Are you stuck at a certain weight after initially losing a decent amount? Can’t get past a certain amount of resistance on a particular exercise?
Everyone looks to “switching it up” with their exercise routine, which, I agree with. However, it may not always be what is holding you back.
I would argue that post workout nutrition is essential for both weight loss and for adding strength. These two things are tied together though. The stronger you are, the more weight you lift, the more fat you burn off.
There a few things to consider after a workout:
- Protein + Carbohydrate. Protein is more important, but the two work in synergy. You need protein (go for whey, or hemp if you are lactose intolerant) because after a workout you are in a catabolic state. Your body is using everything it can to recover from the workout, including your muscles! Getting protein as quickly as possible (within 45 min post workout, ideally start before workout ends) will help keep you in an anabolic, or muscle building state (at the very least, it prevents breakdown). The carbs serve to replenish your muscle stores of energy so the next workout is optimal. It also helps create a hormonal response that helps the protein be delivered to the muscles. I am not advocating tons of protein, 15-25g should be plenty, along with a piece of fruit or yogurt would be great.
- Liquid form. Drink your protein and carb! It will get absorbed quicker due to easier digestion
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Your body will use the nutrition optimally when your liver and kidneys are working efficiently to take care of the exercise byproducts.
Remember, weight loss, as expressed in pounds, does not always tell the whole story. You lost 10lbs because you starved yourself, great, most of that was muscle! Now, your metabolism and energy are down, and when you gain that weight back, it will be harder to lose (sound familiar). This is why very low calorie diets do not work long term.
Lift heavy (relatively speaking), maintain good form, adjust intensity/duration/volume/sets/reps/exercises, recover properly, and fuel your body correctly. If you miss any of these, you will inevitably stall.