Working out has many benefits; raising hormones, a high level of endorphins, increased metabolism and other things but one thing is for sure (from my experience and others I've been around) is the hunger you get afterwards. Food is meant to fuel us and with training, you'll need to satisfy that hunger. This doesn't mean you go grab a McDonalds or a Pizza from Dominos or anything of that sort. Eating good food is essential for how you recover, how you handle your intake and feeling like you have conquered something. There are people however that don't realize what they're doing to themselves when they finish a workout; I've literally seen people finish a workout then go out and smoke a cigarette right after and it makes me want to slap those people or someone finished a brutal routine and then went out and got drunk or had extremely unhealthy food like at a carnival or something. If you want the best out of your body, you'll need to find what works best for you and for your budget because some foods like really good whole foods can be very expensive so choose wisely how you'll satisfy your hunger.
Fueling the body is part of the process of not just getting in shape and not everyone is going to look like a Mr. Olympia so it's important to understand what foods work for you and how they help you with your body's needs. Me personally I eat what works for me and I've been eating rather healthy by having certain foods when I need to like organic meats and raw milk. I also make smoothies with my Nutri-Bullet and every now and then I take supplements from Superman Herbs to get that extra boost without all the crap that's in your typical supplement store. However I do like my share of Burgers & Fries, Chinese Food, Pizza and good old Mexican with healthy chicken tacos and plenty of veggies and sour cream. Back in June I was over 260 lbs. and i'm 5'10, I didn't feel that heavy and I was still in pretty good shape for my size but I felt that's way too big for me so I changed things up a bit to really fuel my body and train a little differently. I still ate my favorite foods but cut back on a couple things and my weight started to drop. I'm now down to the upper 240's and I didn't do any specific routines and didn't time my meals or anything. I trained hard when I felt like it and ate when I felt hungry. Every now and then like once a week I would fast to let my body repair itself. People have this notion that you need to eat this at a certain time or train at this point during the day and how many things should be on their plate and what others try to tell you what real healthy food is when in fact some of that can be harming you. The real food is eating good fruits & veggies, organic meats, non-pasturized milk & dairy and drinking plenty of water. Keep it simple.
If you really want to get the best out of your body stay away from sugary stuff and breads (grains) as much as possible. These days I rarely ever eat candy and I like to make sandwiches with bread every now and then. It's not bad to have those things every now and then because there at times where you just need to cut loose. I do drink soda every once in a while as well like Coke but I don't drink like a whole liter in one shot, I use to do that when I was younger but now that I'm older it's not that fun. I have a bottle or can maybe less than a few times a week and I'm getting better drinking it less and less. So do your best to drink more water everyday and far less soda or cut it out completely and see how your body feels. I'm a sucker for Subway sandwiches, getting those footlong clubs or a chicken breast with bacon and I only get one at a time and that's usually after a major workout like a deck of cards doing push-ups and squats or an animal workout that goes for 15 min. or more. I haven't had one in a while. Eat whole foods as much as possible and since we all can't eat the same amount, experiment and find the amount you need that works for you and there ways to research for foods if you're on a budget. It's not easy to eat good food if you're traveling on the road because more often than not there are more unhealthy food places than there are good ones, be smart and work a system that suits you.
Lastly, don't be afraid to eat. If you need to drop weight, find a way to work with that but know you can still eat your favorite foods and simply cut back on a few things and eat far less crap. Train in a way that will help you and you can still build muscle while losing weight. Another thing there is a major difference between fat loss and weight loss, many people get that confused. You can still look incredible from dropping fat but because you may lose weight you may not always be satisfied with what comes out of it. I'm over 240 lbs. but I'm not obese or have tons of fat all over me, I've got enough muscle that works to my liking and I can move very well beyond most people that weight plus I exercise every single day, however if I didn't work out and ate good food frequently and I was the same exact weight I would look obese and wouldn't move athletically like I want to and I'd be fatigued all the time. See the difference? Don't be scared to eat what you like, just be smart about it and learn your body's needs and means for what food works best for you and how it helps with the goals you want to achieve. Don't ever starve yourself or eat less than 500 calories a day, that's unhealthy and that does more harm to your body than you realize. Eat when you're hungry, stay away from sugary foods as much as possible, drink plenty of water, eat good whole fresh meats (unless you're vegetarian) and eat plenty of fruits and veggies. If you want to cut loose once in a while do so but don't ever starve yourself, it's just plain stupid.
Happy Monday everybody and be awesome today. Have fun and eat well and also train great too.