If you’re looking for an effective diet regimen, then look no further than the Mediterranean diet. This is the ideal diet for people who want to live healthier and want to manage their weight because it doesn’t come with special guidelines that are hard to do unlike the keto diet. The Mediterranean diet, however, varies by culture depending on the country you’re living in.
If your one of those people that are following the Mediterranean diet, then a meal prep is definitely important. And there’s nothing better than starting this during lunch time. Let’s get it on with the tips!
- Meal Prep at Least Two Days per Week
- Mediterranean diet involves eating lots and lots of fish. If you want to meal prep for this diet, then it is advisable to do it for two days a week. The reason behind this is that cooked produce will spoil within a matter of days or so. And also, fish should never be kept inside the fridge for more than three days to prevent spoilage.
- Include These Four Food Groups
- Whole Grains: Whole-wheat couscous, black or red rice, Bulgur, Barley, Farro
- Dairy: Milk, Yogurt, Cheese
- Protein: Omega 3-rich foods (salmon and tuna), Shellfish (shrimp, lobster, oysters), Lean meats (lamb, beef, pork), Nuts and seeds, eggs, poultry
- Fruits & Veggies: Tomatoes, grapes, dates, apples, broccoli, spinach, cucumbers
- It’s also important how you cook your meals when meal prepping. The Mediterranean diet uses fresh herbs and spices to flavor meals instead of using salt. Avoid eating processed foods too, and also unhealthy fats and sugars.
- Food Portions is a Must
- Portioning meals is a great way to balance your calorie intake. Your Mediterranean diet lunch should consist of the following combination.
- ¼ lean protein, eggs, plant-based protein such as beans, tofu, and lentils
- ¼ whole grains
- ½ vegetable, fruits
- Should you want to increase your intake on any of these food groups, then start with increasing your veggies and fruits. Keep in mind that just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean that you’re going to starve yourself. In fact, you should aim for 400 to 550 calories especially on your lunch meals.
Mediterranean Lunch Meal-Prep Recipes
- Tuna Niçoise Salad – This recipe has all the food groups included in a single dish. It’s made with hard-boiled eggs, tuna, fresh spinach, green beans, tomatoes, red potatoes, and dressed with a spritz of lemon juice for added flavor.
- Shakshuka + Salad: In case you don’t know what shakshuka is, it’s basically eggs cooked in a tomato-based sauce paired with onions and peppers. Add more vegetables with this Israeli-Style Salad, and finish the meal with whole-wheat pita for dipping.
- Mediterranean Falafel Bowl: Use two or three falafel balls when creating this dish, pair it with steamed string beans with slivered almonds, kalamata olives, and whole-wheat couscous.
- Salmon + Greens + Barley: Roasted Salmon with Dill-Yogurt Sauce can easily be packed alongside a lighter creamed spinach or with a bed of greens. Add barley on the side for extra flavor.
- Grilled Vegetable Wrap: Mix eggplant, zucchini, halumi cheese, and hummus, and roll them in a whole-grain tortilla.
Ever noticed that coconut oil is taking the world by storm? Got dry and frizzy hair? Coconut oil! Dry skin? Coconut oil! Choose this *insert brand here* shampoo because it contains COCONUT OIL! Yes, coconut oil is everywhere. It’s like a magic medicine that will cure your every woe.
But how and where did coconut oil actually gained its popularity? This is because coconut oil contains healthy and natural fats that can make your skin baby soft and your hair shine like silk. Not only that, but it can also turn bad cholesterol into good ones as well. But it doesn’t stop there; coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) too. But what is this MCT oil about? Is it healthy? What benefits does it bring to our body? Let’s find out!
- MCT oil is a result of combining medium-chain triglycerides of both coconut and palm oil. And yes, that means the oil itself is purely man-made. Now a question comes into mind: “Why not use coconut or palm oil instead?” The reason behind this is that plain palm and coconut oil contain longer-chain triglycerides. Meaning that it is unhealthy compared to medium-chained triglycerides. But does it really matter?
