Stop Dieting and Start Eating “Real Food”

It's time to stop dieting and learn to eat better.

What if You Were Told to Stop Dieting?

Doesn’t that sound fabulous? The problem with many people today is that they have been told several myths about nutrition and dieting. The problem with most diets is they do not deliver all of the nutritional goodies that your body needs. So your body begins to crave things which are not healthy for you in its search of what is lacking.

Your diet fails, and you gain weight. If you stop dieting today and start eating “real” food that is whole and unprocessed, you will not only achieve and maintain a healthy weight, but you will improve your heart health and your chances at living a long and fitful life.

Another untruth which you may have been told is to follow a fat-free diet to lose weight. Did you know that many fat-free foods are chock-full of unhealthy nitrates and sugars? Your body actually needs fat in your diet, as long as it is healthy fats. These are found in the whole, unprocessed foods like nuts, fruits and vegetables.

These are usually very low in calories and extremely high in the essential vitamins and nutrients that your body does need. So instead of gaining weight by eating a sugar-filled fat-free diet, you lose weight and fat.

When foods are modified to last longer on store shelves, the effect is unnatural. Remember that most one ingredient foods like an apple or banana are perfect as is.

Did you know removing the pulp to make apple juice causes it to lose most of its value for both overall health and weight loss? A typical apple contains just 72 calories and a healthy 3 grams of fiber. But 8 ounces of store-bought apple juice nearly doubles the calorie count to 120, and you receive no helpful fiber at all.

Stop Dieting and Stick to Whole Foods

Stick to whole foods and your weight loss efforts are rewarded. When you stop “dieting” and simply eat what you already know you should, unprocessed foods like dried beans and peas, whole grains, fish and lean meat, you will find your body quickly heading in the direction of its ideal weight. You will also find that you can eat more while consuming fewer calories and “bad fats”, and this in turn helps you drop the pounds.

This is because natural vegetables, fruits and whole grains are extremely high in complex carbohydrates and fiber that help regulate your digestive system.

When your digestive system is not working perfectly, your body begins to store fat. And the reason why many people today overeat is because processed foods have much less nutrition, vitamins and nutrients than a natural diet delivers.

Stop Dieting and Stop Eating Processed Foods

Processed food is also chock full of preservatives, sugars, sodium, trans and saturated fats. These will lead to fat and weight gain, and also take years off of your life. And since your body notices less fiber and nutrients coming in, you eat more of those bad foods to attempt to get what your body is so powerfully craving.

One of the great benefits of today’s technologically advanced information-filled society is the ready knowledge that fruits, vegetables and whole grains form a healthy diet.

Yes, doughnuts and fatty salad dressings taste great. But they can lead to fat and weight gain, and a multitude of health problems. To stop dieting, stick to whole, unprocessed foods for the bulk of your diet when you want to lose weight and gain total body health.

Melt Belly Fat

Make the decision to melt off the belly fat, read this guide and get started right away.

An Introduction to the Belly Fat Epidemic

Millions of people struggle with weight loss. One of the primary areas in which fat collects is around the midsection. We’re talking about abdominal fat or belly fat. And as you get older, the fat continues to accumulate around the midsection. It’s so common that we even have names for it. We call it the “spare tire,” “beer belly,” “muffin top,” or “love handles.”

Why is Belly Fat is So Difficult to Get Rid Of?

There are many different reasons why fat likes to accumulate in the midsection, and those reasons are the same explanations for why it’s so difficult to get rid of. Let’s start by exploring why belly fat is so difficult to get rid of and then we’ll dive into what belly fat is, why it’s so dangerous and how to get rid of it for good. Because it is possible to have a trim and healthy waistline.

Age and Hormones

Two things happen as you age. The first is that your metabolism slows down. So this means that you automatically burn less fat and calories during a standard day. The trouble is that you’re still probably consuming the same number of calories. The extra calories are stored as fat.

The second reason that fat accumulates as you age has everything to do with your changing hormones. Both men and women begin to see a decline in their sex hormones. We’re talking about testosterone and estrogen in this case. The decreasing amount of these hormones changes where the body stores fat. In both men and women, more visceral fat is stored.

