When it comes to weight loss many forget their recovery nutrition post workout. For some there still exists this idea that if they eat less and exercise more they will lose weight. I see it time and time again where people are eating far too little calories and are putting way too much effort in terms of hours in the gym and are still not getting the results they are looking for. If you are training for at least an hour and engaging in exercises such as strength training, high intensity interval training, or total body bodyweight exercises such as power yoga I would recommend a recovery snack. During your workout you have caused muscle breakdown – that is a function of exercise. As a result of exercise causing muscle breakdown we NEED protein in our recovery to repair and rebuild the muscle. (NOTE I am focusing solely on recovery for the weight loss adult who is exercising one time a day for about an hour. The recommendations below WOULD NOT be appropriate for an athlete as their training time is much greater than one hour and requires more carbs to aid in replacement of glycogen stores. If you are an adult or athlete who is looking for recovery nutrition for your sport I would recommend working one on one with a registered dietitian).
Below are 8 whole food ideas of snacks you can begin incorporating into your recovery nutrition. For optimum results I like to see recovery nutrition come in immediately following the workout and NO LATER than one hour after the workout. Your recovery is merely a snack. You should then have your next scheduled meal within an hour of the recovery snack. Please understand eating less and exercising more may work at first but for most it does not work at all due to the fact that the caloric intake is far too low compared to the caloric expenditure – the body thinks it is in starvation mode. If weight loss is occurring with this strategy it may be due to muscle loss. All the snack ideas below are high protein, contain complex carbs, and contain no ADDED sugars – which is why they are not appropriate for the athlete there are not enough carbs for their training level. If you are unsure of how many calories you need in a day or how much protein I would encourage you to work with a registered dietitian on those goals.
I chose to offer 8 whole food recovery snacks because many of us think we have to use supplements to be successful in weight loss. Please know I am not dogging supplements. I use them myself but I don’t always use them. Talk to a registered dietitian about your training, your diet, and begin looking what supplement regimen would be best suited for you – in the meantime begin trying some of these whole food recovery ideas. I purposefully did not include serving sizes because all of us have different needs and training goals – there will not be a one size fits all here.
8 Recovery Nutrition Ideas
Cottage cheese and berries
Deli meat and triscuits
Plain Greek yogurt with berries, stevia, and cinnamon
Smoothie: cottage cheese, frozen berries, dry oats, unsweetened almond milk
Tuna and Wasa crackers
Hardboiled eggs with berries
Hardboiled egg whites and hummus in the yolk’s place
Smoothie: Fair Life milk, frozen banana, nut butter of choice
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