For the majority of us, working out is a mental challenge. When you step into the gym, you constantly seek to complete a pre-conceived goal that is slightly tougher than the previous session’s. For the typical gym rat, stagnation is their worst enemy. Only with challenges do you improve, right?
But the challenge doesn’t stop there. Working out is tough. It makes us hungry. Never did that packet of nachos or chips, sitting so conveniently on your kitchen top, look so tempting. But giving into temptations would mean regaining the calories you just tried to lose at the gym, or piling on unhealthy doses of sugar, salt or MSG into your diet.
How then do you curb those post-workout binging temptations? Replace those chips with food that you prepared beforehand, and if possible, situate them where you would usually place your snacks. We’ve purposely kept these ideas low on preparation effort, so there’s no more excuses!
1. Tuna Salad/Crackers
Go for canned tuna without any additional condiments, such as Ayam Brand’s Tuna Chunks in Water. You could throw in some vegetables (with the option of putting together your own mix or getting a bag of pre-prepared greens from the supermarket) or scoop a generous serving of tuna on a piece of wholemeal cracker. Tuna is a great source of protein, so you can rest assured that you’re not only placating your belly, but also your growing muscles.
2. Milk and Cereal
Don’t restrict your milk and cereal to the breakfast table! Research has shown that milk and cereals, which are high in protein and carbohydrates, is beneficial in supporting muscle recovery and energy after an intense workout. Just take note to look at the ingredient label to make sure that you’re choosing a cereal that’s low in sugar content.
3. Yogurt Parfait with Frozen Berries
After washing your berries (we suggest blueberries and Korean strawberries), place them in the freezer before you leave for the gym. When you’re back, throw them in a generous cup of yogurt and you’ll get an icy, sweet post-workout treat! Remember to always look at the labels when you’re getting your yogurt to avoid overly sugary yogurts. To be safe, opt for the Greek variety, which have the lowest sugar content. They might be a little sour, so complement them with sweeter berries.
4. Wholemeal Wraps
You can get these wraps easily at the supermarket. If you prefer savory snacks, try wrapping some lean Turkey bacon and fresh greens. If you have a sweeter palate, try freezing the yogurt together with the berries from the above idea, and roll it in your wrap, and voila! You’ll have a healthier alternative to an ice cream sandwich!
5. (Healthier) Nachos
If you really, really can’t resist a good post-workout crunch, start with baby steps by replacing your usual chips with a healthier variation; original flavour, baked or fried with vegetable oil at the minimum.While this is not ideal, it is definitely an upgrade from the regular salt and sugar-ridden chips.