Whether you are trying to lose weight, improve body composition, or improve performance, nutrition is the key. Bookend your workouts! Meaning: make sure to have fuel before a workout and after a workout. What fuel is dependent on your goals and stomach sensitivity.
3 hours before workout: meal containing protein, fat and carb and a small carb snack 30 minutes before. Example: 2 eggs, whole grain toast with nut butter and fruit as the meal and small piece of fruit as the snack 30 minutes before.
2 hours before workout: small meal or snack containing protein and carb. Such as peanut butter and jelly and glass of milk.
1 hour or less before workout: snack with carbohydrate. Whole grain toast with all fruit jam or just a piece of fruit. If you have a very sensitive stomach perhaps just 100% juice. This is generally the only time to consume carb by itself. If working for weight loss, portions matter!
Hydration! Dehydration is commonly misconstrued as hunger. Stay hydrated. Drink 2 cups of water 2 hours before exercise. 1/2c 30 minutes before and have 2 sips every 15 minutes during exercise. If you have moderate to vigorous activity lasting longer than 1 hour consider a sports or electrolyte drink as well. For every pound lost in fluid post work out NEEDS to be replaced. It’s not weight loss. Drink 2-3 cups per pound lost. This will help you recover from workout to workout and decrease soreness.
Post workout have a snack with protein and carb within 30 minutes after and a meal within 2 hours. Endorphins can decrease appetite post exercise. However, post exercise is when the body will utilize nutrients versus store them! Don’t’ wait to eat until you are starving mid afternoon. Fuel early and often.