Don't Destroy Your Workout with Bad Food Choices

Franklin Antoian

Worried about ruining all of your hard work in the gym with the wrong meal? Don't. Choosing the right meal is easier than you think. Here are four tips to stay on track outside of the gym - and enjoy your meals!

Don't Drink Your Calories

One of the most common ways that you can negate a good workout is with liquid calories. Alcoholic drinks tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients, so it's best to stay away from over doing it while dining out. One beer, soda, or shot of alcohol each have about 150 calories. The average person would need to run on the treadmill for over 30 minutes just to burn off 2 drinks. Opt for water with lemon, or unsweetened iced tea. Save your calories for something better!

Be Careful When Dining Out

Don’t trade your workout for one meal at a restaurant. A grilled chicken sandwich, small entree or even salad are all well within guidelines for a healthy meal. The problem comes in when you begin to munch on fattening side dishes that offer little nutrition, such as French fries, chips, chicken wings and more. If you are having trouble what to choose on the menu, rule out fried food, skip the sides and if you box half of your meal to take home, you'll stay two steps ahead of the game.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

You can eat an unlimited number of nonstarchy vegetables and still maintain your gym figure. You've heard this health and fitness tip before, and while many "tips" turn out to be "myths", this one is actually true. Vegetables pack an amazing amount of nutrients in small caloric quantities. Most servings of veggies are less than 50 calories. Alongside your veggies, try to eat 3-5 servings of fruit per day. Quick tip: Eat a variety of fruits and veggies to get the most nutrient-bang-for-your-buck.

Indulge in (a smaller) Dessert

Yep, you can have dessert. You'll want to stay away from a full size hot fudge brownie sundae or an extra large piece of chocolate cake, but go ahead and treat yourself to a smaller sized, yet still delicious dessert. A good tip is to order your favorite dessert and split it with friends. A few bites each is all you need. After, all, it's the first bite and the last bite that are always the best!

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