Pre and post workout foods
Before a workout:
- A scoop of protein powder (30g) shaken up with water.
- A boiled egg and a handful of nuts.
- A piece of fruit (bananas will provide the most amount of energy).
- Avoid anything sugary or fatty as you will most likely end up feeling sluggish and sick.
After a workout:
- Hydrate first with water (we should be drinking at least 2 litres a day and more if we exercise).
- Try eating something that is 80% carbs and 20% protein – try a shake with banana and berries and some eggs, or a piece of brown rye bread with a bit of honey or nut butter.
- Chicken, turkey or kangaroo with some brown rice and vegies.
- If you’re on the go try having a protein shake and some hummus on wholegrain crackers or a piece of fruit.
foods to eat, foods to avoid
A good diet should consist of a mix of carbohydrates, proteins and good fats. Complex carbohydrates are an important source of energy needed every day to function. Complex carbs also hold essential vitamins and minerals; these can be found in fruit vegetables, yoghurt and milk. However, carbohydrate consumption should be limited as it is stored as fat when the body does not require energy (ie. with dinner). Protein is also essential and should be included in every meal. Protein is needed by our body to repair, rebuild and maintain healthy muscles and organs. Including protein in your breakfast meal will increase your metabolism and assist in reducing fluid retention. Protein allows us to feel fuller for longer and as protein is only used for energy during a starvation mode it facilitates the body to seek energy from our fat storage centres. Therefore protein allows us to build muscle while burning fat at the same time. The body also requires essential good fats to function properly. Good fats can be found in fish such as tuna and salmon, as well as nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds as well as avocado and olives. Sugar should be avoided as much as possible; sugar has no nutritional value to the body. Sugar can be identified as maltose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, molasses and even honey. Sugar and bad fats act the same by increasing blood sugar levels and insulin levels. This causes a crash in our blood sugar levels and a craving for more sugary or fatty foods. We can use natural sweeteners such as stevia when needed in recipes, tea, coffee, breakfast cereal and yoghurt.
A few meals which we suggest:
- Eggs (not fried) – egg whites are full of protein however limit yourself to only two egg yolks a day as they are just unnecessary fat.
- Rolled Oats – carbohydrates for essential energy and packed with fibre to keep up fuller for longer.
- Protein shakes – there are many varieties but make sure to choose one that is low in sugar and carbohydrates.
- Bread/toast – bread is okay but limit yourself to two pieces a day. Try and choose a low GI bread such as brown Rye as this keeps us fuller for longer.
- Yoghurt – Greek yoghurt or natural yoghurt as great. Beware of the sugar content in flavoured yoghurt.
- Protein pancakes (my favourite) – mix one egg, a banana and a scoop of banana flavoured protein (30grams) and cook like a normal pancake. Serve with greek yoghurt, raspberries and cinnamon.
Lunch and Dinner
- Lean meat – Kangaroo is the best, otherwise beef, turkey or chicken are great. Lamb is also a great meat as it is rich in omega-3, however make sure all the fat is trimmed off.
- Vegies/salad – try to incorporate vegetables into every meal as they are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. They should be steamed but never for too long as they lose their nutritional value (keep them slightly crunchy).
- Fish – salmon and tuna are great.
- Wraps/sandwiches – try and use rye/wholegrain bread & wraps for greater nutritional qualities and low glycaemic index. Rye and wholegrain breads are packed with fibre and keep you fuller for longer.
- Protein shake
- Ryvita crackers topped with tomato, avocado, tuna, cottage cheese, etc.
- Handful or almonds, walnuts or brazil nuts.
- Celery or carrot sticks
– A combination of higher protein to carbohydrate ratio acts to lower and maintain blood sugar levels and the hormone insulin; this therefore allows us to burn our excess body fat as fuel.
– High fibre foods, like fruit, vegies and whole grains, help lower cholesterol, improve digestion and help prevent bloating.
– Drink green tea after each meal. It is an amazing way to increase your metabolism and improve the body’s capability to burn fat.
– It is important to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism going throughout the day. The body goes into starvation mode when we do not eat regularly and actually starts to store fat.
– Avoid eating too late as we are generally less active at night and so we tend to store more fat. Close the kitchen after dinner to avoid late night snacking.
Foods we should avoid
- Processed foods –need we say more!
- Dried fruit – full of sugar.
- White bread
- Beware of sauces and dressings – generally they are full of sugars and preservatives
- Cheese, custards and ice creams
- Takeaway foods
- Flavoured drinks, juice and soft drink – all full of sugar. Switch to making your own fresh juices or if you’re looking for looking for something similar to soft drink try mineral water.
- Beware of processed meats and sausages – generally they are made of fatty off-cuts.