- To answer that question: Yes, it does matter. The lengths of the two represent how many carbon molecules are attached. So if that is the case, why is “medium” better than “long”? MCTS contains 6 to 8 carbon molecules, meaning it can be digested more quickly and fills your body the energy it needs without the unnecessary stuff. LCTs, on the other hand, contains 10 to 12 carbon molecules which take longer to metabolize and will be stored as fat in the process.
- You probably know by now that saturated fat is unhealthy. However, that isn’t the case at all when it comes to MCT oil. This is because MCT oil contains saturated fat. And the more you consume this quick-digesting fat; the body will quickly absorb and metabolize it as fuel compared to LCT fats that are mainly found in beef, palm, and coconut oil.
The Health Benefits of MCT Oil
- One of the benefits MCT oil has is its ability to help you lose weight. That’s why lots of people are choosing MCT oil over olive oil. MCT oil provides a quicker burn rate, thus turning your body into a fat burning machine while giving your metabolism a boost up at the same time.
- Research is also conducted whether MCT oil could be used as a medication for people suffering from certain GI conditions. And it turns out that the length of such fatty-acid chains is related to the digestion and absorption within the GI tract. People who have the condition cannot digest longer chains which is why they lack the essential nutrients they need. But the surprising fact about MCT is that they are able to digest and metabolize this faster compared to LCTs.
Consuming MCT Oil
- MCT oil is clear and flavorless liquid that can be directly consumed without heating. It emits lesser smoke compared to flaxseed, wheat, germ, and walnut oil. With that said, you cannot use MCT oil for cooking purposes.
- Instead, you can add plain oil to smoothies, salad dressings, and even coffee. Serving sizes range from a half tablespoon and up to 3 tablespoons. Keep in mind that you must only eat MCT oil depending on how your digestive system responds. You should also know that MCT oil is filled with lots of calories. In fact, only 1 tablespoon of MCT oil contains 100 calories which is quite huge in numbers.
Where to Get MCT Oil
- You can get MCT oil at supermarkets and drugstores near you. They come in oil or powder form with a price ranging from $14 to $30. However, experts said that these oils that you can purchase outside doesn’t actually contain 100% MCT oil. In reality, you can only get natural 100% MCT Oil at private places, and it will cost you about $200 or more. That’s why reading the label is a must so you won’t be fooled by the manufacturer’s clever marketing.
- To know if an MCT oil or supplement is legit or not, choose one that is a mix of both coconut and palm oil. Consume it and observe how your body reacts if it is negative or positive.
Açaí bowls are making the rounds in social media nowadays. People who tried it dubbed these special bowls as “miracle food” that provides some health benefits. Want glowing skin or give your immunity a boost up? Look no further with açaí bowls!
Expert says that you should consider them as your usual snack, not a meal that you have to dig in three times a day. Think of them as a replacement for your favorite ice cream.
So what’s with all the buzz about these special “miracle” bowls? Açaí bowls is a sugary treat that contains about 50g of sugar or more depending on the size. When we think about it, it’s four times more sugar than your regular donut.
The name of the treat comes from the açaí berry. This berry is filled with lots of antioxidants and fiber that helps boost heart health, improves digestion, and makes you feel younger. The best part about this fruit is its relatively low in sugar. However, it’s a rare fruit that you can’t find on your local market since it originally originated in the Amazon.
Now a question comes into mind: How in the world do they make these açaí bowls if they aren’t even available locally in the first place? To answer that question, these berries are often sold in powdered form, which is then consumed by mixing it with something, like in nut milk or frozen fruit. With that said, below is a guide on how to prepare your own açaí bowl.
Creating Your Own Açaí Bowl in Four Easy Steps
- MYOB (Make Your Own Bowl)
- Why order from those expensive stores when you can just make one at the heart of your own home? The best part of making your own is that you can control whatever you want to put inside your bowl.