Another way that these hormones impact fat storage and weight gain is through sleep changes. In women particularly, the hormonal change affects sleep quality. Sleep has been directly linked to appetite hormones like leptin. It may feel like your body is working against you. Your hormone levels drop, making you store more fat and making you hungrier.

Stress and Belly Fat

Stress is one of the biggest causes of belly fat. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when a person is under stress. The body shifts all of its focus to help you survive a fight or flight situation – even if you’re not in any actual danger.

Your brain cannot tell the difference between stress from rush hour traffic frustrations and a bear chasing you. It reacts the same way, which is to essentially shut down digestion and shift energy to help your muscles. Your heart rate and breathing increase, and all your fuel is stored as fat.

Yep, cortisol tells your body to store your energy and calories as fat. It tends to store it right in your midsection.

Good Old Fashioned Genetics

You can take a look at your family members and know whether or not you’re prone to belly fat. It tends to be genetic. There are three basic body types; mesomorph, ectomorph, or endomorph.

Male endomorphs tend to store fat in their abdomens and often have the “beer belly” that has become common. Female endomorphs tend to be curvy and store their fat in their backsides and breasts. They’ll be described as pear shaped or have an hourglass figure.

Mesomorphs, if you’re curious, tend to be muscular and athletic, while ectomorphs tend to be tall and thin. Female mesomorphs may store fat in their abdomen and can be described as apple shaped. Of course there are many different combinations of these body types and there is evidence that specific genes determine how many fat cells you have, as well as where those fat cells are most abundant.

Your Diet

You’re probably not surprised to learn that what you eat has an impact on your body fat. In fact, diets that are high in sugar and starchy carbohydrates cause insulin resistance. When your body is becoming insulin resistant it stores fuel as fat rather than signaling your cells to uptake the calories for fuel.

You eat more because you’re tired and your cells need the fuel. Unfortunately, this cycle leads to fat accumulation in your abdomen and eventually it can lead to diabetes. This is one of the reasons it’s important to recognize fat accumulating on your stomach and to take steps to get rid of it.

Childbirth and Your Abdomen

Childbirth doesn’t make you gain belly fat. What it does do for women is change the look of your stomach. After having a baby a woman may find that her stomach has lost its muscular tone. The good news is that even after having many children, a woman can get her flat stomach back.

Abdominal fat isn’t fun, and it makes clothing difficult to find and uncomfortable to wear, but there’s more to belly fat than meets the eye. In fact, belly fat is the most dangerous type of fat. Let’s take a look at the research behind the dangers of belly fat and then we’ll move into a discussion about how to get rid of belly fat.

Your Diet Plan

If you mess up, it's not too late to get your diet plan back on track.

What to Do If You Blow Your Diet Plan and How to Get Back on Track

If you stay on your healthy eating plan long enough, it will happen to you – guaranteed! You’ll blow your diet plan.

The key is to not let that one event define you and to get right back on your healthy eating diet plan. It is like riding a bike; when you fell off of it the first time, what did you do? You got right back on and learn to ride! It is the same with a diet plan.

Most of the big holiday parties are past us now (for this year), but we still have birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings and vacations to endure during the rest of the year. To help you minimize the “damage” from overeating at one of these events, here are 6 ways to handle occasional overeating:

1) Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over Your Diet Plan

You can’t “undo” what happened, so why dwell on it. Instead, focus your energy again on eating right. A one-time overeating binge may affect your weight loss for that week, but it doesn’t blow your whole dieting plan. If you do gain weight, a good portion of it will be water weight from the additional salt. It will flush out of your system in a couple of days.

2) Think of the Bigger Picture

Many dieters see their diet plan as a daily thing when in fact researchers have found that we typically tend to eat more on the weekends. So if you overate on a weekday, count that as one of your weekend days when you usually eat more calories anyway. Just be sure to make one of your weekend days a regular weekday instead.

