Let’s say you’re a Pure Barre devotee. You go to class as often as possible, always putting in 110%. You hone your technique, paying close attention to every tuck, pulse and squeeze. You know it gets results. But are you maximizing these results? If you’re not fueling your body properly, then no.
Food is your fuel. As a strong, active Pure Barre woman, you need (and deserve!) premium grade. Your body gives a lot when you put it through a strenuous Pure Barre class. Give back to your body by feeding it right!
In my practice, I work with many active women who are looking to take their health to the next level. Most of them struggle with the same five things.
Looking to maximize your Pure Barre results? Here are my top five nutrition tips for active women:
- Plan to eat healthy. So many women struggle to balance healthy eating and being active. They either keep up with their workouts and nosh on convenience food, or cook healthy, balanced meals yet don’t have time for exercise. Both Pure Barre and eating healthy are incredibly important, but they take time! If you don’t plan, you’ll default into unhealthy behaviors. Schedule your Pure Barre classes. Cook bulk meals in advance. Pack healthy snacks. Plan to make eating healthy convenient!
- Don’t justify unhealthy choices with exercise. You’ve sweated your way through 55 minutes of Pure Barre, so why can’t you have that cookie? Enjoying a gooey, chocolaty, fresh out of the oven cookie is worth it on occasion, no justification needed! But regularly making unhealthy choices and telling yourself you’ll burn off the calories is a bad approach. Even if you maintain your weight, heavily processed junk foods affect your health, energy, and metabolism.
- Don’t overdo it with protein. Sure, protein is important, especially for active women, but it’s relatively easy to get enough without heavily processed powders or dinosaur portions of meat. Plus, your body can only process a small amount of protein at a time. The best approach is to include a small portion of a high protein food with each meal and snack. Examples include a handful of nuts, an egg or two, beans or a few ounces of organic meat or poultry.
- Refuel after a workout. After a vigorous workout, it’s important to replenish your body with a healthy snack. Make sure it includes an unprocessed carbohydrate and source of protein, which will replace energy stores and build muscle. My personal favorites are dates stuffed with almond butter, cheddar cheese with a sliced pear, or a homemade smoothie.
- Make peace with carbs. Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred source of fuel for exercise. Go too low carb, and you’ll likely find it impacts your energy and performance. Do make sure you go with minimally processed sources of carbohydrate, like fresh fruit, vegetables, beans and whole, intact grains, like quinoa and brown rice. Conversely, don’t go overboard! There’s no need to carb-load with a giant plate of pasta before Pure Barre!
Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE is a private practice dietitian and food blogger at www.anavocadoaday.blogspot.com. She offers nutrition coaching nationwide via telephone and Skype.