Here's a scenario for you: You go to a yoga/fitness class, work hard, push yourself, sweat your butt off, and leave feeling wiped out and HUNGRY (hangry for some). You go home and grab the easiest thing available to you- usually processed, pre-packaged snacks that end up doing nothing for replenishing your energy system and leave you feeling full, but exhausted with low energy the rest of the day. Your hard work was just sabotaged. When you feel hungry, it's important to remember that your body is NOT craving plain 'ol calories or food in general... it's craving the nutrients it is lacking.
The meal/snack you eat post-workout is extremely important. During a workout, your muscle fibers are continuously broken down. Because of this, it is imperative that you provide your body with the necessary nutrients in order for your muscles to begin the process of repair. Your body needs carbs and protein, not sugar and heavy foods. After you workout, your muscles are filled with lactic acid and are usually quite inflamed. There are certain foods that help reduce the inflammation, such as a healthy beverage with ginger or turmeric and then fuel up with the necessary carbs/protein.
I've come up with a list of foods that provide the appropriate amount of protein- between 20g and 40g (used to repair muscles and promote growth) after a workout that you can have prepared and ready for you after you kick ass in the studio. These foods should be eaten within 30-45 minutes of your workout being completed keeping the caloric intake to about 150 cal.
(Remember! The things listed are SNACKS not meals.)
Here we go:
1. Top a frozen whole-grain waffle with low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt and one tablespoon of almond butter. Odd? Maybe. Effective? Yep!
2. Greek Yogurt (protein!) with some fresh fruit (carbs!)
3. Nut butter with banana on whole wheat bread
4. A low sugar, protein smoothie
5. Eggs and avocado
The biggest take-away from this post is that you MUST EAT TO REFUEL after a workout. Your muscles need protein and carbs to repair the tears that happen in them during your physical activity.
Workout-- Eat-- Rest-- Repeat.
You're well on your way of living a healthy lifestyle. Keep up all your hard work!