When you’ve been working out all week, it is essential to take a rest day. More importantly, what you eat on your rest day determines if your body gets the nutrients it needs while your muscles recover. It can be easy to slip into a bad diet while resting on your day off, but a day off from the gym doesn’t mean a day off from healthy meals.
A rest day is essential because it can take up to 48 hours for your muscles to recover from an intense workout. Muscles need protein to repair, and your body uses carbohydrates for energy. When exercising consistently, the body tends to suppress appetite, so rest days are essential to refuel and ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to keep you healthy. If your goal is to build muscle and lose fat, your rest day will include protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
High protein foods will help your muscles by supporting protein synthesis (repairing of muscles). Adding more protein to your diet is beneficial for your weight loss goals, increasing your body’s ability to build muscle and lose fat.
High Protein foods include:
- Any High protein snacks
- High protein Supplements
Protein can easily be incorporated into any meal of the day or in healthy snacking, in moderation. ProteinWise offers different high-protein products that help you easily include protein in your diet.
Carbohydrates are often perceived as bad foods because eating many carbs can cause weight gain and health conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Fortunately, carbs aren’t always bad. The body needs a healthy portion of carbs to provide energy and nutrients. For some, a low-carb diet is best to keep sugar levels within normal. People commonly find difficulty with this food group when choosing the right foods for nutritional carb intake and keeping it in moderation.
Healthy Carbs Include:
- Sweet Potato
- Kidney Beans
Adding healthy carbs to your diet is a great way to add flavor and fill up your plate without sacrificing nutrients. You’ll feel full and get the nutrients you need by incorporating good carbs into your meals on your days between workouts.
Healthy fats are included for a balanced diet. When losing weight, it is essential not to overdo it with fats and know the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats.
“Bad” or unhealthy fats are the kinds that are known to cause weight gain, raise cholesterol, and cause heart disease. These foods include trans-fat and saturated fats found in unhealthy food.
Saturated Fats include:
- Pizza and cheese
- Whole milk, butter, and most dairy products
- Fatty meats
- Fast food meals
The “good” kind of fats or healthy fats are found in unsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids that include more nutrients in your diet. Healthy fats in your diet will improve your energy and help your weight loss.
Unsaturated Fats include:
- Healthy oils like Canola
Keeping a balanced diet is essential, whether it’s a workout day or a rest day. Staying up to date on healthy food groups and portions is a great way to start incorporating good meal choices into your diet, even on your day off.