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How to blend the right meal plan with your exercise regimen

Posted October 3

Many people don't realize that you need a meal plan to support your exercise regime. Here's the best way to get the maximum out of your fitness routines whether it’s to lose weightor improve your overall health and performance. (Deseret Photo)

If you just started working out, you would quickly realize that you need a meal plan to support your exercise regime. It’s also the best way to get the maximum out of your fitness routines whether it’s to lose weight or improve your overall health and performance.

Eating the right mix of carbs, fat and proteins each day will go a long way to helping you achieve your fitness goals, but you have to eat the right amount of calories to make this happen.

But, of course, you’re too busy to get fit, right?

You might be a financial planner, and you might be thinking, “I have enough stress doing my job, where will I find the time to eat right?”

What most people don’t realize is that it’s not that difficult once you get into a routine. Finding out the best way to go about it can be as simple as figuring out the best accounting software to use.

Whether you’re working out to lose weight or to bulk up, you need to manage your total daily nutrient and calorie intake and try to get it from quality sources. If you do this in parallel with your fitness routine, you will start feeling the difference within a couple of weeks.

What should you eat before a workout?

What you consume before working out matters as food is basically the fuel that gives you the energy to exercise. So if you've got the right fuel in your system, your performance will also be enhanced.

A lot of people eat before working out to help them get to the “energy phase” of their workout. To ensure that your body achieves optimal performance, you need to eat foods that reduce muscle protein breakdown and glycogen depletion. Further, they should also help your body reduce cortisol levels after your workout.

So how do you do this?

Your body needs two essential things, protein and carbs.

If you consume a significant amount of both before you head to the gym, you’re on the right track. Further, you can also get some proteins and carbs in your system while you are working out.

According to Alan Aragon, you need to get the following into your system:

For 60-90 minutes before you workout, have a solid meal that contains carbs (0.25 grams per pound of your target body weight) and proteins (0.25 grams per pound of your target body weight)

You can also include a bit of fat at this juncture, but I’ll leave that up to you.

What about after your workout?

Most people don’t think about the phase after a workout where food plays a role in your recovery. The right foods can optimize your body’s recovery process. So help it by ensuring that it has all it needs to recover and improve.

This post-workout period is also known as the “anabolic phase” as your body is going through a rebuilding process. Your post-workout meal should replenish your muscle glycogen levels, increase muscle protein synthesis and reduce cortisol levels.

Again it all comes down to the right mix of proteins and carbs. You should ideally consume this meal 30 to 60 minutes after your workout to reap the maximum benefits.

The intake that’s required is the same as Alan Aragon’s pre-workout recommendation. So you can agree that it’s not really as overly complicated as it sounded before you read this article.

If you keep at it, not only will it get you fit and feeling healthy, your performance at work will also be significantly enhanced.

Troy Martin is a shareholder at Cook Martin Poulson, a Utah Accounting Firm.

He has a vast amount of experience in the following business sectors: medical, dental, manufacturing, retail, restaurants, construction, farming and ranching.

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