5 tips to focus on fuelling
Employ these tips to start getting the most out of your meals and your workouts. If you’ve been underfuelling, eating more of the right foods at the right time can help you achieve the intensities and results you have been missing.
1. Trust your appetite: Too often, health-conscious eaters are accustomed to ignoring their hunger. Under the right conditions, your body’s own hunger signals (thirst, grumbling tummy, salivating mouth) are your best tools for learning when to fuel. Find something to eat when you get that first signal of hunger instead of waiting until your appetite reaches an uncontrollable level.
2. Read your body’s feedback: Your body has ways of telling you what it needs. If the feedback you’re getting after workouts is chronic fatigue, soreness, anxiety, lack of sleep, hair loss, bad skin, GI distress or memory loss, consider changing the types and amounts of food you’re getting — you probably need more, not less.
3. Don’t skip meals: It becomes hard to fit in enough calories when you skip meals, let alone skipping snacks. If you work out in the morning, eat fast-digesting carbs before your session and a combination of carbohydrates and protein after your workout. If you train in the afternoon or evening, eat a meal three to four hours before your workout and another meal afterward. Additionally, eat a fast-digesting carb source in the hour before your workout.
4. Eat more carbs: If you’ve been relying on a low-carbohydrate diet or using protein to fuel your workouts, “see how you feel when you add some carbs back to your diet and don’t underfuel,” Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., RD, recommends.
5. Eat more natural foods: For low- to medium-intensity workouts, fuel up by getting your calories from whole-grain foods, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, milk, nuts and lean protein. You may need to eat these foods in larger volumes than you have before. For high-intensity workouts, it may be necessary to add fast-digesting carbohydrate powders and whey protein to help meet your increased fuelling needs. £