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Eating For Energy: Food, Weight Loss, & Workouts

You’ve got to eat well to get the body you want. You’ve got to eat well to get the body you want.

Eating for energy takes thought and preparation. What we consume and when we consume it dictates our energy stores and needs - both short and long term. And when it comes to a fitness lifestyle, eating the proper energy foods in a calculated manner means the difference between sluggishness in the gym and the inability to lose weight versus feeling energetic and ready to take on the workout while burning off fat.

The best way to trim down while toning is to try to reduce your body weight by burning stored calories while you exercise.

There is a bit of a contradiction with regard to eating for energy while trying to trim down. Simple sugars and complex carbohydrates have different rates of absorption in the body, yes, but they both convert to fat if you have a calorie deficit. The same goes for protein. So when you cleverly down that protein shake an hour before training to get energy for your workout, make sure it fits into your target calorie consumption if you are trying to lose weight. Non-fattening foods, in fact all foods, will still be stored on the body as fat if you are bringing in more calories than you are expending.

If weight reduction while toning is in fact your goal (which indeed it is for most people over 40), then your energy sources should come from fresh fruit (for the quick fix) and fresh, steamed, boiled or baked vegetables for that sustained energy release. Heavy carbohydrates, like pastas and breads, are not well tolerated by those of us with older, sluggish metabolic rates. They give great energy spikes, true, but they also make you crash and tend to facilitate the storage of fat because of the release of the power hormone insulin. When we are young with a super charged metabolic rate, our bodies can assimilate and digest these heavy carbs without much consequence.

The best way to trim down while toning is to try to reduce your body weight by burning stored calories while you exercise. If you are using available energy in your bloodstream, then you maintain a kind of negative balance because your system is using what is readily available, leaving the stored fat alone. With this in mind, while you should never train on an entirely empty stomach, you should have lighter carbohydrates in the form of a few pieces of fruit or a tossed salad with a light vinaigrette dressing in your system. The fruit would be consumed an hour before training and the salad two hours.

You should never be satiated from food, least of all before you head to the gym (if losing weight is part of the program). If you are ever feeling “full” you are losing the battle of the bulge. Your stomach should never want to distend; this simply means you have consumed way too much food. And if your stomach is always stretched and full, it tends to incite cravings and the desire to eat more, while if you train yourself to eat small portions and always be in a mild state of want and not quite satisfied, your system adapts, your stomach shrinks, and you tend to have fewer cravings, with your blood sugar under control. So walk that fine line between meeting your energy needs and consuming too many calories, if you want to tone and trim down in the process.

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One example of a way to get more fresh fruit and vegetables.
Last modified on Friday, 24 August 2012 15:14

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