3) Eat a Healthy Breakfast on Your Diet Plan

I know, the last thing you want to do when you feel bad about overeating the day before is to eat again now. But eating within 30 minutes of getting out of bed sets the tone of your metabolism for the rest of the day. By eating a healthy breakfast you are burning calories right away.

4) Do An Extra Workout for a Mental Commitment to Your Diet Plan

Granted, one extra workout is not going to totally erase the extra calories you had yesterday; it will do more for your mental state than physical, but it helps you get back in the right frame of mind. A step aerobics class or a light strength training session burns off a few of those extra calories, but its real value is refocusing you toward your goal.

5) Go Back to Your Diet Plan

Get back on track. If you normally eat three light meals per day with a healthy snack in the morning and at night, continue that regimen. There is a common tendency to start skipping meals/snacks as a way to “compensate” for yesterday’s overeating. Don’t succumb to these feelings. What you were doing before was working, so stick to your eating and exercise plan.

One bad day is not life altering. Don’t make more out of it than it is – merely a hiccup in your overall plan.

6) Drink Plenty of Water on Your Diet Plan

Hydrating does a couple of things. First by drinking your 64 ounces of water throughout the day (optimally one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight), it keeps you full so you have less tendency to overeat again. Second, it helps flush fat and toxins from your system.

Drinking the right amounts of water each day is probably the single most important thing you can do for both weight-loss and your overall health. Read “How to Make Water a More Enticing Beverage” if you’re one of those people who have a hard time getting enough water into your diet plan on a daily basis.

Drink More Water

Water is the gift of life but most of us do not take advantage of what it offers.

All of us know water is an essential ingredient in our healthy lifestyle, but after a while drinking plain water gets boring. Eventually, you will start drinking less and not end up getting your daily eight 8-ounce glasses. So how do you make plain water more appealing and exciting?

Add Citrus Slices or Cucumber to Your Water

There are several things that are good for you by themselves that also make water better tasting. For example, try adding a slice of citrus fruit, such as lemon, lime or orange to a glass of water or several slices of one fruit to a pitcher of water. To add even more zest to your water, and kick up the visual appeal, crush a sprig or two of fresh rosemary and add it to the pitcher along with the citrus fruit.

For something a little different, try adding slices of cucumber to your pitcher. Not only does it add flavor to your water, but the green rind around the slice creates interesting visual appeal.

Green Tea

So far we have talked about how to make plain water more enjoyable to drink, but brewing it into green tea has certain medical benefits too. Due to the polyphenols in green tea, studies have shown it can help:

  • relieve rheumatoid arthritis
  • reduce high cholesterol
  • prevent infection
  • boost an impaired immune system

Hot or cold, green tea is good for you.

Mint Tea

Another tea many people enjoy is mint tea. Just boil some water and add fresh mint leaves. Mint has health benefits too numerous to list. Two of the more popular ones include soothing a stomach upset by stress and weight loss.

Mint tea contains theanine, a natural compound shown to have a calming effect. Green tea helps you lose weight too due to its diuretic effect. Drinking it helps get rid of extra fluid your body does not need and with it extra weight. Because mint tea has a small amount of caffeine, it can increase your endurance and help you work out longer in the gym, thus burning even more calories.

Try Some Fizzy Water

For some “fizzy” water, try drinking Seltzer water or Club Soda. Both come in natural and calorie-free fruit flavors, so you are not adding any additional calories to your healthy diet – just taste. Or you can make your own fizzy water with one of the new consumer soda machines. Add the bubbles, but not the favor mix. Sure, there’s a little controversy on the subject of drinking carbonated water but even more so on not drinking enough water. Try using the “fizzy water” as more of a treat rather than to drink it all of the time.

The old school of thought concentrated on drinking at least 64 ounces of just plain water per day and optimally one ounce for every two pounds of body weight. Now nutritionists mostly agree that some of your daily water requirement can come from other sources, such as coffee, tea, and certain fruits and vegetables. It all adds up and makes life more interesting!

Postpartum Belly Fat

Postpartum belly fat can be some tought fat to shed for woment.

