High intensity interval training (HIIT) has become a popular workout program because of its quick and effective results. With any workout plan, it’s important to give your body the nutrition and fuel it needs to function well, continue to burn fat, and build strength.

Since HIIT is such an intense burst of exercise, it’s important to plan meals accordingly to give you the energy you need for your workout and nutrition to recover afterward. Check out our guide for planning meals and tips for staying healthy while you’re involved in a high intensity interval training program.

If you’re looking for an intense workout that helps get you in shape quickly, check out DualityCircuit, a 60-minute workout at Duality Fitness that incorporates aspects of HIIT to transform your body and your mind.

General Tips For Nutrition

It’s important to eat well-rounded meals and snacks to give your body healthy amounts of fuel. Different types of food you should eat include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. It’s also important to get enough calories and macronutrients to give you energy and sustain that energy. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.

If you try to limit your calorie intake too much and form a restrictive diet, you could experience a regression in your workout as your muscles begin to atrophy. This happens because your body needs fuel, but it’s not getting it from food! Instead, it feeds on your fat and muscles, causing you to lose progress in your fitness journey. It’s especially important not to restrict yourself during a HIIT program because of how many calories you burn during and after your workout.

Drinking enough water is another important aspect of a healthy meal plan that will help you perform HIIT workouts more effectively. If you’re dehydrated, you will start to experience fatigue and won’t be able to work out as well.

It’s important to be conscientious of your nutrition needs as well. If you have food sensitivities, find substitutes or alternatives that will get you the nutrients you need to supplement your workouts and your day.

Pre-Workout Meals

An important part of your high intensity interval training meal plan is getting the energy you need before your workout to fuel you through it so you can give it maximum effort. Before your workouts, it’s important to eat a high-carbohydrate and moderate-protein meal. Be sure to eat three or four hours before you work out to give your body the chance to break down the macronutrients for energy — and also to avoid working out with a full stomach.

Examples of this type of meal include whole-wheat or grain bread with peanut or almond butter; dried fruit with mixed nuts; and Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit.

Post-Workout Meals

Your post-workout meal is essential after a high intensity interval training session because it helps restore energy and repair muscles after a brutal workout. Similar to your pre-workout meal, this meal should also be high in carbohydrates and protein. It’s a good idea to eat within 30 minutes to an hour after working out in order to restore energy and aid muscle recovery as soon as possible.

Try pita with hummus or guacamole; fruit, cheese, and crackers; and whole-grain cereal with fruit and soy milk as post-workout meals.

A Holistic Process

Getting in shape isn’t just about working out — it’s also about eating well and changing the way you think about yourself and your body. At Duality Fit in Sloan Lake, we care about our clients as a whole and work with them to develop physical and mental strength so they feel better about themselves and are more successful in their daily lives. Become a member and gain unlimited access to our DualityCircuit, DualityFlow, and DualityResCon classes. These classes focus on high intensity interval training, yoga, and resistance and conditioning, respectively.