Just as there are ways to exercise to save time, there are foods and methods that can help to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat!


Eating the correct foods before and after training will help greatly to achieve your goals. Eating well helps with burning fat, building lean muscle and speeding up recovery as well as keeping the body energised.

Let’s split it up:


Pre-Workout

What to eat and when to eat changes from person to person, but here are some recommendations that will help everyone:


  1. 1. You really need to eat something!  If you work out on an empty stomach, you’re going to be tired and cranky, rather than feeling motivated and energized to kill the day. Try to have a piece of fruit or ½ cup of yogurt before you hit the gym - just enough to raise your blood-sugar up from a fasted state!


  1. 2. Whatever you eat should be easy to digest. I’ve learnt this the hard way, but stay away from fatty or high-fiber foods before working out. Fat slows digestion. Yep, even healthy fats like nuts, nut butters, and avocado will, meaning you won’t have that immediate energy to use in your workout. Stick to easily digested carbs before a workout (like a banana!).


  1. 3. Eat enough, but not too much. High volume foods (especially liquids like smoothies) are likely to upset your tummy.  You want to eat enough to feel energized, but not too much to stop yourself from doing a set of ab exercises (use this rule as a guide). If you normally eat a full meal before smashing a workout, try eating half of your lunch before and half after - you’ll snack less this way!


  1. 4. Pay attention to what you drink. If you want to lean down, sports drinks might not be a good idea. Many of them have as many calories and just as much sugar as any other soda.


  1. 5. Avoid foods that cause gas or GI problems. So I’ve talked about the effects of high volume food and high fiber food, but I need to warn you about the bad side effects of peppers, hot sauce, black peppers, citrus, and other spicy foods that might have you running for the bathroom. These foods can be healthy, but they can irritate the stomach lining or cause gas during exercise. Leave the spicy stuff for after your workout!


  1. 6. Consider how long it will be until you eat afterwards. What and when you eat after a sweat session is super important! I always try to eat a mix of carbs and protein an hour after a workout. Time your session so you finish just before a meal - maybe an hour or so before dinner or lunch. If you’re low on time, pack a small snack like a banana and yogurt, or an apple. Just enough to give your body some building blocks to repair before your next BIG meal!


Post-Workout

It’s true. Post-workout nutrition is just as important as pre-workout nutrition! Here are my major tips after you’ve killed your session:

  1. 1. Eat within 2 hours. After your workout your energy stores will be low so you need to refill them. The sooner you can eat something that contains both protein and carbohydrates, the sooner you kick start your body into building and repairing your muscles. Try to get your post workout meal within 2 hours.

  2. 2. Protein shakes are a quick fix. The quickest way to refuel your body is a protein shake, which is very useful in keeping you satisfied until you can have a full meal. Liquids are digested much easier by the body than whole foods.

  3. 3. You still need a full meal. Protein shakes are useful to tide you over, but you also need to have a proper meal as well, containing protein, carbohydrates, fats, and veggies!

  4. 4. Ditch the junk! Working out is not an excuse to go home and devour fast food and cakes. You can’t out train a bad diet, so train hard and eat healthy!


Anything Else?

Water! Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during and after your workout. Your body will be losing water during training so you MUST re-hydrate to keep performing at your best.

If you’re training in hot, humid conditions, you’ll lose electrolytes as well so consider a sports drink (but ONLY in those situations). Otherwise, water is bomb!