The ‘essential’ foods to eat when working out for weight loss

James Davies shares his quick exercise tip

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Exercise and nutrition experts at Fitness Volt have shared their top post-workout tips for those who want to start working out more in the New Year. “Whether you wish to see increased muscle mass or weight loss, post-workout activity is essential for achieving optimum results,” they said.

Fitness Volt explained that “light exercise on rest days has many advantages”, saying: “While it is essential for your muscles to recover after intense exercises that have left them sore, such as lifting heavy weights, you can stay active on rest days by opting for light exercises instead – whether that be taking a walk or yoga.

“Alternatively, if you focus on one area of the body on one day, switching to a different area the next day you will still allow your sore muscles to heal.

“Doing so is beneficial for removing toxins, preventing the build-up of lactic acid, and even boosting circulation.”

Nutrition is incredibly important while exercising or training for a run or a race, and therefore skipping meals is a huge no-no.

Fitness Volt’s experts said: “Skipping meals will only prevent you from seeing workout results quickly.

“When working out, your body loses electrolytes, which are responsible for creating energy.

“Therefore, eating foods high in calcium and sodium after a workout is necessary. Foods with these nutrients include sweet potatoes, olives, cottage cheese, and pickles.

“Not to mention, eating regular meals helps the muscle building process by supplying your body with nutrients, and this process speeds up your metabolism and contributes to weight loss.”

As well as foods that are high in calcium and sodium, it is also worth consuming foods that are high in protein post-workout.

The experts said: “Whether your goal is to build muscle or lose weight, prioritising protein when it comes to your diet is crucial for both.

“This particular nutrient helps to repair and rebuild muscle, thus reducing soreness and allowing you to exercise more often – plus, it reduces your appetite to stop you from eating too much.

“Boiled eggs and Greek yoghurt are just some of the examples that are both high in protein and low in fat, and for optimum results you should eat high-protein foods around 30 minutes after working out.”

Cooling down after a workout is “just as essential as a warm-up”, according to Fitness Volt’s experts.

“It’s natural to have an increased heart rate, body temperature, and dilated blood vessels when exercising, but a quick stop increases the chance of you passing out or not feeling well,” they said.

“If your workout involved lifting heavy weights, then take some time before you stop to do around 15 minutes of stretching, or even a five-minute walk or jog if you completed a cardio workout.

“You will also find that your muscles are less sore the next day with a warm down.”

Taking a cool shower can be a worthwhile part of one’s cooling down routine, said Fitness Volt.

The experts continued: “The thought of a cold shower may not sound extremely appealing but taking one after a workout will not only cool you down after an intense workout.

“It can also help the healing process by decreasing the inflammation of your muscles after exercising.

“Therefore, you will experience reduced soreness the following day and can train the same area sooner as opposed to spending too much time on letting it recover.”

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