Kim Bowman, MS F45 Challenge Nutritionist
Now that we’ve all crushed Challenge phase 1, it’s time to fuel up and get ready for phase 2 ‘Regular Season.’ The foundation has been set and by now you’ve mastered your weekly routine of F45 workouts. This means fuelling up with quality food before and after training, stretching, hydration, and of course giving your body plenty of sleep to recover.
What to expect
In order to make the most out of each F45 Challenge workout this week, now’s the time to solidify a healthy eating routine. Without consuming quality food on a consistent basis to support recovery, we may experience a decline in workout intensity. This can lead to training plateaus and limit progress in terms of physiological adaptation (fat loss, muscle building), which would be a real waste given all the hard work you’ve put forward during Challenge phase 1.
Let’s take muscle building for example – As we stress our body during workouts we start to experience tiny muscle micro-tears that require repairing and rebuilding through a process called ‘protein synthesis’. This process acts as the adaptation mechanism for our body to signal “build more muscle to ensure we are equipped to handle this training”. Quality food consumption plays a vital role in this recovery period and adaptation trigger. For example, consuming protein after a workout is key for providing amino acids to jumpstart this muscle building process. Consuming empty-calorie, processed foods on the other hand, provides little to no nutritional value to support our training. Processed foods include fast foods, sugary beverages, and breakfast cereals which have been stripped of many core nutrients that help our body recover including fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
The F45 Challenge is designed to push us out of our comfort zones in order to generate positive results. However, in order to stay on track we must prioritize healthy eating outside of training by making it a habit to fuel up with quality food, both before and after workouts. Choosing nutrient-dense food including whole grains, nuts and seeds, fruits and veggies, legumes, and lean proteins is absolutely essential. Not only do these foods provide essential nutrients to keep us energized during workouts, but they also support recovery to allow physiological training adaptations to take place. Unlike processed foods, opting for whole foods is key for helping us avoid cravings and establish a more mindful eating pattern.
As a part of the F45 Challenge, you’re granted access to a number of nutrition resources on both the website and the F45 Challenge App. Here you can use the calorie calculator to create a customized meal plan that caters to your individual daily calorie requirements for your body composition and Challenge fitness goal. You can choose between mainstream, vegan, and vegetarian plans that include plenty of healthy recipe options to get you started. If you’ve already started a Challenge meal plan then be sure to share your favorite recipes, pre and post workouts snacks with us either on social or in ‘recipe feedback’ which can be accessed on each Challenge recipe.
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