- Know Your Limits
- When it comes to portion sizes, make only what can fit in a mug. This will help you decrease your sugar intake. You won’t even notice that you only ate a fraction of sugar too!
- Mixing it Up
- You can get unsweetened packs of açaí powder at amazon.com for only $60 (24 packs). Use this pack and mix it with water, not juice. Should you want to use nut milk instead? Then go for it. Mix some steamed beets, leafy greens, or sweet carrots to add some flavor.
- Toppings Galore
- The most challenging part when preparing açaí bowls is probably what to put as its toppings. This is where things can get excessive, and you must be careful about what to top it and ensure that your bowl doesn’t turn into a calorie fest. Opt for fresh fruits and avoid sweetened ones like honey. Try peanut butter instead if you want to make it a tad bit sweeter without hurting your blood sugar levels.
Some Açaí Bowl Recipes for You
- Raw Chocolate Açaí Bowl
- 1/4 cup sprouted almonds
- 1 tablespoon maca powder
- 1 frozen açaí berry packet or your own açaí blend
- 1 ripe fresh or frozen banana
- 2 cups of ice
- 1 cup of milk alternative such as coconut, almond, soy, rice, hemp, etc.
- Toppings (optional)
- Coconut oil
- Coconut flakes
- Fresh fruit
- Nuts or seeds
- Raw superfood cereal
- Coconut flakes
- How to Prepare
- Get a blender and place the frozen açaí, banana, chocolate, maca, stevia, almonds, and milk inside.
- Blend the ingredients starting at the lowest speed and work your way up to the highest speed so that the ingredients will blend until it becomes smooth.
- Add ice and turn the blender back up to highest speed. Use a spoon to push the ingredients into the blades until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Once done, 4 lumps will form at the top of the container. Turn the blender off and serve the bowl with optional toppings listed above.
- Açaí Banana Peanut Butter Bowl
- A drizzle of agave nectar
- 1 cup granola
- ½ cups of frozen berries
- ¼ cup yogurt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 5-ounce package frozen pure açaí
- 1 ½ banana, sliced, divided into one and half
- How to Prepare:
- Mix the açaí, berries, banana, yogurt, agave nectar, and peanut butter inside a blender until it becomes smooth and combined. Once done, scoop half into a bowl.
- Use Granola and layer it on top of the bowl.
- Top the rest of the açaí mixture.
- Top with granola and ½ of banana slices.
Various fad diets are showing up over the years. The carnivore diet (also known as zero-carb diet) is among one of them, and it’s gaining popularity for a while.
The carnivore diet consists of only eating meat, hence the name. People who are following this diet only consume animal-based products such as pork, beef, seafood, and poultry. It’s basically the opposite of a vegan diet so to speak.
The diet gained its popularity thanks to Shawn Baker, a former orthopedic surgeon in New Mexico. He published “The Carnivore Diet” in early 2018. But in September 2017, however, he lost his medical license because of “failure to report adverse action taken by a healthcare entity and incompetence to practice as a licensee.”
Because of this issue, health experts are having doubts about recommending the carnivore diet for those people who want to lose weight.
Carnivore Diet Origins
- Carnivore diet already existed back then and are being practiced by different tribes who lived in the colder parts of the world such as Eskimos and the Inuit. These people only consume meat-only products with little to no plant-based products at all.
- They also believe that this diet can help you feel full for longer while providing you with essential nutrients at the same time. Thus, helping you lose weight and boosts muscle buildup.
- Lastly, it’s a simple diet to begin with; that’s why more and more people opt for it because of its easy rules and guidelines. You only have to eat meat and that’s all to it!
Is It Healthy?
- To be honest, meat isn’t bad for our health. Going on an all-meat diet can give us essential vitamins and nutrients such as zinc, iron, vitamin B12, and of course, protein. How much more when you consume lean meat, which helps you with weight loss and improves heart health.
- Carnivore diet is also said to heal autoimmune diseases. This is because once you get rid of any food intolerances, people who have the disease will begin to feel relief. Fat is also considered as “brain food”, which helps the brain to perform better and brightens your mood.
