By Laura Pilchuk
So, you’ve been here, at this gym for a year or two now. Maybe even 3-5 years but you haven’t seen many changes in the last year or so. Your performance has hit a plateau and you just chalk it up to the fact that you’re getting older and you’ve been busy so you haven’t really been able to focus on it. What if this could be fixed with something as simple as what you’re eating?
Usually, if I ask someone how many calories they eat a day or how many protein, fats and carbs they consume, they have no clue. Would you attempt to lift a barbell without knowing how much it weighs? Of course not, you need to warm up and lead up to that weight. You’d typically add 25’s or 45’s to the bar, hit that a few times, make your usual jumps in weights whether it’s 50-lb jumps or 20-lb jumps; only then would you pick it up. The same applies for food.
Knowing what you’re eating and when you’re eating it plays an important role in your workout performance. Protein, fats, carbohydrates, and water all have an impact on how you feel during and after your workout. Depending on your body, you use either carbs or fats as fuel. I’ll stick with carbs as fuel for this example. It’s just like gas in a car. If you’re on empty in your car, you won’t go anywhere. At least maybe a couple miles until you’re completely out. That’s how carbs affect your workout. 3, 2, 1 GO! Just a couple minutes in, you’ll realize that you’re exhausted and you might even get dizzy. You’re running on empty.
Eating fats too close to a workout can make you feel sluggish and heavy. If you eat fats (and they’re not your primary fuel source), it can also make you feel lethargic and gross while you’re getting your heart rate up. Keeping them on the opposite end of your work out keeps you full while you’re doing every day, normal work stuff.
Protein is good to spread out evenly throughout the day. If you decide to eat a chunk of it right before your workout, it’ll have the same effect as fat. Water is one of the most important (maybe most important) to consume throughout the day. It keeps you hydrated, keeps your body moving, and it helps you recover faster. It transports nutrients and oxygen that are important for cell growth and repair. It can prevent cramping and it flushes filtering organs like the liver and kidneys that removes toxins from the body.
Are you starting to realize what you’re missing in your diet? Great, that’s step one. Step two is to sign up for the January Nutrition Challenge so that I can help you perfect your diet so you can get the results you deserve.