Maintaining Your Diet During an Exercise Injury

Injuries happen. You can take every precaution to prevent them utilizing: stretching, proper exercise form and not pushing outside your exercise limit; but still you are injured.  This can be extraordinarily depressing as you were proud of the strides you were making in the gym.  But now, with your fitness level in question, you are worried about the inevitable weight gain. The good news is that how you exercise your choices in the kitchen can make all the difference how far your setback really takes you.

The first thing you need to do is survey your diet. You may find that some modifications need to be made.  Even if you already have a healthy diet, you may still be susceptible as your injury precludes you from eliminating the excess calories that your workout would naturally eliminate. Accept that you are probably burning less calories for the time being, thus eating less is required. If your injury is minor and only lasts up to a weeks, you probably don’t need to freak out about it. However, anything over a week and you are still eating for your pre-injury activity level, gaining weight will happen much easier.

Of course, taking out all the calories that you are accustomed is easy to say, but can be very difficult as your stomach growling doesn’t care if you are going to the gym today. So the best strategy is focus your attention on the types of foods you eat, as opposed to the quantity.

It’s also more satisfying to the body at the expense of fewer calories. By fitting more protein-rich foods like into your diet, you’ll naturally feel more satisfied while consuming fewer calories. Another plus is that protein increases the body’s resting metabolism, so you won’t have to be as concerned about burning fewer calories while you let your body heal.

So what should you be eating then? The simple answer is protein. Protein is the cornerstone of building muscle and it’s essential in repairing muscles; the kind that are damaged due to your injury. With protein, your body will will be far more satisfied while intaking fewer calories. An added bonus is that your resting metabolism will be boosted and you can focus less on calories and more on your recovery.

Protein rich food for recovery:

  • eggs
  • poultry
  • dairy
  • fish
  • tempeh
  • *** If you take supplements, limit your use during injury.

Eat Well to Recover Well!

Aren’t there any magical foods and/or supplements you can consume to speed recovery?  The rule of thumb is “no.” There are no real positive studies related to any magic nutrient to speed  the natural healing process. The surest road to recovery is by eating a natural, balanced diet.

While a balanced diet is all you need, it can’t hurt to focus on fitting more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet to help your body handle the inflammation that accompanies injuries. Foods like tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy veggies, nuts, fish, berries and other fruit are the most effective anti-inflammatory foods, so it might help to eat more of them when you’re recovering.

As discussed, all you really need is a healthy, balanced diet is all you really need for injury recovery. However, mixing in anti-inflammatory food can help handle the accompanying inflammation could help with your healing process.  Here’s some helpful anti-inflammatory foods that you should have in your diet regardless, but especially during an injured state:

  • fish
  • olive oil
  • green leafy veggies
  • tomatoes
  • berries & nuts

While it is not possible to go back in time and not injure yourself, you can help prevent further injuries in the future. Remember to practice both dynamic and static stretching, proper exercise form and exercising within your fitness level. Additionally, the foods we have mentioned in this article are not only good choices for current injuries, but will help you prevent injuries in the future. Making sure your body as the appropriate nutrients to strengthen your bones, joints and muscles is always a good choice, regardless of your workout status.

Track Your Diet During an Injury!

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Track Your Diet During an Injury!

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