Whether you earn your living working up a sweat, or squeeze in workouts when you can, it's easy to fall prey to eating errors that unintentionally hold you back from getting the most out of your workouts. Here are five common missteps I see, and how to correct them to reap the rewards of your hard work.
Health.com: Best Superfoods for Weight Loss
Eating Too Little FatDespite my recommendations to include good fats at every meal, like avocado, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil, some of my clients remain fat phobic, and will scale back, fearing that fat is "fattening." But the truth is, getting enough fat is a smart strategy for both sports nutrition and weight control, because fat: delays stomach emptying, so you feel fuller longer; increases satiety, to shut off hunger hormones; boosts antioxidant absorption, which in emerging research is related to leanness; and ups metabolic rate, to help you burn more calories.
Health.com: Surprising Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight
In fact, fat is one of the most vital nutrients in your diet, because it's a structural part of your cells, which means you can't heal a cell or construct a new one without enough fat to perform these important jobs. Cutting back too much can result in fatigue, chronic hunger, or a lack of satiety, irritability, depression, a weaker immune system and an increased injury risk.
So even if you're trying to reduce your body fat percentage, don't be afraid to add almond butter to a smoothie, top your salad with avocado, and saut? your veggies in extra virgin olive oil. Filling the fat gap can be the key to finally seeing results.
Health.com: Are You Making These Dieting Mistakes?
Using a Sports Drink When You Really Don't Need OneIf you sweat heavily, work out for more than 90 minutes, or exercise in hot, humid conditions, reaching for a sports drink rather than plain water is a smart way to keep hydrated, stay fueled, and replace the electrolytes lost in sweat. But if you're exercising for less than an hour and a half, in a climate-controlled gym, plain water should be fine.
More: DIY Sports Drinks