Ask the Expert: Properly Fueling Your Workout

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Ask the Expert - Fueling Your Workout (KUTV)

(KUTV) If your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight, you have likely began a new exercise routine. However, in addition to going to the gym, it’s important to properly fuel your workouts by focusing on your diet.

“Just going to the gym isn’t going to make you lose all of that weight,” said Ashley Hagensick, Registered Sports Dietitian at TOSH – The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital.

If your goal is to shed some weight, diet and exercise are the way to go. As you begin a new workout routine, you want to make sure your body is fueled.

“Depending on when you go to the gym, if it’s early in the morning you want to make sure and have something before you go to the gym,” Hagensick said.

For most people, the best pre-workout snacks are easy-to-digest carbohydrates. This could be anything like a piece of fruit, a granola bar, or juice as examples.

Don’t forget to refuel your body within an hour after working out.

“If it was more cardio, have more carbohydrates. If it was more strength, maybe have a little bit more protein,” Hagensick said.

Be sure to have a full meal within two hours of leaving the gym – focusing on healthy, nutrient-dense foods. As a visual, refer to My Plate. The plate shows that each meal should be half fruits and vegetables, a quarter protein, and a quarter grains. It’s important to focus on staying consistent throughout the day.

“You don’t want to have all of your protein at dinner. You don’t want to have all of your carbohydrates at breakfast. So it’s about trying to get a little bit of everything throughout the entire day, not all at once,” says Hagensick.

This time of year, everyone is looking for the quick fix, but it’s important to know that improving your health takes time and consistency.

“Establishing and developing habits that you can actually maintain. That’s the hardest part. It’s about being consistent and knowing that it’s not going to happen overnight,” says Hagensick.