Eating right can give you more energy, help you exercise better, burn fat, build muscles, and help your body recover. It can also lower your chances of getting hurt, fix damage, and make you feel better overall. We talked to Simona Raykova, a personal trainer and fitness expert from London, to learn about how food affects exercise.
How important is food when you’re exercising?
Food is super important when you exercise. It can be the reason why you don’t see results. What you eat is about 60% of your results. So, it’s a good idea to fix any bad eating habits and combine them with good exercise.
How long before going to the gym should you eat?
I suggest eating a meal one to two hours before you work out. But it depends on the exercise you’re doing. If you’re running or doing something like that, eat two to three hours before. The best things to eat before exercise are foods with carbs, like oats and bananas.
What are the best foods for a fitness journey?
I don’t like to call foods good or bad because that can make you have a bad relationship with eating. But, for fitness, it’s best to eat carbs like pasta, rice, whole grains, fruits, and beans. For protein, go for lean meats, eggs, protein shakes, and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and nut butter.
Any tips for people who want to lose weight?
If you want to lose weight, try to eat fewer calories. Find out how many calories you eat now and eat 200-250 calories less. Count your calories and do more exercise, like cardio and weights. And don’t forget to drink water!
Why is drinking enough water important?
You need to drink the right amount of water every day so your body and organs work well. You can find out how much water you need based on your height and weight online. Sometimes, when you feel hungry, you might actually be thirsty and need water.
What should you eat after a workout?
About 30 minutes after working out, it’s a good idea to have a protein shake or a meal with lots of protein. This helps your body recover faster.
How important is protein, and what foods do you recommend?
Protein is very important, especially if you’re working out. To keep or build muscles, aim for 80-120 grams of protein each day, depending on your weight and goals. Protein also helps with recovery. Good sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, protein shakes, and bars.
What about protein for vegetarians?
If you’re a vegetarian, there are plenty of options. Dairy or dairy alternatives have protein. You can also find vegan protein shakes and bars, but check for added sugar. Beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, and meat alternatives are great sources of protein.
What’s the right portion size for food?
I suggest having smaller portions more often, but it depends on your calorie goals. Eating fewer calories means smaller portions, while eating more means larger portions.
What are good and bad snacks for fitness?
Avoid snacks with lots of sugar, like chocolate and cakes. Instead, go for yogurt, nuts, fruits, rice cakes, and high-protein foods like shakes and bars.
Is breakfast important?
I think breakfast is important because it breaks the fast from not eating since the day before. But it’s different for everyone. If you’re trying to lose weight, you can delay your first meal until around noon.
What are common mistakes with exercise and food?
A common mistake for beginners is going to the gym every day and eating too little. This leads to no results and can make you lose motivation. Start with the right mindset. If you’re not sure how much to exercise and eat, ask a professional like a personal trainer. Remember, there are no quick fixes. It’s a long-term journey and lifestyle.
Any other food tips?
If you’re starting a fitness journey or trying to improve your lifestyle, do some research and talk to a pro. Knowing what foods are best for your body and your goals is crucial, whether you go to the gym or not.
What advice do you have for those struggling to reach their goals?
If you’re struggling, talk to a pro like a personal trainer. They can make your journey easier, teach you the right techniques, and help you figure out what’s best for you. Do your research, and remember, this is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. Take it one day at a time, find activities you enjoy, and choose the path that works best for you.
What’s a good final tip for staying motivated in fitness?
From my experience, motivation won’t always be there. You won’t always want to exercise or stick to a strict diet. The key is to slowly discipline yourself, and over time, it will become a positive habit. You’ll eventually reach your goal. Steady and consistent progress is the way to go.
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