8 July 2014 Don't Eat Away Your Results!

Do you try to squeeze in a 30-60 minute workout most days of the week? Do you work hard during exercise sessions to burn calories and tone your body? If so, don't destroy your efforts to lose weight by eating high calorie energy bars, gels, and flavored beverages during and after exercising.

A typical sports drink can contain 250 calories. It takes me 30 minutes of fast walking to burn 250 calories.

Many of my weight loss clients have excellent exercise and eating plans in place and wonder why they still are not losing weight. After completing this post exercise snack comparison and becoming aware of the calories in many well-marketed “healthy” foods, they know why.

What about yourself? Have you ever calculated how many calories are in that scoop of protein powder or in that energy bar?

Take the post exercise comparison and find out if you are eating more calories in your snack than you are burning in your workout.

Step 1:

Write down amount and type of each food and beverage you consume during and after a workout. If you go out for a post celebratory brew with friends after a bicycle ride, don't forget to include those calories.

Click on MyNetDiary Instant Food Search to determine the calories you consumed.

Step 2:

Calculate how many calories you burned during your workout by clicking on this exercise calorie calculator or logging your exercise with MyNetDiary.

With this British Calculator, remember to divide your weight by 2.2 to determine your weight in kilograms. Then, type in your weight and click on KG for Kilograms not ST for stones. Remember to correctly input your workout time in hours in the left box or your workout time in minutes in the right box. I first mistakenly put 30 hours of Zumba rather than 30 minutes!

Step 3:

Compare the two numbers. Which one is smaller? Which one is bigger?

Of course, I do not want you to become obsessive with these two numbers. It is more important to see if you are within your daily calorie count for the day; however, awareness of calories can help you improve your post work beverage and food choices.

What should I eat after exercising?

Most people are very hungry after a workout and want to eat everything in sight. Thus, it is important to plan a healthy snack.

One of my clients used to reward herself with a 500 calorie milk shake after a 250 calorie workout because she believed she deserved it. Don’t fall into the calorie trap of allowing yourself to eat anything and any amount that you want just because you exercised.

1. Start by drinking water.

If you are trying to lose weight, choose water alone. If you need a little flavor, pour 1/8 cup of juice into your 16 oz. water bottle. Do not defeat your weight loss goals, by drinking your calories during and after exercising.

Note: If you exercise 90 minutes or more of intense continuous exercise, there may be some need for the extra nutrients and calories from energy bars, gels and sports drinks; however, if you go for a 30 minute walk do not fool yourself by thinking you need a sports drink afterwards.

2. Eat a healthy snack which consists of mainly carbohydrates with small amounts of lean protein and healthy fats. Print out this post workout healthy snacks hand out (HealthySnacks) for many easy and quick carbohydrate and protein combinations. Bring this hand out to the grocery store for your shopping list. Also, try these healthy delicious options.

  • Fresh fruit or berry salad with yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Dark whole grain bread with protein (egg salad/sardines/cheese/lean meat) with toppings of vegetables (cucumber slices or tomatoes)
  • Smoothie made with yogurt and berries (fresh or frozen)
  • Chocolate milk made with skim milk
  • 1/2 avocado with shrimp mixed with a little olive oil and salt and pepper (tip from my Norwegian friend!).
  • If you choose an energy bar (yes, they are convenient and portable), choose one that is less than 200 calories and has 5 grams of protein and a little fat.

Research demonstrates that those who exercise on a consistent basis have a greater chance of maintaining weight loss. Thus, plan ahead and make healthy post workout snack choices to help meet your weight loss goals.

You can do it! Step one is awareness. Step two is planning ahead. Make healthy post workout snack choices and you are on your “weigh” to meeting your goals!

Martha Henze

MS, RD, Traveling Taste Buds, LLC

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.


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