Trying to keep your weight in check during the holidays? No problem! Before indulging in your favorite holiday treats, hit the weight room. The harder you train pre-meal, the more you’ll be able to use the food as fuel for muscle recovery! Here’s how it works:
Your muscles are filled with glycogen. When training, the glycogen stored in your muscles begins to deplete. Once depleted, your body will be looking for fuel (aka food) to recover/rebuild the glycogen stores. Filling up on nutrient-dense carbohydrates post workout will help to recover and rebuild the muscle. Without training, your body could potentially take the excess food you indulge in and store it as body fat.
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Ever heard of after-burn? Your body typically continues to burn calories long after your workout is complete. After burn can continue anywhere from 24-48 hours after a workout. But remember, these workouts need to be INTENSE and high energy in order to utilize the after burn to the best of its ability. As your body builds muscle throughout time, your metabolism will increase as well because more muscle = more calorie burned at rest. How is this relevant to lifting before eating? If your body is in the “after burn” state, this means that the food you are consuming is going to good use. The food is being sent to all the correct places in order to have your body function to the best of its ability.
Here are a few extra tips on getting more out of your holiday meals:
- Add in some HIIT (high intensity interval training) to your workout
- Push a little heavier during your workout
- After eating your meal, take a short walk to assist with digestion
- Be sure to eat a meal mixed with all the essential macronutrients. These include; proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Always choose your meals wisely!