefits of your workout overall so having some good fats in your post-workout meal will not affect your recovery. Fats you could include in a healthy post-workout recipe include:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters

A Fun Diet of Fitness with Xercise4less Gyms

When you’re a member of Xercise4less Gyms, we always support you to perform better and to reach your fitness goals. And a great way to supercharge your fitness journey is to eat great foods after your gym session. But consuming the right nutrients after you exercise isn’t the only secret of success for Xercise4less gym members.

Our gym facilities are full of calorie-burning equipment as well as innovative workout areas that help you shed excess weight faster like the Ladies Only Gym Zone. You can also pick your favourite group workout from up to 40 top fitness classes or train with our personal fitness staff to create an individual exercise plan that will work for you. Join Xercise4less Gyms and you’ve taken the first bite of a real recipe for improved health and wellbeing.

Food Swaps to Improve Your Diet

We have been made to believe that excessive exercise and a low-calorie, restricted diet is the way to maintain our physique. But this just isn’t an enjoyable way to live and is not healthy. Although, we do believe that some discipline needs to be involved when eating. But the key to good health, fulfilment an enjoyment of eating is balance. A good option if you are trying to lose weight or keep your calorie intake down are simple food swaps, choosing healthier options that are just as filling. Introducing small changes gradually into your diet is the healthiest and most achievable way to weight loss, rather than extreme diets and restrictions.

Breakfast

Whether you are a morning person or not, we all need to fuel our day somehow and breakfast is important in doing just that. If in a morning you have a bowl of cereal or some crumpets and butter, a great filling alternative would be porridge oats. Although this may seem boring to some, you can add many different toppings that can be added so that you can change it up every day. Some really yummy toppings are peanut butter, honey, fruit and even your favourite protein powder to change up the flavour.

If porridge isn’t your thing, another great breakfast option to fuel your day is scrambled eggs, bacon medallions and avocado. It is a simple meal to make, full of healthy fats that will keep you full for longer. Or normal bacon will work perfectly, medallions just remove the fat part of the bacon, taking away some of those hidden calories.

Lunch

We understand that for a lot of people lunch time is a difficult one to tackle because we often can’t access our own kitchen and must depend on food to go. The typical supermarket meal deal is probably a go-to option for many but if you don’t choose this carefully, it can be rather calorific!

If you usually opt for the generic sandwich, crisps and juice deal then something as simple as swapping your snack for fruit will keep your calorie intake down. But by all means, have your favourite packet of crisps in moderation, because we all need some treats in life! You can increase the amount of your meal adding on the fruit which should help you from getting those late afternoon cravings. Also, be mindful of your choice of drink, this can include some hidden calories that you may have missed. For example, your favourite smoothie may be included in the meal deal, but the healthier option would be water or a zero-calorie drink which you can check out on the label.

 

Dinner

We all look forward to coming home and having dinner, which a lot of us may consider the largest meal of the day. You can finally get to the kitchen and rustle up that meal that you have been thinking about all day, whether you fancy pasta, fajitas or a burger, we have some simple tips that allow you to have just that, but with fewer calories.

When you make your spaghetti bolognaise, why not try out some courgetti spaghetti, this spiralised courgette is tasty, full of fibre and adds some extra nutrients. Instead of that, if you are fancying fajitas for dinner, replace your usual wraps for lettuce. Romaine lettuce is a really good choice for this because the pieces are big enough for you to stack on your toppings. One for the burger lovers is roasting a pepper to use as your bun, you can add your salad, cheese and ketchup and you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Snacks

Snacking creeps up on us all when we are trying to track calories! Of course, have some of your favourite snacks occasionally, whether its chocolate cake or a bowl of ice cream don’t hold back. But in order to be balanced, we need to figure out some healthy and filling snacks too, to fil the gaps. Cutting up and apple and adding a dollop of peanut butter may sound peculiar but don’t knock it until you have tried it, this snack is seriously yummy. Forget the crisps and swap them for a bag of popcorn, you can purchase so many wonderful flavours in the supermarket to curb your sweet and savoury cravings. Our final snack choice is fat free Greek yoghurt, topped with a handful of fruit and a tea spoon of honey, its simply delicious, refreshing and super healthy.

We of course want you to be able to enjoy all the things that you love, but these are just some suggestions to help you keep your daily calorie intake down, have your well deserved cheat meals, but just remember to be moderate, this will help you avoid binging.

Relationship with Food

A lot of people have looked in to fad diets and quick fixes for weight loss, and yes they may get you the results you want and fast, but the truth is, they are just not a realistic lifestyle choice that you can maintain and they are not good for you. So before you click purchase on your next lot of food supplements or juice diet packages, just take a little moment to read on and find out why having a healthy and enjoyable relationship with food is so important.

