Eating For Exercise and Weight Loss

I know I am supposed to refuel after a long hard workout or run..... but what if I am wanting to lose weight? Do I still need to replenish my body's energy stores?  
How much and what should I be eating to both help me lose weight and keep my energy up?  
These are questions that I have not only asked myself but have heard from many friends on many occasions. 
So with questions like this I turn to Nancy Clark, Ms, RD.  She is the Author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. Trust me. She is the go-to lady when it comes to Sports Nutrition.

What  and how much should you be eating?
Studies show that protein combined with carbohydrate consumed immediately after a training session helps enhance glycogen storage in the muscle tissue.  Carbs restore your energy while the protein helps with lean muscle growth.  Foods with a 3:1 carb:protein ratio usually are best. (example 33 calories from protein, 100 calories from carbs) Focus on Good Carbs and Lean Proteins.
Some food examples are chocolate milk, 1/2 or small bagel with cottage cheese or peanut butter, Yogurt smoothie with fruit, half turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, bowl of cereal with skim milk, brown rice with lean chicken. 
How Much-
I know many of us get in the mindset of, "I am training really hard and intense, so I can get away with eating these extra calories."  But the truth is that most of us tend to overestimate how many calories we actually burned during a workout--- and as a result eat more than we even burned off. t. So as a word of advice from Nancy Clark, "If you're hoping to lose weight while you train, try to consume 200 fewer calories per day than you would normally eat."   I would recommend something about the size of your fist. Really not a whole lot, just enough to replenish your stores. 

When you are trying to lose weight, I love her tip of trying to plan finishing your workout right before mealtime. Basically you are getting a 2 for 1.... and you won't be adding an additional post exercise session snack-- which decreases your overall calories for the day. 

Oh and don't forget the WATER! 

What do you like to re-fuel after a long hard workout?


  1. Thanks for that tip! I have a lot of friends who swear they need a protein shake after each workout, but I noticed from the foods you listed that the protein content is small which is how I like to eat. Protein is important, but not the MOST important. One of my favorites is a Green Smoothie! I drink one everyday and they always have spinach in them which is 42% protein!

  2. Kandace I agree! I believe that many athletes get far more protein than is necessary to promote proper muscle synthesis. We as women need only .8(normal)- 1.0(working out a lot) g/kg of protein per day. Which for a 135 pound woman is 50-60 grams of protein daily. With a normal diet that is very easy to accomplish. So Yes protein is important but not in such large amounts.