Eating and exercise go hand in hand. When and how you eat determines how you feel when you exercise, be it a casual workout or training for a competition. Here’s a quick guide to eating to get stronger:
1. Getting enough calories
In order for you to perform at your best and recover adequately, you must first get enough calories. But having said that, it is important that you pay attention to how much you are eating and where are you getting your calories from.
2. Macros for energy
Macros are macronutrients, aka the biggest nutritional components of your food – carbohydrates, protein and fat. If you’re looking to gain muscle, you’ll want to have a higher percentage of your diet coming from protein.
Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel and source of energy for your body during training. Your body also uses carbohydrates to replenish energy stores for the next workout.
Fats are important for hormone production and is needed for muscle growth. It could also be an energy source for long-duration training.
3. How much to eat?
A simple rule of thumb is going back to basics simply using your own hand. Here’s how it works:
4. What to eat?
Wholefoods (instead of processed foods) is the way to go.
Adequate protein is an important part in achieving your health/fitness goals! Focus on high quality protein sources which are minimally processed – burgers, chicken nuggets, sausages are great treats but go for leaner, more natural, fresh or frozen protein sources.
Vegetarian and vegan protein sources (tempeh, peas, chickpeas, blackbeans, lentils) work too.
Choose starchy vegetables (brown rice, sweet potato, whole grain pasta) to bulk your meals. They are also higher in vitamins & minerals.
Avoid trans fats (processed baked sweets) at all costs. Get good oils from nuts, seeds, olive oil or fish oil. Remember, with oil/fats, just a little goes a long way.