It's no secret that a solid nutrition plan will help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals, but how well do you actually stick with a healthy meal plan when working out? If you're hitting the gym regularly and still not seeing results in the mirror, your diet could be to blame. While we like to think that spending more time on the treadmill will burn off that cupcake we had earlier in the day, our bodies don't exactly work with that exact calories-in, calories-out equation. Everyone metabolizes food differently and you can't justify eating more - especially junk food - just because you work out regularly.
Here are six diet habits that will help you get more out of your workouts so you start seeing some results:
#1: Drinking (much) more water. When you're sweating on a daily basis, you need to replenish all of that lost fluid from exercise. Drinking more water each day will keep you well-hydrated and can also help with your energy levels. Plan on drinking at least 10 to 12 cups of water every day.
#2: Fueling up properly before a workout. Pushing yourself through an intense workout on an empty stomach might seem like a logical strategy when you're trying to drop a few pounds but it rarely works for the long-run. Make sure you're eating a balanced protein and carb snack at least an hour before exercising to really boost your metabolism into high gear.
#3: Eating the right recovery meal. The recovery meal doesn't actually have to be a full meal - it's more like a snack. A low-carb protein shake is a great post-workout meal that will help your muscles repair themselves as quickly as possible. You'll be much stronger for the next round and also won't be ravenous for that next meal.
#4: Eating breakfast every single day. Eating a satisfying breakfast every morning will set you up for success with your meal plan. You'll have more energy and won't be too hungry throughout the day. A low-carb protein shake with a small bowl of oatmeal and fruit are one of my standby breakfasts. This combo always give me plenty of energy in the morning hours.
#5: Planning ahead. Don't let your appetite control what you end up eating all day. Make a decision to stick with a healthy meal plan so you're eating well-balanced meals and snacks throughout the day - and not just snacking or eating when you feel like it. If you want to see results from your fitness regimen, planning ahead can help to keep your diet on track.
#6: Eating enough! One of the biggest mistakes many women make when it comes to fitness and nutrition is reducing calories in hopes of losing weight fast. Dropping below 1,200 calories per day can be harmful to your health and actually end up working against you. You'll lose strength and find it incredibly hard to stay motivated to work out. Eat enough from high-quality food sources so you can keep your metabolism fired up and really push yourself through your workouts.
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