- But the truth is, following a carnivore diet isn’t absolutely necessary to experience such good results. Some said that these results might be coming from the diet itself or from eliminating consuming too much processed
- However, following the carnivore diet isn’t always birds and butterflies in your stomach. One of the negative aspects of the carnivore diet is that you’re also preventing yourself from getting essential vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, antioxidants and fiber as well. Lack of plant-based foods will result in various cardiovascular diseases that can negatively affect your overall health. Here are more negative side effects when following the carnivore diet.
- Constipation (lack of fiber)
- Low energy levels (lack of glucose)
- Kidney overtaxing
- Research also shows that plant-based foods provide more nutrients which can benefit your health and also increases your lifespan as well.
The Difference Between Carnivore, Keto, & Paleo Diets
- Carnivore and Keto Diet are a bit similar. It’s just like the former is an extreme version of the latter because it heavily relies on meat only. The Keto diet, on the other hand, limits your carb intake but doesn’t have any special rules to do so. Carnivore diet is one of the stricter ones that even coconut milk or any special kinds of veggies and nuts are prohibited (which isn’t the case at all for Keto diet).
- Meanwhile, the Paleo diet supports eating certain It also encourages you to eat more veggies and fiber, as well as healthy fats too. When you’re given a chance to choose between the three, the Paleo diet is definitely the right choice you should go with.
- To sum it all up, the carnivore diet is an unhealthy mess that you want to avoid. If I were you, I would opt for the Paleo diet any day. Carbs aren’t your enemy, they are in fact, the primary source of energy for your brain which also provides essential nutrients as well. Following a very restrictive diet such as the carnivore diet won’t do you any good.
People who exercise a lot tend to be happier than those who don’t. In fact, even a short 10-minute exercise have a huge short-term impact on the hippocampus, let alone a long-term one.
A study conducted by the JAMA Psychiatry journal shows that exercise is one way to prevent depression. However, people that have the illness are still pretty inactive, how much more for those who don’t have it.
In the past year, around 66% of men and 58% of women over the age of 19 and above are active in doing physical activity. While being great in numbers, there’s still more room to do better than that. With that said, here are eight ways how exercise can make yourself happier.
- De-stresses Your Mind and Body
- Ever heard of “runner’s high”? It’s a term for that feeling of euphoria each time you exercise. Physical activity can, in fact, make you feel good as it releases neurotransmitters in the brain that can make you active and happy at the same time.
- Not only that, but these endorphins produced by doing physical activity can also relieve stress. Stress is everywhere and comes in different forms, be it from human contact or the things around us. That’s why exercise is very important to de-stress your mind and body.
- Exercise also helps you to relax more effectively. This is important for both your mental and physical health, making it easier for you to unwind and let loose for a while.
- Helps Treat Depression
- Depression is one of the most common mental illness that’s experienced by many. Despite that, it is also easily treatable by exercise too. Exercise is one of the most successful and effective treatments to prevent depression.
- A study conducted by various researchers shows that regularly doing physical activity is equivalent to certain antidepressant drugs that are commonly used to cure depression. In fact, exercise acts as a natural antidepressant that can lower the symptoms of depression.
- People suffering from depression have low levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. But by doing regular exercises, all these feel-good chemicals will be back in their normal state. These feel-good chemicals are responsible for stimulating your brain to give you that euphoric feeling. Studies show that doing regularly exercises cuts depression rate from 16.3% down to 8.3%.
- Lowers Anxiety
- Aside from depression, anxiety is also a common mental illness that’s more prominent in women. Exercise reduces muscle tension, lowers blood pressure and heart rates, and increases alpha waves in the brain to make you easily enter the relaxed state of mind.
- With that said, exercise is indeed an effective anxiety reliever. With lots of exercises around, aerobic exercise is the one that will help ease anxiety that lasts for up to three months.