First of all, stop restricting yourself from the things that you love! Everybody loves food and everybody needs food so why would we ever want to restrict our bodies from what it needs to keep us going? Eating foods that we love helps to release serotonin which is a chemical in the brain that makes us feel better emotionally, which means that food makes us happy and the key to being healthy is to be happy. So if you want to eat that donut, then eat it, because everything is okay in moderation. Scattering out your naughty treats throughout the week is much better for you and your calorie intake than waiting until the evening or weekend, when you get hunger pangs for something sweet, also you are less likely to binge when you have balanced out your treats moderately. Not only is the restricting and bingeing cycle unhealthy but it also will leave you feeling full of guilt, making you dislike food, resulting in you going back to your restrictive ways of eating for another week.

A varied diet packed with all the nutrients from carbohydrates, protein, pulses, fruit, vegetables and many more is the best way to maintain a sustainable diet, nourishing your body with all these food types makes eating so much more exciting and something that you can look forward too and even experiment with. If you are looking to maintain your current weight or to lose weight, you can still eat all of the things that you enjoy! With weight loss you will just need to maintain a calorie deficit which is a shortage in the amount of calories you take in each day, cutting the calories is not to about restricting yourself of foods and being left to go hungry in order to make sure you don’t exceed your chosen deficit amount, it is about the choices you make throughout the day, fill your plates with greens and low calorie goodness alongside of your carbohydrates and protein and you will then have a full stomach without the calories! Then add in the odd cheat meal a couple of times per week and you will have mastered this in no time. This way of eating alongside of a moderate workout plan will leave you loving life and not worrying about gaining the pounds or feeling unhealthy.

Following restrictive diet plans and putting yourself through liquid diets can have a negative impact on your body and mentality in numerous ways, some of these are; as mentioned earlier, it can result in cravings and binges, it can lead to an excessive calorie deficit which will damage gym performance, loss of general motivation, mood swings and create feelings of depression.

Xercise4Less want to promote to our members that a moderate and balanced lifestyle is the key to living healthily and a good relationship with food is of upmost importance, because we put food into our bodies every day and it is easy to lose sight of why and what we are eating for!

Eat food for happiness, fulfilment and balance, don’t eat food for the scale.

Pancake Day 2019

Five protein pancakes to celebrate Pancake Day in style

With pancake day fast approaching, Max Bridger, co-founder of LDN Muscle shared with us his five best protein pancakes for those fitness fanatics looking to mark the occasion in style!

Protein pancakes with bacon

If you’re someone who finds pancake day a daunting proposition as the temptation to ‘pig out’ looms larger than ever, fear not and save your own bacon with this recipe. Packing quite the protein punch, this naughty combination of sweet and savoury will be sure to satisfy your taste buds!

Ingredients

200g powdered oats

75g chocolate whey

Large teaspoon of a sweet/dessert spice mix

350g almond milk

9 bacon medallions (or normal rashers but these will be higher fat)

100g blueberries

Squeeze of honey

Directions:

Blend the oats, whey, sweet spices and almond butter together until smooth, and pour into a bowl.

Heat a large, flat frying pan on a medium heat with some olive oil or low kcal spray.

After 4-5 minutes add two tablespoons slowly to create each pancake.

When the sides appear cooked (after 1-3 minutes usually), flip, and cook for a similar amount of time.

Meanwhile, add your bacon to a grill and cook to your preference – remembering to flip halfway through cooking.

When the pancakes are served, throw the blueberries in the pan and push around until hot and leaking, before dividing evenly across your 3 pancake and bacon towers (what a fantastic structure!).

Finish with a squeeze of honey, maple or golden syrup.

4-ingredient vegan protein pancakes

Tackled veganuary and caught the vegan bug? If so, look no further than this simple stack to give you everything you’re after and more. For those with that extra sweet tooth, why not go bananas and top yours off with nut butter and your favourite fruit.

Ingredients

120g instant oats

1 medium ripe banana

1.5 cups non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened soy milk)

25g vegan protein powder

Directions:

Preheat a non-stick pan on medium heat.

Place the oats in a blender or food processor. Blend, or process, until the oats resemble a fine flour.

Add the milk and the banana and blend till the mixture is smooth.

Add the protein powder and blend again. If the batter looks too thick, add a little more milk.

Pour 2 tbsp of the batter onto the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes and flip them with a spatula when bubbles have formed on the surface and the edges are slightly dry.

Cook until browned on the other side.

Muscle mousse protein pancakes

Simplicity in a nutshell pancake – If you’re pushed for time, this is perhaps the easiest recipe out there, yet it never fails to disappoint! Great as a snack, evening treat or urge killer, the possibilities are endless – our favourite additions include chocolate almond butter or dark chocolate to give them that extra boost!

Ingredients

1 whole egg

4 egg whites

½ scoop of LDN Muscle Mousse

Dark Chocolate

Directions:

Pre-heat a pan with a splash of coconut oil (half a teaspoon will suffice).

Add ingredients to a shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

Allow to rest for 30 seconds and then add to your pan.

Top tip – wait until the pancake has cooked on one side before attempting to flip!

Flower power – vanilla protein pancakes

Savour the flavour – these savoury pancakes will have you blown out the water with the power of the cauli-flower! Why not throw a boiled egg on top to give you that ‘eggstra’ punch – if you do, we guarantee you’ll be raring to go!

