Did ya catch that title? I swear it makes sense. My workouts during the work week are always post 5pm and before dinner. I prefer to workout in the morning, but I have to be in my office at 7am. Like I’ve explained before, we work Monday through Thursday from 7am-5pm and always have Fridays off. It’s a pretty sweet deal, but it sort of eliminates my opportunity for am trips to the gym. I tried a week of waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise and while it had its positives the week I tried it, I knew it wasn’t going to be sustainable. I love mornings, but 4:45am was too early for this guy.
So, I do what I can to make late afternoon workouts- work out. One of the challenges I face is making sure I am appropriately fueled.
It’s hard because by 5ish I’m not really hungry for dinner yet as I usually eat a healthy, well balanced, and substantial lunch at noon or one BUT I know if I don’t eat something, I’ll get hungry mid-workout and not have the energy or focus to give my sweat sesh 110%
This one time I ignored some slight hunger pangs and went to a spin class without properly gearing up my body… it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad experience.
Thus, if I know I’m going straight to the gym after work, I know I need to eat something a little bit before quitting time. Getting ready the night before work includes packing a snack to be consumed around 4:00/4:30pm the next day. I’ve found that eating the snack sooner than that still leaves me slightly hungry while working out and any later- my stomach is angry and the food shakes around in my belly too much.
I try and keep these snacks in the 150-200 calorie range. And I personally like to eat whole foods rather than bars or shakes or smoothies. Just a preference.
So what do I eat? Well. I’m I’m forever searching for that perfect combination that keeps me going and doesn’t drag me down. Everyone is different and everyone has their go to snacks- some people prefer more carbs and some prefer no carbs at all- some stay away from dairy and some swear by their afternoon yogurt. It’s hard to know what’s best for your own body and what is ultimately going to make you happy.
Here is a list of some snacks that have worked for me in the past:
- Egg patty cooked in the microwave and 1/4 of an avocado all mashed together
- Banana slices and a spoonful of almond, peanut, or sunflower seed butter
- A palm full of almonds and a piece of fruit (like a clementine or pear or some grapes)
- Sliced veggies and a tbl. or two of hummus
- Mini mug of oatmeal (1/4 oats, 1/4 cup almond milk and a tbl. of some type of nut butter)
- A light PB&J sandwich on a whole grain sandwich thin or half a whole grain english muffin
- A light baby bell cheese on a whole grain sandwich thin topped with cucumber slices
- Rolled up slices of deli meat with some mustard or hummus and a slice of cheese
- 4 oz. of chicken or some form of leftover protein in my fridge
I could go on- but those are a handful of my go-tos. I constantly am trying to see patterns in my performance and what I snack on before working out.
Other things I do in the afternoon to prep for having some high energy late in the day is to drink some afternoon coffee around 3pm and make sure I stay well hydrated with good old water.
Although I’ve discovered a lot of what works for me through trial and error, I still fail sometimes and end up a very unhappy girl at the gym. It happens.
Tomorrow is a rest day for me so I won’t be needing my post-work pre-workout snack, but I am totally willing to try some suggestions from you guys. PLEASE share with me your afternoon pre-workout snacks and I might just give em’ a go next week!
Remember: eat to fuel your daily activity, exercise, and body. Don’t fall into the mindset of working out to eat (eat to workout, my readers).
And on that note- it’s snack time xoxo