After finishing an intense workout, refueling is a must to restore water, electrolytes, and energy. But if you're not careful the snack you choose could end up undoing the good you've done, leading to extra pounds on the scale. Before grabbing just any old snack after working out, learn how the wrong choice can lead to weight gain.
- Chowing on a minimeal: A post-workout snack is just that — a snack. And unless it's mealtime, what you eat after an average workout should be around 150 calories. Since healthy foods like trail mix can be high in calories, measure out a serving instead of mindlessly chomping straight out of the bag. If you're looking for some ideas, here are 10 post-workout snacks under 150 cals.
- Chugging a sports drink: Liquid calories are still calories, and if you gulp a 120-calorie bottle of Gatorade along with a snack, calories really start to add up. For workouts under an hour (or low-impact activities), good old zero-calorie H2O is the perfect way to rehydrate.
- Choose wisely: While you could really go for an enormous brownie after your run, it's not the best way to refuel after a workout. Your body needs carbs and protein, and if you choose a sugary or high-fat treat, you'll be hungry for something else soon after, which means consuming more calories. High-fat and sugary foods are also not the best choices when it comes to repairing the muscles to prevent soreness the next day.
- Rewarding yourself with food: I'm all for rewarding fitness goals, but edible rewards are risky business. Hitting the ice cream parlor for a waffle cone or local café for a plate of cheese fries may sound like heaven on earth, but constantly using high-calorie foods as a way to pat your fit self on the back means tons of extra calories consumed. Find other healthy ways to reward your efforts, such as getting a pedicure, buying a new fitness top, or hitting the movies with your running buddy.
Source: Flickr User mary_thompson