Feeling like you hit the gym pretty regularly but aren’t seeing results? One of these post-workout habits may be sabotaging your weight-loss results.
- You reward yourself too much: The workout’s done, the sweaty clothes are off, and you’ve been eyeing that piece of cake for a while. While occasional indulgences are smart – and necessary – using your workout as an excuse to help yourself to junk food is not going to get you the results you’re after, so don’t use the fact that you’ve just burned 300 calories as an excuse to indulge in twice that much.
- You skip the stretch: You may think of the cooldown as a waste of time, but regularly skipping your post-workout stretches will put you at risk for injuries that will sideline your weight-loss progress by keeping you out of the gym.
- You recover with a sports drink: Sugary sports drinks can replenish electrolytes, but if you’ve just finished a short workout, the extra calories are probably unnecessary. Save the sports drinks or coconut water for intense workouts lasting more than an hour or for workouts in hot weather.
- You use it as an excuse: Monday’s boot camp class was so hard, so you can be forgiven for nursing your sore muscles until the start of next week, right? Not the best idea if you want to see pounds dropping on the scale. Make sure you get at least 300 minutes of vigorous exercise every week in order to stay on the right weight-loss track.
- You wait too long to eat: Refueling soon after a workout is crucial because it’s what helps you rebuild muscle after a workout. Since the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism, make sure you fit a snack of carbs and protein into your post-workout ritual.
- You don’t schedule the next one: You should pat yourself on the back for finishing this workout, but don’t let your self-congratulations get in the way of scheduling your next workout. You’ll only see progress if you make exercise a consistent part of your week.
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It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s important to eat after you work out. It’s protein and carbs that are going to help replenish all the energy you put out, and that’s also what’s going to help those muscles repair and recover. Of course, this doesn’t mean go out and gorge on chocolate cake or a five-course dinner. It’s important to fuel the body without taking in more calories than just burned. If you’re not sure what the perfect post-workout snack looks like, you’ve come to the right place.
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