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Your resource of health knowledge, tips and facts for a healthier lifestyle

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How to Build a Meal Plan That Will Optimize Your Workouts

Your workouts could be even more impactful with the right meal plan!

We all know that macronutrients are key to a well-balanced diet. How you structure your macro consumption depends on your health and fitness goals. Getting a proper dose of fats, carbohydrates, and protein in your daily diet is beneficial for your body in many ways. But, if you are looking to maximize your training efforts, then it’s time to take a deeper dive into macros. Learn how to plan your meals in a way that optimizes your workouts, gives you an edge, and delivers better results.

Meal Plan For Weight Loss, Performance, And More

Runners, weightlifters, bodybuilders, yogis, and other athletes will have macro plans tweaked and restructured based on performance and personal goals. Whether you want to lose weight or improve performance, even slight modifications in diet can make a big difference.

Different types of workouts call for different nutrition guidelines. The way our bodies react to the nutrients can vary from person to person. Therefore, these guides are flexible. Think of them as customizable samples that you can tweak to meet your weight loss, performance, and recovery needs.

As you try these approaches based on your workout for the day, it’s helpful to keep a nutrition journal. Write down what your workout is, or if it’s a rest day. Include notes on when and what you consumed before and after the workout. Give yourself an energy rating to indicate if you felt strong, easily fatigued, and anything in between. The data collected in your journal may help you strategize your nutrition intake in order to get the optimal results in your health and fitness goals.

Below is a sample healthy eating guide to fuel your various training programs.

For Cardio Workouts

Carbs and fat are the necessary energy sources for cardio work. The amount of the fuel your body needs is depending on the intensity level of the workout. Low intensity workouts require more fatty acids whereas high intensity workouts require more carbohydrates. For your fats, think olive oil, nuts, avocados, and eggs. Great sources of carbs include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

After cardio, wait 60 minutes before eating to take full advantage of your fat-burning window.

For Strength Training

The trifecta of protein, carbs, and fats is necessary for strength training. Choose easily digestible sources like cottage cheese, tuna and crackers, or smoothies. Experts recommend consuming BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acid supplements) during strength workouts as they are considered the building blocks of muscle protein.

It’s recommended to consume protein within 30 mins after lifting to prevent protein breakdown and aid in recovery. Post-strength workout nutrition can include protein powder or protein from whole foods like meat, hard-boiled eggs, or Greek yogurt.

For Recovery Days

Rest days are just as important as training days when it comes to your fitness goals. Without proper rest, your body can’t recover properly and support your next training session. On rest days, you should try to limit carb intake since you won’t be exercising. Rest days offer more flexibility in your schedule as you don’t need to time your meals with your training regimen.

Effortless Meal Planning

Meal planning is an essential part of sustainable weight loss regimen and proper training protocol. Without taking the time and care to prep your meals, it would be challenging to achieve your maximum potential and the desired results. Howeever, many people just don’t have the time in their day to focus on planning, shopping, portioning, and prepping.

That’s where healthy meal plans from Z.E.N Foods can be your solution. We provide easy access to nutritious foods by delivering healthy meals straight to your door. Our customizable meal plans allow you to get what your body needs without the guesswork. This way, you can focus on the things that matter most to you!

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