Working out, but not getting results? Here’s three things you may want to change.

13 10 fitness mistakes eating workout protein supplements cardio 1

Workout mistake 1: Waiting too long to eat

Are you busting a sweat regularly, totally committed to eating healthy, but not getting the results you want? It might not be what you’re eating – but what you’re not eating and when.

Whether it’s a morning cycle class or an après-work power yoga session, the ‘when and what’ you refuel your body with can dramatically impact your recovery and results – including weight loss or gain.

Studies show following exercise our metabolism is at its all-time fastest. Meaning, our body is in the best position to burn more calories at a higher, more efficient rate. This is imperative for those who want to lose a few pounds and love to eat (who doesn’t?).

Research suggests we have about 30 to 45 minutes to catch this post-exercise metabolism window. Wait much longer to eat anything after that, and you’ve missed the boat.

To avoid making this mistake, plan to eat soon after your workout. I typically have a protein shake to tide me over, followed with toast and nut butter. If you know you’re not going to get a chance to eat a proper meal, keep a healthy snack ready. Try keeping a shaker cup in your workout bag, and fill it with protein powder, greens+ Bone Builder ($29.99 at grocery stores, health food stores and pharmacies; well.ca), and some water. Simply shake and enjoy.

Workout mistake 2: Not eating enough protein.

Of all the food groups, protein often gets a confusing rap – particularly among women who think protein is for body builders or gaining muscle mass.

While protein does assist with muscle building and repair, it’s also fuel for your body and helps boost your metabolism. A faster metabolism means more calories burned, which means a leaner body (which most of us want).

The reason for this is because unlike carbs and fat, eating protein is actually thermogenic (a process wherein the body has to expend more energy to process it for digestion, absorption and storage), and boosts your metabolism as a result.

To make sure you get enough, include a source of protein at every meal and snack. Greek yogurt, whey and vegan protein powders, tempeh, grass-fed red meat, free-range eggs and organic cheese. My favourite protein supplements include proteins+ Vanilla ($35.99, well.ca) and Vegan proteins+ Vanilla ($18.99, well.ca). I also love Simply Whey protein bars ($28.20, at grocery stores, health food stores and pharmacies) for a quick and easy snack.

Workout mistake 3: Thinking cardio is king.

A good sweat is hard to beat. A run outdoors, a killer spin class or circuit workout all feel great. Problem is, I see a lot of gym-goers who are hooked on the cardio “high” believing they’re doing their body right. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. Too much cardio causes oxidative stress to the body—an acidic environment that is more prone to illness and other unhealthy side effects including accelerated signs of aging. What’s more, cardio-junkies tend to get injured more often due to over-use.

To avoid getting caught in a vicious cardio-cycle, try to alternate your workouts. If you typically spin more than three times a week, replace one with a yoga or Pilates mat class instead. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.

Since I started yoga a few years ago, I can honestly say my cardio-needs have changed a great deal. I crave the mat more and more for a mind-body workout. Further to that, my cardio-workouts – specifically my speed, has improved dramatically as I focus less on time and more on quality. My race times are faster than ever, thanks to rest days to rebuild and repair my muscles. Namaste!