I've been exercising after work mostly every night. Sometimes it's hard to keep up my energy by the time I get home from work. What do you recommend that I eat to keep up my energy throughout the day and before workouts? Thanks

Good for you to include exercise into your daily “diet”. It is a great way to burn calories, build muscle, and improve mood. Energy levels certainly do wax and wane throughout the day, and many times you may feel pretty tired after putting in a full 8 hours at the office. Food can be a good way to add “fuel” to your fire and lead to a great workout.

First (as I have said frequently) make sure you are starting your day with a healthy breakfast. I encourage a complex carbohydrate (high fiber dry cereal, oatmeal, whole wheat toast) paired with a good protein source (a few scrambled egg whites, peanut butter on the toast, choosing the “Weight Control” oatmeal which has protein in it). I would then make sure that you are eating a good lunch. Limit intake of fast food if you can (greasy hamburgers, French fries/fried foods, sugary desserts) and choose a healthy vegetable salad topped with grilled chicken/low fat dressing or whole-wheat pita bread stuffed with turkey, hummus, and vegetables. I encourage you to add a mid afternoon snack. This can help be the added boost that you need to help keep blood sugar levels steady and help prevent that after work decline. Try to time your snack around when you think you may workout. For example, if you will be exercising at 6:00pm, time your snack around 4:00-4:30pm. You may wish to snack on low fat yogurt with berries, hummus and whole wheat crackers, apple slices with peanut butter, a handful of almonds and a glass of 100% fruit juice, or low fat string cheese and orange slices. Also, make sure you are taking in plenty of water throughout the day. You will need additional water if you are exercising. There are various suggestions for calculating how much water you need. One would have you take your body weight in pounds and divide by two. This would give you the amount of ounces you need to drink a day (juice, milk, soup, jello all count towards fluid needs). Other sources suggest 8-8 oz. glasses a day. Additional water will need to be consumed to make up for losses while exercising.

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