If you recently had a baby, you may be asking yourself, “Why do I still look pregnant?” This is due to postpartum belly fat, an unwelcome reminder of your recent pregnancy and childbirth. Your stomach and the skin covering it was swollen considerably due to your pregnancy, and now your belly may look squishy and flabby, and still appear to be rather round.

It took an extended period of time for you to deliver your child, and it is going to take time to recover from your pregnancy. It’s alright, you will get there with the right attitude.

The Ups and Downs of Postpartum Belly Fat Loss

If you think of your abdomen as a balloon, one that slowly inflated as your baby was growing inside of you, then you will realize that childbirth is the beginning of a slow leak. Gradually you will have the ability of returning to your pre-pregnancy form, and there are some steps you can take to help speed up the loss of postpartum belly fat. Some new mothers, and many doctors support this claim, have stated that breast-feeding helps them to lose unwanted weight after pregnancy.

This could be because your uterus takes 6 to 8 weeks to return to its normal size after childbirth. Breast-feeding actually increases the speed with which your uterus returns to its original size, and this helps your tummy become smaller faster. Also, all the extra fat which your body stored to nourish your baby while he was growing inside of you starts to naturally burn off. You can accelerate this postpartum belly fat reduction through exercising, and there are multiple “new mom” fitness and workout courses available both online and from licensed physical trainers.

Reduce Postpartum Belly Fat with Exercise

Be patient, adopt a sensible physical fitness regimen, and remember that it took roughly nine months for your stomach to grow large enough so that it could accommodate a full term child. Other factors that play an important part in how quickly your postpartum belly fat disappears include your genes, your normal body size and how much weight you gained during your pregnancy. Want some good news? If you gained 30 pounds or less during your pregnancy, exercising, breast-feeding and proper nutrition can quickly slim you down.

Reduce Postpartum Belly Fat with Your Diet

One other thing you can do to guard against postpartum belly fat lingering is to realize that you need a lot fewer calories now that you are not pregnant. Especially if you are not breast-feeding, you will need to closely watch what you are eating, and how much.

Losing postpartum belly fat is a process which takes time, even if you are blessed with great genes and you practice proper nutrition. If you minimize your alcoholic intake, eat complex carbohydrates, whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and perform whole-body exercises, you can accelerate your postpartum belly fat loss and positively impact your overall health.

You can find more “Belly Fat Success Tips” in our weight loss category found at and while you’re they, be sure to subscribe to our monthly fitness newsletter and be kept up to date on the latest developments in the world of health and fitness.

What Causes a Beer Belly?

A beer belly can be caused by beer alone but that's not always the case.

Have too many years of too many beers transformed your flat and ripped six-pack abs into a fat, round keg? What really causes a beer belly, and how can you lose it? It is true that beer drinkers around the world, especially men, tend to grow what is commonly called a “beer belly” if they drink beer frequently enough and long enough.

But is it really the beer that causes the beach ball stomach? You may know someone who has never had a beer or alcoholic beverage in their life, but is still sporting what is usually called a beer belly. How does this happen in a teetotaler?

And more to the point, how do some serious beer drinkers seem to avoid getting this profound paunch?

The Beer Belly Blame Game

As it turns out, too many calories and a sedentary lifestyle can turn your formerly flat and sexy stomach into a beer belly. It can happen with men and women, regardless the amount of beers you actually consume in your lifetime.

In today’s society, food rich in preservatives, saturated fats and other nutritional bad guys are the norm. This leads to fat which generally collects in the midsection, and if you take in more calories than you burn and get little exercise, you too may be sporting a lot of unhealthy belly fat.

Yes, You Can Blame Beer for Giving You a Beer Belly

The reason why beer and alcohol intake is associated with a bigger waistline is because your liver goes to work burning the poison alcohol in your body when you drink, instead of attacking fat. And with a standard beer sporting 150 to 180 calories, five or six in an evening can single-handedly net you half of the calories you should be taking in for an entire day.

