8 Foods you need to Shy Away when you are Working Out.
When you finally convinced yourself to work out, you envision yourself in the leanest way possible (i.e., six-pack abs coupled with visible quadriceps and triceps).
However, an obstacle in trimming down will always be food. No matter how disciplined you are, your human nature will always make you salivate when you smell the aroma of fried bacon, for instance.
Below are eight food varieties that you should think twice before eating when you’re hitting the gym:
#1: Fast-Food Burgers
The first food on the list is a no-brainer: if almost 65% of fat constitutes calories, never dine again to Wendy’s or Burger King, whether you work out or not.
The stunning fact is that no matter how creative marketing stunts of burger chains are, their patties will never live up to their “meaty” description. Since its average real meat filling is 15% at most (and the remaining water and chemical extenders), you’d rather grill your own.
Surely, you won’t run out of healthier cheat day options: meat and veggies pizza, low-calorie chocolate cake, lamb chops with beans, healthy ramen, etc.
# 2: Flavored liquids (Energy Drink or Water)
Most energy drink brands boast the carb-replenishing properties of their products, something that benefits tired and worn out muscles.
However, those packed carbs come from high doses of sugar or artificial sweeteners at worst. The latter has been found out by many experts to be gut disturbers since sweeteners alter the benefits of good bacteria that can be found in the said organ.
Stick to water mixed with a pinch of table salt, about seven grams per liter, so you don’t disrupt your body’s fluid balance.
# 3: Roasted and salted nuts
Nuts are an excellent source of protein, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium – nutrients that help you be fueled in training.
However, most roasted nuts are packed with overflowing salt, and that doesn’t sit well in terms of body fluid balance.
Aim for raw and unsalted ones. You may also want to refrain from chips, beef jerkies, and other salted snack items.
# 4: Protein bars
All protein bar brands promise to replenish your muscles with adequate protein to recover from the bludgeoning it took from your workout. While supplementary vitamins and minerals are also imbued on these bars, one drawback is the possibility of over-relying to it, causing you to miss out on eating whole food.
Of course, false advertising always comes into play. You may not know that your protein bar contains extra sugars and a whopping 200 cals!
This shrinks the protein that you’re actually getting. Aim for a bar that’s under 200 calories, or better yet, switch to natural (e.g., natural whey protein, almonds, dark chocolate, etc.)
If protein bar’s really your thing, then strive to find a brand that has a 1:1 protein to sugar ratio. Some brands include Kind Strong & Kind Honey Smoked BBQ, Epic Bar Bacon (gluten-free), and Luna Protein Mint Chocolate Chip.
# 5: Chips and Pretzels
What’s a good treat after a day of grinding out? Stressful write my essay academic issues? Binge watching movies or TV series. Of course, what could be better than pairing it with your favorite potato chip brand?
You may want to reserve those chip packs at a much later time. When you’re working out, your body can’t afford to lose further potassium, since it’s a catalyst for recovering (better than salt).
Salty food like potato chips and pretzels drag your potassium levels to rock bottom, depriving your body of that much-needed electrolyte.
Your body has exhausted enough electrolytes on your workout, allow it to rise by shying away from salted snacks.
Looking for chip alternatives? Try healthier replacements like tomato chips, pineapple chips and dip, radish chips, etc. It may cause you to blink a bit while biting, but it’s going to be worth it.
# 6: Bacon and other Processed (lunch) Meats
Causing cardiovascular diseases, and almost all types of cancer – you name it, processed meat has too many ways to damage and shorten a human’s life.
But why gym enthusiasts should make a double initiative to resist the urge of consuming processed meat like bacon?
Protein and nutrients from processed meat cannot metabolize quickly when you consume it after a workout session. It neutralizes any metabolism surge you gained from exercising. If you plan to such meat, do it in breakfasts and only occasionally.
Go for eggs instead, but don’t remove the egg whites or yolk. You need both. Egg yolks deliver B vitamins and half of the entire egg’s protein. Also, go for organic ones as it’s free from antibiotics that may bring harm to the body.
# 7: Rice cakes
Indeed, there are only a few snacks that beat rice cakes in terms of having low calories, but it also offers almost nothing to aid you in your training. Zero nutrition and zero protein – doesn’t sound too helpful to me.
The worst thing that can happen is collapsing on the gym floor.
Go for more powerful alternatives, but if you really want to stick with rice cakes, whipping its peanut butter is the best solution to beef it up.
#8: Grocery Salads
Veggies present in the salad are not the problem, it’s what comes with it (e.g., heavy dressing, bits of bacon, cheese, tofu croutons, etc.).
Just check how many calories the salad has, and the separate calorie for the dressing used. If you aggregate it with the additional calories of the sides, it can really be eye-popping.
Nothing tops a home-made salad. You can choose a lighter dressing, eliminate unhealthy sides, and ultimately adjust the flavor according to your taste buds.
The above-mentioned food is just a small fraction of what you should avoid when working out. If you noticed, almost all of them have one thing in common: they’re appealing to the taste.
With pleasure comes cost, and it’s clear to the detriment of your workout plan. Whatever your goal is, you’ll at least be half a step behind if you continue patronizing such products.
It’s all about sacrificing today for tomorrow’s greater glory – a fitter and healthier you.
Do you know other food that gym ratsshould shy away from? Enlighten us below.