- Eliminates Bad Mood Quick
- Having a bad day? Turn the tables around by doing exercises. Physical activity helps you improve your mood faster compared to other “relaxation” techniques that have little to no effect at all.
- Exercise improved your clarity and efficiency, which allows you to think more clearly. Based on a study conducted back in 2001, exercise can indeed turn your grumpy mood into a lively one easily and quickly. So if ever you’re having a bad day, get up and grab your gear and start exercising.
- Boosts Your Self-Esteem
- Feeling down? Think that you’re not good enough for anybody? Well time to shake that body by exercising. Exercise can improve your intuition, creativity, and overall gives you a more positive and stronger enthusiasm in life.
- Self-esteem problems usually come from how you look at yourself, especially in your body shape. People tend to be ashamed because they don’t look slender and sexy enough, making them feel like an outcast from all the “slim” people out there.
- However, when you start exercising, you will start to feel better about how you see yourself. Not only physically, but also mentally. You will start to appreciate your body as you go along the way to the road of fitness.
- Improves Your Cognitive Ability
- Aerobic exercise helps regulate oxygen flow to the brain, thus decreasing the chance of brain cell loss. This results in an increase in your cognitive performance, which enables you to think clearly and efficiently before and after every workout.
- Doing physical activity helps improve focus, which helps you plan and think better. It also boosts your social health which enables you to communicate well with another person. This works much better if you have a workout buddy with you.
- Regularly doing exercises gives your IQ score a boost up too, which allows you to perform better in school or at work. So what are you waiting for? Start doing exercises today!
- Helps Strengthen Relationships
- Relationship issues are inevitable. But with exercise, you can strengthen your bond with one another whatever type of relationship is that. Couples who exercise together is proven to have a healthier and happier connection than those who don’t.
- Studies show that working out with your partner can increase physical gains especially when both of you work together as a team. This leads to a happier and healthy relationship that benefits both of you.
- Not only that, but exercise also increases sexual intimacy and will lead to a healthier sex life for couples. Not just for couples, exercise can strengthen the bond for family relationships too. So if you’re a parent, encourage your teens to do exercises with you. You will then notice an improvement in your relationship with them.
- Helps You Cope Up with A Range of Difficult Emotions
- Emotions such as grief, heartache, loss, and fear can be treated with the help of exercise. This is because exercise boosts your serotonin levels that are responsible for relieving these range of difficult emotions.
- Exercise also works as a medication to improve and normalize your neurotransmitter levels to make you feel happy and more alive again. Once you engage in physical activity, it’ll increase your endorphin and serotonin levels to make you feel better and to shove away bad emotions that reside in your mind.
- Are you having difficulty motivating yourself to do physical activity? Tell yourself to move your body! Repeat this until you start to feel like doing it! Exercise is one way to distract yourself away from these negative emotions and makes you focus on your well-being, thus making you a positive person overall.
The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets to date. It gained popularity because it helps ease out depression as suggested by researchers. The diet involves eating more plant-based foods with fewer amounts of both meat and dairy.
People who followed the Mediterranean diet were found to less likely to develop depression and have a happier mood overall. However, lots of thorough research is still needed to prove that following such diet can indeed treat depression.
When we talk about diets, it’s primarily about avoiding eating “bad” foods while consuming more of the “good” ones. A whole diet approach consists of choosing to eat a variety of food groups for a healthier and balanced approach to eating.
Nature plays a vital role to make us eat lots of fruits and veggies. Take a tomato for an example; its natural deep red color is striking enough to convince us to eat one. The color of our favorite fruits and veggies are due to the nutrients they have. Lycopene found in tomatoes is the reason for its color. Same with anthocyanins which are found in aubergines and blueberries, which results in a deep blue/purple color. Likewise, the color orange on squashes and carrots is because of beta-carotene.
Olive oil also has a big part in the Mediterranean diet. Oleic acid, which is a compound found in olive oil helps fight various health issues such as cancer and brain damage just to name a few. So with that said, how do we eat the “Mediterranean” way? Let’s find out!