So heavy beer consumption can definitely cause a beer belly, but it is certainly not the only culprit. Doctor Michael Jensen is an obesity researcher for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and he says that sugary beverages and over-sized meal portions should get just as much blame for creating beer bellies.

Compound the Beer Belly Problems with the Need to Eat

Of course, since alcohol consumption increases your appetite, you many times have something to eat while you are drinking. And the food offered at many pubs and bars is not the healthiest. Pizza, chicken wings and fattening fried foods often accompany beer drinking, and they are just as responsible for your overhanging belly as are the beers you are washing them down with.

As you age, hormonal and metabolism changes make it harder to burn fat, so the same poor diet your body easily shrugged off when you were young can quickly become the basis for a beer belly now that you are older.

Does above average and consistent alcohol and beer consumption cause a beer belly?

It certainly can, if your overall nutrition and exercise do not compensate for all those extra calories. Because men have less subcutaneous fat than women, they store most of their fat in the midsection. This tends to make the classic beer belly more prevalent among males than females, but women who take in more calories than they burn can also develop this classic beer drinker’s belly.

From type II Diabetes to high blood pressure and multiple heart problems, too much belly fat surrounding your vital organs can be dangerous, and sometimes deadly. Take up a weekly exercise regimen, practice smart nutrition habits, and a few adult beverages after work and on the weekends will have a much smaller chance of cursing you with a beer belly.

You can find more “Belly Fat Success Tips” in our weight loss category found at and while you’re they, be sure to subscribe to our monthly fitness newsletter and be kept up to date on the latest developments in the world of health and fitness.

Lose Belly Fat

Here we discover how to lose belly fat with two simple but not easy ways.

Let’s be honest, losing belly fat (also known as visceral fat) is hard to do, but not impossible. But if it’s so difficult, why would anyone even try to get rid of it?

Because having an excess amount of visceral fat – the type of fat found deep in the abdominal cavity – is unhealthy and can lead to a whole host of diseases – many of which can be life-threatening. If you are a women with a waist measurement in excess of 35 inches, or 40 inches for men, you have an increased risk of getting heart disease, a stroke, sleep apnea, bone density loss, insulin resistance (leading to Type 2 diabetes) and some types of cancer.

How to Lose Belly Fat

So what are the secrets to losing belly fat?

Exercise and eating healthy foods.

Lose Belly Fat Through Exercise

There are many products and methods that tout themselves as being the Holy Grail when it comes to losing belly fat, but the fact of the matter is none of them work. Instead put that money into a gym membership. The only way to lose belly fat is to burn more calories than you eat.

Fortunately when you start to lose fat, belly fat is one of the first to go. But to set the record straight, but there isn’t a program that specifically targets belly fat – the body just doesn’t work that way.

Do high intensity cardio-style workouts four times per week. Add in a couple days of strength training per week (with one day off) and you have half of a recipe for losing belly fat and body fat in general. The other half is healthy food choices.

Lose Belly Fat Through Healthy Food Choices

You can only burn off so many calories per week working out. If you make bad food choices, both in the type and amount you eat, you will not create a calorie deficit and lose belly fat.

One tactic in portion control is eating on a smaller plate. This works by tricking the brain into thinking you ate more than you really did. So when it sees your plate empty, it thinks you are full.

The food you eat should be healthy. Focus on eating foods low in saturated fat and calories, but high in protein and fiber, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. These foods keep you fuller longer without adding in a ton of calories.

Avoid sugar. At first it gives you a lot of energy, but your body quickly metabolizes it by dumping insulin (usually too much) in your bloodstream. Once the sugar is gone, you “crash” from low blood sugar. So what do you do? Eat more sugar. This yo-yo effect eventually causes insulin resistance leading to Type 2 diabetes.

So as unglamorous as it is, it comes down to a combination of exercise and healthy food choices as the way to belly fat loss. Eating healthy food prevents you from consuming empty calories that have no nutritional value and exercising burns off calories. If you burn off more calories than you take in, you’ll lose belly fat. It really is that simple, but not easy.

