If you are considering joining a bootcamp to get your fitness efforts back into gear, and to improve the quality of your life, this tactic could certainly do the trick. However, while on that bootcamp, you should do what you can to maximise the returns from your exercise efforts – and what you eat before and after can be crucial in this.
Unfortunately, you might be familiar with the experience of having a great workout only to quickly put on weight you had burned. What’s going on? You might not be using these strategies…
The crucial role of nutrition in exercise success
Barry Braun, professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts, has provided the acknowledgement to Fitness Magazine that, “in the short term, during or right after a workout, exercise may suppress hunger”. However, he adds that, “later that day, your hunger hormones can surge, making you want to eat” – while, at the same time, the body’s satiety hormones could fall.
Women need to especially heed this, as this elevation in appetite can affect them much more significantly; men’s hormone levels could alter more subtly. It has been broadly theorised that this difference is due to women’s bodies being designed to keep energy for use in reproduction.
Beware those post-workout cravings
The unique effects which nutrition can have on a fitness buff’s body and hunger levels highlight the need for exercise enthusiasts to carefully consider what they eat both before and after working out. You shouldn’t, for example, simply reward yourself for a tough workout by later consuming whatever takes your fancy. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if you struggle to shift weight significantly.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, who wrote The Flexitarian Diet, explains: “My advice is to eat back no more than half the calories you burn off during a workout. So if you burn 300 calories jogging, you have 150 calories to play with afterward.”
Some ideas for bootcamp-friendly snacks
However, if you are selective about what you eat ahead of a workout, you can help avoid those cravings soaring so much in the first place. For breakfast, for example, choose shredded wheat rather than sugary cereal. The former takes longer for your body to digest, meaning that you stay feeling full for longer. A midmorning snack can also help you prevent hunger pangs.
Right now, you might still be concerned that having bootcamp-friendly food and drink would mean having… well, boring food and drink. However, there is a huge choice of food and drink that can go well with your exercise efforts. Hence, you don’t strictly have to face difficulty in getting the right nutrition from a source which you actually enjoy consuming.
For example, in an article for Greatist, dietician Bob Seebohar recommends several specific pre-workout snacks. These include an almond coconut mocha smoothie, the caffeine of which could make you more lively, and a mocha protein shake, which features coffee and chocolate that reduce the commonly bland taste of protein shakes.
You could learn further nutrition tips provided that you join a suitable fitness boot camp.