How to Eat to Boost Your Workouts: 3 Expert Tips for Different Fitness Goals

Those who lead a sports lifestyle know that proper nutrition is just as important as the training regimen. But choosing foods, weighing portions, constantly counting KBZhU and nutrients can turn the day into an endless race from the refrigerator to the stove. Dishes or whole rations can be picked up in delivery services. Some of them offer convenient options for dieters.

For example, the Yandex Lavki application provides filters that allow you to quickly select products and dishes with the desired composition. If you have a special diet, you can sort out options with a high protein content or a low level of carbohydrates. So you will be sure that not a single healthy calorie is missed in lunch or dinner, and the muscles will definitely receive all the necessary amino acids for effective approaches in the gym.

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Goal 1: Lose Weight

Image: Yandex Lavka / Olga Revenkova / Lifehacker

For this purpose, any physical activity that you like will do. One of the most effective is cardio exercise – for example, running, brisk walking or exercising on an elliptical trainer. You should not exhaust yourself with severe dietary restrictions like two lettuce leaves and a cup of tea a day: in this case, health will go along with the kilograms. It is enough to create a reasonable deficit of consumed energy. It is believed that it is possible to cut the diet by 500 kcal per day without risks. The U.S. dietary guidelines allow for a reduction of 750 and write that most women can consume 1,200–1,500 calories for safe weight loss, while men can consume 1,500–1,800.

At the same time, the quality of the products is also important. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends making your daily menu so that it contains 10-15% protein, 15-30% fat and 55-75% carbohydrates. Add vegetables and fruits to every meal for healthy calories and an extra source of fiber. But the amount of alcohol, fast food and products with sugar is best reduced to a minimum. Of course, if you really want to, a soda burger can brighten up a couple of evenings, but you can’t build a diet on such food. The problem is not only its high calorie content, but also the fact that it can very easily lead to overeating.

Iya Zorina

Candidate Master of Sports in weightlifting, sports expert of Lifehacker.

There are many diets that distribute macronutrients differently. For example, ketogenic diets virtually eliminate carbohydrates, low-fat diets limit fat, and high-protein diets can increase protein levels by up to 50% of total calories. As a rule, such diets are difficult to follow for a long time, and their safety for health is questionable.

As for the frequency of meals, everything is individual here. Some people lose weight well on intermittent fasting, when they eat only once or twice a day; others are more suitable for fractional meals with three large portions and snacks. The mode should be selected based on your features and comfort.

Imagine that you need to collect a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for 1,500 kcal. Open ” Yandex Lavka “, select the “Low Calories” icon in the filters, and then go to the “Main Menu” tab. The service will show low-calorie dishes, and the product card will detail how many fats, proteins and carbohydrates are in a particular product. We are compiling a sample menu. Let’s say for breakfast we take barley porridge with pesto and parmesan – 430 kcal per serving. Sorrel soup and penne in a creamy sauce as lunch will be put in a common piggy bank 525 kcal. Chopped chicken cutlet with buckwheat, mushrooms and vitamin salad is suitable for dinner – this way you get another 390 kcal. The remaining one and a half hundred kilocalories can be “finished off” with healthy snacks: fruits, nuts or cottage cheese.

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Goal 2: Increase Endurance

On the way to this goal, two training options are suitable. The first is long-term work with medium intensity. For example, a long run on a pulse of 140-150 beats per minute, swimming, cycling. The second option is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), in which short periods of high-intensity exercise alternate with rest or low-intensity activity. Such exercises also perfectly develop endurance, require less time, but at the same time they are harder to perform. Feeling weak and lacking in strength in the midst of a workout may indicate that you have not “refueled” correctly.

Iya Zorina

For the development of endurance, it is important to consider the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. The daily rate will depend on the nature and time of the load. If the exercises take about an hour a day, you need to eat 5-7 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per day. In the case of longer workouts, for example from 1 to 3 hours, the norm increases to 6-10 g. Athletes with extreme loads who exercise for 4-5 hours need more carbohydrates – 8-12 g per kilogram of body weight per day . At the same time, you can not cut proteins in the diet – consume at least 1.2 g per kilogram of body weight per day. And calculate the amount of fat according to the residual principle.

The Yandex Lavka menu has many dishes rich in protein and carbohydrates. For example, a serving of chicken curry rice will give you 14g of protein and 31g of carbs. A pasta with shrimp – 16 g of protein and 34 g of carbohydrates. Before training, eat light foods: fat-free cottage cheese with a banana or a protein shake with low-fat milk will do. If you are planning an intense workout, you can eat something sweet, such as fresh fruit or marshmallows.

Goal 3: Gain muscle mass

Image: NYS / Happy Author / Nattika / Kovaleva_Ka / Nataly Studio / Ermak Oksana / natali_ploskaya / Shutterstock / Yandex Lavka / Olga Revenkova / Lifehacker

To achieve the result, you need loads with resistance: training on simulators, with free weights or even with your own body weight.

It doesn’t really matter if you work with a heavy barbell or squat with light dumbbells, train in splits, loading separate zones on different days, or pump the whole body in one session. The main thing is to bring the muscles to a state close to failure, when pain and burning increase in the muscles, and you are no longer able to continue.

In addition, you need to increase the amount of protein in your diet. This macronutrient provides the building blocks for muscle fiber growth and largely determines whether you will be able to pump up an impressive relief or not.

Good sources of protein include lean meats such as chicken and turkey. Also a lot of protein is found in cottage cheese, red fish, eggs, yogurt. Plant-based protein can be obtained from lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, and other legumes.

Iya Zorina

It is worth dividing the total amount of food into three to six meals and adding 20–40 g of protein to each of them. With this regimen, your body will always receive the necessary fuel for muscle building. It is also important to properly organize nutrition around the workout. Try to keep no more than 5-6 hours between two meals. For example, if you ate a complex lunch at one o’clock in the afternoon, and got to the training only at five in the evening, after it it is better to have a snack as soon as possible in order to provide the muscles with building material from amino acids. If you went to the gym two hours after eating, then it is not necessary to refresh yourself immediately after class – you can safely drive home and have a normal dinner without intercepting cocktails in the locker room.

In addition to protein, it is also important to consume enough carbohydrates. If you do not replenish the glycogen stores lost during intense exercise, protein can be converted into glucose, taking away the building material from the muscles. If we consider products only in the context of mass gain, then it does not matter where carbohydrates come from – from buckwheat or from chocolate. Another thing is that it is easier to overdo it with sweets and, together with the muscles, also increase the fat layer. In addition, cereals, vegetables and fruits contain useful trace elements, vitamins and fiber, and most sweets are “rich” only in sugar, which does not have the best effect on health.

To order protein-rich ready-to-eat meals from Lavka , select the “High Protein” option in the filters. The system will offer several suitable dishes at once. For example, a salmon keto omelet will come in handy before a morning workout – it has 35 g of protein per serving. And if you need a healthy lunch, chicken breast with spinach bulgur will do . There is a little less protein here – almost 27 g, but there is a carbohydrate side dish and vegetables for balance.

With ” Yandex Lavka ” you can alternate self-cooking with the purchase of ready-made meals. When there is no time, tiredness overcomes or you just want to spend the evening with something pleasant, Lavka will support your sports diet. Set up filters, check the composition and KBJU, press the “Order” button – couriers will deliver ready-made food and healthy snacks in a period of 10 minutes or more.

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