You visit the gym regularly and have even altered your workout routine to make it more challenging and intense. You eat a healthy, nutritious diet, and every night, you go to bed feeling exhausted from having an active day. You may practice this routine for weeks, and even months, but still, you’ve yet to see any major weight-loss results. What are you doing wrong? It’s possible that your post-workout behavior could be preventing you from losing weight.
Take a look at these five after-workout mistakes that could be triggering weight gain, or holding you back from reaching your target weight.
1. You’re rewarding yourself too often with high-calorie snacks and desserts
Workouts can be intense, and you may often feel tempted to reward yourself by eating dessert, or even by doubling your normal dessert intake. Try not to view workouts and exercise in general as a doorway to indulging in your favorite, unhealthy foods. Instead, focus on weight loss, and if you do insist on indulging, reward yourself with healthier snacks, such as carrots or celery sticks and your favorite hummus dip.
2. You’re not stretching following your workouts
Stretching is highly important following your workouts, especially if you do high-intensity exercises. Failing to stretch following your fitness routine could result in injuries that could set you back and prevent you from being able to exercise for an extended period of time. Always stretch after your workouts to reduce the risk for injuries.
3. You consume sports drinks instead of water
Water is always the healthiest beverage you can drink following workouts, and just overall in general. Many sports drinks are packed with sugar and additives that result in extra caloric intake. If you need an extra energy boost following your workouts, drink water and eat a banana or a few handfuls of nuts until you can get back home to cook yourself a healthy, nutritious meal.
4. You use a day of intense exercise as an excuse to exercise less
Some individuals will experience a day of high-intensity exercise and feel sore the next day. While it’s perfectly acceptable to take a recovery day if your body truly needs it, it’s important not to take several days off in a row even if you want to wait for your soreness to dissipate. Keep in mind that you must exercise for at least 300 minutes per week if you want to see serious weight-loss results.
5. You wait too long to eat after your workout has ended
If you don’t eat shortly after your workout ends, you’ll end up burning off lean muscle mass instead of fat. Eating after workouts is important because it helps rebuild muscle and increase your metabolism. Don’t wait too long to eat, otherwise you’ll end up negating the effects of your workout.
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