Ingredients

2 tbsps pureed BOILED cauliflower

2/3rds scoop vanilla whey

¼ cup oats

1 tbsp coconut flour

2 tbsp cottage cheese

½ tsp baking powder

Sweetener of choice

Pinch of salt

Directions

First simply mix everything together with a hand mixer

Then fry in a small amount of coconut oil about 2-3 minutes each side.

Carrot cake protein pancake surprise with cream cheese and greek yoghurt frosting

Easter may not be for another month, but as any bunny would we recommend getting your teeth stuck into these carrot cake pancakes. With just the right level of savoury to boot, live the dream and dust off with cream – cream cheese frosting that is of course. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients

1 scoop (20g) vanilla whey

1 egg

1 egg white

2 tbsp greek yoghurt/quark

1.5 tbsp carrot puree (baby food type)

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

1-1.5 tbsp coconut flour

Sweetener of choice

1/6 cup shredded/grated carrot

Directions

Mix everything except the grated carrots with a hand mixer or in a blender.

Add the carrots and stir until you have a thick batter

Fry in a small amount of coconut oil for 2-3 mins each side.

Voila! Top with pecans or walnuts and enjoy!

The Basics of a Healthy Nutrition

Let’s get down to some nutritional basics!

There are so many diets and nutrition plans out there from Weight Watchers to Atkins, so it’s often understandable how difficult it is finding one that works for you. knowing the basics of nutrition is important because it is the main factor that will affect the health of you body. As we all know, food is essential and it provides nutrients for survival, and helps the body function. Food is comprised of macronutrients  such as fat, vitamins, protein and carbohydrate and give your body the energy to survive and be healthy. 

Here is a little more information on the benefits of each group of nutrients:

Protein 

The role of proteins are to build muscle tissue. Protein includes foods such as fish, chicken, eggs etc. With this in mind, look at what goals you are looking to achieve. If your goal is muscle building then you should ensure to get in as much of this muscle building ingredient as your body can digest, then make up the rest of your daily calorie requirements from fats and carbohydrates. An average person can digest around 30g of protein every 3 hours. Our system work much better when we give it just what it needs, so there is maximum absorption and minimal waste.

Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates will give you the energy needed to carry out your daily activities, especially when working out. Carbohydrates include foods such as beans, pasta, rice, potatoes etc. Be aware of and look into your carbohydrate intake in relation to your activity levels, if you are working out a lot or moving around during the day you will need a higher intake of carbohydrates to keep your energies high. If you are very active at work, you may need around 60g of carbohydrate per meal, however if you are not so active during working hours, then 30-40g of carbohydrates would be ideal. 

Fats 

Fats aim to help you maintain healthy breain and organ function. It is important to consider which type of fats they are and their calorific intake in terms of food type. Fat can be found in foods such as nuts, oli, cheese, meat, fish etc. It is important to ensure that you have a balance between fats and carbohydrates, e.g. 1lb of fat equates to roughly 3500 calories so if weight loss is your goal, it is best to reduce your calorie intake by 500 per day. On the other hand, if weight gain is your goal then increase your calorie intake per day.

Check out our PRO app for nutritional tips and diet plans 

Top 5 Quick Nutritional Tips

We are aware that nutrition and health can be confusing subjects. People and professionals seems to have different opinion on what a balanced diet should be and what type of food it should involve. However, despite the general disagreement, there are a few things that research supports. 

Here you can find 5 nutritional tips to make your life easier…

1. Carbs are NOT the enemy

In contrary to popular belief, carbs are not the enemy and are actually a natural part of every body’s diet. The trick is eating the correct amount according to your goals. This of course all depends how you wish to set your macro intake for your body ‘now’ in lieu of how you want it to be.

2. Eat 6 meals a day

Eating 6 small meals a day helps you lose weight by keeping your metabolism ticking over all day. The best part about meal prep isn’t just about the aftermath of eating the food, it’s about getting creative and figuring out what foods you can combine to get the correct % balance of macros. You will need a diet that includes the best nutritional benefits, variety and taste which will help keep you on track and achieving the results you want. Obviously, supplements are a popular choice for some who find it difficult to hit their macros with the ingredients they have, but these shouldn’t ever replace your daily healthy meals.

3. Supplements

If you are aiming to gain weight and build muscle but are struggling, supplements are a great way of helping you taking those extra calories and grams of protein without forking out huge amounts of money on food. Let’s face it 3 chickens a day plus the veg is going to get pretty expensive over a long period of time. Supplements are a convenient and affordable way to hit your macros without burning the wallet.

4. Planning meals so you don’t need a vendors

One of the keys to healthy eating is planning your meals so you know what you’re eating and when, so you’re never resorting to eating unhealthy snacks from vending machines or giving into temptations from the local cafe or shop. Planning your meals wil also help save you far more money as you waste far less food.

5. Buy a shaker

Buying a shaker will be one of the best purchases you ever make as it will easily help you blend your protein shakes. Sometimes the life value of plastic shakers can run short due to how they can get tainted with smells over time, so it’s a good plug to let you know that Kan of Steel provide metal shakers that contain a spherical coil that is renowned to blend protein powder into nourishing liquid seemlesssly.