You can find more “Belly Fat Success Tips” in our weight loss category found at and while you’re they, be sure to subscribe to our monthly fitness newsletter and be kept up to date on the latest developments in the world of health and fitness.

Best Smoothies For Weight Loss

Excellent recipies for weight loss smoothies.

Smoothies for Weight Loss and a Flat Belly

Flat belly smoothie recipes which help you lose weight should also make you feel full. This promotes fat burning and overall fitness, and keeps your stomach full of healthy foods instead of making you crave unhealthy snacks.

A peanut butter and banana smoothie blended with nonfat milk, chocolate whey protein powder and a few ice cubes is surprisingly great for weight loss, and tastes outstanding as well.

Keeping with the chocolate theme, you can create a yummy mocha smoothie that is a healthy alternative to sugary and fatty snacks. When you get that sweet tooth craving, combine a few ice cubes with a half cup of low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt, one shot of espresso and a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder. Blend until smooth, and allow this high-energy chocolatey smoothie to contribute to your weight loss by replacing baked goods, candies and other unhealthy, fat producing snacks.

Good and Simple Smoothies for Weight Loss

Watermelon is extremely low in both fat and calories. And when you combine it with lemon sherbet or low-fat vanilla yogurt and some ice cubes, you have an incredibly simple smoothie that fills you up while promoting weight and fat reduction.

For an equally simple weight-loss smoothie, cut up a banana, add a few strawberries and an orange, and slip in some low-fat yogurt or milk. Then blend with a few ice cubes for a unique and flavorful combination that will help you trim your waistline while also quenching any hunger cravings you may have.

Blueberries are commonly referred to by leaders in the health and nutrition industries as the perfect food. Super high in wonderful antioxidants which aid in losing weight, when combined with flaxseed oil, a large banana and apple juice or honey, blueberries form the basis for a great tasting weight-loss smoothie that might become your new favorite breakfast drink.

Combine one half of a large banana with 1/2 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, 1/2 tablespoon of apple juice concentrate or honey, and 1 teaspoon of psyllium seed husks. At 8 ounces of water, 1/3 cup of soy protein and 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries to blend together this healthy, fat burning smoothie.

And from the respected Doctor Oz comes a breakfast drink that the good doctor enjoys himself. Very high in fiber, low in calories and heavy on the vitamins, this green drink powers up your energy and your taste buds while promoting fat and weight loss.

Add 2 cups of spinach with one half a cucumber, one half of a bunch of parsley, and one quarter head of celery. Add 3 carrots and 2 apples, as well as one quarter orange, one quarter lime, one quarter lemon and one quarter pineapple. Blend well for 28 to 30 ounces of a delicious weight-loss smoothie that you can use to start your day in a healthy way.

You can find more “Belly Fat Success Tips” in our weight loss category found at and while you’re they, be sure to subscribe to our monthly fitness newsletter and be kept up to date on the latest developments in the world of health and fitness.

4 Foods That Increase Belly Bloat

Is it belly fat or belly bloat that's bothering you?

Belly Enemies: Belly Fat and Belly Bloat

Belly bloat – that distended stomach look that not only makes your belly look bigger than it actually is, but gives you that uncomfortable “full” feeling. For people with celiac disease, or a gluten or lactose intolerance, certain foods can cause them bloating. However if you do not have any of these conditions, then your bloating could be water retention caused by ingesting too much sodium and not enough potassium.

When you eat foods high in salt (sodium chloride) your body tends to retain water. Much of that water can show up in your belly region making you look fat. To cut back on water retention, stay away from processed and fast foods. When you read nutritional labels on a product, if it is high in sodium, look to see if it has a high amount of potassium to offset the sodium.

If salt is not causing your bloating, then these foods could be the cause:

Cruciferous Vegetables Can Cause Belly Bloat

Cabbage, asparagus and broccoli cause gas due to bacteria in the large intestine eating the undigested sugar raffinose from these vegetables. To minimize their effect on bloating, eat them in moderation.

Beans Can Cause Belly Bloat

Gas produced by eating this vegetable is also caused by an indigestible sugar – oligosaccaride. Eat beans in moderation and with easily digestible foods, such as whole grains, rice or quinoa.

