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Eating for Your Workout

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When you're trying to lose weight, tone up or get ripped, it may seem like food is the enemy. However, not eating before or after your workout can actually sabotage your efforts, which is good news if, like me, you treat any invitation to eat like an invite to the royal wedding. Though you may think you will burn more fat by attacking the treadmill on an empty stomach, any extra fat burning will likely be stunted by a weaker workout. Also, it is just as important to eat post workout so the body doesn't go after your newly chiseled muscles to replace energy stores.

The problem that remains, however, is what to eat and how much. If you eat too much before a workout then you'll be weighed down and sluggish; if you eat too little you'll be lightheaded and weak. Similarly, binging after a workout can completely undermine your weight loss goals, while eating too little will prevent optimal muscle recovery.

Here are some tasty options packed with the carbs and protein you need fuel up before and recover after the sweat, without a gross protein bar in sight. Just remember, these are snacks, so keep them to fist sized portions.

Pre-workout (eat about an hour before):

1. One whole grain waffle with peanut butter

2. Homemade Trail Mix

3. Small Greek yogurt parfait topped with a crunchy whole grain cereal

Post-workout: (ideally within 15 minutes to 2 hours after for good recovery)

1. Chocolate Milk

2. Fruit Smoothie

3. Brown Rice Pudding with Banana

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