- More Veggies!
- It’s important to incorporate five portions of non-starchy veggies in your everyday meals such as Aubergines, Peppers, Courgettes, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Cucumber, and the like. Roasted Mediterranean Stuffed Red Peppers also goes perfect with the mentioned veggies too.
- Don’t Forget About Healthy Fats
- Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and butter beans should also be included in your meals too. Not to mention, nuts and seeds. They provide a good amount of fiber and protein and also healthy fats as well. Olive and Avocado oil also contains healthy fats which are perfect to go with your everyday meals. Consider adding at least 5-6 teaspoons of olive oil per day and ¼ of avocado oil.
- Time to Get Fishy
- Consider adding fish to your daily meals such as salmon, fresh tuna, sardines, and mackerel to name a few. Eating at least 2-3 times per week of fish is recommended. Fishes are filled with protein and contain anti-inflammatory properties such as omega-3. If you’re allergic to fishes (which is rare), you might want to opt on taking omega-3 supplements instead.
- Consume Less Dairy
- Eating lesser amounts of dairy food is part of the Mediterranean diet. Trim it down to only 1-2 daily servings of dairy-based foods. A cup of milk, fresh curd cheeses like feta or ricotta is also recommended too since they are easier to digest. Don’t forget to eat eggs too like 3-4 times a week. Eggs are rich in protein and are easy to prepare.
- Opt for Better Food Choices
- Avoid eating refined carbs since they lack essential nutrients and fiber. Go for wholegrain instead for easier digestion and better nutrient absorption.
- Increase Your Antioxidant Intake
- Eat plenty of fish and antioxidant-rich dried herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary.
- Choose Healthy Drinks
- Opt for drinking healthy food choices such as green tea, and most importantly, water. Avoid sugary beverages such as fruit juices, squashes, and cordials. Don’t worry; you can still drink alcohol but keep it in moderate quantities.
- Eat with the Seasons
- It’s better to eat during harvest season where fruits and veggies are at their nutritious state. Try something new and eat veggies or fruits that you have never tasted before. Be it radishes to your salad or maybe a roasting fennel as a side vegetable.
- With plenty of meat and fish on the list, it’s better to opt for plant-based foods more often and less of processed foods. Spruce up your dish by adding color of fruits and veggies. Lastly, eat until you feel that you’re 80% full. This will make you comfortable without feeling overstuffed.
It’s summertime! And there’s nothing better than spending the rest of the season somewhere far away. But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to be reckless on the foods you eat while traveling. If you’re a person that’s following a Paleo or Gluten-Free diet plan and want to maintain it even when you’re traveling, then this article is for you. Listed below are eight tips to keep in mind on how to achieve that goal. Let’s read on to find out!
Research About the Restaurant You’re Dining In
- Before you dine at some fancy restaurants at your destination, it’s important to do your research first to know what meal they had in store in their menu. This will help you to choose which restaurant serves gluten-free meals and the like.
Always Check the Menu
- Be smart and check the menu of the restaurant you’re in before ordering. Check if they have a gluten-free section and see if they offer enough meals for you. There are times where some restaurants have outdated gluten-free menus, so when you spot one, always approach their cook and see what’s available.
Educate the Server
- Let the server or waiter understand that you’re undergoing a diet and requesting to remove a particular ingredient in your meal is normal. A Gluten-Free card is also important so if you have one, don’t forget to bring it and show it to the waiter whenever you order.
Beware of Gluten-Free Grains
- Not everything “gluten-free” is considered healthy, and one example of this is grains. Grains are hard to digest and contains toxic molds that can have a negative effect on people that are gluten intolerant. Meals that contain grains should definitely be avoided so check other meals that don’t contain
Opt for High-Quality Foods
- And don’t be afraid to spend on one. People that are gluten sensitive must not eat low quality food is this may lead to serious health issues. Fruits and veggies may be contaminated with insecticides sprayed on them at their farms so be careful on picking one. Corn-fed beef may be contaminated with E-coli that’s harmful to our bodies so pick one that is grass-fed.