High Fiber Fruits Can Cause Belly Bloat

Fresh fruits with high fiber include apples and pears. With about 5 grams of fiber per fruit, they can produce bloating in some people. Peeling them first can help as well as only eating half of a fruit at a time.

Certain Drinks Can Cause Belly Bloating

Bubbly drinks can also cause bloating. Many soft drinks contain carbonation which is released in the stomach as carbon dioxide gas. The bubbles in beer may cause gas in some people.

Controlling Belly Bloat

Certain foods – especially ones high in water content or potassium – are good at either preventing bloating in the first place or helping to reduce it:

  • banana – eat one a day to keep your potassium level up and negate the effects of salt.
  • watermelon – high in potassium and 92% water, this melon neutralizes the bloating effect of salt and gets things moving in your digestive tract.
  • celery – not only does celery have a lot of water in it, it also has chemicals that act as a detox, helping to purge your digestive tract of toxins.

Certain foods cause more bloating in some people than in others. By watching what you eat, and identifying the foods that cause bloating, you can minimize its effects, and if it does happen, know how to counteract its effects.

You can find more “Belly Fat Success Tips” in our weight loss category found at and while you’re they, be sure to subscribe to our monthly fitness newsletter and be kept up to date on the latest developments in the world of health and fitness.

Eating After Strength Training

Eating right is important to your strength training success.

Most of us understand how important it is to have fuel in our body before a workout. Carbohydrates and glycogen (this is the energy source which is most frequently used for exercise) are needed so we will have the energy required for strength training.

But did you know that the meal you eat after exercising is of vital importance to your body’s recovery?

This post-exercise meal also helps improve your training capabilities, so let’s take a look at exactly what types of food you should be putting into your body after your strength training workout.

What You Need to Put in Your Body after Strength Training

The first thing you should do immediately after working out is to replace fluids. To determine how much water your body needs for proper functioning, you will need to weigh yourself both before and after your strength training regimen. Then simply drink 20 to 24 ounces of water (or a healthy sports drink) for every 1 pound of weight you lost.

Most athletes understand water is lost during exercise, but not everyone understands just how much is needed to hydrate the body after serious physical exertion.

We mentioned glycogen and carbs earlier, and they also need to be replaced post-workout. Glycogen is a form of glucose that serves as energy in humans, and it is stored in your muscles and liver. You already know that carbohydrates are little blocks of energy, and these two critical components to muscle growth and recovery are provided by eating 0.3 to 0.6 grams of carbohydrates for every pound of your body weight.

You need to eat this meal within two hours of endurance exercises and strength training to get the biggest benefit.

Try starchy vegetables such as squash or pumpkin, sweet potatoes or yams for your carbs. These vegetables are high in healthy antioxidants, and pack more carbohydrates per serving than other foods. Eating within two hours after your workout also helps decrease inflammation that can occur after intense strength training, and allows you to recover much faster.

Include Protein after Your Strength Training Sessions

Protein is also an important food to eat after strength training, and you want to combine protein with some carbohydrate within 30 minutes of ending your exercise. There are many protein supplements on the market that “fit the bill” perfectly well here.

This nearly doubles your insulin response, resulting in more stored glycogen, and quicker muscle development and recovery. You should shoot for a carbohydrate to protein ratio of approximately 4 to 1. Several studies have shown that this carbohydrate/protein intake soon after strength training often results in a 100% better glycogen storage in your muscles than eating carbs alone.

After strength training, you should eat whole wheat breads and rice, as well as the starchy vegetables mentioned above, for your carbohydrate and glycogen needs. Healthy proteins such as turkey and fish will deliver much-needed amino acids into your system, which held rebuild your muscle tissue quickly.

So just make sure to get plenty of fluids, proteins and carbohydrates in the right ratio after your strength training workout to guarantee faster and better results, and a healthier body. You’ll find more helpful tips on the right foods to eat before and after your bodybuilding exercise routines at in our nutrition section.