We all know we need to eat right and exercise to stay healthy or to lose weight, but did you know that there are specific foods you can eat to optimize your workouts and help you lose weight in the process?

Some foods can actually do double duty for our bodies and many are fantastic additions to any healthy eating program.

The first superfood that will optimize your workout isn’t actually a food. It’s water, the most important food for weight loss and for keeping you from feeling sluggish and tired during a workout or at work. It really does keep you feeling fuller longer and gives you the brain boost you need to work for hours on end.

Our bodies are sixty percent water. So, needless to say, we need water to survive. It helps our muscles and joints function properly. It boosts our metabolism and prevents dehydration, which can drastically slow you down during a workout or make it so you can’t work out at all. When you’re dehydrated, your body goes into panic mode and sends the water to the most critical areas; thus, moving it away from where you need it the most for your workout. Without it, you will feel lightheaded and fatigue quickly.

Nut butter

Greek yogurt is very high in protein and low in sugar and sodium. High protein levels keep you fuller longer, allowing you to skip the in-between-meals snacks. It’s also great for a post-workout boost because protein helps build and repair muscles. When choosing the best options, look for those containing two percent or whole dairy protein to avoid additives that companies add to spruce up low-fat versions. Always choose the plain Greek yogurt. If you’d like to add a little oomph of flavor, consider adding some sliced or frozen fruit or pure vanilla extract to it.

Nut butter is another workout optimizer. The unsaturated fat found in nut butters helps to drop the pounds because, in addition helping you feel full, it helps you absorb more nutrients from what you are eating, which helps your body work at optimal levels. The key with this is to eat a source of healthy fat with some carbs so your body can break it down quickly.

Eggs are what’s for breakfast and lunch and dinner and your snack. Eggs truly are a superfood. They should be your go-to for all meals because their high protein content can trigger the feeling of fullness. They also keep your muscles in working order and may help with your gym performance. Also, eggs are high in choline, an anti-inflammatory nutrient. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties help keep your weight down by keeping your metabolism regular and fighting off metabolic diseases in the process.

Dark leafy greens are incredibly high in fiber so keep you feeling full longer. Like eggs, they’re anti-inflammatory and help lower your risk of diseases like diabetes. They can be eaten as is, with a little healthy olive oil, or blended into a smoothie for breakfast, lunch, or a vitamin-filled post-workout shake.

By: Lisa Addler