Eating after a workout may feel counter-intuitive, but it’s actually essential to enhancing your weight-loss progress. The best post-workout recipes for weight loss combine protein and healthy carbohydrates in order to help your muscles rebuild and recover. Maintaining and building muscle mass boosts your metabolism, causing you to lose more weight.
During exercise, your body utilizes nutrients that have been stored in your muscles as fuel. After the workout is over, your muscles are depleted, which is why it is imperative that you refuel with healthy, nutritious foods. Not only that, but eating several small meals per day will allow your body to let go of excess fat more easily. Along with muscle recovery and fat loss, eating after your workout will provide a much-needed energy boost.
Keep in mind that post-workout food doesn’t have to be bland or boring. The following recipes not only aid in the recovery process, but they’ll also make your taste buds very happy!
Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat
Post-workout protein repairs and rebuilds the muscles. Experts recommend consuming at least 20 grams of protein within 45 minutes to an hour after a workout. Keep in mind that the sooner you eat, the faster the recovery process can begin! Have a bowl of Chicken Teriyaki Rice ready to eat soon after your workout. This easy recipe has 23 grams of protein, complex carbs and healthy fat too.
Note: If you eat a pre-workout meal (and we hope that you did), you can wait a little bit longer.
Some great high-protein foods are:
- Animal and/or plant-based protein powder
- Lean meats, like chicken, turkey, or fish
- Dairy, such as milk, cheese, and Greek yogurt
Combining healthy carbohydrates with protein in your post-workout meal will lead to an even faster recovery. This means that your muscles will become more toned and less sore in a shorter amount of time.
A few examples of healthy carbohydrates are:
- Whole grain toast
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
But wait: What about fat? Eating a little bit of fat post-workout is perfectly acceptable, although a mixture of protein and carbohydrates is more beneficial for post-workout weight loss.
Several of the following recipes include fat sources from:
- Olive oil
- Nuts (and nut butters)
Best Post-Workout Recipes for Weight Loss
Smoothies are one of my favorite post-workout meals! There’s nothing better than drinking a deliciously cold, healthy, and nutritious smoothie after a tough workout. The two recipes below are super tasty and chock-full of vital nutrients.
Lean Meats and Healthy Carbohydrates
Lean meats are one of the best sources of protein available. Aside from being high in protein, they’re also low in calories, making them an excellent diet option. When you combine one of these sources of protein with healthy carbohydrates, you get one awesome meal. Try out these post-workout recipes for weight loss and recovery!
- Slow Cooker Brown Rice and Chicken
- Cucumber Quinoa Salad with Ground Turkey, Olives, & Feta
- Clean-Eating Chicken Salad
Another low-calorie, high-protein option is fish. White fish, like tuna, trout, and grouper are generally lower in fat, when compared to fish like salmon. With that being said, salmon is still an excellent option. For post-workout recipe purposes, we’ve include two of our favorite white fish recipes.
While these options are a bit higher in carbohydrates, they still contain a significant amount of protein. Regardless of your dieting needs, there’s always a healthy, protein-packed option!
“Flush the Fat Away” Lentil and Vegetable Soup is more than a weight loss recipe, it’s the ideal recovery food with 13 grams of protein, and it’s filling.
Try one, two, or all of the best post-workout recipes for weight loss and reach your fitness goal in no time! Always remember that neglecting to eat after a workout can potentially stall your progress instead of helping it! Eating healthy and delicious food will make your fitness journey simple and successful!