Losing weight is not that easy as it gets gained. You might have realized this by now if you have started to make efforts to shed the extra kgs. While the talks of weight loss are majorly focused on workouts and calorie deficit diets important things like pre and post-workout nutrition are often missed out. A long list of items from black coffee, roasted peanuts, mustard oil, seafood, chicken, sprouts, etc is what we usually have in sight when we start the weight loss journey. But classifying the elements and their timing of intake is what makes the real difference.
As you by now have got to know (even by reading the title) that the area of our discussion here is nutrition and specifically pre-workout nutrition while targeting weight loss we would now shift towards that. So, unlike providing you with the list of pre-workout food to consume we have come up with our best 6 picks and have explained why they are better.
Let’s get started:
Your BFF Banana
Yes, bananas are your best friend forever (BFF) if you’re embarking upon a healthy lifestyle. The case is no different when the goal is weight loss. Banana carries potassium along with the easily digestible carbohydrates (carbs) that provide you a good fuel before a workout. A mid-size banana pre-workout is one of the best things you can have to maintain an optimal nutrition level at the start of the day.
Talking of the benefits of the fruit the ancient ayurvedic texts term it as an ‘Amrit phala’, meaning a fruit that has qualities of divine nectar. Apart from working as a good pre-workout meal, the fruit is also effective for those who have gastritis. It is also a good aphrodisiac and is beneficial for people with bleeding disorders.
Nuts are often quoted as one of the healthy sources of nutrients. As a pre-workout meal, they have the ability to provide you a fuel boost. Nuts like almonds are known to have good fatty acids (like omega-6 and omega-3) and are useful for fat loss. A pack of such nuts as almonds, roasted peanuts, cashews, pistachio, etc can be a great option for your pre-workout. The catch here is to keep the intake in a small portion. The reason is their calorie-dense nature.
Nuts are a very good source of fiber as well. In case you feel that you are not satisfied with the nuts alone then there is always an option to pair them up with fruit to get that feeling of satisfaction. However, it’s not like that nuts can’t be a complete and light pre-workout meal. For better utilization of the efficacy of the nuts soak them (like almonds) a night before.
Oatmeal with healthy cooking oil is another healthy, full-filling, and enriching pre-workout meal option. Oatmeal is a good option especially when you are looking for a complete kind of a pre-workout meal (on lines of breakfast) and don’t want to feel bloated or heavy as you go out to hit the gym. The presence of antioxidants, fiber-like beta-glucan, minerals like iron, zinc, phosphorus, etc makes it a top choice not only as a pre-workout meal but as a healthy breakfast and snacking option.
Now like in the case of the nuts there is an option to mix your oatmeal with some fruit to have a satisfying feel. Oatmeal mixed with fruits says apple or banana would supply that extra bit of nutrition and fiber that would keep you going even after the workout.
Protein as we know is the most important element of our diet. But is it good as a pre-workout meal option? The answer to this question is definitely yes. As per studies, it has been found that consumption of protein pre-workout with or without some carbohydrates helps in increasing muscle protein synthesis. Now, you may ask what protein meal is good enough. Well, you have varied options and you can pick any one of them.
From boiled eggs (without the yolk) to toast of peanut butter or any protein energy bar (say around 200 calories) you can pick any of the options as per your choice if you have decided to include a protein food as a part of your pre-workout routine.
Well we know for many of you it would be a big no when it comes to yogurt as a pre-workout meal. But if you can go along with it then it’s a prebiotic option that can generate that right kick before a workout. Yogurt being rich in protein is also an option that you can categorize under the protein food option. However, what we recommend you is to not leave yogurt alone as a pre-workout option. Top it up with fruit of your choice and that’s where you get just the right combo before the sweat shed. Make sure that you are feeding on the low-fat yogurt and not the regular one.
Well if you want to be quick and at the same time don’t want any solid food intake then smoothies are surely an option for you. You can easily whip fruits, milk some of the veggies, or plant milk to set your glass of smoothie right up there just before a workout. The only thing you should be careful with the smoothies is that you don’t rush in the sugar and maintain the intake to a decent calorific level and not beyond that.
You should aim at consuming the pre-workout meal at least 1-2 hours before the workout. This would help the body to better synthesize the food and you won’t feel heavy in the middle of the workout. Well, that’s what we have for the pre-workout nutrition guide for you. If you want us to have a similar look at the post-workout options for weight loss then do let us know. If you have some inputs for us then we are more than happy to listen to you.