You pump, lift, push, pull and sweat, but you’re just not seeing the results from your workout that you’d like. The problem may not be your workout — it could be your diet. Most experts say that diet is approximately 70 percent of the weight-loss equation and exercise is the other 30 percent. If you don’t tweak your eating habits with your workout program, you are likely to not see results — or at least not see them quickly.
Here are 3 main mistakes:
MISTAKE #1: Working Out on an Empty Stomach
It may sound like an easy way to save calories and maybe even burn more fat when you exercise on an empty stomach, but it could backfire on you. It’s like going on a trip without putting gas in your car. Having a pre-workout snack provides fuel for your activity and should improve how you feel during your workout. If you work out in the morning, eating even a small snack will give you the energy to make it through your workout. Examples of good choices include a carbohydrate and lean protein like an apple, a Energy Ball or Motion Protein bar. These will give you the energy you need to plow through your workout without feeling tired or deprived.
MISTAKE #2: Not Eating Enough
Your metabolism suffers if you don’t take in enough calories to meet the needs of your activity. With weight loss and getting lean, most people think less is always better when it comes to eating, but nothing can be further from the truth. Think of your metabolism like a fire: In order for a fire to burn, you have to add wood. If you lack wood, the fire dies. Same thing with your metabolism. Stoking your metabolism throughout the day involves eating nutrient-rich food consistently. If you don’t, your metabolism will eventually slow down. In addition, consuming too few calories will likely make you feel pretty poorly during a workout.
MISTAKE #3: Skimping on Protein
Protein plays an important role in muscle building and fat burning, making it an essential part of your diet, whether you’re trying to gain muscle or lose weight. Protein’s thermogenic effect (the number of calories it takes to digest, absorb and use) is 20 to 30 percent, versus only 3 to 12 percent for carbohydrates.This basically means it takes many more calories to digest and use protein than it does carbohydrates. When you include protein in every meal and snack all day long you raise your fat-burning potential. The best choices for lean protein include eggs, chicken, turkey, fish and vegetable protein.