Heated/Oxidized Oils is a Big NO
- Beware on eating meals that use vegetable oils. Some of them are being heated/oxidized during its processing stage that may cause inflammation in the arteries and small intestine once consumed. These kind of oils are often used by restaurants because of its cheap If you want to stay safe, ask the server if they can cook your food using real butter instead of oil. Don’t be afraid to pay extra for it if they do. At least you’re putting your health on top of your priority first before anything else.
Rent a Hotel Room with a Kitchen
- For your accommodation needs, it’s important to book one with a kitchen. You can then shop at local supermarkets and cook your own gluten-free recipes at your disposal.
Trust Your Instincts
- If you have a really bad feeling about something inside a restaurant, then don’t be afraid to head for the door. As mentioned on the previous tip, you can cook your own meals instead to ensure a much safer eating experience while you’re at it.
So you’re done hitting the gym and you start to feel good about yourself. You now imagine that you will turn into a sexy bodybuilder in no time. But suddenly, when you get out of the gym, you were greeted with various fast food chains in each and every corner. And the next thing you’ll find is yourself munching on your favorite burger and fries at McDonald’s.
We all had these moments and it’s completely normal. But is it really normal to be “that” hungry every after a workout? If you can’t make it home before digging in, then that is a serious problem that needs to be taken care off.
Based on a study, this feeling of extreme hunger every after a workout are more prominent in women. This is because women have a harder time resisting hunger, and they are most likely prepare for a second dinner after a workout.
On the other hand, men that are working out for longer durations especially at moderate speeds are more likely to feel hungrier than performing an intense workout that lasts for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
The Reason Why You’re Hungry After Working Out
- When we look at it, exercise can indeed make you hungry. Food contains calories and this is where your body gets it energy from. When you exercise, you burn calories, thus making you lose energy and then making you feel hungry afterwards. While working out, the body uses glycogen that is found in the muscles and liver as a source of energy. Once you’re done, the body begs to refill the energy it
- It is also proven that exercise suppresses acylated ghrelin (a hunger hormone) and stimulates digestive hormones PYY and GLP-1 (hormones that limit your appetite). However, the effect doesn’t last for long. And that’s why your body cries out for food each time you’re done working out.
Preventing Overeating Post-Workout
- Drinks Lots of Fluids – There are times that you feel hungry, but in reality, you’re just thirsty. That’s why it is important to drink lots of fluids before grabbing your wallet to buy a box of pizza. Also, don’t forget to bring a bottle of water with you every time you work out, just in case the gym you’re going in doesn’t have available water.
- Eat Well Before Exercising – Eat something that can truly satisfy your stomach without making yourself feel full. This limits your hunger each time you’re done working out. An energy bar paired with Greek yogurt and banana should be enough to fuel you.
- Eat The Moment You Feel It – Don’t wait too long to eat every after a workout. If you feel hungry afterwards, then grab something to eat (maybe a lite snack) to avoid excess hunger when you get home.
- Fuel Up with Protein – Protein is the one responsible for muscle buildup. That’s why it’s important to have your daily protein intake to help build your muscle each time you exercise.
- Plan Ahead – Rethinking and planning what to eat after a workout is the key to slow down your hunger. So after working out, don’t race your way to the kitchen quickly. Grab your towel and take a shower, and let your inner thoughts work what’s best to eat for dinner.
- Watch Your Calorie Count – This works better if you have a fitness tracker with you. After working out, check how many calories you’ve burned. This helps you decide and control what to eat after your workout session.
Lots of questions come into mind when talking about fitness. Is it about how to lose weight faster? About burning more calories? Or is it about how to feel energized during the session? Yes, there are lots of answers that can solve each question but one of the most straightforward solution of them all is to “eat”. You heard that right, it’s eating.
