Hands up if your exercise regime is as sporadic as the local bus? We’re all guilty of watching our good intentions dwindle as we find any excuse to slack off yet we feel a whole lot better when we’re active. So what makes us swap lithe smugness for the sofa? Ironically, it’s often what we’ve had (or haven’t had) to eat.
This lethargic attitude is partly because many of us have no idea how to fuel our bodies for the sweaty task ahead. Some may also be more prone to throwing in the towel when the scales take too long to tip. Whatever the motivation (or lack of), eating for exercise is fundamental to success and maintaining the desire to get those overpriced trainers out from their dusty corner.
For high intensity workouts, protein is also a key diet staple to get right. Once glycogen stores are depleted, the body turns to protein to bump up energy levels so eat plenty of meat, fish, chicken and eggs to insure you have solid supplies. Vegetarians can help back-up their energy levels with dishes containing lots of pulses, nuts and seeds.
How much you should eat depends on lots of factors from age, weight and daily activity right through to genetic make-up. There are lots of online resources to help you estimate what your daily calorie intake should be but if you want to read more check out ‘The complete guide to sports nutrition’ by Anita Bean – a great resource for anyone interested in exercise and eating towards optimum health.
Find more exercise and nutrition tips in our fitness hub.