The best way to plan your meals is likely what you are not currently doing. Unfortunately, this can be said for 99% of the population. Regarding diet, what most of us do is far from ideal. You do not have to aspire for perfection, but if you are interested in better health, the least you will do is follow a plan that is conducive to sound or improved health.
What is the best way to plan your meals? Eating wisely is one of your most potent weapons. Saturated fat and refined sugars make up about a quarter of the average person’s caloric intake. So, if you want an effective method of planning your meals, you can do this by scheduling your appetite around your workouts. Most of the time your main meals will be after your workout or some time before. The reason for planning your meals this way is vital for several reasons…
- you will have the energy for your workouts
- you will get the nutrients you need to replenish your body’s stores after your workout and take advantage of a natural insulin spike.
- you will make better use of the carbs you consume, by either using them to fuel your workouts or replace what was lost afterward as opposed to providing an additional supply, which is frequently needless.
What would be tremendously helpful, regardless of your health goals, is to consume most of your daily calories within the 6-hour window surrounding your workout. Outside of this window, you can still eat, but you should avoid carbs and large meals.
Many claims suggest exercising boosts your metabolism, allowing your body to burn more calories at rest. The truth of this is not as important as the negligible effect it would have. What is worth considering, however, is the post workout window allows you to take advantage of the insulin spike that would replenish glycogen stores in your muscles. So, the carbohydrates or carbs you consume after exercising, as long as they are not excessive, would serve a useful purpose.
The alternative, which is eating without any plan and solely following the urges of your appetite, is to be avoided at all costs. If you are…
- trying to lose weight,
- reduce blood sugar, or generally,
- improve your health.
Your appetite is not to be trusted when it is compelling you to eat when you are not hungry. Plan your meals around your workouts, and benefit from the difference it could make to your well-being.