Our mindset when it comes to losing weight is to train hard and work hard with eating less at the same time. However, this isn’t the case after all. It’s not about starving yourself. it’s about combining exercise and eating healthy foods to get the most out of your health.
Why It’s Important to Eat Before Working Out
- To eat or not to eat before a workout, your body still burns the same amount of fat. In fact, not eating before a workout will result in muscle loss in the long run. But why does this happen?
- This is because your body switches to survival mode when you’re hungry. When this happens, your body will find alternate ways to get protein and muscle. This will eventually lead to loss of muscle mass and can slow down your metabolism thereafter, thus making it hard to lose weight. Also, exercising with an empty stomach is like driving a car without fuel.
Foods to Eat During Pre-Workout
- A combination of carbs and protein is the key for a healthy pre-workout meal. Listed below are meals you can eat during pre-workout.
- 2 tablespoons banana with almond butter
- ½ cup oatmeal with 1 cup of berries
- ½ cup brown rice paired with ½ cup of black beans
- ¼ cup of apple and walnuts
- 6 ounces of Greek yogurt paired with ¼ cup of trail mix
- 1 slice of whole-wheat bread paired with a slice of banana
- 10 multi-grain crackers with 3 tablespoons of hummus
Why It’s Important to Eat After Working Out
- Your body uses glycogen as energy when you exercise. Once you’re done with that last rep, your glycogen breaks down and you start to lose energy thereafter. This is why eating after workout is important especially protein and carbs. It helps you buildup energy and repairs muscles that were broken down during exercise.
- It is also better that you start refueling once you feel that your energy is depleting. Whenever you go to the gym, bring your energy drink with you, or a pack of peanut butter and jelly sandwich for you to eat.
Foods to Eat During Post-Workout
- ½ cup salad with roasted chickpeas, light olive oil, and vinegar
- 1 cup chocolate milk
- 4 ounces of grilled chicken paired with of steamed vegetables
- 4 ounces of grilled salmon paired with 5 ounces of baked sweet potato
- ½ cup Burrito with beans paired with ½ cup brown rice and 2 tablespoons of guacamole
- 1 cup Quinoa bowl paired with 1 cup blackberries and ¼ cup pecans
- Protein shake (one scoop protein powder, half banana, almond milk, and hemp seeds)
- 1 cup sautéed or steamed veggies paired with 1 cup non-GMO tofu
According to a study, our bodies suddenly become a power calorie burning machine around 5 pm. Researchers are having a hard time deciphering how this happens, suspecting that the metabolism acts like this according to our circadian rhythms.
This means that every time we sleep, our bodies are exerting less energy, thus slowing our metabolism rate. That’s why some diet tips recommend not to eat late at night because it’ll make you gain fat. During the day, however, our metabolism suddenly rises until it reaches its high point at five in the afternoon.
That’s why it is important to sync our diets depending on the time of day to make it more effective. Here’s how!
Stick to Your Usual Schedule
- Maintaining a consistent and regular schedule is the first step in this kind of diet. Meaning, you have to wake up and go back to bed at the same time every day. This applies to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. The moment you fail to maintain your daily schedule, your sleep, weight, and health will suffer in the long run.
Avoid Eating at Extreme Hours
- We always fail at things, especially at maintaining our schedules. It’s not your fault, especially if you’re a worker were going home late is really a thing. Say, for example; you got home by 10 pm, avoid eating heavy meals at this hour because you’re less likely to burn them off. Instead, grab a meal before leaving work especially around 7-8pm. The same thing goes when you wake up early. Avoid eating breakfast at 4 am where your metabolism is still at its lowest point.
Plan Your Carbs and Fat Intake for the Day
- Studies show that fast carb burnout happens in the morning, while fats burn quickly in the evening. That’s why it’s important to eat your carbs in the morning while fat at night. The difference is small, but at least it’ll help you out with your weight loss. Have a healthy carb breakfast such as a bowl of oats during the day and foods with good fats such as cheese, salmon, and avocado at night.