I may just be secretly a fat girl in a small woman body, but I absolutely love to eat. In fact I am the happiest when I am eating, and the grouchiest when I am hungry. When I go to the gym, the only thing I can keep my mind on is what I am going to eat when I leave! It’s often so counterproductive because the harder I go in the gym the more unhealthy and greasier I want the food to be! It also doesn’t help when I’m running on the treadmill and the gym is playing the food network and an episode of Best. Burger. Ever. comes on. I think someone should ban that show from the gym! What I’ve realized that craving food after the gym doesn’t have to be counterproductive and negative. Eating the right foods that will help you continue to burn calories, as well as support muscle recovery will work to your advantage. Here are some snacks that you can feel not so guilty about after those squats!
1. Peanut Butter and Apples
This low calorie snack is not only tasty and healthy, but easy to make. Easy enough that you can put it together pre-workout so that post workout you don’t find yourself rushing to the closest fast food place to ease your cravings instantly. If you are feeling extra healthy try a little almond butter instead!
2. Trail Mix
Another easy low calorie option is a simple trail mix. Be mindful of what makes up your trail mix, as some of the options on the market these days are filled with candy and yogurt covered everything. You may even opt to make your own mix that is made up of nuts, dried fruits, and seeds versus the sweet and sugary items, i.e. M & M’s.
3. Chocolate Milk
This is an exciting one for me, because I do not enjoy drinking plain milk ever! Chocolate milk is easy to buy in small cartons, and can be thrown in your workout bag for instant satisfaction when leaving the gym. The milk is a great tasty reward for you and your body, as it provides the perfect mix of protein and carbs to aid your exhausted muscles. According to a study done by Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University “Compared to plain milk, water, or most sports drinks, it has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost as sweat, preventing dehydration. Plus it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium, and includes just a little sodium and sugar — additives that help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy.”
4. Greek Yogurt and Fruit
Nothing says protein powerhouse like greek yogurt. It’s perfect for your aching muscles and coupled with fruit and granola your stomach won’t be whining for long either. The additional fiber and carbs will leave you feeling full, but in a good way!