Tuesday, 24 January 2012

5 Worst Post-Workout Food

I've been at this losing-weight-working-out thing for a couple of years now, and I've had some pretty good wins against flab. A major part of losing weight (and keeping it off!) is the food we eat right after burning calories. What saddens me is the mentality of "hey, I worked out pretty hard and burned a lot, so I deserve some fast food". It doesn't work like that. That's wasting all the sweat and pain you've gone through, and sets your fitness goal calendar way back. With all the sights and smells of Manila food, make this your guide of things to avoid right after your run at CCP or a weights session at the gym. While these are all convenient food items, they will really mess up your gains.

And really mess up your tight shirts.

French Fries
Really. While the fast food chains all around the country offer this convenient snack, it's probably one of the worst things you can eat for weight-loss. The small, thin slices have so much surface area for oil-absorption you might as well guzzle the liquid fat. The salt won't do you any favors either, even if you just ran a 21k. This goes for the flat mojos too.

Street Food
You're tired and hungry, and the manong at the local corner street grill have some tasty chicken- and pork isaw (innards/guts) for sale. Pass on it. Animal innards have some of the highest caloric contents in an animal (it's really fatty, if you haven't noticed from the taste) and the thick, sugary sauce brushed on them aren't helping either. Even worse are the breaded, deep-fried ones. Avoid at all costs.

Soft Drinks / Iced Tea
I have noticed from my morning runs that it seems like every block around any town has a vendor (on foot or on a make-shift stall) selling drinks. I bring my own water when I run so I don't buy from these vendors, but I have noticed people guzzling down soft drinks or iced tea for hydration. Aside from the obvious unnecessary calories, the caffeine in both drinks act as a diuretic (makes you pee) when you should be hydrating.

For me, there are no healthy burgers, especially in Manila. The basic ingredients pretty much spell out a disastrous post-workout meal: fried (burgers are rarely grilled here) processed meat patty in-between two halves of a white, fluffy bun. And that's not even considering the ketchup, barbecue sauce, or mayo you're about to request on it. Additional pain if you opt for the processed cheese slice too.

Extra Rice
A popular 'bonus' in many eateries in Manila are the offerings of "unlimited rice" or a cheaper order of extra rice. Aren't you working out to lose weight in the first place? No, you do not need the extra empty calories from the white stuff. No, it's not 'free' either, because you're paying for it with inches on your waistline. Stick with one serving, and cut even that out if you can.

It's not all gloom-and-doom though. I personally like a cup of taho after a run. It's offered usually in the mornings everywhere (just listen for a booming shout of "ta-hoooooooooo" on your way home). Opt for half the usual serving of syrup, and what you'll get is a warm and tasty snack packed with protein from the tofu. There are also peanut vendors all around, and a serving of steamed peanuts (usually about a cup, with shells) gives a good amount of muscle-building protein and some fiber too.

And always, always drink plenty of water :)


Picture retrieved from this website, Jan 24, 2012.

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